Brick Books is one of the most decorated independent publishers around, with their unique all-poetry list featuring names like Margaret Avison, Parliamentary Poet Laureate Louise B. Halfe — Sky Dancer, and Karen Solie. Their books have won and been nominated for Griffin Poetry Prizes, Governor General's Literary Awards, Trillium Book Awards, and dozens of others.
Recently, Brick announced the exciting news that they're currently revamping their spoken word-focused Brickyard portal, which features audio and video content of everything from hip hop infused slam poetry to Cree storytelling. They'll soon be adding interviews and tutorials.
To offer a taste of Brickyard, Brick has put together a compilation of performances from their very first launch of the portal, an in-person event that took place in 2019, with glimpses of sets from Charlie C. Petch, Ian Keteku, Mahlikah Awe:ri, and Valentino Assenza.
In terms of newer content, their latest upload features acclaimed mainstay of the Canadian spoken word scene Dwayne Morgan performing his piece "Maybe", a wistful and hopeful response to the anxiety of our modern, pandemic age.
Past performers, whose content is also available on the channel, have included George Elliott Clarke, Kaie Kellough, and Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang, with an upcoming live stream event on January 21 featuring Robyn Sidhu and the beloved Toronto series Hot Damn It's a Queer Slam.
The portal is a great resource, especially during the pandemic, for spoken words fans, educators, parents, and those who would like to find out more about the form. With Brick's renewed focus on the series, viewers can expect some interesting programming for 2022.