‘This wave is an opportunity’: Ontario’s first poet Laureate hopes to inspire, empower, and inspire other Canadian artists


TORONTO – Ontario’s first poet Laureate says that he hopes to inspire other artists across the province with the power of the spoken word.

Randell Adjei told CTV’s Your Morning on Tuesday that being the first poet of the province is an honor, but at the same time comes with a responsibility he does not take lightly.

“It means a lot to me, especially given the fact that this is also the first time, and I get the opportunity to build a legacy for poet Laurets who is to come later,” said Edjie Scarborough , Said in an interview to Ontario.

Last week, legislators from all parties passed a private member to appoint Adjei as Ontario’s first poet, a role created to remember Gord Downey, The Tropical Hip frontman, in 2017. had died.

Adjei said that he and Downey shared an understanding of the importance of words and the impact they can have on others.

Adjei said, “When I think of Gord and think about his legacy and what he has done, he talked about injustice, he talked about the truth, and about his music and his poetry Through the medium he was able to tell the stories of many others. ” .

“I think the connection is that I realize the power of using the word to really inspire, empower, and tell my stories.”

In his new role, Adjei will serve as a legislative officer for a two-year term. When public health restrictions are lifted, he will travel across the province to raise the profile and performance of Ontario’s poets, participate in poetry reading, and organize and administer educational workshops.

“The role of the poet really means elevating the profile of artists and poets across the province, and the whole motivation behind it is actually tying the province together. For myself, it really means that poets and other artists Is giving an opportunity to. Adjei said, “It is recognized that this wave is an opportunity for them to be able to live their passion in the true sense.”

The famous spoken word artist, poet, motivational speaker, and coach released the first book of his poem “I’m Not My Struggle” in 2018.

In a poem from that book, Adjei discusses the feeling of being broken “like a broken glass” and how those feelings can prevent a person from being uplifted.

Looking back, Adjei says that poetry is a reflection of becoming a poet in his own journey.

“There’s a line that says, ‘If you’ve never known a breakdown, how would you know when you were whole? If you never broke up, how would you measure your growth?” And so when… I think about some of the challenges that I had to go through, the anger I had, the near-death experiences, and just some of the racial tensions that I had to navigate as I grew, ” Adaji said.

Regardless of the personal connection, Adjei said that the poem is actually a warning to all of us that we don’t go through anything in life … the difficulties are there to define us exactly.

“I think they are willing and ready to come to us in the future, and build our resilience,” he explained.

For those who have only experienced poetry through learning Shakespeare while in school, Adjei said that it is “a lot more than that”.

“There is poetry in a lot of music that we listen to, I think there is poetry in nature, I think poetry is all around us,” he said.

Also, Adjei said that poetry is “one of the most accessible art forms to deal with mental health conflicts” and “just leave some things in our mind.”

“When I think of poetry and its spread, we are going to overcome some difficulties – I really just appreciate poetry – really for the occasion [have] Adjei said that the go-to experience of going and releasing.

With a file from the Canadian press

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