By Gregory McGrath-Goudie, Orillia Bureau Chief
On September 22nd 2016, Drunk Poets’ Society returned to The Brownstone in Orillia, bringing a community of inebriated poets, storytellers, and musicians together once more. The event began in January 2016, when Lakehead students Thomas Rose and Josh Cavon expressed interest in hosting an event dedicated to drinking and the spoken word. Naturally, Drunk Poets’ Society was a smash hit, and it developed into a monthly occurrence throughout the past academic year.
Since beginning as a free-for-all open mic event, Drunk Poets’ Society has begun featuring particular locals poets, as well as local musicians. Lakehead student Jess Dawson was the first poet to be featured at the event; she read from her chapbook, Little Nothings, and also performed several more recent works. Following Jess, the mic was open to anyone who was willing to read poetry. Rose, who hosted the event, regularly encouraged people to read anything they connect with, whether they authored the piece or not. Given that encouragement, many interesting poems found their way to the stage.
Dawson’s poetry, which focuses on love and an interconnectivity with the world around us, was followed by performances that critiqued capitalism and beauty standards, as well as other poems sharing difficult experiences. Close to ten people shared their poetry with the student-packed bar over the course of the evening, and all were well received. At the heart of Drunk Poets’ Society is the opportunity for people to share something they connect with, as well as the opportunity for people in the crowd to hear stories they seldom hear. Following the poetry reading, Jimmy Venturo took the stage with his guitar to close out the evening, which had gone particularly well. With an attendance of at least 60 students on Monday, Drunk Poets’ Society is set to reassemble throughout the year.
If you have yet to attend Drunk Poets’ Society, keep your eyes open for a Facebook event in October, which is when the next instalment is set to occur. In addition to the upcoming event, Drunk Poets’ Society will soon become a club at Lakehead Orillia, and anyone interested will be encouraged to get involved with it. If you are interested writing, music, or performing creatively, getting involved with Drunk Poets’ Society is a great way to get out, share your work, and get drunk with your friends. We’ll see you in October.