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April 25 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Chances are it’s happened to you. You’re at the mic, delivering your poem. Then something happens: maybe you stumble or say the wrong word, maybe you make eye contact with someone and get momentarily distracted, maybe an unexpected surge of emotion hits you, maybe the words simply stop coming to you. Whatever the case, the poem vanishes. Gone. And now you’re frozen on stage, desperately trying to recall the poem while a roomful of people stare at you. They snap. They call out, “You got this!” But you don’t got this… how do you rescue the moment?

In this workshop, we’ll look at ways to do just that! We’ll consider the way instinctive fight, flight or freeze responses kick in when a poem gets “dropped,” we’ll look at “fnck ups” from the audiences’ perspective, and we’ll explore ways to prepare for performance that improve our capacity to adapt in the moment. Drawing on training in improv and clown, and 15+ years of experience fncking up poems on stages big and small, Johnny will show how “fnck ups” create opportunities to make the audience love you even more!

IMPORTANT: Some exercises in this workshop deliberately re-create the stress of “dropping” the poem in front of an “audience” of other workshop participants. Participants should be prepared with a short poem or segment of a poem (approx 30 seconds) to share with other participants to learn and repeat in front of the group. Please consider work with content you’re comfortable hearing spoken by other participants who may not share your background or experience.


Vancouver Poetry House events take place on the ancestral territories of the Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh First Nations, whose lands were never sold, ceded, or relinquished,—lands that were taken. Vancouver Poetry House supports the resurgence of Indigenous culture and the work of Indigenous poets.


Verses Festival of Words
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The WISE Hall
1882 Adanac Street, Vancouver, British Columbia V5L4E5 Canada
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