Home Arts Nude poetry reading returns

Nude poetry reading returns

by Archives September 22, 2009

VICTORIA (CUP) – Public nudity is a taboo in our culture for many archaic, obnoxious and perhaps practical reasons, particularly in Victoria, B.C. where puritanical views eclipse a lot of the culture that sweeps the city. But with the presentation of Poetry in the Raw III later this month, the city will be getting a lot leggier and lovelier.
Missie Peters, architect of this unveiled event, is enthusiastic about this year’s faddish fundraiser. Peters and her co-ed poets say it wasn’t always so easy to get naked and spout iambic pentameter.
“At a party one night my friend got naked and read [Allen Ginsberg’s] Howl. It was amazing! His neck clenched, his toes curled – it was beautiful. And I thought, ‘I have to try this – right away!'” said Peters, sounding tickled.
She’s quick to point out that “this isn’t a voyeuristic show, at all. It is an empowering and intimate evening that evokes an atmosphere of reverence.”
The host for the proceedings, David Morris, is the kind of MC who wouldn’t ask his audience to do anything he wouldn’t feel comfortable doing himself – so he invites them to disrobe along with him, but peeling it all off isn’t a prerequisite for the event.
“I don’t want anyone to be afraid or uneasy, so I start off by removing my socks and most people follow suit,” said Morris.
It isn’t long before he is naked and most of the audience is, too.
“It goes from frightening to freeing as people are like, ‘Fuck, I can do this!’ Nudity is seen as it should be, as something honest and beautiful,” he said.
And why shouldn’t it be?
Tongues of Fire, the spoken word collective responsible for the event, have been as visible as the emperor’s new clothes in Victoria since 2004. The funds raised from the event will go towards the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word an annual, travelling festival. While this year’s event is taking place in Victoria, the festival will be in Montreal in October 2010.
“It’s about making the body poetry as opposed to just ‘Girls, girls, girls!'” says Peters, evoking Marlene Dietrich’s cabaret crooner. “You will regret not coming to this. You only live once and this is such a unique experience – like skydiving.”

Related Articles

Leave a Comment