Funded: Another Happy First

One of my “2013 to do”s is coming to pass with the help of some friends from the Ontario Arts Council.  Thanks to a handsome grant from the OAC,  I will be creating my first spoken word album this year!

Gimmie and H! Gimmie and O! Gimmie two L’s!  Gimmie an E!  Gimme an R! What does that spell? HOLLER!

That is exactly what I did when I opened the envelope over our narrow kitchen counter. I waved the paper with those oh so impacting  words: ” We are pleased to offer…” above my head as I skipped and hopped about in my living room. I am not as composed at home as I appear to be in public. But this was not a time for composure; It was time for jubilation!  I’ve never had my artistic endeavors funded before. It was only in the last year that I realized that this was even an option for me. I didn’t know there was official organizational support for people who pursued a career in the arts. Once I became aware that I could be funded to write poetry, I had to apply.   The application was a lot of work- after I don’t know how many hours, about 10 pages of application, additional attachments, videos of two poems,  about $4.00 of printing costs and  6 copies of all this later, I walked to the post office, mailed the package and waited.

On Wednesday or Thursday of last week I started seeing some friends post in their status that they’d received grants. The two I saw are brilliant poets and I was happy for them. Would I get one too? Only about 48 hours and a trip to the mailbox would tell. I went out of town for the weekend and when I returned on Monday I saw the envelope on my desk.  One of the poets asked if I’d gotten one. “No.. not yet.. we’ll see” I replied. Apparently he knew I got one and was just waiting for me to find out for myself. Gotta love surprises.

As I wrote in my application back in January ( or maybe December), I’ve written over 250 poems. Though not all of them are meant to be shared or are share-worthy,  a small number of them are. Rather than having them float in technological limbo on my computer, I would rather these poems find new life in living rooms, bedrooms, auditoriums, cafes,  headphones, and hearts of people who would appreciate it. This spoken word album will be a gift to myself. I’ve been wanting to compile my poetry for years  now but for different reasons haven’t done it.  I am extremely happy and thankful.

I’m sure many of us are unfortunately well- practiced in wallowing in sadness and disappointment , so with this I’ve decided to practice dwelling on the positive and basking in happiness. Feel free to join me in dwelling on something good that’s happened to you in the last few months or even year.

Stay tuned for more on the Roots and Rhythm Album!

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