Get to know Poet Angelica Poversky
By Patrick B. Hill
What is your name and where are you from?
My name is Angelica Poversky and I am from Vancouver, BC
What is your profession?
Firstly, I am an artist- a spoken word poet and media artist. I am also a full-time student at UBC in the Bachelor of Media Studies. And I am the assistant manager for the UBC Arts and Culture District!
At what age did you fall in love with art and why?
I began writing poems at a really young age. My first poem I wrote was on the first day of kindergarten. My dad inspired me and taught me about rhyming words and something about that enticed me. I think it was this idea that you can make the words fit rhythmically to an idea that I originally fell in love with. As I have grown older art inspires me and I fall deeper into bed with it for a whole multitude of reasons that continue to change and keep me surprised.
How important is art in today’s society?
Art is literally survival in today’s society. I don’t think there is anything that is more important when it comes to being able to speak truth, ignite imagination and share stories. A lot of times I see poetry as a tool for activism. I had the pleasure at performing at the recent 2017 UN Peacekeeping Defense Ministerial sharing the stage with Emanuel Jal and it really occurred to me in that moment how messages of peace through spoken word can bring out a lot of power and inspiration in all of us. On a personal note it works with overcoming hardships for sure, but there is something deep in the way it helps and heals others too.
There are little Angelica Pohveherskie’s out there that are either learning about poetry or learn it from their parents. Break down the moment of your first time writing and reading your poetry out loud to classmates. What would you tell those who want to be poets?
I can’t quite remember exactly the process of my first poem but something along the lines of stealing the rhymes of the Arthur Theme Song and slapping in some butterfly metaphors. The first time I shared my poetry I believe it was in elementary school where this Family Channel anti-bullying rally came as a result of my poem winning in their poetry competition! So that was cool and definitely thought that my poetry’s butterfly metaphors were hot shit! Anyways that was a hugely transitional moment for me because it gave me validation, even if my poetry was only good for a 10-year-old level, it was making bends already and I was excited to see what would happen. I think the younger you are the easier it is to believe in yourself because the future isn’t painted as specifically. I would say keep holding on to that childhood sense of hope and belief. I hang on to it like a magnet on a fridge. As you get older you see all the ways and specific to do list items you have to tick off to achieve your next goal. But all of that stuff, making business cards, submitting your poems to literary journals to inevitably get rejected, e-mailing people to book your next tour- are the gross and gritty things that make the beautiful art stuff happen in public. Keep building on that hope, knowing there is a lot more to be done than write poems to be a successful poet.
Love that statement. The first video we posted of your poetry performance was “Pluck me” which can be seen. Take me through that performance and the metaphor meaning behind “Pluck me” for readers who are watching the video for the first time.
Sure! So that poem is basically a discussion of my life as a woman where I am a “pretty flower” waiting for the right “plucker”. I divided the world into pluckers and flowers, or the binary of men and women. I use the garden metaphor to go into some more gender role stuff about what is expected out of femmes. I wrote this poem based off a few different encounters where I was told to be pretty or act in a certain way regarding what was assumed out of my gender.
When you are performing your poetry in front of a crowd, do you ever get nervous or are you more comfortable in front a crowd?
I used to feel nervous performing but now I definitely feel most alive in front of a crowd. I’m excited to share and be truly myself when I’m up there.
Okay. Seen that poetry organizations are integrating to YouTube to showcase poetry to viewers. Do you feel like the best experience for people to see poets perform is by showing up to a poetry slam event in their community or do you think this element is better than attending poetry night? How do you feel about it?
I think coming out to a poetry show is the best thing you can do. There is something in the air that will keep you coming back. My friends and I are starting a new show Between Three Wheels and we will be putting it up on YouTube (the whole hour) for those that want to re-watch or couldn’t have made it, but like any live performances the video can never quite do it justice. On the other hand I recently released a second poetry video with an art film to go with the words, and that is something that needs to exist primarily as a video where the performance would be missing an integral aspect to it. (That is until I can start doing performances with projections!)
As your poetry continuously grows. As a poet, what should be the goal for you in poetry? do you wish for your poetry to inspire people to reach their inner poet or is there something else?
My personal goal as a poet and artist is to shed light on different parts of humanity. Invite new ideas in. Stir up trouble. Expose problems. Explore imagination! All in hopes of healing, growing, laughing and thinking differently. That is how I want to affect my audience.
As an artistic programmer I do constantly create events and hope that people will make their own art as well, or engage with it in other ways if that isn’t their thing. But if it is their thing I love helping people get access to making that possible for themselves.
Want to know more about Angelica Poversky go to these links below.