TALES OF ORDINARY MADNESS
SPOKEN WORD SERIES, VANCOUVER, CANADA 1998-2003
It's spoken word madness. It's wholesale lip-dribbling dub/sonnet/hiphop mania. It’s back-to-bacchanalia. It’s a rib- sticking wake. GEORGIA STRAIGHT 2001
Tales of Ordinary Madness was one of Vancouver, BC's longest running weekly spoken word series from 1998 to 2003, second only to the Black Sheep Books series. It took place every Tuesday night in the heart of East Vancouver at Bukowski's on Commercial Drive. It was yelled, spilled, broken, spoken word in an open mic format with frequent special guests from across the city, country and continent in the spirit of free expression.
The series was founded by poet Susan Mullen in August of 1998. She ran it for two years before passing it on to Tanya Evanson/Mother Tongue Media from July 2000-2002. It then passed on to poet Andrea Papineau for six months and finally to poet The Svelte Ms. Spelt until summer 2003 when it gracefully passed into Canadian spoken word history.
Tales was the subject of several radio commentaries, community television documentaries and at the end of my run, film students from Vancouver Film School made a documentary about the series called Speak Up (2002) which featured poets The Svelte Ms. Spelt, Salmon Avalanche and Zeechillah the Great (RIP).
Bukowski's was a regular gathering place for scores of independent local and international poets, writers, musicians, performers and artists. I'd like to give a big thankful shout out to all the artist barflies - you are all blessed: Susan Mullen, Andrea Papineau, The Svelte Ms. Spelt, Ted Joans, Jim Christie, C.R. Avery, Shane Koyczan, Kagan Goh, Fernando Raguero, S.R. Duncan, Laurie Bricker, Susan Cormier, Conrad Sarsnick, Rocco de Giacomo, Salmon Avalanche, R.C. Weslowski, Abby Wener, Angelo Renai, Al Mader, Anna Martin, Mark Berube, George Scaba Koller, Diane Laloge, Gary Carlson, Katrin Bowen, Laurent Fough, Marc Callender, Mahatma Slim, Noelle Pion, Vic Licorish, Vincy Kamberk, Reese McBeth, Roger Blenheim, Rachel Flood, Robert Waltz, John from the Bukowski kitchen, Zeechilla the Great (RIP) and T.Paul Ste.Marie (RIP).
directed by JAY SCHOPP & OREN OGNIEWICZ (VANCOUVER CANADA 2002)
A documentary about three spoken word artists who use words to inspire, heal and connect: Zeechillah the Great (Vladimir Vostok RIP), Angus Adair (The Svelt Ms Svelte) and Salmon Avalanche; with Tanya Evanson.