November 05, 2010

Mohawk spoken-word poet

Culturelicious:  An Interview With Mohawk Poet Janet Marie Rogers

By Jorge Antonio VallejosJanet Marie Rogers is a spoken-word poet from Six Nations Territory in Ontario, Canada, who started writing in 1996.

Her literary passions are Native heritage, feminism, historical territories, human love, sexuality and spirit.
And:BCP:  How long have you been writing poetry/songs?

JMR:  Gosh, I moved from Toronto to Victoria BC in 1994. I had three years sobriety under my belt at that time and I was done with the Big Smoke. I had every intention to pursue a career as a visual artist and even had a solo show in Vic called “Rock, Paper, Scissors” based on petroglyph and pictograph images. I also started a women’s artists collective at the time which was pretty successful. I began writing in 1996--and when the writing began piling up, I produced little books. I was tickled when people actually took money from their pockets to buy my writing--and the writing seemed to go farther in a shorter amount of time, than the visual work ever did…so I followed that.
And:BCP:  Why did you name the CD Firewater?

JMR:  I love the idea of re-claiming words, especially words that were meant to degrade our people. Firewater is actually paying homage to two of the natural elements, Fire, which represents the creative forces in the word and water, which is essential to our life, water runs through the veins of the earth. But firewater also means booze. So like the booze reference, these poems work with that wild energy, that drunk and uninhibited energy. Its about power! and I’m surprised, more people haven’t taken me to task over this title…I was hoping for more controversy.
Comment:  For more on Native poets, see Slammin' Young Native Poets and Poetry Not a Snooze.

No comments: