2 min

Southern comfort

Seattle artists come to shine at festival

Two talented queer artists are coming up from Seattle to perform alongside Ivan E Coyote on his New Word Order stage. Each is well worth noting.

Soulchilde describes himself as an ‘expressionist’ and also a ‘folk festival virgin.’ He has performed at a host of respected events including Seattle’s Black History Month Showcase, Bent Writers Showcase and Broken Spoke.

Soulchilde has been writing and composing for 14 years as escape, self-torture, therapy and a rite of passage-a satisfying combination of meditation, ammunition and liberation. He admits to being inspired by “the boldness and bravery of any individual, anywhere who lives and expresses themselves unapologetically, yet with compassion for everyone.”

He looks forward to reading his poetry-including pieces from his book WarriorLamb-to everyone “open-minded or not, as long as they leave with a feeling-something to think about.”

Tara Hardy is a woman with a host of incredible tales, each easily deserving of her own movie-of-the-week. After leaving a small US town to attend a private college on a full scholarship, one cruel review from a fellow student caused her to drop English as her major and stop performing poetry in public for six long years.

When she finally decided to come out of the literary closet, Hardy didn’t just emerge, she smashed the figurative door into pieces. Entering the Seattle slam poetry scene, she found herself inspired by the competition.

“People walking in off the street, talking about their lives, a lot of folks actually writing about oppression. That is what really turned me on about slam! I pretty much write about class, race, sexuality, gender and incest; those are my topics.”

Hardy has made incredible movement on two fronts in her few short years of public performance: In 2002, she won the Seattle Grand Slam Champion title and was elected to be Seattle’s Poet Populist (poet of the people.) Hardy has also done great things to further her own gay community, most especially as founder and current executive director of Bent, a Seattle-based writing institute for queer people. Her mandate is clear and inspired by her own experiences as a student.

“So many writers’ communities have an element of competition mixed with a critical eye on people’s work. People grow when they feel joy much more quickly than when they feel shame. There’s a way to give critique to someone that isn’t blowing shit up their asses to make them feel good about themselves.

“There’s a value in the classes that is about community supporting each other, because I wanna see what happens in this pressure cooker filled with support.”


MC’d by Ivan E Coyote.

Sat, Jul 17 at 1:45 pm, stage 7

Sun, Jul 18 at 12:30 pm, stage 7.