Beyond the Binary

Saturday May 7 – 3-5pm – Kitchener Public Library – Downtown Kitchener – Free

Beyond the Binary Part 1:

 Taylor Heywood (they/them) and Ossian MacEachern (they/them), half of the 2016 KW Slam Team, bring you an afternoon of all the poetry your little queer heart can handle. Both non-binary babes, Taylor and Ossian fight to break down oppressive structures like the gender binary and gendered assumptions, and their poetry covers a variety of topics ranging from gender, sexuality, mental illness, and trauma. Both Taylor and Oisín write about difficult topics, and we will be using trigger warnings and encouraging people to take care of themselves. We hope to show how even though society tells us to be quiet about our pain, it’s possible to break free of those restrictions and turn your pain into something tangible. To be LGBTQ+ is to have in some way lived through trauma. Poetry, and other forms of artistic expression, can be an excellent tool of liberation. After the showcase, there will be a workshop and open mic facilitated by Taylor and Ossian. It is fine to come to only one event, but we hope that by seeing us perform first, it gives us a chance to bond further and share more art communally. Come and heal with us.

Beyond the Binary Part 2:

Join half of the KW Poetry Slam Team, Ossian MacEachern and Taylor Heywood, for a workshop focused on the tender connections between gender, poetry, and art as a whole. Most of what we know about gender comes from outside sources, which doesn’t make sense when gender is such a personal experience. It’s radical to take back the words that have been used against us. To write about how we belong and how we don’t. How we relate and how we don’t. How do you write about something that you don’t even know yourself? Can we learn to embrace confusion as just as beauty as assurance? Join us in a space where we celebrate the struggles and joys we share, and more importantly, the ones we don’t. This workshop will be a space for us to explore the beauty of gender, and why talking about gender and sexuality in poetry not only incredibly important for others to hear, but can help you find connections in your life you never knew existed. Gender is fluid, or it isn’t. Or it is sometimes. Or it’s rebellion. Or it’s a meadow filled with daisies. Or it’s exactly what you think it is or exactly the opposite. It is a source of pain and a source of love, often at the same time. It can be the most important part of your life or be nonexistent. Gender is already poetry waiting to be written. No two stories are the same. We can’t wait to help you find the words to express yours, and more importantly, we can’t wait to listen.