Is a writer (“Poetry is my thing”), but once upon a time used to be a visual artist.
In 1994 – came from Toronto. Had a dream of becoming a visual artist then. Worked in collage, photography, installation and a little bit in performance.
Two years after she moved to West Coast – started writing in a more serious way. Writing went further than visual arts. Started practicing spoken word.
Got her start as a poet during the poetry reading series in late 1990s – early 2000s. Spoken word – memory work, but also realizing what your body can do (“Inside your body, inside your head”) + find your delivery style.
Soon became known as a spoken word artist. Started working with media and recording poetry with music and sound. Later – progressed into video. Now – doing video poetry, audio poetry and performance poetry.
Last book came in September. A lot of poetry there is pro-environmental. Can’t say “Save the trees” in print so don’t plan to work in print for a long time. Instead – live reading, video and performance.If consider video work to be visual (which it is), then Ms. Rogers came from full circle with what she’s started as an artist.Enjoys doing video because it gives different audiences. It is scary, mind-blowing, but exciting. Helps to expand as an artist.
3 things Janet Rogers has to do as a Victoria Poet Laureate:
- Coordinate events around poetry.
- When city has special events – they can call upon her
It is important to work from honest, authentic inspiration.
Hippie poetry staff (came out in mid-50s), blew traditional poetry out. Poetry that came from the street, spoke to the people; gave voice to many movements and protests around many political and social things.
The Beat Hotel (Trailer)
The cheapest and the dirtiest hotel in Paris. Poets, artists, writers, musicians – central people of the century gathered there, lived together. Some significant books came out as a result. Was outside society, like another world.
Janet’s poem inspired by the hotel.
Video poem “Just Watch”- power of sound, it can inform visual work.
Janet’s initial intention – to keep herself interested in creating poetry.
Video – your poetry lives on film festivals, online, etc. Audio – on radio, music awards.
Collaboration is going to take on your personal relationship with work. If you have strong vision on your work – take a leadership role. Communicate (as in any relationship). It’s about spirit.
Video “What Did You Do Boy” (was able to submit it as music video, it was nominated).
Spoken word is not slam and not rap.
“It Stopped” (Collaboration, Russell Walls – sounds, music)
Book trailer – performance piece “Forever”.