Skip to content

Word on the Street Recap!

September 30, 2013

I always have fun at WOTS but this year was beyond memorable. As promised, I busked my face off and wrote so many poems I grew callouses on my fingers! That’s how we roll. There’s a sample of a piece that I wrote for Johanna, with typos and all! Her three words were inspiration, gratitude and lexicon.


The method of writing pieces on the spot is so healing but there’s also a lot of pressure too. I can’t sit with the words too long or overthink, I just go. Some hints as to how to start comes from reading the body language and tone of the person I’m writing for. I’m learning to trust my intuition more and make less assumptions about the human being standing before me. As a crowd started building up I was asked by a patient made name Fred and without even telling me, the West Annex News started filming (honoured, naturally, but a heads up would have been nice because) I began stating my “strong opinion” about me not getting an official booth at the Word on the Street festival and other booth keepers involvement with folks. <insert foot into mouth>

They’ll never ask me to return next year.

Also before the busking, I was interviewing author Chad Pelley about his latest book Every Little Thing. And here’s my very first interview (I was sooooooo nervous) on CIUT fm community radio. If you have a moment you can listen to my terrible interview skills.

As I wound down and headed home, I checked my Twitter account to see if any of my happy poetry holders were following me. On my sign I put up my handle so usually I gain a few friends in the process. To my amazement I say this tweet from the one and only Michael Winter:


The final icing on the cake is that the Globe and Mail included a photo of me busking at the Festival as part of their “In Pictures” series.

That’s right.




I’m flabbergasted. You can check out the article here  (I’m number 6/9 in the slideshow) Bomb-digs! When I went busking Friday night a women actually told me about the article (I didn’t even know!) and said she shared the link and it was really cool seeing me in person. Like, C’MON! That’s double dopeness right there.

Needless to say, my WOTS experience this year was off the charts. Big thank you to all the wonderful people who stopped by and said hi, to the folks who paid for a poem or for a book (sold like 3 copies of 3 Cities!) and for everyone excited enough about my busking to tweet or video record or take photos.

Over and out!

8 Comments leave one →
  1. September 30, 2013 11:08 pm

    It’s wonderful to see you take that talent out there and peel all that off the top of your head! People were so excited about it, because it’s a refreshing thing for them to see the real deal in person. No gimmicks, no pitches, just talent.

    Wonderful job!

    • October 4, 2013 8:08 pm

      Oh Marie, you’re too sweet. And thanks, it’s true, I was never really all that good at gimmicks, although the alluring sound of a typewriter does draw a crowd.

      — W

  2. rozanne permalink
    October 3, 2013 12:21 am

    Thanks for our poem Whitney! You might not remember us from that day but I was the one with 5 kids and they each gave you a word: fun, nature, friends, wish, and LUCID. Lucid was the tough one. Anyway, thank you so much for inspiring the kids to write and write and write all the live long day!!! I raved about you on my blog this week because you rocked it out! It was by far my kids’ favourite part of Word on the Street!

    • October 4, 2013 8:10 pm

      Of course I remember you Rozanne and your beautiful children. That poem I wrote was my favourite one ALL DAY. It’s incredible because I knew I was writing a piece for children but it has a mature tone and I got that impression from your well-mannered kids. Warms my heart to hear that they are inspired to write! We should keep in touch, especially in regards to your oldest, I do workshops with youth throughout the year if you’re interested. Send me some of their masterpieces anytime! :) All the best

      • Anonymous permalink
        October 12, 2013 12:26 pm

        For sure! We are getting ready for NaNoWriMo and the kids hope to churn some stuff out. My oldest would definitely be into the workshops! Do you post on the blog the details as they come up?

      • October 15, 2013 1:43 pm

        So I have two workshops coming up, one for teens and one for grades 2-5 from an organization called Story Planet. I’ll post them on my blog VERY soon but you can also join my newsletter and get the info straight to your inbox. Whichever you prefer. YAY for NaNoWriMo!!!


  1. these things called words.
  2. Word on the Street Festival 2014 | Writing in a Tree

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: