The stage of Performance Works at Granville Island was transformed last night as musicians and authors came together to present Spoken World, a literature event presented by the Vancouver International Readers and Writers Festival.

Sal Ferreras and his band Poetic License guided the audience through the evening, introducing each artist as well as creating music for each piece preformed. The artists themselves took the stage in an intimate manner, but flanked on either side by large screens projecting images and illustrations created by VJ Candelario Andrade.

The night began on a dramatic note with Skeena Reece. Competing with the boisterous noise from Place de la Francophonie next door, she delivered strong pieces speaking out against the Olympics and the toll she said they have taken on the city. She  performed a piece called “Vultural Olympiad” in the manner of a children's song.

Following Reece was Shane Koyczan, recognized most recently for his involvement in the Olympic Opening Ceremonies. His performance moved the show in a new direction by providing a comedic element to his poems. The audience was laughing as much as they were crying by the time he finished his set and received a standing ovation.

After a short intermission, story-teller Ivan E. Coyote gave all those listening a chuckle with a short, but sweet love story. Coyote's northern roots were evident in her easy-going manner and familiarity with the audience.

Newcomer to Spoken World, Ariana Waynes, closed out the show. Displaying a passion evident only in those who love their work, she spoke on everything from love and friendship, to politics and religion. Most of the audience could barely keep up with her, but appreciated her fervour nonetheless.

Images: Skeena Reece, Ivan E. Coyote, Seth Koyczan, and Ariana Waynes.

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For more information about Spoken World, check out the Vancouver International Reader and Writers Festival website.