Tanya Evanson

Tanya Evanson

Tanya Evanson is an interdisciplinary artist originally from Montreal now based in Vancouver, BC. She is rooted in poetry with branches in spoken word, music and dance. Since 1995, she has produced five poetry chapbooks, two spoken wor/l/d music CDs The Memorists (2008) and Invisible World (2004) and performed extensively in Canada. Her work is featured in the award-winning videopoem Almost Forgot My Bones (2004), anthologies Bluesprint-Black British Columbia Literature and Orature and Ribsauce-Words by Women among others, and on international musical recordings. Fusing her background in West African dance with her classical training as a Whirling Dervish, she toured Europe, Turkey and Japan for many years from her base in Istanbul, and now continues in Canada. She has shared the stage with such artists as Ursula Rucker, Michael Franti, Ted Joans, Bob Holman, Mercan Dede and Natasha Atlas. As arts organizer Mother Tongue Media, she produces events that bridge disciplines and cultures such as Tales of Ordinary Madness spoken word series, Under the Griot Tree arts festival and the recent live art event ANU 8-HUNGER. Open your arms if you want to be held.


Every mouth that opens sounds different.
The music is like a wound, which opens
And closes. Instruments loosen hold of each other
And embrace again, inseparable in onslaught.
The way I inherited my mother’s ability
To cough for years.

Kiss me! These are my father’s lips.
They chew food with the same relish
And excellent overhang. They hide
A sweet tip and bitter backdrop.
Salty joy squared. Soursop. Stick it two me.

Slick teeth age for centuries. A dusty piano
And good wine. A draw-bridge for words
That can kill or melt. Like a good mouth,
Soften not, the tongue
Of your state.

Birds © 2012 Calgary Spoken Word Society