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PLU Open Mic featuring Winona Linn

PLU Open Mic featuring Winona Linn

Review by Kate Noakes. Photographs by Ana and Annie.

Just be very careful not to call her a Knock Off Pocahontas. Last heard at the PLU Poetry and Jazz night, it was our honour to present our guest for this week Winona Linn.  But more First Nation polemic in a jot. The night was packed and steamy with several sets of parents. You picked a great night to bring them along, and please, more of that, the average age in the room needs to go up, so I don’t feel so damned old. It saw the welcome return of Bob, even if he was ‘flaccid in the presence of Paris.’ Cameron was all poetics: in rhyme and breaking the rhythm and Alex all obedient words.

Abstention came from Anu reminding us that ‘wine is for drunkards only’ (Ezekile’s The patriot), Paul, who was unable to order coffee in the Windemere hotel, Emily sans a longed for phone call and David, who in floral mood, stuck to his promise not to ‘recite one ugly word’ when reading Yeats. No such thing was happening with Boomie and the tale of poor Gary the Buffalo, who met a delicious end, or Megan’s advice on how to chat up a rock star. Chris’  play, involving time machines in a Cupboard World, showed just what can be done with great craft and talented scratch actors.

Winona rocked the house with her sparkling performance of becoming familiar favourites – don’t you just love her titles – To all those who stole my heart, Dylan Thomas laptop quotes at Starbucks (one for me there), Your tattoos are stupid,  Tearaway pants, and Red Bull generation. Catch her on You Tube or the next time she graces a PLU stage. She never disappoints. No wonder she wins prizes and influences people. A tour de force of the art of performance poetry. Lucky us.

Virgins included Martin and his Cypriot crabs, and Vivienne’s hilarious English lesson. Dominque tackled Francois Hollande and Troy topped it off at the end of three great rounds.

Musical accompaniment was from Vanessa, Nicholas’ rats ‘dancing on the table when the cat is not home,’ Remi and Yannick’s Sugar we are all going down, and the fabulous Fun King Nero aka Peter. Victor orchestrated the community singing. Indeed it was a Silly Old Day.


Winona is a Canadian poet, performer, teacher and spoken word artist. Linn was the 2011 poet laureate of the Federal Green Party of Canada, and wrote and performed poems on a variety of issues for the duration of the 2011 federal election. In the spring of 2013, a collection of Linn’s poems was published by Paisley Press of Halifax, Nova Scotia. This collection, entitled “Stand Tall,” was a collaboration with visual artist Sidney Robichaud and are available for sale across Canada. Currently, she lives in Paris, France where she teaches English-language poetry to children. See her perform here.

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