By Claudia Cheung
âEach year Canada commemorates April as National Poetry Month to celebrate the creativity and linguistic diversity of poetry.
âVIBE 105 recently interviewed Britta Badour, aka Britta B., to discuss her writing and her journey in the poetry world.
âBadour is a poet, performer, emcee, voice actor and teaching artist based in Toronto. She is currently studying Creative Writing and MFA at University of Guelph. Badour â who identifies herself as an early reader and writer - writes poetry since she was in Grade 5.
â"I would keep a book next to me, pretty much all the time. I would write down my daydreams in the book. As I got older, the writing just developed into a sense of self-expression. A way for me to share my feelings and thoughts," said Badour.
Â© CBCArts | Youtube
âBadour describes her poem as "very self-centred.â Her poems are her autobiographic and confessions. She uses prose to explore struggles, brutal truth, things that have happened to her; things she observed or witnessed. Reflecting on her personality, Badour is drawn to writing materials that are motivational and empowering.
â"I love motivating others, and I feel like I am really good at getting other people hyped and make them feel good about themselves. So I think a lot of that translates into my poetry," said Badour.
@ missbrittab | Instagram
âBadour's poems are influenced by music and reading. She listens to music - gets into the [feel of the] song and [listens] to different sounds; the way people speak, where it would register and [this] informs her arts. She reads the work of other Black writers and poets, and studies their form and techniques. Badour also watches their talks on YouTube. Before writing, she reads beforehand to get into the creative zone and to motivate her work.
âIn terms of the importance of grammatical, Badour stated: "The cool thing about poetry is a lot of times that stuff gets either completely swept to the side. Or, it's used for style and aesthetics. It's good to know the rules of grammar, but I don't think that you will not be able to read a poem because you didn't use a semicolon properly."
âBeing able to have an expression communicated and absorbed by audiences is more crucial.
"Poem doesn't have to make complete sense to everyone. It is a matter of what you intend to stir up to impact your audience. We can justify anything in poetry."
â- Britta Badourâ Toronto based poet.
âEvery artist goes through a stage where they release some artwork to the public only to later regret it ; Badour suggested anyone having a similar experience should re-evaluate their intentions for sharing poetry.
â"If you do get an opportunity to share your work in public, I suggest you audio record it, and hear it back another time to catch either fidgets or things you could have tightened up, and make a better choice next time.â
âFor poets experiencing creativity burnout, Badour advised to take a nap. It is essential to write out what is on your mind and heart at the moment. Let it live on the page and marinate. Do not edit or delete things that you have not put down on paper. Writing is not just about the first draft.
"You can't finesse what isn't pressed."
âBritta B. â Toronto-based poet
â"A lot of my poems have been a mixture of old ideas that I've gone back to revisit from old journals and books. The best advice would be to figure out a way to become an observer to everything else that is going on in your life and make a note of things standing out for you. Mindfulness and observation are the heart of writing.â
âIn commemoration of National Poetry Month, Badour shared her recently curated tanka poetry:
I tuck the skirt of
A silk dress in my pants then
Twine its silk belt up
Across knuckles like wrist wraps
For kidney stained boxing gloves
âThrough the tanka, Badour expressed what it means to be a woman and fight against the patriarchy.
âBadour recommends aspiring poets to read twice as much as they write. If you are going to write for 15 minutes, read for half an hour. Reading allows you to take on different perspectives and build empathy. Write every day; develop your ability to observe things.