Okay, so right off the top, I have to admit a certain amount of bias – okay, a whole lot of bias – when it comes to Lizzie Violet. She’s super smart, funny and has an incredible way with words – and is brave enough to get up in front of a room full of strangers to read them – and she’s a really good friend. She’s also the reason I’ve been getting out to see so many amazingly talented poets and spoken word artists over the past year.
Last night, I had the pleasure of dropping by open mic night at Free Times Café to hear Lizzie read some of her work. Pretty sure this was her first time reading there – and, despite TTC challenges causing her to be running a bit late, she arrived looking fabulous, checked in with host Jeff Kahl, then hung out with Brandon Pitts and Jennifer and me for a bit at our booth near the back room (as it was packed with no seats left) before shortly getting called on stage. She read some of my – and Jeff’s – favourites: the devilishly mischievous and fun piece about her childhood invisible friend Sid, the hilarious mom blurt piece “Chlamydia is Not a Flower,” and the very funny and sharply pointed unsubstantiated relationship piece. She avoided the naughty haikus, as there were minors present, but read us a few back at our booth. They’re very erotic. Seriously erotic. I wasn’t able to get close enough for a decent photo while she was reading, but thanks to host Jeff Kahl, here’s a stunning pic of Lizzie – it puts me in mind of classic cabaret: smoky and shadowy.
Lizzie will be reading this Friday, August 24 (5 – 9 p.m.) at Harvest Noon (16 Bancroft Ave., Toronto) with featured poets Cassandra Witteman and Vanessa McGowan, among others.
Also coming up: The Beautiful and the Damned (TB&TD) on Thursday, September 13 (7 – 9 p.m.) at Glad Day Bookshop (598 Yonge St., Toronto – upstairs), with host DM Moore, and feature performers Jacob Scheier, David Bateman and Jessica Speziale. Lizzie is the go-to gal for TB&TD poster design, has been a feature performer and often performs in the open mic slots.
Here’s Lizzie reading at Toronto Pride 2012, with Amoeba Starfish playing in the background: