Title and statement of responsibility area
Action Poetry fonds
General material designation
- Textual record
- Graphic material - photograph
- Moving images
- Sound recording
Other title information
Title statements of responsibility
- Source of title proper: Title based on contents of the fonds.
Level of description
Edition statement of responsibility
Class of material specific details area
Statement of scale (cartographic)
Statement of projection (cartographic)
Statement of coordinates (cartographic)
Statement of scale (architectural)
Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
[199-] - 1994, predominant 1993 - 1994 (Creation)
- Action Poetry
Physical description area
30 cm of textual records
81 photographic contact sheets
35 audio cassettes
Publisher's series area
Title proper of publisher's series
Parallel titles of publisher's series
Other title information of publisher's series
Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series
Numbering within publisher's series
Note on publisher's series
Archival description area
Name of creator
John Sobol, Program Director for Action Poetry '94, had worked in the performing arts in a wide variety of capacities. His career prior to 1994 had included being a Canadian poet, performer, musician, composer and music critic. Sobol recorded several albums, including "Blue History", by the John Sobol Poetry Band. Sobol ran a loft space in Montreal called "The Crossroads", which presented video and film screenings, dance performances, live music, art exhibitions and poetry readings.
In late 1992, John Sobol met with Vice President and Director Carol Phillips to discuss the potential for a program called Action Poetry ‘94. With his background in music and poetry, he recognized that there was an isolation of sorts between all forms of oral traditions. Therefore, he wanted to bring together multiple disciplines in one forum as a cross-cultural exchange of the many traditions of spoken word performance. This would occur in the form of a three-week workshop for the performers, which would culminate in a filmed presentation of their works.
Once the program was approved, John Sobol began scouting in Canada and the United States for artists he would like to include in the workshop. The participants would be from various performance backgrounds, including: poets, rappers, dub poets, monologists, performance artists, street entertainers, storytellers of various persuasions, and stand-up comedians from all backgrounds and cultures. Performers included: Lillian Allen, Uma Rao, Erik Belgum, Aaron Williamson, Sean “Spaz” Zitello, Deanna Ferguson, Judy Radul, Jeannette Armstrong, Jill Batson, Terrence Crane, Diane Wolkstein, Desaz Tempo and Richie D., Bob Holman, Wendy Berner, Tim Lander, Paul Dutton, Adeena Karasick, Gunargie, Greg Young-Ing, Mary Dalton, Tom Henihan, Kedrick James, Clifton Joseph, Tracie Morris, John Giorno, Alex Ferguson, Jayne Cortez, Meryn Cadell, Pine Trio,Shawna Dempsey, Tuong, Djewel (Don) Davidson, Darryl Keyes, Isobeau Miller, Lori Weidenhammer, Peter McPhee, Sheri D. Wilson, Stephen Humphreys, Murdoch Burnett, Ahdri Mandiela, John Sobol, and Flex Plan Nine (Harold Carr, Marilyn Lerner, Peter Valsamis and Tim Posgate).
The artists not only worked on their craft at the Banff Centre, but also participated in the Nat Christie Poetry Day and subsequent Nat Christie Poetry Jam. John Sobol organized these events that would see the artists visit various high schools in Calgary to work with students in performance workshops. Schools included: St. Francis High School, Forest Lawn High School, Bishop Carroll High School, Ernest Manning High School, Queen Elizabeth High School, and the Plains Indians Cultural Survival School. Chosen students would then perform their works on stage, along with the Action Poets, at the Nat Christie Poetry Jam at the Uptown Stage and Screen in Calgary.
The material was transferred to the archives as part of the following accessions: 1994-65, 1995-72, 1995-135, 1998-54, and 1999-32.
Scope and content
Fonds consists of records generated as part of Action Poetry ‘94, a symposium and festival of the spoken word. Records include internal and external correspondence, biographical information on participants, newspaper clippings, research notes, proposals, scheduling information, material related to organizing the Nat Christie Poetry Day and Nat Christie Poetry Jam events, photographs, and video and audio recordings.
Immediate source of acquisition
No further accruals are expected.
Language of material
Script of material
Location of originals
Availability of other formats
Restrictions on access
Some access restrictions may apply in accordance with Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy legislation. Please consult the archivist for more details.
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
Standard number area
Place access points
Name access points
- Action Poetry (Subject)