By Guest Contributor Jorge Antonio Vallejos, cross-posted from Black Coffee Poet
Janet Marie Rogers is a spoken-word poet from Six Nations Territory in Ontario, Canada who started writing in 1996.
Her literary passions are Native heritage, feminism, historical territories, human love, sexuality and spirit.
Rogers hosts Victoria, BC’s only Native radio program, called Native Waves every Tuesday at 2:30 pm on CFUV 101.9 FM.
BCP: Why spoken-word poetry?
JMR: This is easy to answer. I was first exposed to poetry readings at a local pub. And there was plenty of “bad” poetry being shared. People droning on and reading a type of therapeutic poetry which is like masturbating in words. So I vowed then and there that I would NEVER bore my audience. Plus I believe in my words and wanted people to pay attention to my messages, so I began “teaching myself” the spoken word genre and its been growing from there ever since.
BCP: What is your process?
JMR: I wait for the good stuff. Some writers are disciplined and are able to write everyday. Myself, I know when a poem wants to be born. It is a strong energy in my stomach, then the words begin to sound in my head and I’m off to the races as they say. And during the execution of the poem, I keep telling myself to stay true, be honest, go deep, make it interesting and creative. I tell other writers and artists, there is no great crime than to be boring and unoriginal … I live by that code.