Flowetry is a form of artistic expression through spoken word, poetry and music. The University of Waterloo’s RAISE program held a Flowetry Night on November 3 at the Grad House. The far corner of the room was decorated with golden backgrounds and had a designated chair reserved for the performer. Block lights glowed in each corner of the room, creating a pleasant and relaxing environment.
The night started with poetry. The first speaker was Kelsey Mar, who performed three poetry pieces from an upcoming poetry anthology that she is featured in titled “Scream it Back”. Her first piece was centered on a Mandarin phrase, roughly translating as “to be the centre of one’s heart,” a phrase she cherishes because of her grandmother’s adoration for her. Mar’s second piece, “Truth or Dare”, discussed the emotional conflict of choosing between the two. Her third piece had a phrase that resonated with the students in the audience: “Did you forget at 21, what it was like to dream at 12?”
The audience’s snaps and claps were audible throughout the performances, with the audience joining in on some of the pieces when requested. Aidan Palmer, “AP”, was the second performer of the night, who performed three original hip-hop songs. He invited the crowd to sing and harmonize the chorus’ melody as he took the lead on the lyrical sections himself.
RAISE’s organizers and coordinators ensured that the flowetry night was a safe space for all speakers, regardless of the type of performance they chose. Jessalyn Kwarteg performed “I am them,” a spoken word piece that talked about themselves as a person and what they embody as an individual.
Brianna Mann performed two songs — a cover of “Better Oblivion Community Center” and an original song titled “Strangers.” The theme of her original song revolved around “mourning a person who is still alive,” and it was a song written during the COVID-19 lockdowns. Although it was her first time performing the song, Mann enamored the students in the room with her performance and received a round of applause.
The flowetry night provided students with a stage where the arts could be displayed at UW. Although there are other events planned, UW RAISE’s flowetry night allowed students to perform a variety of “flows,” giving them a platform to show their passion for the arts in an otherwise STEM-focused environment.