We are thrilled to bring back one of our favorite types of posts, the Feature Spotlight. We ask features some questions that allow us to get to know them better, so that we know what to look forward to. This round, we’re shining the light on the winner of this year’s Women of the World Poetry Slam Qualifier, Candace Liger. She will be featuring on Friday, February 28, 2014. This show will serve as a fundraiser to get this poet to Austin, Texas for the tournament, March 20-22, 2014.
- Where are you from?
The heart of the Delta–The wonderful swampy, sticky, Greenville Mississippi.
- How did you get your name?
I use my name because I think it’s pretty awesome. How many people do you know with a last name Liger? A lion and tiger? I’ll take it.
- How would you describe your poetry for someone if they have never seen or heard you before?
I would say it is authentic and intentional. If you don’t see me in my poetry, then you were not in the same building as me.
- What was your first experience with poetry? What poems or poets do you remember most?
The first time I performed, I had no idea what slam was. I did a piece about my son’s father. I got so emotional during the piece, I cried. That was foreign to me. It even frightened me. Which made me want to do it more.
- Who or what influences your poetry?
Life influences my poetry. Typically dramatic situations involving emotion that I could not usually express due to my own cosmic limitations. My father was a poet, well-known and respected in the community. I keep him in my pocket.
- What was the first poem you ever wrote? How did you feel about it?
The first poem was entitled “Brotha”, truly about black men who choose white women. I am not against interracial relationships. However, I am against a subconscious systematic portrayal that black men should intentionally seek love in another color. If I am not with a woman, I will be with a black man. I also make no apologies for that.
- What made you first realize you wanted to pursue poetry?
After the first time on stage, the feedback I received was overwhelming, and I truly had not prepared for such positive support. I took a break after diving into the slam world, mainly because I did not enjoy the politics. However, my support system always encouraged me, and that kept me alive. I just now started back at the end of 2013.
- What can people expect to see at a live performance?
They can see me—in probably the most vulnerable state they will ever get to see me.
- If you had to describe your poetry in three or four words, what would you call it?
Truthball, Rudenice, and Nakedfaced.
- How long have you been writing and performing poetry?
I’ve been writing for about 4 years, seriously. I wrote before, but nothing I would even give the title “poetry” to.
- What did you think your “biggest break” or “greatest opportunity” has been so far with poetry?
The biggest break was actually at Hero’s Lounge. I really did not expect to win the wowps slam, but at that time, I truly needed to prove to myself that I was worth more than my own expectations. Now, I am seeing the fruition of that faith, and I will never think the same way again.
- What do you feel distinguishes you from other poets?
I truly feel that I do not speak with the typical poet cadence. I would also like to think that no two of my poems sound alike. I do feel that some artists mimic sound and style too much, and quite frankly, I can’t tell them apart.
- What was your most embarrassing moment as an artist?
I wrote a poem talking shit about the pronunciation of my name to a very distinguished poet. It was received horribly after I fumbled countless lines in the delivery. So my talk shit poem, turned into a stew of static sound and hiccups.
- What does your family think of your poetry and do they support you?
My family loves me. That is all.
- What do you do when you’re not doing poetry?
I host aerobic dance classes along with Reggae/African dance; Personal Training; Softball; Love on my babies; Attempt to continuously organize my life.
- Which poem or poems do you love to perform the most and why?
My favorite poems to perform are “Fucking over me”, primarily because it’s the most truthful interpretation of how I feel about love.
- Where would you like to see yourself within the next 3 to 5 years as an artist?
I would like to be published and be an internationally touring poet and activist. I plan on beginning a youth slam team here in OKC, and building for the next generations of artists to follow. Everything is about community, and growth, and building, and love, and art, and creativity.
- What do you do to get ready for a show?
- What is your wildest poet/poetry story?
She made me promise not to ever tell.
- What is the furthest show from home that you have done?
The furthest place I have traveled would have to be Atlanta for the Southern Fried Poetry Slam.
- If you could perform with anyone in the world, either dead or alive, who would it be? Why?
Nina Simone. I love that woman. She makes everything seem so effortless, and her personality is beyond authentic. I want to do a poem, then act like I don’t care that the audience is clapping for me like she does. That’s so gangsta.
- How do you think you would be remembered by people if something were to suddenly happen to you?
- How has your poetry evolved from your first poem to one of your recent poems?
I’ve learned to embrace that I am different. I don’t care to attend workshops for some reason. The only one I ever attended seemed like a long-ass attempt to make me sound like the person hosting the workshop. I’ve learned that my style is my style. My edit is my edit. I don’t care to conform to anyone else’s standards of poetry, including the literary geniuses.
- What do you attribute to your “drive as an artist”?
My children. I want them to have something to hold onto other than all of my debt.
- As an artist how would you define success?
Success is happiness unapologetically. Right now, I am as successful as I have ever been.
- If you had to think of a slogan that could leave a positive impact for everyone what would your slogan be?
“Fuck the rules, you are a giant.”
- What projects or products do you have or that are in the works?
I am working on my book along with a new West African dance class inspired by the music of Fela Kuti. Also, I am in the process of building my website and basically creating net worth.
- Do you have any video links where people can see you? (Website/Facebook/email/etc…)
Fishnet Stockings: http://vimeo.com/67258324
My Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdFUOnMzD2eN0okyJNskPHw
- Is there anyone special you would like to think for helping you become who you are as an artist?
My mother, Alice Joiner- Always has my back.
My father, Eugene Liger- Taught me poetry. R.I.P.
Manuel Hager- Showed me the way.
Complete the following sentences.
- Without poetry, I would be:
passionate about something else.
- Poetry is:
- My poetry makes me feel:
- I write poetry because:
completes the emotional component I am missing in other aspects of life.
- Support poetry because:
we write your history.
See Candace at Dallas Poetry Slam on on Friday, February 28, 2014.