Chad Norman hopes plenty of people will join him to listen to poetry and music on Saturday.
The Truro poet is hosting the eighth RiverWords: Poetry and Music Festival at Riverfront Park on July 20 from 7-9 p.m., but the event was almost cancelled this year.
“I’ve always used a grant from the town to pay the performers a little and cover the cost of printing posters,” he said. “I applied again for this year but got a letter saying it wasn’t approved.”
When he questioned the decision, he was told it was turned down because of low attendance at the event. He talked to Truro Mayor Bills Mills about it, pointing out that no one from council had attended the festival.
“He went to bat for me and I was able to get some funding,” said Norman. “I really need people to come out and support what I’m doing this year. There are few festivals in Nova Scotia combing poetry and music like this.”
Norman began writing poetry when he was in his late teens and has published several books of his work.
He left a job at Polymer in May and is now focusing on his writing.
“I usually do my writing at home, where I can be focused and centered,” he said. “I’m back with a pen and paper now. There’s something legitimate about it; it brings back the recognition that I’m a poet.
“I’m also using poetry more than ever to be outspoken about situations around the world. I really appreciate the freedom have here as a writer.”
This year’s RiverWords performers are Annabelle Mattinson, Oxford poet; Megan McNutt, Oxford poet; Afua Cooper, Poet Laureate of Halifax; Alexis Landry & Dad, Amherst musicians; Wallflower, Truro musician; and Chris Terry, Truro musician.
Admission is free, but people are asked to bring a couple of non-perishable items for the Colchester Food Bank.