Poet makes final statement at When Sisters Speak

Devon Jones finishes a poet's career at When Sisters Speak. (WILLIAMS_DEVONJONES_E)

It was an important Saturday night for Devon Jones. She reflected on part of her performance to a packed St. Lawrence Centre theatre.

“As 30 creeps to 35, and clocks keep ticking / I feel like I’m running out of time / desperation seeps from pores, wreaking havoc like B.O / and I can no longer remember who I was / As I try to assimilate, try not to intimidate, and embrace change / it’s like walking on broken glass.”

Jones knew she was going to retire this year, so when fellow poet and friend Dwayne Morgan asked her to take part in this year’s When Sisters Speak Spoken Word Concert, she decided, after 14 years writing and reciting poetry, it would be her final performance.

When Sisters Speak is an annual poetry event that showcases six international, female poets, speaking on a range of topics. The St. Lawrence Centre has been home for the show for the past 10 years. Dwayne Morgan is proud to be able to give a stage to women.

“There’s a plethora of issues that need to be addressed and every year I try to find artists that will resonate with the audience here in Toronto,” Morgan said.

This year poets Jones, Keisha Monique, Naila Keleta-Mae, Dasha Kelly, Queen Sheba and a performer known as Truth Is all tackled the issues of rape, abuse, poverty and death.

Truth Is spoke of marrying her partner, then finding out the next day that her father had died.

“I guess they call that an emotional rollercoaster,” she said.

At the end of her Saturday performance, Jones sensed she had come full circle with her career.

“I’ve done everything I want to do with poetry,” she said. In fact, When Sisters Speak was always on my list of things to do.”

Next, she plans to focus her creative energy on a novel.