Under the Volcano 2008 ~ Festival of Art & Social Change

Malcolm Lowrey Stage

Naomi Steinberg

(your lovely MC/host) Naomi likes to follow a story thread right into the heart of the matter.

Victoria Buffalo Robe

Cree from Kawacatoose reserve in Saskatchewan, Victoria is motivated to help facilitate change and healing in people through poetry and song. Making sense of the world through its wonderous variety, she has no limits to what she draws on for inspiration.

Stahz Grandson (hari alluri)

A writer and spoken word artist who entered this world through activism with community groups like the Kalayaan Centre, No One Is Illegal and Students of Colour Collective. He has also been blessed to work with and be inspired by The Colouring Book Project, Asian Arts Freedom School and other amazing folks.

Shannon Rayne

A story-teller and performance poet who approaches the stage with a slightly softer touch, passionately discussing difficult subjects with a sensitive and feminine ‘quiet fire’. She was a member of the 2006 Winnipeg Poetry Slam Team and her writing covers a wide range of topics from messy kitchens and messier love to drug addictions and her own obsession with 80’s pop star Corey Hart.

Jaia Dax B

An East Van performer whose potent, socially aware and richly lyrical writing speaks from the heart to open the mind. He has performed at Burning Man, all the Drive Car-Free Festivals and has headlined the Vancouver Poetry Slam.

Junie Desil

A Haitian-Canadian activist, writer and poet who has performed at many events and festivals. Her work has appeared in numerous print media and she has been featured on CBC’s Definitely Not The Opera.

Bryant Ross

Bryant has been stretching the truth all his life, but only in the last three years, has he found a way to make it all seem legitimate. Now, instead of being referred to as a “Lying Bastard” he enjoys being referred to as a “Storyteller”. He lives in Langley with his three kids and his long-suffering wife where he makes his living as a firefighter.

Nora Smithhisler

A cold north wind, born and raised in Alaska, Nora competed with the ‘06 and ‘07 Slam Poetry Teams, and also studies physics at UBC. Strong and sharp, her poetry is a mix of education and lyricism delivered with a ferocity that would make the Arctic sit down with a pen and a pad  to take notes.

Eric Campbell

Born in the cariboo after a bottle of jack dannys. Thumbed down to vancouver with his mom. Sat in science class an’ flunked out for refusin’ to watch a rabbit die. Thumbed on down to California. Saw some people singing songs in a coffee shop, the guitarist taught him a few things. Cut grass for quarters, bought a guitar from a pawn shop for fifty bucks. Headed back up to Vancouver and wound up here to play a few songs…

Thundering Word Segment


Bill McNamara (host)

It was only in the summer of ‘05 that Bill began to put his storytelling calling to good use. He became Vancouver’s Story Slam Champ, from ‘05 to ‘06 and went on to perform at many well-known local events, including Folk Festival, The Canadian Festival of Spoken Word, The 15th Annual Storytelling Festival and the International World Poetry Slam Finals. At present he is the host of Vancouver’s Finest Open Mic: Thundering Word.


EvenSteven is a writer and raconteur who slurps the absurd soup of the human condition. in his spare time he exercises race horses and performs at a variety of public spectacles.

Sara Kendall

Sara Kendall is an all-sorts cat. Artistically - she is under the cultural influence of hip hop, choral traditions, and circus. Devotionally – she believes that to be on the mic is a privilege, and she moves her ir/reverent voice in the spirit of justice accordingly.

Ben Swanky

The last person left alive in Canada who can say he is personally responsible for the fact that we have health care. One of the founding members of the Canadian Youth Congress (1936-1939) which brought together all youth groups in Canada of the time - Over 500,000 members. He was also one of the founding members of Vancouver’s COPE party (Coalition of Progressive Electors).