Magpie Ulysses is a dynamic performance poet and storyteller known for charming and slaying her audiences with intense stage presence and thoughtful insight about humanity. Writer, Rabble Rouser, fancy talker; Magpie began performing at the age of 17 to save her life. Since then she has performed across North America at hundreds of venues, is a veteran member of two national champion Vancouver poetry slam teams and was named a Poet of Honour at the Canadian festival Of Spoken Word In the Fall of 2012.
Having lived across Canada in communities large and small for the better part of the past 20 years, Magpie continuously finds herself asking questions of home and what it is to be human as part of the environment she dwells in. An activist at heart, Magpie is known for her visceral, often surrealist writings about addictions, environmental issues and working class struggle. She recently completed a collection of prose poems telling the stories of strangers and self from her experiences of hitchhiking over 25,000km across North America in her late teens and early twenties (more here)
Magpie has spent much of the past five years heavily involved in the arts while living in rural BC. She spent most of the winter of 2014/15 living in her recently alzheimer diagnosed 85 year old grandmother’s basement in Calgary, Alberta with her husband, grandma and a dog named Brandi. She has become increasingly interested in questions surrounding memory, place, body, aging and how we choose to tell our own stories.
“…confessional poems that hit hard and take the reader through intense visceral terrain, but never wallow” (Robert Priest, NOW magazine).
“…Bold and brave, at times refined and poetic and other times rambunctious and raw, Ulysses captures and speaks to the multi-layered human experience with accuracy and empathy. Memorable doesn’t properly sum up the Magpie Ulysses experience.” Peter North, Artistic director Salmon Arm Roots & Blues festival
“Magpie Ulysses wants to take you hostage with her storytelling” – Nelson Star
“A truly intelligent poet whose commentary stretches from the meaning of west coast life to the meaning of the universe.” – Vancouver Observer
“…a writer who so meticulously dissects the trials of being human.” – Broken Pencil Magazine
“A Stellar poet and powerhouse performer” Tongues Of Fire, Victoria
“An anthropologist of the Heart” – RC Weslowski
“In case you haven’t noticed, Magpie Ulysses makes most other spoken word artists look like Vegas lounge acts, and not the self-conscious campy-on-purpose ones; Magpie makes most poets realize that they have Ph.Ds in Wankology or that they’re clones and scientists desperately failing to replicate an iota of the punk rock poetry that she radiates accidentally on purpose every time she’s within blast radius of a microphone” Chris Gilpin, Past executive director, Vancouver Poetry House