Nanoose Bay author Susan Pederson is holding a Women’s Day event on March 8 at the Parksville Library with two other women for a spoken word performance marking the day. — File Photo

Three generations of women to talk love, sex, death, more in Parksville

Nanoose Bay author holds Women’s Day spoken word event

Love, bodies, sex, mothers, kids and death — these are the six topics that three women will be focusing on for an International Women’s Day event in Parksville on Thursday, March 8.

Organized by Nanoose Bay author Susan Pederson, the event features Taryn Pickard, Pederson and Pat Smekal, representing three generations of women in a spoken word event they are calling 3 Generations/6 Words.

“Every International Women’s Day comes and I’m like, ‘I feel like doing something to mark it,’ and there was nothing to do locally. I thought, ‘Well I’ll hold something,’” said Pederson.

Having met Smekal and Pickard through the 15 Minutes of Infamy venue for poets, performers and musicians in Nanaimo, Pederson said the start of the idea for their three-woman show came upon realizing “(Taryn) is young enough to be my daughter and yet we’re friends, and Pat is old enough to be my mother, and yet we’re friends.”

At the 3 Generations/6 Words event at the Parksville Library (100 Jensen Ave. East), each of the women will perform a spoken word piece on each of the six topics one after the other, giving three generations’ worth of perspective to each one before moving onto the next topic.

In choosing the topics, Pederson said, “We just thought, ‘What do women talk about? They talk about love, they talk about their kids, they talk about sex, they often, unfortunately, talk about death.’”

The three did a teaser performance of the event in Nanaimo on Feb. 21, reciting their poems on sex.

“Taryn’s poems and her words tend to be a little bit more abstract and my approach is a little bit more blunt, and Pat’s is a little bit more of her generation, it’s sort of a little bit more polite, shall I say, but she’s an amazing poet. They both are,” said Pederson.

These approaches reflect their respective generations and the stage of life each of them is at today, she said.

“With Pat, I found as much as she’s very much of her generation, she’s also not afraid to get into some of that painful stuff, but she will do it in such a beautiful, creative way,” said Pederson.

In contrast, Pickard is looking at her connection to the world, Pederson suggested — something Pederson said she remembers doing at Pickard’s age.

“With my stuff, it’s very conversational and there is not a lot of hidden meaning in what I say and how I present,” said Pederson. “My formula that I use is I kind of make people laugh, I make people cry and I often will say something that makes people laugh and go, ‘Ooh, I wonder if I should have laughed at that?’ There is a bit of that in this, for all of us, actually.”

The 3 Generations/6 Words show takes place Thursday, March 8 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Parksville Library.

“We want to invite women (and men) to celebrate this important day by looking at six words that are central to many of our lives, at different stages of life,” Pederson said in a news release on the event.

In support of local women, donations will be accepted at the event for Parksville Haven Society.

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