Meet an Artist: Wakefield Brewster

Meet an Artist: Wakefield Brewster

Wakefield Brewster Knows You Can

One of the most striking performances captured during the 20/20 Wavelength Project came from Calgary spoken word artist Wakefield Brewster. The Project, a cSPACE placemaking initiative led by artist Andy Moro, was a community-led look into What Matters Now during the height of the pandemic in 2020.

As part of this extensive project, Andy connected with local artists during Alberta Culture Days to present and capture their views. As a result, Wakefield’s personal and universal poem continues to motivate and inspire everyone who hears “you can’t” more often than, “you can.” In honour of Black History month, we share his powerful piece with all of you.

An introduction from the author

At cSPACE’s November 2021 panel event, c_Wavelength LIVE, Wakefield performed this poem for a wrapt audience. Watching in person, and online, audiences were treated to this moving introduction.

…[W]hen I perform this poem for you, I want you not to just hear, see, and feel the trials and tribulations of me going through my problems – I would like you to take away these two major things that I believe are for all of us. And that is when you have that sense of conviction to do something, to do anything, to Do. To be what you want to be. To do what you want to do in this world. That raîson d’être.

You will hear “you can’t.” You’ll hear it from friends, family, enemies, frenemies, “pretennabies.” You’ll hear it from strangers. All I can say is this. When you have that sense of conviction and you feel that you must, and people say you can’t… two things: You probably can. And you probably should.

This poem is called, “I Can.”

— Wakefield Brewster

We are profoundly fortunate to have worked with Wakefield. A self-described “Poet of My People,” he has been an active poet, participant, producer and promoter in Canada’s Poetry and Spoken Word Communities for over twenty years. To keep up with him and his many engagements, you can follow Wakefield on any of his social channels here:

Instagram: @wakefield_brewster