Vancouver, B.C. – Tasha Receno first discovered slam poetry at a Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) student-led event.
Since her introductory Slamapalooza experience as a third-year creative writing student, Receno has taken her poetry, performances and inspiring messages to stages across North America. Most recently, her talent earned her the title of Grand Slam Champion at the Vancouver Poetry Slam for the second year in a row.
“Winning the title was like a sigh of relief. I wrote a poem the day of the finals because I had a piece I needed to get out of me and knew that it mattered more than winning. I could have done a poem I had done before but that wasn’t important. What was important for me was staying true to what I believe an artist is – being raw and true to yourself and your craft. I did a poem that I had been afraid to write and it won me the title in the end,” said the KPU student.
“Winning for the second year in a row was confirmation that I am doing what I should be doing with my life. The win was for me and for all my family, being that I am the first and only Latina who has won; it was a proud moment for my family. It is a great privilege and honour and I will carry the title proudly for as long as it is mine.”
Receno’s passion for the art – a style of performing poetry without props and within a set time – has grown the more involved she’s become in Vancouver’s slam poetry community. To date, she’s represented the city at the 2016 Women of the World Poetry Slam in New York, and has performed at a variety of festivals and events.
“Once I moved out to Vancouver I began to attend the Vancouver Poetry Slam and loved it even more and continued to perform and write. Over time my passion began to grow even more and I followed it every day and fought hard to get to where I am today,” she said.
In April, Receno placed third out of the 40 Canadian poets selected to participate in the Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Championships. She sits on the Vancouver Poetry Slam team, and has also self-published two chapbooks with her poems.
“It has been a pleasure to witness Tasha’s growth as an artist throughout her time at KPU. Not only has she been a wonderful ambassador for the Vancouver Poetry Slam community, but also for the Creative Writing Department and all of KPU,” said Billeh Nickerson, a creative writing faculty member at KPU.
“Her brave poems and achievements have inspired and will continue to inspire students, staff and faculty alike. I am overjoyed to see her hard work and talent acknowledged on national and, indeed, international stages.”
Kwantlen Polytechnic University has served the Metro Vancouver region since 1981, and has opened doors to success for more than 200,000 learners. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs in business, liberal arts, design, health, science and horticulture, trades and technology, and academic and career advancement. Over 19,000 students annually have a choice from over 120 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates, citations and apprenticeships. Learn more at kpu.ca.