Speak strong

Poet brings her body positive message to Winnipeg

Desireé Dallagiacomo is saying it how it is. 

Slam poet, writer, teacher and everything in between, the power poet will be performing at the Alt Hotel Nov. 8.

Originally from Northern Los Angeles, Dallagiacomo now lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. This will be the first time she will perform in Canada.

“I am excited to meet the community members and get a small glimpse into what poetry in Winnipeg is like,” Dallagiacomo says. “I am excited to write poems with Winnipeg folks and hear poems by Winnipeg folks.”

Thanks to the Internet, Dallagiacomo’s poems and the messages she carries within them have stretched far beyond the borders of her country through being featured on some pretty substantial websites. 

“Because of YouTube and Upworthy and Huffington Post, my work has been exposed to hundreds of thousands of people that I have never met,” Dallagiacomo says. 

“They feel so connected to it that they decide they want to bring me to their city and hear my work live. If there was no YouTube, they would have no way of seeing my work unless they were at a show.”

One of Dallagiacomo’s most popular poems, Thighs Say, has garnered a lot of attention online with more than 500,000 views on YouTube through the performance poetry channel Button Poetry.

“Writing that poem changed the way I was able to talk about my body,” Dallagiacomo says. “I also realized that it changed many other peoples relationships with their bodies.”

The poem talks about body positivity and acceptance. Because of the waves the poem made online, she made a shirt saying “What the F*ck is a Thigh Gap,” which is available to purchase on her website. 

“That shirt is a way to say my body is great exactly the way it is,” Dallagiacomo says. “I don’t need what people tell me I need in order to be beautiful. I can be beautiful and great and intelligent and look exactly how I want to.”

Dallagiacomo says slam poetry has the power to start and support conversations.

“I have been asked to perform all over the U.S. People will see One Side of an On-Going Dialogue with Sharon, My Therapist and want me at their mental health awareness summit,” she says.

Whether she is talking about thighs, mental illnesses or sexuality, in Real Sex Tips she is using words in a purposeful way to start important dialogue.

“I really appreciate slam because it works very hard to keep marginalized voices in the center of the conversation,” Dallagiacomo says. “Slam is definitely a counter culture and allows anyone to tell their story and be heard.”

Published in Volume 70, Number 9 of The Uniter (November 5, 2015)

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