The Work in the World (by Carey West)

People rise out of their seats, out of their homes and move.

Move to cities and fields, islands, and arenas for this temporary community

Changing space, changing spaces.

This festival of arts

Both planed and clandestine.

Careful curation, deliberate gate keeping,

Evolving visions of history

Futures crafted in immersive experience.

Is there enough?

Enough representation, food, and water?

Don’t you remember …that perfect summer…were you there?


The people who’ve moved,

Move into spaces choosing from the menu of music, poetry, arts.

Has anyone seen my kid?

Off in the watering hole,

Over by the henna kiosk

Under the green roof, next to the misting tent.

And Love.

Love for the band, love for finding love new or reunited, love for the gathering.

Families are made in memories of children mud sliding, rain showers, hot and sticky food

In the stories that will be told.

In arms wrapped around one another as the sun sets.

We should do this more often.


Carey West is a singer, songwriter, educator, and Ph.D. candidate at The University of Guelph’s Critical Studies in Improvisation program. Carey produces and hosts Four33: An Improvisation Podcast with Stephen Donnelly at Her Ph.D. research investigates how vocal improvisation might serve as a musical model to help develop skills required for testimony in legal processes. She is also interested in the work of teachers as influential cultural agents and the work of musicians as public pedagogues.