ART: Edmond Poet Rediscovers Love of Words

Candace Liger

Candace Liger nearly gave up on

Although the cadence and rhythm
of words has danced through her blood for most of her life, Liger’s affair with
poetry has all the signs of a rocky relationship. Poetry has brought her joy,
has comforted her in times of need, has disappointed and angered her and, at
one point, it betrayed her.

But now, the Edmond college
student and mother of two is redefining her journey in the world of poetry.
Enrolled at the University of Central Oklahoma, Liger is ready to leave the
wild world of Slam Poetry behind to return to a writing style that’s more in
tune with her soul—with what her father would have wanted. “I put my writing on
hold,” said the former Worldpulp Slam Champion. “I wasn’t being true to

Candace Liger was born and
raised Delta-Greenville, Mississippi, and watched as her father created poetry.
He wrote into wooden slats, shellacked them and sold those words from the back
of a truck. As she grew, she would contribute to his art, writing pieces of
poetry herself. “When I turned about 12 or 13, my dad got sick. He had a form
of muscular dystrophy, and I just stopped writing,” Liger said. “I stopped writing
for years.”

Liger moved to Oklahoma City in
2008 at the urging of her mother. In 2010, she was invited to an open mic
poetry night at the Worldpulp at Queen of Sheba restaurant. “I wrote a poem
mainly to vent, but while reading it, all this emotion came out. I was crying,
and then I was crying because I was crying,” said Liger. “My dad passed away in
2008, and I had tried and tried to write a poem for him. I couldn’t do it. No
words came. So I wrote a poem to my son’s father. There was a lot going on
during that time.”

Although she had never read her
poetry in public, she won the event. In turn, it meant being part of the
National Poetry Slam in Missouri that year. “We were terrible,” she said. She
went on to compete and win several championships in the Slam Poetry world,
gracing the stage with world renowned poets Taalam Acey, Mannie Hager, King
Kosher, HBO Def Poet Big Poppa E, and many others. She was a member of the 2010
National Wordpulp Slam Team and was the 2010 Wordpulp Slam Champion for Queen
of Sheba in Oklahoma City.

But the world of Slam Poetry
turned dark for Liger. She found herself drawn deeper and deeper into the
politics of the Slam world, and it became about winning instead of writing. She
destroyed other contestants with her poems. “I lost me in the Slam world. The
passion is controlling— you have to sound a certain way, act a certain way and
move a certain way. It’s political and about entertainment,” she said. “I lost
myself. It became about the score, about bombing people with poetry.”

And she lost the thrill of
writing. Instead, Liger turned to fitness. A certified personal trainer,
Liger’s passion became about training, Zumba and boxing. She threw herself into
the world of movement and sweat—until she discovered she was pregnant with her
daughter. “I have a wonderful fiancé’ who is also a poet. After the birth of my
daughter, it became so different,” she said. “The only thing I could think of
is that I’m happy. It’s hard to write when you are happy.”

Then a call came from out of the
blue in December, inviting Liger to participate in Tulsa’s Poetry Jam. As one of
seven featured poets, it was the push she needed to rediscover her passion for

“It’s time to start writing

To learn more about Candace,
find her on Facebook/Candace Liger Poetry.

Browse By Story Category

Advertise Your Business

Outlook readers are a dynamic, diverse audience of active consumers.

Advertise  >

The Edmond Outlook is the largest local, monthly magazine covering 50,000 homes with free, direct-mail delivery.

About Us  >

Browse Recent Issues

The Edmond Outlook is a monthly full-color, glossy magazine devoted to the Edmond area. Each exciting edition captures the vibrant personalities and interesting stories that define and connect us all.

View All  >