All Lit Up is doing this thing for National Poetry Month where they get a well-established poet to talk about an up-n’-coming poet they are excited about. My first Creative Writing professor, from way back in the 90s, Parick Friesen, said some awfully sweet things about my writing. Check it out here, where you can also read my poem “White Noise Generator.” and read a few of my thoughts about writing and writers I love. My next reading will be with Friesen out in Victoria at the lovely Russell Books. Can’t overstate how thrilled I am to read with this fine poet and teacher that has meant so much to me. Fellow Nightwood author, Trisha Cull will also be there, excited to meet her.
A bunch to catch up on. The Victoria reading was awesome, even though, in terms of stutters and mumbles it probably was my worst. My mouth was perpetually dry and, I don’t know, mistakes tend to create this feedback loop. Glitches all around. Still, probably the loveliest crowd (who seemed to be o.k., or even charmed by my nervousness) and one of the nicest venues (I always want super-8 loops to be playing behind me during readings!) and so well organized. Open Space is my favorite thing about Victoria right now.
I read some Cloud Farm stuff that seemed to go over really well, so I’ll try and incorporate that in more readings. Also threw in some poems by my friend Rob Taylor, who’s got a new book. Anne-Marie was spellbinding, Garth wielded language like a master swordsman. Then we went and drank lotsa beer and danced manically to a local cover band.
The following Monday was the w2 reading that also was a lot of fun. I read last, which means I had at least 3 beers in me; noticeably better for my nerves. Also, video! probably the first time I’ve got to watch myself reading and yes, dear readers, it’s as mortifying as you may imagine. Still, a good learning experience, and there are a bunch of things I can be aware of now, to improve how I read. I’ll maybe save the thoughts for another post, and just let you watch it. I did dedicate a poem to The Internet so I can’t really make excuses not to share. Also, thanks again to Sean Cranbury for making it all happen (and for holding onto the hat I left behind at the bar.)
Watch it here. I’m introduced at 1:48:17
Spending the day putting together some poems to read for the upcoming “Hat Trick” reading in Victoria, with Garth and Anne-Marie (The other two finalists from the Bronwen Wallace Award/ my new gang?) It is sort of a celebration of the fact of all of us finalists being from British Columbia. Open Space, a non-profit artist-run centre, is putting it on, and they seem to be good people. I’m looking forward to check out what they’re all about. Part of what is making this exciting is that they are selling broadsheets of a poem by each of us, that a local artist, Chelsea Rushton, has illustrated. I have seen what Chelsea has drawn for mine, and it is totally awesome.
They’re giving a generous 20 minutes for each of us to read, which is something I haven’t prepared for in a long time. I’m nervous, but hoping to make the best of it by showing a range of my work, in different styles/forms. (This make s me realize that I should try more different forms. Right now it seems like it’s mostly a lot of free-verse, some list-poems, some haiku. I should have some villanelles under my belt? ghazals? Even rhyming poems?)
I’ll be spending a day and a bit on Mayne Island before coming over to Victoria so it should be good for my nerves and I’ll practice reading to the deer and woodpeckers if they can stand it.