She says, ‘I’d prefer the moss; I’d prefer the mouth.’
Archive for November, 2007
My post-Iceland life has found me ensconced in continued travel, classroom visits, and Mercurial fall book season. Jordan Scott and I spent an awesome couple of days in Prince George, BC, where we read for series at both the University of Northern British Columbia and College of New Caledonia.
Prince George reminds me, superficially, of Sault Ste. Marie. It’s a Northern city, population just shy of 80,000, reliant on pulp and paper industry, major city centre 8 hours to PG’s south, a river running through the city. PG’s had a rough go with air quality, and there are surprising and sizeable problems with homelessness and addiction. Both were apparent during a wander in the city’s core. PG was chilly when we were there (snowed two days), though we were warmed by local reports of moose and bear activity, as well as the generosity and awesomeness of resident writers.
Jordan and I instantly hit it off with Graham Pearce, our Caledonia host. We enjoyed dinner and conversation with Ken Belford, who’s lead one of the most fascinating lives I’ve ever heard recounted. I could spend months listening to him! Barry McKinnon shared drinks and fire, laughter and cameraderie — such a gem. Rob Budde, our UNBC host, was gracious and did a hell of a job organizing our stay; I really look forward to visiting more with him in future. I wish I could go for a long hike with Gillian Wigmore, and then cuddle up with hot chocolates afterwards; she’s my kinda people. And GP Lainsbury and Tanya Clary proved the icing on a wonderful stay, with easy yet deep conversation on our final evening.
And I think that expresses it well for all of the PG writers we met — my kinda people. There was no pretense, no bullshit; everyone was more than willing to swap stories, share chapbooks, dinners, anything. No ageism, just straight-ahead respect and enthusiasm. Loveliness.
Indiepolitik’s Strong Words: Year Two anthology was recently released, including text by writers who featured at their Toronto readings last year. Two poems from my LOGYoLOGY series can be found in the pages (“ontology” and “traumatology”).
Anthology contributors are Sandra Alland, Aidan Baker, Kate Belcher, Emma Beltran, Tomy Bewick, Ryan Bigge, Jon Blair, Matt Blair, Spencer Butt, Chris Eaton, Cameron Gordon, Paul Hong, Brian McLachlan, Steve McOrmond, Grace O’Connell, Catherine Owen, Sofi Papamarko, a.rawlings, Dave Silverberg, Matthew Tierney, Myna Wallin, Gein Wong, and Liz Worth.
If you’re around St. Catharines this Thursday evening, it would be wonderful to see you at the Grey Borders Reading Series. I’ll read with Bill Kennedy and Darren Wershler at Strega Cafe (7-9pm). And if you’re in St. Cats Friday evening, absolutely come to the Niagara Gallery Cafe, where Calgarian phenoms Brea Burton and Jill Hartman will kick off their book tour by reading from Booty: Hurricane Jane and Typhoon Mary.