I sit on the board of directors for experimental theatre company bluemouth inc., currently in Montreal rehearsing for their next production, The Dance Marathon. They’ve just revamped their website, and will post video and blogs during the rehearsal process over the next month. So exciting to get a window into the process as it develops; will be neat to witness what remains come next spring, when they debut the performance at Enwave Theatre.
Archive for July, 2008
We’re halfway through the 2008 Scream Literary Festival, and it’s been one hell of a celebration thus far. I missed the first two nights due to assorted Iceland-related shenanigans, but picked up the festival full-swing on Saturday with a heart-warming youth reading (featuring Georgia Webber and Aaryn Zhou) and the Gwendolyn MacEwen book-length reading. Ciara and I ran another installation of VOCABLE for workshop participants on Sunday, and then attended Naive Translation — a workshop on non-traditional translation facilitated by Jenny Sampirisi and Hugh Thomas. The day generated a mountain of curious new drafts; lovely.
Monday was full of non-Screaming (voice lesson with pedagogical genius Fides Krucker, as well as a visit to Lillian Allen’s OCAD Creative Writing course to share Wide slumber), but I picked up the Scream-scene on Tuesday with the revival of the Lexiconjury Reading Series. I’ve been on a high since the event, which was intense in its beauty. Alixandra Bamford led the audience through her body-conscious romances infused with scientific reference and rumination; she was joined by Steve Venright for improvised banter and his Bamford-translation into LOLcat-ese and limerick. Natalie Zina Walschots took the stage next, billowing femininity, feminism, eroticism, and the power of twenty supervillains into The Pilot; her texts were accompanied by projections of vintage comic-book heroines collaged by Sharon Harris.
After our first break, Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl paired with Paul Dutton to work the audience into a sound-poetry frenzy. It’s been an unbelievable pleasure to host Eiki and Nadja in Tdot the past week, and his Lex performance wowed. We’re talking standing ovation. We’re talking encore. Exacting vocal athleticism, rhythmic shifts, dynamism, and enough alveolar trills to tip me over the edge into sonorous bliss. The open michelle followed, and was just as dazzling and professional as ever. Made me wish I was still running the series; imagine such a thing.
Wednesday featured many reworkings of Kevin Connolly’s “Plenty,” including a documentary by Tamara Romanchuk, a play by Conor Green, poetry from Eiríkur, and a song from NQ Arbuckle. Hella successful.
The Scream has many blogs, pics, and videos documenting the week. Check them out here.
Eiki uploaded his Lex readings here (look for the readings in the yellow shirt).
I uploaded Eiki’s “Plenty” reading here.
In a world without poetry, a reading series is found. History considered it dead, and who would argue with history? And yet here, a sonic power, where past and future collide, is unleashed. It’s a doorway to another dimension, a dimension called Lexiconjury!
Kennedy and rawlings, lexiconjurors bent on the destruction of all we hold dear, emerge from a rift in time to think the unthinkable. They do not care about weapons or power. They have an appointment with eternity, and do not wish to be late. They have but one mission: to return, to return to The Lex long after the world had abandoned it for good.
Six readers, of two generations, are all that stand between them and the fate of humanity. Will these readers be able to close the gate between the world and Lexiconjury for good, or will the ungodly power of poetry be unleashed upon the world… FOREVER (ever… ever…)?!
This Tuesday, prepare for an epic battle beyond time. The torch of adventure is about to be passed, as Lexiconjurors past and present try to cheat death… TOGETHER [more reverb]!
These are the voyages of the Starship Lexerprise – its continuing mission to explore strange new words, to seek out new lines and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before.
Stardate: Tuesday, July 8, 2008 @ 8pm
Coordinates: The Pilot, 22 Cumberland, 2nd floor, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Earth
Open michelle in full effect (one cover + one original)
Dr. Alixandra Bamford. Dr. Bamford has consistently shown to be not only thorough but also conscientious in her literary experiments. She is a superior scientist in various fields of medicine such as tasseomancy, curing or treating the so-called Tsiolkovsky lipogram, the airborne virus known as rhyming couplets, and Romantic Syndrome, which she discovered and named after Earth’s 19th century. Her contributions in practical forensic poetry have had galactic import, leading to improved trust with the Klingon Empire (inventors of the digital poetics).
Lt. Commander Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl. Eiríkur’s people were introduced in the episode “Verses of Mercy,” and were recurring antagonists, a warrior race that sported long sagas and luxuriant hair. In the time of The Lexerprise-D, his people became uneasy allies of the United Federation of Poets, with Lt. Commander Norðdahl the first of his kind to graduate from the Academy. Norðdahl originally avoided western prosody, considering it too fragile and fearing that he would have to restrain himself too much. Nevertheless, he went on to write in some of the world’s most attractive verse forms. In the episode “Hammer of the Gods,” Norðdahl accepts a ritual loss of honour in order to protect poetry from some of the world’s greatest dictators.
Lt. Commander Nathalie Zina Walschots. One of the most enduring android icons in poetry, Lt. Commander Walschots’ desire to comprehend and emulate humanity in her writing is a consistent theme throughout the series. Walschots has experimented with many humanisms, including laughter, sneezing, whistling, dance, facial hair grooming, and bedtime routines. In the episode “A Bicycle Built for Two,” Walschots installs a chip that grants her lyrical capability, which subsequently overloads and fuses into her neural net. Powered by a full set of human emotions, Walschots was key in the destruction of the Crystalline Entity, which had itself destroyed her creative writing program years earlier. Lt. Commander Walschots is fully functional.
Counsellor Paul Dutton. Of mixed human and Betazoid heritage, Dutton has served as the counsellor on the Lexerprise throughout its service life and now aboard its successor and namesake. His heightened empathic ability gives his sound poetry greater access to the full range of human emotion than other practitioners on the series. In the episode “The One Behind the One,” Dutton discovers that a race of telepaths are using their psychic abilities to hide themselves on the Lexerprise. Unbeknownst to the crew, the aliens are quietly influencing the crews’ poetics in hopes of destroying avant-garde literature completely. One by one, the crew members abandon their styles in favour of the Confessional Lyric, causing Dutton’s empathic abilities to overload. The ship is eventually saved by an energetic group performance of Dutton’s sound poetry classic “The Cosmic Cheerleader,” which contains frequencies painful to the invaders’ ears.
Dr. Sharon Harris. Sharon Harris, The Emergency Poetry Hologram (EPH), is a holographic projection intended to support and augment the personnel aboard the Lexerprise through verse. It possesses the Federation’s most extensive poetic databases, containing poetry from over 3,000 cultures and the personal experience of 47 specific poets. The program itself is based on an heuristic matrix, which allows the EPH to adapt to new poetic subgenres and styles. In the episode “The Galleries of Love,” the EPH achieves complete self-awareness and the freedom to move beyond the range of the holo-poetry emitter.
Captain Steven T. Venright. While Venright apparently received help getting into the Academy, his career as a poet in Starfleet was notable. He was the first poet to defeat Situationist Combat Simulation. Despite the simulator’s overriding dictate that the poet lose, Venright rewrote the program allowing him to rescue all of the Situationists. For this, he received a commendation for original thinking. Venright’s voyages at the helm of the Lexerprise-A are legendary. In books co-written by Stephen Wright, beginning with Torpor Vigil: The Return, Venright encounters a mirror universe where his alter ego only writes poems extolling the virtues of dietary fibre.
- The Open Michelle. Our poem and a cover rule is in full effect. Get there early to ensure a spot. Grandstanders and malingerers will have their particles beamed into open space.
- Scream! The Lex is being held as part of The Scream Literary Festival. This means that there are real bios to accompany the slightly-less-real ones above. Check out http://www.thescream.ca for more info.
- Thanks to the Scream, we are lucky to have Eiríkur in all the way from Iceland. He is not to be missed.
- Sorry about the lateness.
Thanks everyone, and we hope to see you out! !! !!!!!!!!