Archive for the ‘commutiny’ Category

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LitPop Award call for submissions

April 5, 2009

Affiliated with Pop Montréal, the second annual LitPop Award has posted their call for submissions. Heather O’Neill and I will judge this year’s entries. Full details here.

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Less Is More: The Poetics of Erasure

November 2, 2008

Simon Fraser University’s Art Gallery has opened an exhibit of erasure poetry, featuring work on display by:

Monica Aasprong • Andrea Actis • James Arthur • Oana Avasilichioaei • derek beaulieu • Jen Bervin • Rebecca Brown • Louis Cabri • Steve Collis • Jeff Derksen • Alexandra Dipple • Sarah Dowling • Jennifer Borges Foster • Jamie Hilder • Kristin Lucas • Michael Maranda/Parasitic Ventures Press • Erin Mouré • Tom Phillips • Kristina Lee Podesva • a.rawlings • Mary Ruefle • Susan Schuppli • Nick Thurston • Aaron Vidaver

The exhibit runs November 1st to December 12th. It includes “The Owls/Wolves of North,” an excerpt from my current work-in-progress EFHILMNORSTUVWY. During the first week of the exhibit, there will be a panel discussion and lunch-time talks.

The Capilano Review‘s newest issue focuses on work from the exhibit and includes artist statements. If you can’t make it to the exhibit, I’d suggest acquiring a copy of this issue.

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Dem said Barack Obama

October 17, 2008

I live in a bustling Toronto market where, daily, reggae is cranked by local stores. From 11am to 7pm, my home is soundpapered with positive revolutions from the neighbourhood DJs (and frequently the same songs are played over and over and over and…). The current market favourite is Cocoa Tea’s “Barack Obama.” (OBAMA!!)

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Mancini’s “Subjecthood and the Light Verb”

October 4, 2008

Sina Queyras invited me to write a “How Poems Work” guest blog on Donato Mancini’s visual poetry, and the result is accessible on her Lemon Hound blog!

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Department of Culture

September 5, 2008

In reaction to the Tory government’s recent announcement of arts-funding cuts: Department of Culture (visit the site, bookmark it, share it). The Toronto Star offers an article overviewing last night’s town hall meeting at the Theatre Centre in Toronto, where the Department of Culture was announced as a proactive response to the cuts. The Department of Culture website has already posted audio and video recordings of last night’s meeting.

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The Arcadia Project

August 17, 2008
Concert at Arcadia Coffeehouse

Concert at Arcadia Coffeehouse

Matt Ceolin, my Northern Ontario compatriot, bought an old, rundown building downtown Sault Ste. Marie in 2006 and spent the last two years renovating it into an arts centre (or, as he fondly calls it: social sculpture). During a recent visit to my northern home, I had the immense pleasure of getting to know The Arcadia Project, which includes a sizable coffeehouse, vegetarian eatery, art gallery, exotic knick-knacks shop, art and music studios, and apartments for young artists. Do check out the website; I helped build it over the past week and it’s chock-full of juicy history and news.

While I visited Arcadia, the Coffeehouse hosted community events, a few concerts (including Cobras, Cobras, Cobras and Colourbook), and the inaugural reading of a poetry series. The most impacting event I witnessed was a meeting for Womyn 4 Social Justice, in support of and bringing awareness to the Walk4Justice for missing and murdered women across Canada.

It’s so lovely to see Arcadia flourish in its early stages. The Arcadians are a deeply cool bunch of people, and I’m dreaming about my next northern visit. If you find yourself in the cool climes of Sault Ste. Marie, do stop by 823 Queen Street East. And if you’re on a book or music tour, do consider Arcadia a possible destination if you’re into intimate enthusiasms.

The dense magic of Arcadia intermingled with bug-thick Algoma summer put me in a creative mode, and I finally told Matt about EFHILMNORSTUVWY. As with Wide slumber, he’s into playing, and we spent hours brainstorming ways to approach glyphic morphology within our textual ecology.

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bluemouth link

July 24, 2008

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.

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The changing of the blog

June 1, 2008

I’ve been blogging intermittently since 1999. The first incarnation was a home-made HTML version I cobbled together on Geocities, before it joined the Yahoo! team (remember Geocities?! *nostalgia*). It was mainly an excuse for me to acquire basic proficiency in HTML, and after that was accomplished the blog fell by the wayside.

In 2000, I signed up with LiveJournal, but eventually abandoned that site for the greener pastures of Moveable Type. My MT blog (called nether or commutiny.net/her) featured thoughts on Toronto’s lit scene, with summaries of local events I’d attend or organize. In 2002, I used it to show work-in-progress from LOGYoLOGY and theories/discoveries surrounding that hypertextperiment, finding it intriguing and challenging to offer text in transformation, with option for readers to feedback as it happened (to affect the course of the work, possibly, or to trouble the mystique of a writing practice/process). A real-time archive?

2003 found recurrent angst over the blog’s raison d’être, and it fell silent… But my fascination with blogging couldn’t be suppressed for long. With ample discussion around the need/desire for more reviews of Canadian poetry, as well as online access to ANY reviews (which, at that point, was sparse), I invited fifteen writers across the country to post reviews on a group blog I called the review diablogue. The diablogue was hoppin’ for a spell, but went the way of the dodo when posts dwindled and other lit mags/journals began uploading content to the interweb.

In June 2005, I gave up MT maintenance and moved to Blogger to try my hand at solo blogging again with 537neon. The blog’s been a space for publication/event/review updates, favourite quotes, musings, and frequent excited yelps. The raison d’être angst has cropped up occasionally (and there was a spell in 2007 for the bulk of content was removed for a period of months as I wrestled with persistent concerns around the responsibilities of blogging). Despite this (or perhaps because of it), 537neon morphed into HUMAN visits NATURE earlier this year.

And to mark this third anniversary of mostly consistent blogging, I’ve decided to try out WordPress’ software. So, here we are. New look: snails. blues, categories. If you’ve got the old address linked, please change to http://commutiny.wordpress.com. Takk!

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Adventures in Belgium: Brussels

May 15, 2008

After Ghent, I spent a few days in Brussels hanging out with YA novelist Leila Rasheed, whose debut Chips, Beans, and Limousines: The Fantastic Diary of Bathsheba Clarice de Trop! is quite clever, delightful, romptastic. Copious thanks to Leila for her generous hospitality!! We enjoyed a fab walking tour of Brussels, one of the most exciting meals of my life (Comocomo, where Basque cuisine is created fresh and travels on a conveyor belt), and text/dancing at the Iceland on the Edge Festival.

For the festival, we met again with Helen, Jelle, and Maja at the BOZAR, in the cavernous Henry Le Boeuf Hall (seats 2100, with a King’s box) to watch several poets. First up was Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl, who read his series of dictator sound poems. Örvar Þóreyjarson Smárason lip-synced his Montevideo poem via video broadcast. Kristín Svava‘s Icelandic/English poetry was accompanied by silent video of assorted dance-film clips. And Sjón ended the evening in a wrestling mask.

Following the poetry, we moved to a smaller subterranean space for music concerts. The audience felt largely confused in such a gallery space, unsure whether to view the music as an exhibit (passive in their watching) or to move, seethe, writhe to the cacophony. Leila, Maja, and I chose the latter, as the music of Stillupsteypa and Ghostigital infected us with flail.

Other highlights from my time in Brussels included much schlepping around the city with Eiki, and a visit to Sterling Books (“the English bookshop in the heart of Brussels”), where Helen works. You can see Wide slumber and Lemon Hound on the Sterling bookshelf, below!!

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Adventures in Belgium: Post-Zaoem Snapshots

May 6, 2008

Merendree: Out of the city, into rural Belgium. We wound our way through cobblestone roads and cowfields to an art gallery for the visual poetry exhibit Woord en Beeld, including work by Helen White (Krikri hostess extradordinaire) and Maja Jantar (an incredible and unclassifiable artist working in polypoetry and multimedia theatre, among other grand things). The range of work in the two-storey exhibit was impressive, and it was eye-opening to see Belgium’s visual poetry scene. An excellent post-festival adventure!!

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Wenduine: He took us to the place of his childhood, stretches of sand and flat ocean and horizon and the Flemish sky with its suspended turbulence.

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Bruges: Rain. Green. Clean. Any tourist’s medieval wet dream.

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Ghent: We sat in the tetrahedron and, though talk was small, our past lives commingled and the subtext instinctively traced a cellular map. Longevity itudinal ing. Oh, big words. Big, big words big as Belgian hail. The sun was skyward and then it hailed and then it hailed again, the tetrahedron filled with din, our talk diminished, except. What happened next has yet to happen.

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Partyafterparty: We made a spectacular feast, ate chocolate, and made zen gardens in red-wine salt. We improvised Jelle’s klankpoezie score. Kristof, Helen, Jelle, and Maja read aloud numerous poems by Canadians, a cacophonous familiarity. Maja and I improvised on a Flemish grammar book (video below). Querida watched.

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And so: how to return to Ghent? There’s so much begs doing.

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