The Poetry Tent
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HOST: Evelyn Lau, Vancouver's Poet Laureate
This year the Association of Book Publishers of BC partners with TransLink, BC Transit and the City of Vancouver on this popular project to celebrate our province's poetry. Buses and SkyTrains throughout BC will feature BC poets published by Canadian publishers. In Vancouver, transit shelters will feature further work by our best poets. A transit bus will be on-site all day displaying this year's poetry cards. Don’t miss readings from featured 2012 poets Kate Braid, Tom Wayman, Rachel Rose, Billeh Nickerson, Calvin Wharton, and Janet Marie Rogers in The Poetry Tent.
HOST: Christine Leclerc, Vancouver-based author and activist
Davie Street Translations is a witty, lively, documentary-style series of poems about gay male culture in Vancouver. With versified musical machismo following the San Francisco Renaissance poets, Daniel Zomparelli emphasizes an aesthetic sensibility that pervades the wireless shell of personal relations, facing up to HIV fears, drug culture, porn fantasy, gay bashing and the aftermath of love letters on Craigslist.
(Talonbooks $16.95) Adopted by Brian Burtch
Published on the 100th anniversary of the disaster (which occurred on the night of April 15, 1912), Impact is an intimate and evocative poetry collection that depicts the tragedy in a series of poetic snapshots. Based on historical research the author conducted in Belfast and his birthplace of Halifax, the poems document not only the history behind the ship's construction, but what life must have been like for those aboard her maiden voyage and in the years following her sinking.
(Arsenal Pulp Press $14.95)
In the weight of dew, Daniela Elza’s debut book of poetry, we are taken on a literal, metaphorical and philosophical journey through (mostly) British Columbia. Here, in the miles and meditations Elza opens up a space, familiar, yet forgotten, where we can loosen our grip on the world, inviting a more intimate connection to it. Elza’s language is spacious, yet crystallized. In the weight of dew we arrive, ignorant of the hour, face to face with our reflection, and in such timelessness are gently transformed.
(Mother Tongue Publishing $19.95)
Assiniboia is a richly textured imagining of a Western Canada that could have been. Theatrical and operatic, the book breaks new formal ground in Canadian poetry. Tim Lilburn's eighth collection gives us a new land peopled by figures from the visionary governments of Louis Riel and from western mysticism, as well as land forms with the power of speech, all acting together as a kind of ghostly army bent on overturning more than a century of colonial practice.
(McClelland & Stewart $18.99)
HOST: Anna Ling Kaye, Fiction Editor, PRISM international magazine
Bluesy, opinionated, sly, self-chastising and tender, this collection commands a range of tones wider and bolder than anything in Rhea Tregebov’s previous collections. Inspired by crises both personal (divorce, adult children) and societal (global warming, financial implosion), All Souls’ bracingly addresses the quandary at the heart of our present moment: the fear of change and the fear of standing still. Enriched by a sharp palate and crackling with confidence, beauty and power, it captures life in all its rueful aspects.
(Véhicule Press $18.00)
Named after the surface condition in which no object casts a shadow, the horizon cannot be seen, and only dark objects are discernible, Whiteout explores how accidental voyeurism can force reconsideration and reconciliation. The work of one of Canada’s most challenging writers, a poet at the height of his powers, Whiteout is at once taut, tender, and terrifying, shattering convention in the collision of order and rage, formlessness and hard-won serenity.
(ECW Press $18.95)
New Theatre stages a lively foray into spaces geographical and utopian that calls into question the process and nature of meaning. Steudel’s coolly cerebral “Birch” sequence about Vladimir Ilyich Lenin’s later life muses on power and identity, but is balanced by an intimate autobiographical long poem that gives quieter, equally surprising shorter pieces room to spike and bloom in this assured debut.
(Coach House Books $17.95)
YVR weaves a suite of lyrics into a long, powerful poem—a citywide Vancouver song. Combining memoir, civic history, love song and social critique, it’s both a highly personal poem vividly rooted in Vancouver life and a charged portrait of social change. To read this book is to live the city: it will fret you, rankle you, jar you and surprise you. It will take you into the city that only a few people know, and it will touch your heart.
(Oolichan Books $17.95)
HOST: George McWhirter, Vancouver's first and former Poet Laureate
Poetry begins when the properties of things reveal themselves through language, that which has been called the veil that can pierce itself. The poems in The Properties record encounters between desire and the repressed or suppressed interstices of social, economic, political and unconscious forces. They’re alert to correspondences, attentive to the lines of force to which the poet’s family quietly assented in the contested place that is the Northwest Coast of North America.
(Talonbooks $19.95) Adopted by Mark Milner
Unearthed is a powerful new collection from this acclaimed Mohawk/Tuscarora writer and spoken word poet. In the three sections of the book Janet deftly explores the ever-shifting territories of what we all struggle to come to terms with in our lives: love, politics and identity. Eden Robinson has described the collection as “funny and powerful … an intimate journey into a place between poetry and story. The cumulative effect is haunting and devastating – a lovely, searing collection.”
(Leaf Press $17.95)
A mercenary pursuit to unsettle, rechart, and set ships in motion; a retelling of Missing and Murdered Women media narratives revealing structural interlocking violences; a recording of a rousing to consciousness; a remapping of displacement, gentrification, and community resistance in the Downtown Eastside. Mercenary English is a thinking through a testifying a protest that clamours cries calls for justice.
(Capilano University Editions $15.00)
In Lever, Stephen Collis continues his lyrical tour de investigation, flinging the machinations of capital accumulation through the fine-net filter of social poetry. A politically and aesthetically complex text, Lever thrums with both music and critique. Collis offers us the material lyric at its best: the entwined rhyme of history and possibility.
(Nomados Press $10.00)
How to Be Sad: A Simple Guide to a Complex Emotion is a poetic guide book with step-by-step instructions. Throughout this guide you’ll find a system of unending ways of sadness. Don’t let sadness become a secondary emotion. Take control and find functional sadness that’s right for you.
I Don't Feel So Good is a chapbook comprised of material selected from the handwritten journals and notes of Elizabeth Bachinsky (1986-2012). Lines and passages were selected by the roll of a die and appear in the order the die saw fit. The book is dedicated to Vancouver poet Nikki Reimer who lost her brother Chris in 2012. Proceeds from the sale of this chapbook will be donated to the Chris Reimer Legacy Fund.
HOST: Ariadne Sawyer and Lucia Gorea, World Poetry
The World Poetry Reading Series Society and World Poetry Canada & International was created by Ariadne Sawyer and Alejandro Mujica-Olea, providing a needed venue where diverse poets, writers, and those in other artistic disciplines could perform in English and in their language of origin. We bring the voices that otherwise may not be heard, in readings, on radio shows, and on site. In the Vancouver, BC area, there are over 500 World Poetry poets, writers, and musicians from 64 countries including a strong First Nations and Canadian component. Join Ariadne Sawyer and Lucia Gorea as they host three featured poets: Alan Hill (The Upstairs Country, English); Duke Ashrafuzzaman (Poetry from the Vancouver Tagore Society, English and Bengali); Yilin Wang, (World Poetry Youth Team Leader, English and Chinese).
HOST: Elaine Woo, Creative Consultant to Ricepaper Magazine
This Fireside Chat features writer Elaine Woo’s creative interview of award-winning poet Ray H. about his strict religious childhood and his subsequent descent into deranged performance in adulthood. Be among the first to witness Ray telling of his unraveling. Through her trademark incisive probing, Elaine delivers explosive questions to unearth the evil, the good, and the authentic behind this character, Ray H. -- A new age cultural prophet or merely a pillager of literary tradition?
HOST: Sylvia Skene, Magazine Association of BC
The Malahat Review presents Ben Rawluk, Russell Thornton, Rachel Rose and Bren Simmers who will read their poetry contributions to the magazine. Ben Rawluk will read his poems “I am a Heart” (issue #177, Winter 2011), “A Reasonable Excuse for Lateness,” “Fish Talk Too Much,” “Butches,” and “Heirlooms.” Russell Thornton will read his poems “The Man Who Lives in Cemeteries,” “Nest of the Swan’s Bones” and “Blade” (issue #178, Spring 2012). Rachel Rose will read “Maternal Sapphics,” “Uncut Wood,” and “Aubade: Grendel’s Mother” (all issue #178, Spring 2012). Bren Simmers will read “After the Break-In” (issue #176, Autumn 2011).
HOST: Lorrie Miller, Room Collective Member
Room Magazine presents Carol Shillibeer, Fiona Tinwei Lam, Crystal Sikma, and Katherine Poyner-Del Vento who will read their poetry contributions to the magazine. “The dock: a place to tie nothing but the world,” a poem by Carol Shillibeer, was published in Room Magazine 35.1. Fiona Tinwei Lam's poem, "September" was published in Room Magazine 34.3. Crystal Sikma's poem “Bell” was a winner of the 2011 Room Poetry Contest (Issue 35.2). Katherine Poyner-Del Vento's poems "Second Wedding," "Third Wedding" and "Job's Second Ten Children" appeared in Room Magazine 34.4.