Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The 3rd Annual Poetry and a Pint was so much fun

...and so well attended! Thank you everyone for showing up on such a beautiful spring day. This event took place on May 19 at the Bushwakker Brewing Company in Regina and was loosely themed around Li Po’s "Amidst the flowers a jug of wine.” The invited writers Bernadette Wagner, Chelsea Coupal, Gillian Harding-Russell, Randy Lundy, and Shelley Banks were asked to incorporate this idea into their introduction or into the work itself. They all took the challenge in different directions and gave wonderful readings. 

This year, in keeping with the theme and my request for edible flowers, Bushwakker’s pastry chef once again brought the magic out and created a limited edition poetry dessert for the occasion: Orange Blossom Chocolate Cheesecake garnished with nasturtium and viola. It was divine! 

Manager Grant Frew wrote a hilarious intro with alliteration galore. I delivered an occasional Johnny-Jump-Up sonnet leaping off of Li Po’s poem. I'd posted two others on Facebook prior to the event. Here they are, such as they are, on top of pics I took of this year's Johnny-Jump-Ups in my garden. Johnny-Jump-Up poems are hard to write!

Between readers, I asked edible flower trivia questions. The audience answered three with speed, but the final question was tough: Two types of edible flowers occur in the song “I’m Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover.” One is clover. The other is?

There were many firsts at this event. I bought a copy of Chelsea Coupal's first book Sedley, published by Coteau Books this spring.  

And I was the first person in Canada to buy Randy Lundy's new book Blackbird Song, just released from University of Regina Press.   

Which means I was the fastest. In no time at all the copies were gone. 

So that's a brief recap of this year's Poetry and a Pint. The laughter will be with me for a long time. Thank you to everyone who made this such a great event!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The 3rd Annual Poetry and a Pint happening at The Bushwakker this Saturday! Come out and hear amazing poets Bernadette Wagner, Chelsea Coupal, Gillian Harding-Russell, Randy Lundy and Shelley Banks, and hear me go on about edible flowers! I can't wait to try the chef's special limited edition Poetry Dessert! Pretty hard to top last year's superb creation! 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

A Northern Spring Celebration of Poetry in Prince Albert

...happened on May 10 and wow, what a great night and what a great audience! Thank you to the John M. Cuelenaere Public Library, host Lynda Monahan, and poets Beth Gobeil, Laurie Muirhead, and Douglas Elves (a visiting poet from Edmonton) for this great experience. The readings and conversation that followed were wonderful. I added these two beautiful books to my collection.

Here's a pic (left to right) of Lynda asking one of several engaging questions on the writing life, and me, Beth, and Laurie taking it in.

I'm so lucky to have been part of this evening and so lucky to meet everyone. Thank you!

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Northern Spring Celebration in Prince Albert May 10

I look forward to joining Beth Gobeil and Laurie Muirhead on May 10th for an evening of poetry and conversation at the John M. Cuelenaere Public Library! Host Lynda Monahan will spring questions on us! I'm excited. This will be my first ever reading in Prince Albert. I look forward to meeting everyone!

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Culverts are flowing

...and Culverts Beneath the Narrow Road are too. There's nothing like a box of new books staring up at you like what now?

Today a friend posted on Facebook and Twitter a pic of her holding the book and it became real. It's really out there doing its own thing. Will anyone like it? Who knows! 

Thank you to everyone who answered questions, shared stories, and helped make this dream come true. Thank you to the Saskatchewan Arts Board for supporting this project. Thank you to Thistledown Press for believing in this book and making it so beautiful. I am so grateful to you all.

Monday, April 30, 2018

The Twenty-Fifth Saskatchewan Book Awards

...took place on Saturday and it was a great event. Congratulations to everyone! Thank you to the Saskatchewan Book Awards and to everyone who has had a hand in making this important celebration of books happen over the years. 

I had the honour of speaking at this event to an audience of writers I admire and look up to. Among them were many incredible and incredibly hard-working publishers. Book lovers and supporters of the literary arts looked on. I spoke to them about where I was twenty-five years ago and where I was as a writer twenty-two years ago when the first Saskatchewan Book Award for poetry went to Beyond My Keeping by Elizabeth Philips, and how important this book is and how important this writer is to me and the larger writing community. I ended by reading "Lake in Winter," one of my favourite poems in the book.      

On the way home on Sunday, we crossed the George Willis Bridge even though I was afraid. Ice jammed and piled up dangerously, or so I thought, but I have no idea what a bridge can withstand. The Saskatchewan River has never looked colder. 

On the other side, the flooding toppled some cabins

 and submerged others. 

Once safely across the bridge I thought of "Lake in Winter" again, the words still fresh on my tongue.

Today I opened the thank you gift from the Saskatchewan Book Awards board and staff. Anyone who attends the awards knows the board and staff are amazing and pay attention to every single detail, but I was unprepared for what I found. Inside was this unbelievably beautiful feather by Saskatchewan glass artist Jacqueline Berting.  

In it I saw the ice surrounding the buildings, the structures, the power, and the poem came back to me again.  

Saturday, April 14, 2018

National Poetry Month Celebration at Government House

...took place on April 11 thanks to the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan, His Honour the Honourable W. Thomas Molloy, and the Saskatchewan Writers' Guild, and it was a beautiful event. Lisa Bird-Wilson and Lynda Monahan gave incredibly moving readings. I'm so lucky to have been part of this celebration. Thank you to the amazing audience and to everyone who made this event so memorable.

Photo taken by the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan.