Poets Corner Reading Series

EVENTS

UPCOMING READINGS, FEATURED POETS, and THEMED READINGS.

April’s Featured Poets!! Please join us for a Spoken Word Evening featuring Tawahum Bige, Jillian Christmas, + Sheri-D Wilson

We hope that you can join us this upcoming Wednesday 21st April @ 7:30pm for our fourth monthly virtual poetry reading

of 2021. This month our featured readers are: Jillian Christmas long-time spoken word curator of the Vancouver Writers Fest, and former artistic director of Verses Festival of Word; Tawahum Bige, a Łutselkʼe Dene, Plains Cree poet and spoken word artist who recently served a 28-day sentence after a 2-year battle for his land protection work against Kinder Morgan/Trans Mountain’s pipeline expansion; and Sheri-D Wilson, former Poet Laureate of Calgary and award-winning author and creator of 13 books, 4 short films, and 4 albums which combine music and poetry You can register for this live Zoom event at https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEvf-yqqDotHtd9HAL4XDpYFIK-32h3Jugy  We will also have our usual although slightly abridged open mic — all are welcome. Please contact us at socialmedia@poetscorner.ca if you would like to be included on the open mic list.

Jillian Christmas is an artist, creative facilitator, curator, consultant, and advocate in the arts community. She is the long-time spoken word curator of the Vancouver Writers Fest, and former artistic director of Verses Festival of Words. Utilizing an anti-oppressive lens, Jillian has performed and facilitated workshops across North America. She is the author of The Gospel of Breaking (Arsenal Pulp Press 2020), and the forthcoming children’s book, The Magic Shell (Flamingo Rampant Press 2021). She lives on the unceded territories of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam people (Vancouver, BC.)

Tawahum Bige is a Łutselkʼe Dene, Plains Cree poet and spoken word artist from unceded Musqueam, Squamish & Tsleil-waututh Territory (Vancouver). Their Scorpio-moon-ass poems expose growth, resistance & persistence as a hopeless Two Spirit Nonbinary sadboy on occupied Turtle Island. In typical Aries-sun fashion, Tawahum completed the first-ever Indigenous Spoken Word residency at the Banff Centre in 2018 while completing their BA in Creative Writing from KPU in 2019.  *  He’s performed at Talking Stick Festival, Verses Festival of Spoken Word, Canadian Festival of Spoken Word, and at over 50 different venues from Victoria to Toronto with his mixture of poetry & hip-hop.
Past the stage and onto the page, Tawahum has been published in over a dozen different lit journals & magazines including Red Rising Magazine, Prairie Fire, CV2, Arc Poetry Magazine and most recently, the anthology, Beyond Earth’s Edge: the poetry of spaceflight! A prolific word-artist, Tawahum has three self-published chapbooks with poetry collections on the way including a collection-in-progress funded by the Canada Council for the Arts.  *  Beyond the page, Tawahum has battled the (in)justice system of BC and was eventually incarcerated for a 28-day sentence after a 2-year battle for his land protection work against Kinder Morgan/Trans Mountain’s pipeline expansion. Of course, this doesn’t stop him from grabbing a boom mic to amplify his words of resistance & resurgence at front-line rallies, street performances and more. Follow Tawahum on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook: @Tawahum.

Sheri-D Wilson D. Litt C.M. is the award-winning author and creator of 13 books, 4 short films, and 4 albums which combine music and poetry. In 2019 she was appointed one to the Order of Canada, for her contributions as a Spoken Word Poet and her leadership in the community. In 2017, she received her Doctor of Letters—Honoris Causa from Kwantlen University. She is Poet Laureate Emeritus of Calgary 2018–2020. A strong advocate for social change and community building, Sheri-D was Founder & Director of:     Calgary Spoken Word Society (2003-2021) + Spoken Word Program | The Banff Centre (2005-2012);  www.sheridwilson.com

Finished! March Virtual Reading Featuring Medrie Purdham and Stuart Ross

Posted on behalf of James Felton

“Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona duit!” In case you’re stumped, it’s “Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you!” And that is what we wished everyone at our last reading on March 17th. We enjoyed yet another stellar evening of fine poetry and we had yet another stellar turnout of no less than 72 poetry fans. Once again, the reading attracted attendees from across the country and, if you can believe it, from Kyoto, Japan!

With a dozen open mic’ers respecting our three-minute time limit, we heard some scintillating poems over the course of the evening. It started with a wonderful piece that reminded us of the magic of prosody in poetry, and along the way we heard wonderful references to D.H. Lawrence, Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky and, of course, dear old St. Patrick. And in the last stretch, we were witness to some of the most moving and poignant pieces we have heard in a long time.

Our first featured poet was Medrie Purdham who teaches English at the University of Regina. Her debut collection of poetry, Little Housewolf (Véhicule Press, 2021) is due out next month. The volume focuses on a world of small things – baby teeth, thimbles, keyholes, wedding rings – which become scaled-down metaphors of one’s terrors and joys. As a scholar and a poet, she is taken with prosody and her riveting reading of some of the more potent poems from her new collection reflected this love. Combined with her arresting imagery, there were lines such as “Time stretched itself between borrowed walls”. Musically powerful, indeed. During the q & a session that followed her reading, Medrie underlined the fact that prosody today is too often under-utilized. Her subjects ranged from the pandemic to pregnancy and from push pins to pomegranates. It was a stirring reading, made especially enjoyable by Medrie’s (a Scottish name, we were told) mesmerizing tone.

The evening coupled a rookie with a veteran and our second featured poet was none other than the venerable Stuart Ross who has published 20 volumes of poetry. His most recent is a collaboration with Michael Dennis entitled, 70 Kippers: The Dagmar Poems (Proper Tales Press, 2020). Known for his wit, irony, and often surrealistic nature to his writing, Stuart regaled us with readings from a variety of his publications, including Motel of the Opposable Thumbs, which must go down in CanLit history as one of the most hilariously titled volumes of poetry. His writing is filled with colloquial diction that most of the time is crafted in narrative form. But the evening also had a couple of succinct poems, such as “Poem”, which reads, “I see a light at the end of the tunnel / And beyond that, / A tunnel”. The short poems were read as an homage to his dear friend, Nelson Ball who passed away in 2019, and who Stuart ranks as Canada’s greatest minimalist poet. All in all, it was another fine evening of poetry that makes us want to tune in next month to see if it can be topped.

 

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