Le cafard and the poet | March Reading at Poets Corner
Posted on behalf of Evelyn Schofield
On March 15, we gathered again to share a love of poetry in its many forms. At our open mic we were intrigued by poets who explored subjects as diverse as rehab, the 9 to 5, polyamory, and 13 ways of looking at a subway. Of particular note, Alexander Formos read an excerpt from Eurydice in Love, a “poetry play” which will be performed live in Vancouver on April 8 – tickets are available on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/eurydice-in-love-tickets-539585222927B. Break a metaphorical leg, Alexander!
Both of our featured readers for the evening have new collections of poetry, hot off the presses of icehouse poetry, the poetry imprint of Goose Lane Editions. Dominique Bernier-Cormier read from Entre Rive and Shore, a collection of bilingual French-English poetry in which he explores his Acadian heritage to discover “a future dont on se souvient déjà.” The poems were inspired by two significant events: his ancestor Pierrot Cormier’s escape from jail on the eve of expulsion to Louisiana in 1755 and a much more recent road trip Dominique took to the US to find his Cajun cousins and discover what is left of French culture in Louisiana. Although he describes the experience of reading bilingual poems out loud as like “2 raccoons fighting inside your mouth,” his poetry moves fluently from one language to the other and ingeniously articulates what it is like to have “one foot dans ce monde and the other dans l’autre.”
Next up, Kim Trainor read from A thin fire runs through me, a collection of her poems based on the hexagrams of the I Ching. These poems were written during a period of her life when she was struggling to cope with many personal challenges in addition to the relentless barrage of disturbing events in the world at large. In Hexagram 53 she avows that “poetry is the cockroach of the arts” which we take to be a testament to the resilience and adaptability of poetry. Her fourth collection, A blueprint for survival, will appear with Guernica Editions in Spring 2024 and continues her examination of climate change and ecological crisis. She concluded the evening with a viewing of Lentil, her “experimental poetry film on the sixth mass extinction and the importance of eating lentils” in which images and spoken poetry are accompanied by a soundscape composed by musician Heather Fairbairn. You can watch it here – and you really should: https://vimeo.com/792000822/9525c31ebd