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.
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.