Well the October reading at Fairleigh Dickinson University was another smash success. We dimmed the lights for a bit more ambience and were treated to smorgasbord of verse. Our few but skilled open-mic poets read about breaking up in the rainforest, Roe v Wade, dandruff and the anticipation of rain. Samir, who has been here only 17 days, read a poem inspired by his homeland, beautiful Nepal, his first ever Canadian reading. We feel privileged to have hosted.
Jennifer Zilm was our first feature reader and we knew we were in for a wild ride when she posed the question “How do I know when my e-book has ended?”. We heard lines about sticky fingers, ancient books and godly women who know not to trust Satan. Jennifer’s poetry meanders from one image to another and reveals a mind that notices and questions everything. There were jokes, like “How many Torontonians does it take to screw in a light bulb?” and observations of Satan eating his quinoa. Jennifer is seriously funny.
Tawahum Bige was up next and, as usual, they performed. Tawahum’s poetry is both beautiful and serious, exploring themes of land defense, indigenous resilience, poverty and jail. Broken treaties and Trans Mountain impose violence on the land, but blood memory remains and Tawahum assures that ‘the land hears every song and never forgets.’ The reading ended with a strong message for our “leaders”: ‘The opioid epidemic feasts on homelessness but still we get a pipeline’. Tawahum just gets better and better with every reading.
Thanks everyone for a great night in our new “hybrid” format.