New reviews

Kees Kapteyn
‘s review of footlights calls it powerful and luminous, and he comments,

Everything literary runs on metaphors, acting as a lubricant for us to move through our lives. Pearl has a sort of sixth sense when it comes to seeing these devices, as if she sees a dimension few people can see. A penny for her thoughts indeed would be an investment with high returns.

As an empath, she carefully considers everything, observing from afar, yet her affection never diminishes with the distance.

Amanda Earl’s review of footlights, also at GoodReads, says in part,

in this book, there is strength, compassion, tenderness and vulnerability. Pearl doesn’t flinch away from illness, discomfort, anger, ageing, blood, or the struggles of the body.

Louise Carson at in a review of footlights called, Straddling the third wall, remarks,

The marvellous line “whatever snaps your shutter, eh.” made me think of Diane Arbus photographing the disabled, the poor, and how we judge people in an instant, take the character shot and file it.


On a personal note, my mom’s funeral is tomorrow.

I’ll give a eulogy, the first and hopefully last time, I’ll ever need to do that in life.

How fitting that the pen my mom gave me for Christmas should run dry while I edit it.

Poetry readings

There’s still 7 days of readings left of free readings in VERSeFest. (You can always donate at the site so VF can do more than the funding.)

As a new addition this year, the site has direct buy link of the collections of many poets, and sample poems of many of the poets in translation at the bios.

Friday night will be a live slam competition and the weekend have 3 events per day, including Americans, international, and Janick Belleau and Marshall Hryciuk at the haiku event on Sunday.


How about that. It seems something like a longer poem has started to form. I’d almost forgotten the sensation. But I sat and the world and its clocks fell away and I have a draft.

I’ve been feeling the occasional haiku, aided by reading many. They are concrete and present and that focus helps me feel present.

In the Seabeck Getaway online in the Kukai, 12 people voted for my haiku from the weekend as best of the 230-odd poems. That put me about mid-pack. Gratifyingly, the poem that I thought was hands down the best, democratic voting agreed with.

 Nicholas Klacsanzk got first place in the Seabeck Haiku Getaway 2020 Annual Kukai:

dahlia blossom—

the many layers

of her touch