Dorothy Jeffreys a on behalf of the Ottawa Public Library welcomed people to the reading by the poets who this April are giving the ever popular public library workshops.
First up was Chris Jennings. He was a founding editor of filling Station magazine, was assistant editor of the University of Toronto Quarterly and is currently on the board of Arc Poetry Magazine. He was reading from Occupations (Nightwood).
He started by saying “I am not a prolific poet” and that perhaps it is vanity to think he shouldn’t read the same poems before the same city’s audience since that assumes we would retain his words. I recall the comic one he did of the “life story” of the lancet eventually sold at a flea market.
His poems have perfect rhymes and in a couple at least iambic pentameter, sounding more playful than forced. His poem “The Duke” struck me particularly as resonating, having a hitch in my step.
“I’m walking like the Duke again…”
“The swagger is catharsis…”
“There’s a cost to life in how you live it”
[The injury’s legacy is] “The record in how I lived
and how I might have lived better”
Monty Reid hosted on behalf of Versefest and gave warm generous introductions to us all.
Sandra Ridley showed the cover of Counting House done by Michele Provost. She read a serial poem, a dirge dedicated to Sylvia who died November 2012. Striking lines about dispersing a friend’s ashes such as “fear disappears as soon as it’s spoken” and “your water body in a wineglass.”
Deanna Young and myself.
Deanna read from her collection to be released this fall from Brick entitled House Dreams. One poem was about fear of turbulence; “thank you square shouldered man in the cockpit who is ready for this” “living is nice /on the inhale./ I am ready,/ on the ex-”
Another was a compassionate poem about the rough men who were raised with the alder switch. A poem called “rest” from the perspective of a GP did some wonderful things with story and how the language tied the analogy together.
For myself, I read from this latest Peter F Yacht Club, and a teaser from vertigoheel from the dilly that releases next week officially, and from Quebec Passages that launches officially next month.
Hubby took a shot from further back in the room.