A sweet aspect of VERSeFest is the inclusivity, bringing into the fold, out from the cold, all ranges of poetry from those who do micro press to M&S, from story-oriented to language oriented, from overseas to domestic, and various lineages besides, such as various Eastern forms.
KaDo is a group that’s been meeting quarterly for 13 years. It looks at the forms and schools of thought of aesthetics of what took its origins from Asia but has new transplanted roots in Canada, U.S., and England.
Claudia welcomed people to the event at Mercury Lounge (and its wacky wild coloured gel lights and red curtains. Photos here were taken by Luminita Suse).
The feature reader for the March 17th event was LeRoy Gorman. He’s the as the 16th honorary curator of the American Haiku Archives at the California State Library in Sacramento. This is for for all the decades he put into attention to haiku and related forms.
His poems have been in print since 1976. He’s a publisher, and a little left of traditional. (Sometime in summer my interview of him will be coming out in an online magazine. I’ll let you know.) A lot of his poetry is visual (mostly minimalist and haiku, or haiku-like) and plays within the folds of the material of language. For example, from Frogpond 32:2, Spring/Summer 2009
at the end of the rainbo
Some of the poems LeRoy read at VERSeFest for those who missed it:
walking by the Oscar Peterson
not so cold
in Ottawa anymore
sex on Mars
a tsunami in Asia
raises Ottawa one half inch
before it returns to normal
how easy it is
to lift a city above its politics
of a city going home
fills the hour
from coma to death
By a vote people in KaDo nominated who else would get a spotlight.
The other readers included Luminita Suse who read her gentle but startlingly lovely tanka. She has a book of tanka, A Thousand Fireflies out last year, and a lengthening list of credits. Here’s one of hers:
I search in vain
for a trace of green
under the snow
some things remain
buried in the past
Mike Montreuil (writer, publisher of Éditions des petits nuages) read a series of haibun, the Japanese form that contains prose sections as well as haiku. His prose and haiku tend to be grounded in urban, gritty, every day, with topics more likely to be about hockey practice and high heels at the bus stop, than pines and weevils.
Guy Simser read a form similar to haibun, but one that incorporates tanka and longer poems. (There are a lot of poems of his readings at that link.)
Lastly but definitely not leastly, and Grant Savage read his haiku and his tanka. He’s also in Haiku Moment: An Anthology of Contemporary North America. A poem of his from the day was this:
moon traces the budding hills
and valleys of her sleep
the flutter of dreams
flying with the northbound geese
winged by my touch
It takes a community to build a blog post so thanks to KaDo members for sending parts.