Way to May Day

Dear readers,

It saddens me to report that National Poetry Month (NaPoMo) has given way to May Day, which means that we must stop talking about poetry and consider, instead, the plight of the working class. Oh, wait, that’s us too.

Postal poetry experiment: Mabi David

We all know in our darkest heart of hearts that the end of bookstores is coming.

A few might survive, but we might not live near them. Or like them. Certainly, the poetry sections of many are looking a little sparse of late.

But, at the same time, ordering from Amazon has been demonstrated to count against your soul in the afterlife. (Each “order with one click” subtracts roughly ten points.)

Trouble in the (zeit)Geist?

The tangible rewards of being a contemporary Canadian poet are relatively few compared to the amount of effort, and, yes, hard work, it takes to be a contemporary Canadian poet.

The tangible rewards include, and are quite possibly limited to:

  • The ability to show up at the local reading series without needing to invite your friends. (There are six of them. And they are all already there.)
  • The ability to cause a kerfuffle at the border simply by stating your profession.

More Ping Pong for More Literacy

A few posts ago, I spoke with writers Jeff Latosik, Howard Akler, Elyse Friedman, and David Seymour about their ping pong team, Balls, Baby, Balls, which will compete in the Pongapalooza championship on May 8 to raise

Microphone Lessons for Poets: Part 3

If you thought we were done with the microphone lessons, I am afraid you were incorrect. There are more types of microphones, even, than types of detachable shirt front. You will never, in your short career, master them all. But, at any rate, onwards.

Armchair travel at elevation: Poetry from The Philippines

It is not without a twinge of regret that I admit, in my National Poetry Month blog for Open Book Ontario, that my favourite recently discovered literary magazine is published neither within the province nor within Canada.

High Chair—named, I like to imagine, for the deadly combination of purée-infused baby babble and getting onto a high horse that inevitably leads to poetry—is a product of the Philippines.

Ping Pong for Literacy

Contrary to popular belief, writers are not lazy.

Rather, they appear to slack off while actually working incredibly hard—a clever illusion that garners them both the envy of the public and the disapproval of relatives.

(Unfortunately, the illusion is not quite exciting enough to be marketable to circuses. Always coming up a little short in the employable skills department, the writers are.)

Microphone Lessons for Poets: Part 2

I received a lot of—forgive me—feedback about that last post on microphones.

Several readers demanded diagrams. These are forthcoming. Poet Gary Barwin wanted me to add that one should not worry about sounding too loud. Too loud, he emphasized, is in fact just the right volume.

Microphone Lessons for Poets: Part 1

Like meetings between hikers and wildlife, encounters between poets and mics do not always end, or even begin, well. Outside of their usual habitats (mics usually live in closets, as do poets), and unaccustomed to one another’s idiosyncrasies, the two species can easily startle one another.

The worst results of these encounters do not bear description. Upon listening to the recordings, Werner Herzog advised destroying the tapes.

Weekend poem: Leigh Kotsilidis throws brain into a headlight

Today, for your apres-pancake pleasure, a bang-up poem by Leigh Kotsilidis, author of Hypotheticals (Coach House, 2011).

Arguing about determinism vs. neuroplasticity might be a good way to kill the conversation at a dinner party, but Kotsilidis bravely chooses this topic anyway. She populates the no man’s land between those binary opposites with a carefully controlled avalanche of weird, absorbing, hilarious, unnerving, oddly necessary stuff.

Free Download of Open Book’s mobile app available in Apple’s app store