25th Trillium Award

How to Do It in a Canoe: The Fish Quill Poetry Boat Series, with Linda Besner

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Linda Besner

It's the most unique and all-Canadian reading tour ever undertaken: the Fish Quill Poetry Boat, now in its third year, is set to launch five poets and a musician in canoes down the Grand River for ten days of poetry, performance and adventure. These fearless writers — Moez Surani, Kevin McPherson Eckhoff, Leigh Kotsilidis, Linda Besner and Darryl Whetter — are quick with a pen and even quicker with a paddle, and they know (or will soon find out) how to get things done in a canoe.

The Fish Quill Poetry Boat will launch their ten-day tour with a performance at Toronto's TRANZAC Club on August 9th. Accompanied by musician Jack Marks, the Fish Quill Poets will land in Elora, West Montrose, West Bridgeport, Cambridge, Paris, Brantford and Six Nation's Chiefswood National Historic Site. Visit our Events page for more details about these readings.

Linda Besner starts off our How to Do It in a Canoe series with her twist on Pierre Berton's defining remark. Her book, The Id Kid (VĂ©hicule Press, 2011), was named as one of The National Post's Best Poetry Books of the Year.

Linda's poetry and reviews have appeared in magazines such as The Walrus, Maisonneuve and The Malahat Review, and her radio work has aired on CBC?s Definitely Not the Opera, Outfront and The Next Chapter. Originally from Wakefield, Quebec, she now lives in Toronto.

How to Make War in a Canoe

Love is boring. Here?s what Canadians should really be doing in canoes:

First, bring along a manuscript of very fierce poetry. The kind with lots of merciless enjambment, studded with ear-cracking 'k' and ?t? sounds like spikes on a mace. Once you get out into open water — act natural. Gaze dewy-eyed at the dragonflies, trail your fingers romantically in the water to quell suspicion. But once you are screened by conspiratorial fronds of weeping willow, Admiral, assemble your fleet. A few folds, a tuck, a pleat, and your bloodthirsty poetry navy is ready to plunge with you into the rapids like so many ugly ducklings hungry for the soggy breadcrumbs of revenge. Let the boats made from newspaper toddling in the shallows pitch and toss as our tempest sweeps the water.

Read about last year's Fish Quill Tour on our Literary Landmarks page.

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