Sunday, March 16, 2008

The AB Series: Ottawa Night

It might have been the biggest turnout for the reading series so far at the usual City Hall venue.

Around 50 people came, with standing room only. Host Max seemed pleased with how it went. A lot of diverse and wonderful poetry came out and seemed to be enjoyed by the audience.

John W. posted a photo of Janice Tokar reading her vividly-rendered poems (including one from the perspective of timeless lizard as Fidel Castro's era ends) at the AB Series, Ottawa night.

Amanda Earl read from her newest (still hot from the press last week) chapbook, The Sad Phoenician’s Other Woman, a liturgy of lovers, and the surprises, like the average man who had an apartment full of bears of all shapes, and was entirely covered in bear tattoos. Memorable images such as the slippery scum of spilled beer and ashes beside the mattress on the floor.

Pearl Pirie (that'd be me) read a couple poems from the Oath in the Boathouse and that never-ending series of poems about the experience of train travel which I seem to have written myself into. (90 pages and growing.)

Sean Dowd was back from vacation with a new chapbook St. Paddy's in Costa Rica. He performed excerpts from memory from that and from a long poem which was a take off of Macbeth, spun for ecological responsibility and sustainable economy. The air system was gently whooshing away like a backup chorus.

Rhonda Douglas read from her Cassandra poems, with the news that her book of Cassandra will come out from Signature Editions this fall. She picked up the thread in her poems which were a call of protest from the trees. The maples refuse to make sweet sap and even the oak can not endure air pollution.

Jacqueline Lawrence took us back to her manuscript, with news to come in May on its completion. She read her poem speculating on how her life or her relationship with her dad would have been different, were she around when he was growing up. She also read a poem on the empty chair. From a friend from Benin she discovered the other side of the slave trade, how in villages raided for centuries an empty chair was kept for the family that went missing. If you come and visit, it doesn't matter where you were born, or how long ago you left. The chair is yours to use. She also did her popular poems of love on a beach, for which the air system obliged with a sort of wave sound.

LM Rochefort closed out with poems of she and her dad walking to the moon and looking back at the blue marble of earth during an eclipse, the extension of the Dawkin's Spaghetti monster in the sky story by giving him a Mother. She also did a poem about tobogganing and painted the scene as kids fell off down the curvy slope, one by one, all except for the dad, still aboard and getting smaller and smaller, disappearing towards his birth home.

The next one, #7 is March 28th, with a spoken word focus, is to be guest-curated by Kevin Matthews at the National Archives.

1 comment:

DLUXTHELIGHTblog said...

Nice Post! I wanted to ask what do you think about performance poetry a.k.a. spoken word and slam poetry? Its seems to be a division between new forms of poetry (street poetry, hip hop) and traditional forms of poetry. From this post I know you can add valuable insight on this question. I'm looking forward to it.

Take Care,