As we languish in the 10th month of the pandemic, with daylight in short supply and mental health seeming like an oxymoron; as we grow increasingly tired of our own company, Poets Corner would like to offer you a holiday poem of hope which dares to dream of one day leaving our homes to gather once again in groups to enjoy some in-person poetry readings.
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
No one left quarantine, even if they had doubts;
The face masks were hung by the heater with care,
In hopes that a vaccine soon would be found somewhere.
The children were nestled all snug in our bed;
While X-box or Tik-Tok danced in their heads;
And mom with box wine, and me on the wrap,
Opening mother-in-law’s black currant snaps,
When out in the parking lot there arose quite a clatter,
I poured a touch more before I researched the matter.
Away to the window I limped with my cast
From being too old and going too fast.
Outside the moon on the new-fallen snow,
Gave midday lustre to the park tents below,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a hazelnut shell pulled by reindeer,
It was Queen Mab who jumped out so lively and quick,
Shouting I will unzip this COVID-shit grip!
More rapid than drones, pharmaceuticals came,
She whistled, and shouted, and called them by name
Now, Providence Therapeutics, Sanofi, CytoDyn
On, BioNTech, Pfizer! On, Johnson and Johnson!
So up to the housetop the coursers they flew
With sacks of vaccines, and syringes too—
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
This sleight-of-hand year tap its wand, and then poof!
Finally, 2020 left, enough of him, What a jerk!
The new year shines bright, and many hands make light work.
Join us in January for our next virtual reading.
Wednesday January 20th @ 7:30pm PST!!
In our first reading of the New Year, 2021, we will have a special extended open mic to showcase our wonderful regular open mic’ers and to welcome new and upcoming voices. Sign up now to save a spot!! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are also delighted to host Daniel G. Scott, editor of the new anthology Voicing Suicide, for the Vancouver launch. Daniel will read, along with contributing poets:
Register for the event by clicking here or copy and paste the http into your browser.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about how to join the meeting. If you have any questions contact us in advance at: email@example.com.
Our November Reading
Our November reading was once again a delightful smorgasbord of verses. We had over 50 attendees who were treated to quite an evening. We began with half of our open-mic poets exploring dancing waves, homelessness and addiction, backstage secrets, basement movies and some unexpected though riveting oil patch verses.
Our first feature reader was Kate Marshal Flaherty, and she began with a dramatic monologue, disappearing into the persona of her growing tumour, "nestled in dense flesh" with its "soft oyster folds", reading over a background of underwater music. Things got a little less friendly with her later image of chemotherapy, as the "red electric juice stung into [her] veins". The journey continued to a little titch of wine, and a shout out to the radium women. Kate's poetry was personal, beautiful, and her vivacious personality reached out to the audience from beyond the screen. To watch the video of the poem, set to wistful music performed on the nyckelharpa, click here.
After Kate's reading, we had several more open mic poets reading about galactic gyrations, lichen-covered synapses, ambitious New Yorkers, unruly toddlers still learning regret and collectors of old secrets.
Our second featured reader, Michael Prior, read from his book Burning Province, taking us on a journey to cloud country, where you live long enough to see your glasses return to style. The first selection was an ekphrastic poem entitled “150 Pounds”, inspired by The Suitcase Project, a photographic exhibit by Kayla Isomura in which Japanese Canadians and Americans are photographed with the items that they would pack if uprooted from their homes with only 24 hours’ notice. Michael's cerebral poetry was replete with images from past and present, and capped off yet another fabulous night of virtual poetry.
Poets Corner Special Event -- Poetry from the Pandemic Book Launch
BC Launch of We are One - Poems from the Pandemic edited by George Melnyk
Lorna Crozier, Tanja Bartel, Rhona McAdam, Heidi Greco, John Barton, Lisa Pasold, Sandra Sugimoto, Chris Bullock, Brian Day, Christine Smart, Shelley Leedahl explored the various stages of our pandemic. Readers waxed poetic about the freedom of gargling as loud as they please in silk pyjamas, villages turning into ghost towns, the creek singing its silent song, bringing a Guinness to a St. Patrick's Day party of one, admiring jogging firemen's lovely legs and empathy made pivotal through crisis. The night concluded with Poets Corner's own Adrienne Drobnies making inventories of places we won't go and people we won't see. It was a wonderful night of poetry, a night that proved that difficult times often lead to the most wonderful art. Thank you to all of the poets and, most importantly, the audience who tuned in to make the event a grand success.
Our One Minute Poem Series
Check out the new poems in our One Minute Poem series on our YouTube channel, Facebook Groups or Instagram page. You can see the full catalogue of our One Minute Poets at https://poetscorner.ca/one-minute-poem/. Just click on the individual posters to navigate to their readings.
Along with our Twitter feed, we’ll be posting here up-to-the-minute reminders of upcoming readings, and features of our guest poets.
Visit our website:
On our website, you can find our homepage with all the information you’ll need to find out who we are and where to find our series. We’ve also created new pages for poetry-related news, our upcoming readings (events), an archive of older posts, and information about the series and team members. We hope to eventually upload a page featuring a list of the poets who have read with our series in the past, and our archive of past newsletters.
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel:
Our YouTube channel is a permanent space to collect these videos. We hope to bring you more videos throughout the COVID-19 crisis. When we resume our series live in the new venue, we’ll be filming the readings, and posting them to the new channel.
Donations gratefully accepted!
We realize that there are many worthy causes to donate to, but if you have a few dollars to spare, we promise to put it to great use filling the world with poetry. You can donate on our website at https://poetscorner.ca/.
Thank you to all of you who have generously donated to Poets Corner, and to the Canada Council for the Arts, the League of Canadian Poets and the Writers' Union of Canada for their funding. We at Poets Corner, and especially our poets, are very grateful.