Join us Wednesday December 14 at Poets Corner!
Please join us this Wednesday 14 December at 7:30pm for our December reading at Poets Corner Reading Series featuring Renée Saklikar and Ryan Fitzpatrick. This is a hybrid Zoom / live event. There will be an OPEN MIC, both for those joining us in person, and by Zoom. We collect names at the door. Join us in person at Fairleigh Dickinson University auditorium, 842 Cambie St. in Yaletown. For the Zoom link, please register at: https://tinyurl.com/avn9fmk6
Renée Sarojini Saklikar is a poet and lawyer who lives in Vancouver on the unceded traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples. She is the author of four books, including the ground-breaking poetry book, children of air india, about the bombing of Air India Flight 182 which won the Canadian Authors Association Poetry Prize and is the co-author, with Dr. Mark Winston, of the poetry and essay collection, Listening to the Bees, winner of the 2019 Gold Medal Independent Publishers Book Award, Environment/Ecology. She is currently working on Book 2 of the THOT J BAP series, an epic fantasy in verse about climate change, climate justice and global inequality. The first book of the series is Bramah and The Beggar Boy about a time travelling female locksmith helping seed savers, resisters, and orphans against the rule of the evil Consortium. Find out more at https://thotjbap.com/
ryan fitzpatrick is the author of four books of poetry, including the recent Coast Mountain Foot (Talonbooks 2021) and the forthcoming Sunny Ways (Invisible 2023).
Our November Reading
On November 16 we gathered in the auditorium at FDU and online on Zoom to hear two poets, Stephen Collis and Garth Martens, who both powerfully communicate the dilemmas that baffle humankind in the 21st century, from personal as well as global perspectives. Some technical problems delayed the start, and we are grateful to both of our audiences for their patience as we get the hang of this hybrid thing. We finally got started with a lively open mic session, featuring poetry read by Isabella Wang, Peter Marcus, Paul Bennett, Helen Gowans, Nefertiti Morrison, and Angus Pratt. Their poems covered the whole gamut of human experience, sometimes raging, sometimes grateful, and sometimes just having a good laugh at it all.
Our first featured poet of the evening was Stephen Collis, who read new work in the form of two longer poems. The first, entitled “Blazing Space”, was begun a year ago, as a poetic conversation between Stephen and Isabella Wang, prompted by the deaths of three elder poets around the same time as the ‘atmospheric river’ brought torrential rains and floods to the west coast. It is a lamentation about loss, in poetry as well as in the natural world. Stephen continued the themes of climate, disaster and displacement in “A Poem for Osman”, written for a refugee friend. The poem vividly describes lavender plants which grow in East Africa where Osman came from, and how in the desert “you thirst for anything blue“. Osman journeyed, separated from his family for 10 years, and eventually found a new home in the UK: “Home is not where you were born / Home is where all your attempts to escape cease.”
Our second featured poet, Garth Martens, joined us on Zoom from Victoria. He began with three poems from Prologue for the Age of Consequence, which speaks with raw honesty about his experiences in the work camps of the tar sands projects in Alberta, where “men who have sailed every fjord or hunted every animal for a little pay have come … with their many languages” so that oil can be “dragged from the world’s navel”. He continued his reading with some new work, including “Doesn’t Look Far” a poem anticipating the birth of his son, taken from Palabra Flamenco, a project in which he collaborates with other artists to combine flamenco music and dance with English-language poetry and stories. He concluded with “Expiation” which speaks of a boy’s relationship with his troubled mother, and how years later “the boy won’t think of the North sober”, still “searching for someone’s anger and her love”.
Keep Your Eye on our YouTube Channel!
Our new social media co-ordinator, Emily Chou, has been really busy getting new one-minute poems posted. Watch Tawahum Big read "Geography Lessons", Linda Crossfield read "What's Best for Us", and Charlene Kwiakowski read "Sunflowers in the Van Gogh Museum" and more new content, including full feature readings on our YouTube channel.
Along with our Twitter feed, we’ll be posting here up-to-the-minute reminders of upcoming readings, and features of our guest poets.
Follow us on Instagram: @poets_corner_reading_series
On our website, you'll find information about what we do, who we are and where to find us. We've created pages for our upcoming readings (Events and 1 Minute Poems), an archive of posts, posters, and newsletters, and information about the team members.
Keep on Donating!
Thank you to our generous donors! Your donations are what allow us to pay our poets and bring you top shelf poetry readings every week. You can donate on our website at https://poetscorner.ca/. If you have donated regularly, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. If you haven't donated yet, but you have a little cash burning a hole in your bank account because you haven't been able to go out anywhere to spend it, we will put it to good use!
Thank you 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 feature readers and one-minute poets, appreciate the support.