Thursday 31 May 2007

Canadian Poet Laureate brings back the Poem of the Week program

John Steffler, Canada's current poet laureate, has brought back the Poem of the Week program that George Bowering started during his term as PPL, and which was continued by Pauline Michel during her tenure. So far, Stephanie Bolster and Rhea Tregebov have contributed to the renewed program, with more poets to follow.

If you already make a habit of visiting Poetry Daily on a regular basis, as I do, why not make Canada's Poem of the Week a regular stop as well. I certainly will be.

Sunday 27 May 2007

David W. McFadden and Roseanne Carrara are launching new books!

When: Wednesday, May 30, at 7pm.
Where: The Dora Keogh Pub, 141 Danforth Ave. Toronto.
I will be the emcee.

DAVID W. McFADDEN will be launching his Selected Poems: Why Are You So Sad? Edited and introduced by Stuart Ross.

“David’s poetry, like David, is social. It’s interested in people, and in trees, squirrels, dogs, and oceans. It’s also social in that it wants to be read, and it makes itself readable – not just to academics and to other poets, but to the convenience-store guy and the woman on the bus…. There are few Canadian poets who offer as much pure pleasure as Dave. In fact, he forbids analysis of his poems.” – Stuart Ross, from the introduction

ROSEANNE CARRARA will be launching A Newer Wilderness, her amazing debut collection of poems.

"Roseanne Carrara’s poems in A Newer Wilderness actually say something about life today, and they say it in clear, generous, precise registrations. Her directness and depth of literary and artistic reference allow her (convincingly and without expressionism) to propose Presence as perhaps our only hope for renewal both of our relationship to nature and of our cultural forms. Carrara’s clean, sharp lines, at times extending into long poems and poetic essay, are a welcome breath of fresh air." – Sharon Thesen


Wednesday 23 May 2007

Berlin Poetry Festival

The Berlin Poetry Festival is less than a month away. I'm looking forward to my participation in it, as, I am certain, are my fellow Canadian poets who will also be participating. There's finally something about it on the internet, you can read it in either German, French or English. More to follow as more becomes available.

Sunday 13 May 2007

PennSound is a free source for poetry audio files for poetry audiophiles

PennSound is like iTunes for poetry -- but each poem is free, said Charles Bernstein, an English professor and the site's co-director.

"It's unprecedented within poetry," Bernstein said, calling it the "first and the biggest site of its kind."

Started more than two years ago, PennSound features about 200 writers and more than 10,000 recordings contributed by poets, fans and scholars worldwide and converted to digital format. Some, such as Gertrude Stein recordings from 1934, date back decades.

The site mainly focuses on historical avant-garde and innovative contemporary poetry. So while you can hear Allen Ginsberg or current U.S. Poet Laureate Donald Hall, you won't find Maya Angelou. -- Get the rest of the story on

There's a few Canadians here, too. Including Darren Wershler-Henry, bpNichol, Paul Dutton, a.rawlings, and Christian Bök. Which is wonderful, but with theory-lovin' folks like Charles Bernstein and Kenneth Goldsmith behind this project, it's no wonder other Canadian poets, ones who write more in the mode of Donald Hall or CK Williams, are not represented. Still, it is an excellent resource to add to your collection on on-line poetry treasure troves.

Wednesday 9 May 2007

Street in Côte St. Luc named after Irving Layton

"Côte St. Luc unveiled Sunday the new Irving Layton Avenue, named after the late Montreal educator and poet who died in January 2006.
“'We honour an author, whose path from a crowded household as an immigrant family coming to Montreal to a literary giant, is as inspirational as the poetry he left us,' Mayor Anthony Housefather told a crowd gathered on the new street that contains new homes under construction, and is located near Guelph Road and Parkhaven Avenue." Joel Goldenberg at The Suburban has the rest of the story.
More at The Gazette.

Don't forget to visit The Official Irving Layton Website.

Saturday 5 May 2007

David O'Meara is quized by the Citizen

The layout of this piece could be a lot better, but it's kinda cute the way they treat a Canadian poet like a teen-mag celebrity by making him answer some ridiculously fluffy questionnaire.

Find out how David O'Meara answers these scintillating questions:
What's your favourite TV show?
Were you a good kid, or a brat?
When will the Senators win the Cup?
What gadget or technology can you not live without?
What's your favourite body part?
When your done with that, read his books Storm Still and The Vicinity. They're much better.

Friday 4 May 2007

German Poetry

Twentieth-Century German Poetry, An Anthology: Edited by Michael Hofmann

I should probably read this book before heading to Germany for the Berlin Poetry Festival next month. I have no doubt some of the locals will ask me if I like German poetry, and I will say yes, and they will ask me who I like best, and I will say Rilke... oh, and some Hölderlin, and maybe some Goethe, and they will roll their eyes, because that's what everyone says if they don't know much about German poetry, which I don't.

But I would like to. Good thing I have Michael Hofmann to give me a head start.

Faber and Faber (UK) offer the same book in paperback.