Monday, May 22, 2006

Radiant danse uv readingz

This was the sign outside Vancouver's Ironworks Gallery that greeted the many 'frenz uv bill bissett' who came to participate in the launch of the wondrous new book, radiant danse uv being. Edited by Jeff Pew and Steve Roxborough (aka rox n pew), the book presents a set of riffs and reminiscences for and about Canada's true poet laureate, bill bissett.

The Vancouver event was hosted by CBC's Sheryl MacKay. For those who've never heard her show, North by Northwest, it's a showcase of BC artists. The only bad part about her show is that it's broadcast at the bizarre (and non-artist-friendly) hour of 6am on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Like, ouch.

The 150-or-so performers and attendees had themselves a raging good time, and even got to browse several walls of brand new paintings by his billness. Beyond even the paintings was the sense of tribal connections -- old friends (or should that be 'frenz'?) reunited. Truly, it was one grand celebrayshun.

The best part of all (of course) was that bill was part of it all. Here he is, reading a poem to close the Vancouver event, accompanied by the inspired tootlings of Tim Lander.

But the raging went on. On to the ferry on Friday where I got to listen to some of the history behind the book. Lucky me, getting to spend a few hours with the editors behind the project. That's Jeff on the left, along with Rox and his elegant blond locks. I won't give away too much, beyond noting that Victoria's Cadboro Bay makes a swell spot to while away an afternoon, especially when accompanied by a few cold beers. I suspect that one of these years, Rox n Pew will be coming out with some sort of 'green-rumoury' behind-the-scenes project. If my time with them was any indication, they wouldn't have any trouble filling such a volume.

And at last on to the Solstice Cafe, for the Victoria launch. A few of the same faces, but a whole different scene -- and hosted by the always gracious Linda Rogers. What a way to start a long weekend in May.

But enough of these ramblings. Get thee out, I say -- and buy the raging book! Just be sure, for premium pleasure, to read it out loud.


rox. said...

raging timez heidi. i thot ther were at least 500 in attendanse in vancouver (next week we'll be saying th audience was well over 20,000)...mythic evening 4 a legendaree being. thanx 4 taking photos n being a part uv it all. xcellent.

Jeff said...

Heard there were line ups spiralling the block. People camped out overnight. Hells Angel security couldn't keep the lid on the place. Hospitals flooded with bic lighter thumb burnings. Scalpers retired on the profits.

Stock in poetry soaring. Who needs super 7's?

rox. said...

heard "billstock, the movie" is in production. very hush hush. soon to follow: the cd, cover stories, coffee table book, documentary: the making of billstock, bobblehead bill, commemorative blue hats and jackets, multiple editions of bissett's dictionary...once this ball starts there a cpa in the house?

Janet said...

Oh I missed it.

rox. said...

don't worry, janet.
in 25 years
(when the commemorative anniversary edition
with bonus features and over 100 unreleased photos comes out)
you can tell your grandchildren
you were there.
they'll be impressed
and no one will be the wiser.

Kimmy Beach said...

i want me a billbobbleheaddoll