Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Must be something in the air...

September is traditionally the month for getting back to work, whether that means school or just plain more thoughtful pursuits. This month has been no exception.

The last week has been filled with events pointing us in the direction of thinking and creating. Specifically, for me, this has meant lots of poetry.

Last week was another event promoting a new collection from Mother Tongue Press, 4 Poets. As one might suspect, the book celebrates the work of four writers, in this case "New BC Poets" -- and it does so in a way that stimulates a deep understanding of their work.

Mona Fertig, editor and conceiver of the series, has given us a book that contains more than just poems. Each author makes a statement on his or her Poetics, provides an interview, lays out draft versions of poems, and even offers a poem in translation.

The event I attended at VPL saw only two of the poets in attendance. And though I regretted not having heard Peter Morin or Al Rempel at earlier events, Daniela Elza and Onjana Yawnghwe gave readings that kept us listening intently.

Daniela, who's doing graduate work in education at SFU, brought along a collaborator for part of her presentation -- a dancer! Su-Lin's performance worked wonderfully with Daniela's words; I can only think of one other time I've seen these two arts mixed so successfully.

But if that event wasn't enough, there was Thursday's reading by four local authors, followed on Sunday by one of Vancouver's most vibrant literary events, Word on the Street.

I was lucky enough to serve as host for an event that featured Evelyn Lau, Russell Thornton, Colin Browne and Vancouver's current Poet Laureate, Brad Cran. The little Poetry Tent was full, with an overflow crowd spilling out onto Library Square. It was great to see such enthusiasm for this genre too many people choose to ignore.

But of all these inspiring events, the sight that meant the most to me was one I saw yesterday -- and naturally, it was one of those times I didn't have my camera. It put the phrase 'word on the street' into action, literally.

A girl was walking down the sidewalk, steadily moving forward, but with her head bent to an open book. Now, that's being engrossed by the power of the written word!


daniela elza said...

Dear Heidi,

Thanks so much for coming. And thanks for your thoughts.

hg said...

It was my pleasure to be there, Daniela. And thank you for signing my copy of 4 Poets.