Wednesday, April 30, 2014


This has been the week – okay, the month – for celebrating all sorts of ‘poetricity’ – or, as the League of Canadian Poets dubbed the month’s theme, “Poetry City.”

Earlier this month, there was another of those oh-so-fun ekphrastic poetry events. The poems were based on watercolour paintings of sights in the city of Vancouver.

Last week meant a trip to Gabriola Island, where three of us read poems that more or less related to the theme of Poetry City. Naturally, each of us took our own route.

On Saturday, the winner of Surrey Public Library’s poetry contest read her work as part of celebrations to open the new City Hall. The birds in the photo soaring above the ever-so-high foyer are the latest in Surrey’s art acquisitions. Apparently, at night, they’re illuminated by coloured lights. Considering how beautiful they are during the day, they should be spectacular in the evening.

Monday was another in the locally sponsored Readings by the Salish Sea series. Our poet, Joanna Lilley, who has a brand-new book out, brought the idea of ‘Northern City’ to our City by the Sea. In addition to reading her poems, she told us about the circuitous route she took (buses, bicycles, more) in finding her current home, the Yukon.

This morning I see a ray of good news at the site where a murder took place in my city this past winter. In an effort to humanize the spot, a group of community-minded citizens took the initiative to start a ‘Poet-Tree.’ The goal is to make it a place where people will stop and chat, maybe add a note or a poem of their own. The hope is that by greeting each other and visiting a bit, we’ll do a better job of looking out for each other.

And that, above all, sounds like a terrific result for the observance of Poetry City – or, as my clever friend who is so good at manipulating words has renamed it, Poetricity. Phonetics for that? Try poe-eh-TRI-si-tee. We may well have a new word on our hands.    

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