Oh Dear. I’ve been part of several readings over the last two months…and I’ve barely written about any of them! In an effort to catch-up and give thanks where thanks is due as well as shout outs to the many poets and writers who I’ve met and shared a stage with – here is a photo-essay of my life in ‘readings’ over the last bit.
Port Dover Reading – A Beatle Mania Event!
Poet Laureate of Brantford, John B Lee hosted an event dedicated to The Beatles – his favourite band, that band that changed his life when he was a boy. To honour is favourite four, Lee gathered poetry and prose from across the world for a collection he edited entitled ‘Window Fishing – The Night We Caught Beatlemania’. He was promoting the second edition at this Beatle-tastic event at the Norfolk County Library. As he included a poem I wrote about my Beatle love in this second edition, he invited me to join the ranks of the other poets and prose writers at the event. What a night! Poetry, prose, art, and live music by Norfolk county rock star Michael Schatte. The writers: John B Lee, Vanessa Shields, Keith Inman, John Tyndall, Amber Homeniuk, Deborah Cox and Roger Bell. It was a lovely event, and what made it all the better was the fact that my sister and kids joined me! It was the first reading the kids attended (most readings are ‘for grown-ups only) so it meant so much to have the kids in the audience. They cheered so loudly for me! I had to hold in my tears! My sister, the kids and I spent the night in Port Dover, which is a beautiful beach time – we hung out at the beach and ate ice cream and slept in a hotel. What a wonderful few days it was!
Art Bar Poetry Series –
Man, was I ever a nervous wreck! In September I had my first ever reading in Toronto. This poetry series has been alive and kicking for years, so it meant a lot to me be a part of it. I shared the stage with poets Edward Anki and Steve Venright. Hosted by Stephen Humphrey, the Black Swan bar was packed for a Tuesday night poetry reading. Friends from Toronto who hadn’t heard me read yet (and hadn’t seen me in ages, for that matter!) showed up to support us. What a thrill it was reading about my vagina to my hubby’s old roommate! *BLUSHING* I signed the famous Art Bar Lamp and read poems new and old. Thank you Art Bar Poetry Series, VinnyRo for the photos of me reading, and the friends who came out! Also, shout out to the folks who read at the Open Mic following the reading. Damn. Everyone rocked. (Afterwards, we went for shawarma at a place nearby on the Danforth. Shawarma after poetry is always a grand idea.)
Blue Water Reading Series –
I was invited to read at this event in Sarnia early November. It was my first time in Sarnia! I shared the stage with poets John B Lee and Grace Vermeer and novelist Diana Koch. We were hosted by poet Lynn Tait. We read to a roomful of guests who laughed and cheered…and bought books! It was a lovely event and proof that people *LOVE* writers and support poets and novelists alike! We dined at John’s Restaurant for dinner, then went to poet Debbie Okun Hill’s house for a writing workshop. It was a grand night. I met so many amazing writers. John B Lee was stellar as per usual. He even did his cow poem for us (just ask him to do it next time you see him!). I met a delightful poet, aged 91! She had so much wisdom and chutzpah. After I read, she came up to me and asked me if I knew who Irving Layton was. I told her yes! She said that he said women need to be gutsy. She shook her finger at me as she told me my writing is gutsy and Irving would ‘love your poetry!’ It was the best! What a compliment. She was sassy and bright and totally inspiring!
Thank you to the Blue Water Reading Series family, Debbie Okun Hill, Lynn Tait, John B Lee, Diana Koch, Grace Vermeer, John’s Restaurant, photographers Els Bosma and Lorraine Kraayanbrink, and Sarnia!