Poet Laureate Interview is tomorrow!
Hello friends! So tomorrow morning between 10am and 10:30am, I will be zoomin’ with a jury in an interview for the Poet Laureate position. I am feeling…sort of like a living heart rate image – up and down and up and down with emotions. I swing from feeling elated and confident to ugly and fear-heavy, and all the feels in between. I know that some of this fluctuating emotional turmoil is in part due to my very raw and real peri-menopausal hormones, but some is also good, old-fashioned nerves that fire up before the possibility of a big dream coming true.
I’ve been writing in my journal to clear my head. I’ve been eating comfort foods to satiate my body – and remind me that I have a body when the voices in my head are like a death-metal concert.
This…from Yin writing this morning…
“I wonder if the food and the hunger is an anchor. I wonder if its’ my body’s way of trying to maintain some grasp on reality. To remind myself that I’m not just a mind. That I am flesh and a body and people need me…”Lyz (https://lyz.substack.com/p/i-am-always-hungry-when-i-write?r=an5&s=r&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_term=lithub_weekly_master_list)
…really feels quite timely and an excellent explanation of how I feel. I’m constantly in…what’s the best word? A tug-of-war? An internal battle? A struggle…between my body and my mind, and food is a major player (Major Player?That’s a rank in an army, no?). Alas, I’m not getting into this very complicated relationship now, but it’s enough to say that as this interview day/time nears, I’m a body full of battles attempting to keep my true self, my passion for poetry and my courage on the frontlines.
(Perhaps it is untimely to use a war metaphor with so much real war suffering happening in the world…but one of the things that I’m constantly fighting is the Censor in my mind that, no matter what thought I have, puts it through a rigorous process of dissection to make sure the thought is ‘acceptable’, ‘politically correct’, and/or won’t cause a frightful backlash or cancellation of the thought/me. Every time, I reach the end of said dissection, exhausted and shaking, with one or more reasons NOT to write the thought at all. It is daunting and scary. But it is also necessary. I am a writer. Metaphors are meaning-full and important. Intention matters, and I do my very best to write with kindness, from a place of love. This internal war is very real to me. And part of being a courageous writer, I believe, is standing on our own personal battlefields and being witness, paying attention, and embracing what we see, feel and do so we can share it with love.)
And so, I ask, kindly and with love, for some good vibes tomorrow. If you think of me, push some courage and love my way! I will feel it and use it. I am already grateful! The support thus far has been the sunshine on my battle field. The heart-shaped clouds. The cluster of flowers. The swooping, singing birds…I will let you know how it goes! And of course, when the position is announced, we celebrate no matter the outcome. (I’m thinking big dance party. 80’s/90’s dance hits. Cupcakes and cookies…!)
Literary Luncheon tickets still available!
I will be starting rehearsals for this – my first LIVE READING in years! – very soon! The choosing of poems to read, the figuring out what to wear, the getting the hair done…all the excitement of a live event is coming back to me!
To order your tickets, please call 519-945-1863 ext. 237. Tables are for ten. You can request to sit at the same table as your friends/family. The event begins at 11:45am. We feast first, then there’s the reading, then there’s book sales and signings (all of my books will be for sale, including our new poetry anthology ‘Community’! Yay!). There is no end time on the poster because the event ends when it ends…so I’d say prepare to be there until at least 2:30pm…or later!
Shout out to Carol Parent, organizer extraordinaire, who has been very kind and patient with me during the planning of this event. Thank you, Carol!
National Poetry Month #NPM22
The theme for National Poetry Month 2022 is Intimacy. Isn’t that a fine theme?! I’m so excited about it, I’ve decided to write a poem every day in April about intimacy. I’m thinking, the intimacy of kissing, the intimacy of flowers, the intimacy of sunshine…got any ideas? If so, drop a comment or send me an email and I’ll write a poem on your intimacy idea!
To find out more about National Poetry Month, please click HERE. The League of Canadian Poets have many fun events, images and more to help celebrate the month. Also, take a look at Rattle, click HERE . And Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, HERE. There’s Poetry in Voice, HERE. (Did you know that students from Windsor high schools have WON this national poetry recitation competition?!)And Poets & Writers, HERE.
What are your poetry go-tos when you just need to get lathered in poetic beauty?
Speaking of Poetry – Black Moss Press Spring Launch is Wednesday, April 6th – live!
This is the culmination of the University of Windsor’s Publishing Practicum course that has been publishing new books each year for decades. This year’s fabulous instalment includes poet Terry Ann Carter (British Columbia) with her book First I Fold the Mountain, and local playwright/poet, Christopher Lawrence Menard with his book at the end, beginnings. The launch is a free, TWO-PART EVENT taking place at Kordazone Theatre on Wednesday, April 6th, 2022. Please register ahead of time!
Kordazone Theatre address:
2520 Seminole Street
Windsor, ON N8Y 1X4 *Free parking is in the back and/or on the street.
Books will be for sale and signing, however, if you’re itchin’ to get your paws on the books now, please pre-order here:
at the end beginnings, a memoir in poems by Christopher Lawrence Menard
First I Fold the Mountain by Terry Ann Carter
From 5:30pm – 6:30pm, join Christopher Lawrence Menard, Mary Ann Mulhern and the U of W students for the first event. EVENT BRITE REGISTRATION LINK HERE.
From 8pm – 10pm, is the second event, featuring Christopher Lawrence Menard, the students and more! EVENT BRITE REGISTRATION LINK HERE.
Yes, you can register to attend both events. There are two session to accommodate COVID restrictions.
To learn more about these incredible collections:
at the end beginnings – Facebook Page
First I Fold the Mountain – Facebook Page
“Menard offers his writing hand to grief; pauses to contemplate what grief wants from him, his father, his mother. This is a poignant disclosure that lifts the intimacy between partners into parents, between writer and reader. We deep-dive into liminal spaces – the lingering memories, the persistent poignancies, the powerful pains between transitions of ends into beginnings and beginnings into ends. We are nestled in trifectas: crest, crash, wake; father, mother, son; father, son, grandson; child, adult, parent; love, loss, legacy; faith, spirit, hope; beginning, middle, end. Here is an inaugural collection of poetry that dares to reveal the light as fervently as it shrieks at the dark. We discover through Menard’s display of glistening paradoxes that ends and beginnings are, in fact, intrinsically expressions of a singular human experience: love.”Vanessa Shields
Though I have not had the chance to read Terry Ann’s book yet, stay tuned for a Guest Interview Post coming up where we can get to know Terry Ann and her book a little more intimately! As well, I’ll be featuring Christopher Lawrence Menard in a Guest Interview as well! Yay!
Congratulations to Christopher, Terry Ann, the students and the Black Moss Press family!
This launch is happening too! The Running Shaped Hole by Robert Earl Stewart
Congratulations to Robert (Bob) Earl Stewart on his delicious new memoir, The Running-Shaped Hole (Dundurn Press, 2022). I’m currently eating my way through this delectable life story…more to come on this!
To purchase a copy of Bob’s book, CLICK HERE or purchase from your favourite local bookstore.
Event info HERE!
Jane’s Walk 2022 – live!
I’d like to bring your attention to a super cool live event happening across our fine city the first weekend in May – the Jane’s Walk!
Jane’s Walks are free citizen-led walks of neighbourhoods. Jane’s Walk celebrates the legacy and ideas of urban activist and writer Jane Jacobs by getting people out exploring neighbourhoods and meeting their neighbours.Jane’s Walk, Windsor
Windsor-Essex Jane’s Walk is back outside and online for 2022.
The festival runs from Friday, May 6th to Sunday, May 8th.
There are three ways to participate in this very cool event!
On-line Walks – INFO HERE!
In-Person Walks – INFO HERE!
Art Submission – INFO HERE!
Deadline to sign up to host a live/live-streamed tour is April 6, 2022.
For more information, please visit the Janes’ Walk WEBSITE HERE.
Thanks everyone! Here’s to wonderful roll into April!
4 thoughts on “Interviews & Invitations!”
So exciting, my sweetie!! I think of you every day anyway, but will think & feel extra hard tomorrow. Sending lots of love & positive vibes & confidence & support & squeezing tight hugs! You’ve got this!!! XOXO
Sent from my iPad
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Thanks, Cath!! I’ll take it! Love you!
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Best wishes, Vanessa, for strength and courage and vulnerable moments—tomorrow!
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THANK YOU GRACE!! Here we gooooo!
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