Wednesday, 26 February 2014

local updates

Tonight's event at People's Co-op has been postponed to end of March, new promos will arise once all has been confirmed.

Happy to note that the wonderful David Campbell has been selected to be honoured this year for longstanding contributions to the arts: alas this gathering will unfold at the same time and day that another elder will be honoured, Reconciliation Through Poetry event @ VPL.

Pandora's Collective Presents

Please mark your calendars for Thursday February 27th when we host a special Twisted Poets night with an honouring of our fellow poet and friend David Campbell. This celebration will show case David’s many talents as a visual artist, a writer and a singer-songer writer. More details to come. Note there will be cake!!! No open mic this night but there will be time if you have a story to share about David for those who aren't scheduled. 

Time: 7pm-9:30 pm
Location: The Cottage Bistro
4468 Main Street Vancouver, BC V5V 3R2
Hosts: Bonnie Nish, and Sita Carbonni 

Every so often you meet someone in life who stuns you with his brilliance, humility and kindness. David Campbell is one such soul. I first met David over 10 years ago at a Twisted Poets event. Back then he would play his magic as well as read. David is an accomplished singer/song writer born in Guyana, South America, and is of Arawak Indian and Portuguese ancestry. He had his first break in the UK with a recording contract. He later moved to Canada where he decided he was happier producing his own work and having control over his art and life. He has toured, and appeared on radio and television in several countries and has 300 videos and counting, on YouTube, mainly of original songs. Besides being an accomplished musician, David is a prolific writer and visual artist. His work often brings us back to his first nations roots and speaks of his homeland, world issues, relationships and spirituality. David brings to all his work the kind of touching humanity that reaches us all. He is a deep dear soul who once having touched you with his heart, stays with you forever. David is the recipient of the World Poetry Life Time Achievement Award (2004). These are just a few of the reasons we will be honouring David on February 27th 7-9:30 pm at Twisted Poets at the Cottage Bistro. I hope you will come out to share in an evening that should be full. David will read, others will toast and there will be cake. 

If you have a minute check out what World Poetry is doing these days.

More about Pandora's Collective:

5:30 – 8:30 PM
Room 418 – City Centre branch
Surrey Public Library
Phone: (604) 598-7420
(Surrey Central skytrain)
Book Table
Free event
Donations welcome

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Indigenous Message on Water ~ Mensaje Indígena de Agua

Indigenous Message on Water // Mensaje Indígena de Agua

by Juan Guillermo Sanchez M.

(Lea el resumen en español abajo)

What is Indigenous Message on Water?

In keeping with the Indigenous World Forum on Water and Peace, our anthology Indigenous Message on Water
  • Is a multi-lingual book (English/Spanish/Native language/s) gathering, in turn, wisdom, thoughts, verses, short-stories, poems, and general reflections on the various local issues pertaining to Water. This Anthology represents the collective ideas of worldwide indigenous peoples, leaders, elders, poets, writers, and activists, about Water.
  • Is an intercultural dialogue between East/West/North/South indigenous elders, activists and writers.
  • Is a pedagogical tool to create awareness about Water around the world.
  • Invites readers to offer their own words to Water in a symbolic gesture to protect and honor it.



¿Qué es el Mensaje Indígena de Agua?
  • Es un libro multilingüe (español/inglés/lenguas nativas) de consejas, pensamientos, versos, cuentos, poemas y reflexiones sobre problemáticas locales relacionados con el agua, los cuales líderes, abuelos, poetas, escritores, activistas indígenas del mundo están regalándonos para esta edición colectiva.
  • Es un diálogo intercultural entre abuel@s, activistas y escritor@s indígenas del Este/Oeste/Norte/Sur.
  • Es una herramienta pedagógica para crear conciencia sobre el carácter sagrado y medicinal del Agua.
  • Es una invitación a los lectores a ofrecer sus propias palabras al Agua en un gesto simbólico de protección y agradecimiento.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Reconciliation Through Poetry ~ Vancouver

Guest of Honour & Poet biographies

more on this blog


Radio documentary:

A Radio Documentary with Patrice Mousseau – featuring Chief Joseph, Robbie Waisman and Tegan Woo

Vancouver, August 28, 2013.

Documentary: Reconciliation Canada (MP3 of complete documentary)
Produced by: Patrice Mousseau
Featured Speakers/Guests: Robert Wiseman, Chief Robert Joseph, Tagan Woo
Music: Steve Gibb
Summary: This documentary shares the stories of Indian Residential School survivors and details the importance that this work continues though the work of Reconciliation Canada. It also details the path that many non-Indigenous Canadians face on their journey to discovering this part of Canadian history. By telling the story of Chief Robert Joseph, this documentary works to mend misunderstandings, and encourages building new relationships built on shared understandings.

Jordan Abel: interactive

Visual Poetry &

Indigenous-Settler Issues

more about:

Jordan Abel -- Place of Scraps

 launch (Vancouver, October 2013)

Poet Jordan Abel launched his first book of poetry, The Place of Scraps (Talonbooks, 2013), at the Western Front in Vancouver, BC, on October 10, 2013. Daniel Zomparelli, Talon poet and editor-in-chief of Poetry is Dead magazine, emceed the event, which was a co-launch with the Sound issue of Poetry is Dead. Armed only with his wits, his dulcet tones, and his loop station, Abel read two long atmospheric poems from The Place of Scraps.

injun/launch video

each image above leads to jordan's blog or the press hosting the works

Sunday, 16 February 2014

helpful charts

also see genderbread v2.0 (infinite possibilities)

Thinking about these things, my mind drifted to racialization and the similarly shifting sands of identity, the inside-outside repercussions and reverbs, and how we all need to find a place to stand, to be ourselves, to be comfortable within our own skins, to participate in a world or communities in mutually nourishing ways, and to create a life we want to be at the center of.

In a world where oppression and discrimination are measurables, realities, whilst we build alliances against murder/war and toward individual and collective flourishing, we also develop methods of coping that either harm us, or support our solidification into self-confident participants, or of course a bit of both: click to see full chart.

While there are good hearted and thoughtful people creating charts of what they are thinking about, there is also a lot of junk out there. Here's one comparative chart from the local paper:

This one, which appears to be a series of heat maps, actually measures individual's self-perceptions, how specific participants represented emotions with crayons:

Moving through crises with increasing finesse, accepting our non-binary worlds with oceanic generosity, learning to trust the waters of self. Fluidity is the norm, it is the ideological mapping that requires endless tweaking.

Orlagh O'Brien:

 Illustrating How You Feel

Saturday, 15 February 2014

more valentines

"Let’s not frame this as a rebirth. 
Transgender Dysphoria Blues doesn’t reinvent Against Me! – it crystallizes everything that the band has grown to be over the past decade. But there’s something incredibly cathartic about getting to hear Laura Jane Grace (formerly known as Tom Gabel) sing about what she’s been singing around for years. All the subtext buried in the band’s back catalog, all the tension that comes with living invisibly female in an androcentric industry and a transphobic society, it’s all finally laid bare."
Album Review: Against Me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues, consequence of sound

"It was around this time that Gabel started sprinkling his lyrics with oblique confessions... the most blatant reference came in a song called "The Ocean," off their 2007 album, New Wave.
In retrospect, the lines are almost shockingly direct:
If I could have chosen I would have been born a woman / My mother once told me she would have named me Laura / I would grow up to be strong and beautiful like her / One day I'd find an honest man to make my husband
Gabel says he thought he was "completely outing himself" with a lyric like that. He expected to be confronted – a part of him even craved it. But if anyone suspected anything, no one brought it up. "When we did that song, I was like, 'What is that about?'" says Butch Vig, who produced Against Me!'s last two albums. "He just kind of laughed it off. He said, 'I was stoned and dreaming about what life can be.'"
"I must have listened to him sing that song 500 times," adds the band's manager, Jordan Kleeman. "And I never thought twice.""

~The Secret Life of Transgender Rocker Tom Gabel, rolling stone
 [song link added][also see, Laura Jane Grace's Fresh Start]

sources for vids/notes:
vid 1
vid 2
vid 3

Against Me! website

Friday, 14 February 2014


also see,
"i am thankful for my ability to make love"

Valentines by:
top: by the blogger; source of translation
hearts: by marie-micheline hamelin
keys: by flora jo
queen: (corrected) by flora jo, + modified
these are all from the mailbag/archives. here's one from the web:
bottom (below): nat, the smallest forest, book arts; text by rumi

vid 1
A short segment of the interview with Sahika Caglar, Turkish artist and teacher where she talks about the state of love in painting and in the Sema of the whirling dervishes. Shared by: Parisa Soultani Co-producer/Web host of the One Through Love project.

"ONE THROUGH LOVE brings together a growing, international group of knowledgeable Rumi “Lovers”. We invite you to experience Rumi’s poetry and teachings through the multi-lingual film clips on this cinematic website. "

doodling doilies, the smallest forest, book arts

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Canadian Poetry: showcase & tutorials

Two approaches to the introduction and showcasing of contemporary Canadian poetry have recently come online. A Poetry Map of Canada was recorded during the Edmonton Poetry Festival 2013. Poetry Connections/Connexion poésie was recorded between 2011-2013 at a range of locations.

A Poetry Map of Canada, the brainchild of recent Edmonton Poet Laureate Anna Marie Sewell, is comprised of two half-hour presentations of the works of a spectrum of Poet Laureates of Canada. The first video opens with the Makar of Glasgow, Scotland, Liz Lochhead, and then a fast-paced east-to-west presentation of poet laureates of Canada, ending with the recent Parliamentary Poet of Canada, Fred Wah. The pace is good, the poetry fine, swift, brief.

"Act II" or "Part 2" is a synthesized representation of the works of the poets laureate, performed in three voices, with soundscape. This is a satisfying tapestry of works and styles, delivered with panache.

A Poetry Map of Canada Part 1

 - An Evening with the Poets Laureate of Canada

 - An Evening with the Poets Laureate of Canada


IN THIS ONLINE ANTHOLOGY, 21 poets are showcased in discrete short videos of about five minutes each. The collection is curated by Fred Wah, Parliamentary Poet Laureate 2011-2013. It is available on the Parliament of Canada website in association with his pages: at the moment the youtube links are not aligned with the current locations on that site, no doubt the corrections will come along soon. 

Whereas the poets laureates showcased above each hold a public post in a poetry-friendly city or region, this collection was chosen for a range of compositional approaches, and that is it's core strength as a teaching tool. Beyond the public face of poets laureate, there are a wild diversity of working poets who have mind-bendingly different conceptions and motives, in the creation or generation of poetry. These short films serve as an introduction, with a variety of places of poetry keeping the series fresh and unexpected, both visually and in content. Here are two:

Annharte Baker

Darren Wershler

Another of the strengths of this anthology is that it is available as text in both official languages (English and French), in addition to the video format published online. In some cases, how it looks and how it sounds are utterly distinct: the tensions between orality and textuality are resolved differently by different poets, just as the sensuality versus intellection quotients vary widely. 

Oana Avasilichioaei as sound

and as text [pdf]

Besides the availability of the poems and brief biographies of the poets, there are discussion points and writing directions for each, prepared by contemporary poets and teachers, that assist the reader in delving a little deeper into the specific poem, the school or approach, and in trying one's hand: this is a great asset for those looking to learn about poetry, or to refresh and renew an ongoing poetry engagement.

Public disclaimer:
 I am one of the poets included in Poetry Connections:

Joanne Arnott video

[pdf] English 

[pdf] Francais

From the website:

“One of my projects as Canada’s Parliamentary Poet Laureate is to produce a series of short videos to help make contemporary Canadian poetry more accessible. These recordings illustrate a range of poetry that reflects the identity, places and modes of poetic writing in Canada.” – Fred Wah

Visit Poetry Connection on YouTube to view the Poet Laureate’s video series, and download the PDFs below to learn more about the featured poets and their work. The PDF files also include the text of the poems, as well as discussion topics and writing ideas.

« L’un de mes projets en tant que poète officiel du Parlement consiste à produire une série de vidéoclips afin de rendre plus accessible la poésie canadienne contemporaine. Ces vidéoclips illustrent une gamme poétique reflétant la variété d’identités, de lieux et de modes de composition poétique du Canada. » - Fred Wah

Visitez Connexion poésie sur YouTube pour regarder les vidéoclips du poète officiel, et téléchargez les PDF ci-dessous pour en savoir plus sur les poètes en vedettes ainsi que leurs œuvres. Les PDF incluent également le texte des poèmes ainsi que des sujets de discussion et des inspirations pour vos propres compositions.


~ Canada's current Poet Laureate ~ 

Michel Pleau, 2014-2016

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

turn of the month events for all (& sundry)

Thursday February 27, 7pm
ROOM 1400

Daniel Heath Justice will give a public lecture entitled "Why Indigenous Literature Matters" to consider the relevance of reading works by Aboriginal writers in an age of Idle No More. Daniel Heath Justice is a Cherokee scholar, fantasy writer and a Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Literature and Expressive Culture at the University of British Columbia. This talk is the first of several public events as part of a weekend workshop at SFU, "Approaching Indigenous Literatures in the 21st Century"; it is also part of the SFU Vancity Office for Community Engagement Lecture Series on Aboriginal Issues.  

Friday February 28, 7pm
Djavad Mowafaghian World Arts Centre
Rm 2555 (Woodward’s Building) , 149 West Hastings Street.

An evening celebrating Northern writers and artists!

Come join us in an introduction to the literature of the North in its many versions: listen to a public lecture “On the Hunting and Harvesting of Inuit Literatures” by Dr. Keavy Martin, Associate Professor at the University of Alberta, and one of Canada’s leading experts on Inuit literature; view Inhabit Media’s award winning short film Amaqqut Nunaat: Country of Wolvesbe the first to be introduced to Sanaaq, the first novel written in Inuktitut, recently translated into English and released by the University of  Manitoba Press.  The evening is capped with the delightful antics of Raven’s Radio Comedy Hour out of Alaska—a spoof of 40s style radio shows, which blends traditional Alaskan Native stories with song, dance and comedy, written and performed by Ed Bourgeois and Jack Dalton.  This evening is organized as part of the Talking Stick Festival.

Read an excerpt of Sannaq: An Inuit novel

 See  (Free: Donations to the Talking Stick Festival are accepted.)

Saturday, March 1, 1:15-2:15
Labatt Hall, SFU Harbour Centre
Room 1700

Imagine combining the alternative universes of speculative futures and the histories of First Peoples! Dr. Grace L. Dillon, Anishinaabe scholar, Associate Professor at Portland State University and Editor of the acclaimed anthology, Walking The Clouds, will give a key-note lecture on a burgeoning field of Indigenous Science Fiction.

Saturday, March 1, 2:30-4:00
Labatt Hall, SFU Harbour Centre 
Room 1700

Our own Canada Reads!  

Emcees Sophie McCall (SFU) and Niigaan Sinclair (University of Manitoba) will moderate a panel of judges— Jo-Ann Episkenew, Michelle Coupal amd Sam McKegney—as they go to bat for their favourite books!  

Join in this lively and enlightening debate on the many merits of three featured books:
 Nobody Cries at Bingo by Dawn Dumont (Cree), 
Ajjiit by Sean Tinsley (Mohawk) and Rachel A. Qitsualik (Inuit) Flight by Sherman Alexie (Spokane/Coeur D’Alene)

Saturday, March 1, 4:00-5:00
Labatt Hall, SFU Harbour Centre 
Room 1700

Reception & Book Launch for Masculindians: Conversations about Indigenous Manhood, edited by Sam McKegney, released by U of Manitoba Press

Between October 2010 and May 2013, Queen’s University’s Sam McKegney conducted interviews with leading Indigenous artists, critics, activists, and elders on the subject of Indigenous manhood. In offices, kitchens, and coffee shops, and once in a car driving down the 401, McKegney and his participants tackled crucial questions about masculine self-worth and how to foster balanced and empowered gender relations.

Masculindians captures twenty of these conversations in a volume that is intensely personal, yet speaks across generations, geography, and gender boundaries.  (read more).

Read an excerpt: A Conversation with Gregory Scofield

Many more arts @ 
FEB 18-MAR 2 2014