Actually these are more like conversations, this one at the Earl's patio on Robson in Vancouver in rainy April during another plague semi-lockdown. She reads the poem "A dream of old Vancouver" and we laugh a lot about our reveries of former glory, talk history, form, Hopkins and I call Di Brandt a "beeyatch" as an editor ;) Read poems Diane says! And relish the madness of poetic chatter too (amid pop soundtracks and the server asking about Happy Hour!)
This poem which I mention IS from 2014 but not from Book's Griffin nominated collection Congotronic was requested by BC poet Geoffrey Nilson. This link takes you to a proper description of Book's varied poetic and political preoccupations in this text https://www.bibliovault.org/BV.book.epl?ISBN=9781609383077. As for me, I deal simply with this one dense contortion of an aural poem, roaming through allusiveness and assonance while the birds sing. I also remind high school teachers to please stop pulling poems apart for their "meaning." Enjoy!
The birds and I bid you a jolly Monday with this Italian form of recurrences from the 2005 In Fine Form anthology, the last poem I'm reading from this edition. The Villanelle, a promising start to any week.
Friday's form, the famed sonnet, from the first ed of the In Fine Form anthology, in both Petrarchan and Shakespearean mode in discussion, with a nod to my sonnet collaborations in DOG with Joe Rosenblatt (also chatted about in the Poet on the Road series). And a movingly sweet sonnet about a young girl and her male caregiver who is attached and resists and yields to pure love. I recorded this last week so while it's still sunny, the temperature drop has already happened! The squirrel still hangs out.
A 4th form poem, French again, from the first ed of the In Fine Form anthology. And Vuillard Interior from Elise Partridge (RIP), whom I met a few times in Vancouver at varied poetry events and she was always as warm and poised as this triolet.
The new series on the two Canadian In Fine Form anthologies begins (edited by Kate Braid and Sandy Shreve) with one of my fave forms (also addressed in the Poet on the Road podcasts relating to Shall and Frenzy) the ancient Persian ghazal and its contemporary North American version. I call Canadian poet John Thompson the "gateway drug" to the ghazal and recite his ghazal 9 after talking through this fascinating form. Happy Monday!
Ok 3 more poems "this week" from the A Alvarez anthology I say as if it were Monday but it's Wednesday! Also for these last 3 pieces, and perhaps into the future, I am discussing the poem first then just reciting it once. And today I'm dealing with a lesser known poet (because hey MOST of us are) Jon Silkin with his paean/curse to my fave flower. Go Dandelion go!!
A further A Alvarez offering, the wonderful poet Thom Gunn and his poem that could literally touch on the difficult beauties of being a gay man in the 50s. Find some of his books. You won't be disappointed.
Another A Alvarez pick, this time of a now lesser known poet, and his piece about dealing with your depressions. After the first 2 minutes my phone buzzes. I vanish only to return. Phone calls in the middle of podcasts are sort of bad things, but we deal. Happy Monday!
Poem 2 from the A Alvarez anthology is the complex angst of Sexton and her poem about being an age she never arrived at. I think we're all feeling nostalgic these days for the berry time in Damariscotta.
The second homage in my series in which I talk about a poet, now deceased, whom I actually encountered, however briefly. And mention the fickleness of fame. The torture of only being able to say NO. And recite what remains.
Who recites her poem "Standing in Heaven with Marilyn Monroe," and answers my three unique questions and two standard ones: talking feelings, craft, BC's Poetry in Transit program, film, and making poetry happen everywhere. She's an old friend. We laugh a lot and someone tries to give me their number in the middle of the interview. It unfolds at St Augustine's on Commercial Drive. So there are trains. Enjoy!
The final date of our Poet on the Road tour in which I discuss grief and nature in my book of elegies and aubades that came out in the ill-fated year of 2020 from ECW. And recite Beseech, a poem about the Fraser River. That's it. I'm done with me and what I've done.
Day 9 of Poet on the Road and my most recent Wolsak & Wynn/Buckrider collection, rife with childhood memories, weird stuff and homages to the American poet John Ashbery. I also read a bit of tour journal lore and mention renovating my endings. Join me! I've almost stopped sleeping on your couch.
Day 8 of Poet on the Road where I introduce my book of elegies for my partner Chris (1981-2010), talk form and mourning, read from the tour diary and recite one of the pieces I wrote not long after his death: The Spa for Grief. This was my first collection from ECW. Come on along!
Trobairitz (my last book with Anvil Press) saw me go on a fairly wild tour that featured much singing and growling. The cover is me playing bass and hairwhirling, courtesy of a photo session with Paul Saturley. Here I discuss the origins of the book, talk muses again, read snippets of my tour journal and recite a canso or medieval lyric poem along with a stupidly humorous prose piece. Horns up!! YAR.
Poet on the Road continues with my 6th collection of poems, third out from Wolsak & Wynn. In which, in a hard year, I trace the life and work of photographer Mattie Gunterman, read a little from my tour diary in Ontario, recall meeting her ancestors and recite a poem about her death. Hey, it's Monday!
Part Five of Poet on the Road where I briefly recount how my personal life intertwined with my book tour, talk about Frenzy, my second collection from Anvil Press, and discuss the weirdness of my own concocted fusion form, the flood-ghazal. It's Friday! Come along for the ride!!
Day 4 of Poet on the Road in which I discuss my fourth book (and the first one from Anvil Press, 2006), a photographic collaboration with Karen Moe, some of the perils and joys of touring, muses, garbage, the prose poem and read an homage to Frank. The cat joins in. MEOW! Why don't you ;)
Day three of Poet on the Road in which I chat about my 2006 collection Shall (Wolsak and Wynn) and the ancient Persian ghazal form. What's the difference between the original and translated kind? Should I have written it? Pressing questions. Lead on!
DAY 2: My second book and my first from Wolsak and Wynn (2001). Mostly on extinct species and Robinson Jeffers. Cool cover. But the piece I recite is for Al Purdy (1918-2000). Join me! The tour is still fresh ;)
Day one of being on a 10 day podcast poetry tour in which I gripe a tad about the state of current affairs, introduce my first collection, Somatic from Exile Editions, and its reception and read "Seated Male Nude, 1910." Enjoy the nostalgia!
Second to last poem I'll read from 1973's Illustrated Poems. Those who live here will find my weather report funny so let's just say this one was recorded a few days ago and yes, it's now snowing again! A FENCE may have even more irony than I address and Nothing, the Rain and Tomorrow are all in god-like caps ;)
Another piece from Illustrated Poems that I presumed was about the Black experience when I was a child as the picture shows it to be so. I still believe the poem relates racial as well as economic disparities. And likely it could also have been written about pre- WW 2 Depression-era job hunting as well though I randomly mention the 40s and 50s here. All these podcasts, after all, are recorded off the cuff, with nil notes, as jazzy thought riffs, in the moment, on the poem at hand.
Another classic poem from 1973's Illustrated Poems anthology which is read with dramatic fervour and discussed in relation to imagery. Did eye and symmetry rhyme? Is Blake speaking about a good or evil creator? Find out here. Or at least listen to ONE version of where my mind is wandering today.
Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky is read ferociously on "hump" day (ok it's also St Patty's so this is a kind of snake right?) and discussed in terms of its sounds and how poetry is just that at its core. And yes "gyre" here has a hard G ;) Enjoy!
In which I recite and meander through an exploration of this stirringly ecological 19th century poem. Note I do not mention Dickinson's fascinating punctuation that was constituted of dashes as the version printed in the 1973 Illustrated Poems had, alas, been conventionalized with semi-colons and such like things.
Joe Rosenblatt was my friend and collaborator and an amazing poet, painter and all around outlaw. Join me as I read his writing philosophy, chat about his life, then recite a poem I wrote for him, one of our collaborative sonnets and finish with his elegiac piece.
In which I begin my readings from Illustrated Poems for Children (1973). In each of these episodes I will read a classic poem from this venerable anthology, riff off it in an explorational manner, and recite it again. This is Alfred, Lord Tennyson's The Eagle. Enjoy!