24 March 2006

CBC Poetry Face-Off

Prince George's own Michael Armstrong has WON the Victoria competition and the recording of his performance goes on the national contest to be broadcast in April. The website for that is here and where you will eventually be able to listen to interviews with all the poets.

Here is Bill Richardson's order for the poets's broadcast next week:

Show 1

Show 2
St. John's

**Show 3**

Show 4

Show 5
Dawson City

The Poetry Face Off will be airing from Monday April 3rd until Friday April 7th on Radio One at 11:30 (12 NT). The host is Bill Richardson. Online voting will begin the morning of April 3rd at www.cbc.ca/poetryfaceoff and continue until Tuesday April 11 at Midnight. The winner will be announced on Monday April 17 at 11:00 (11:30 NT) on Sounds Like Canada.

We'll also be having an online contest where voters will be asked to tell us why they chose their favorite poet. The winner will receive a CBC Radio prize pack.

So, listen to the CBC. Vote for your favorite. Read more poetry.

We wish Michael luck!

23 March 2006

Prince George Poet a BC Book Prize Finalist

George Sipos, Anything but the Moon , Goose Lane

George Sipos, until recently, owned and ran Mosquito Books, an independent bookstore. He now works as General Manager of the Prince George Symphony Orchestra. He is acutely aware that life, in its strangeness and beauty, will always elude whatever he can say about it. The tension between the humble recognition that words are in-adequate and the insistent urge to capture what he sees and feels gives Anything but the Moon its blend of quiet reverence and meditative urgency. In lush lyric poems about driving in his truck or listening to the sounds of a henhouse, Sipos reflects upon how everyday experiences slip through our fingers, never to be fully understood or articulated. The rhythms of his poetry are beautifully shaped to the arc of seeing and thinking.

Sponsored by the BC Teachers' Federation

* Stephen Collis, Anarchive (New Star Books)
* Jordan Scott, Silt (New Star Books)
* George Sipos, Anything But the Moon (Goose Lane Editions)
* Meredith Quartermain, Vancouver Walking (NeWest Press)
* Jan Zwicky, Thirty-seven Small Songs & Thirteen Silences (Gaspereau Press)

Judges: Aislinn Hunter, Fred Wah and Colin Browne

18 March 2006

Raghu Lokanathan and the Cottonweeds

Raghu Lokanathan will be playing a show

next Saturday, March 25,
at Artspace

He'll be playing one solo set and two sets with the Cottonweeds (Jeremy Stewart, Lloyd Larsen, Justin

Tickets are $10 and the show starts at 7:30.

15 March 2006

Treeline 3

The first Treeline was published in 1981, 25 years ago. Now students of NLC’s Creative Writing 210 are going to resurrect this publication as volume 6 of It’s Still Winter, a Web Journal of Contemporary Canadian Poetry and Poetics based out of Prince George. If you have literary or visual work you’d like to submit, please send to Greg Lainsbury

Treeline 3 will be launched in Fort St. John on Wednesday, April 12, 2006. Deadline for submissions is April 1.

04 March 2006

Post to Piss Off Hardy

Top Ten Songs, Evvvver

"Paranoid Android" -- Radiohead
"The Times They Are A-Changin'" -- Bob Dylan
"Rockin' in the Free World" -- Neil Young
"I Feel Cancer" -- Erin Arding
"Rocker" -- The Lines We Drew
"Dilate" -- Ani Difranco
"Leash" -- Weakerthans
"With or Without You" -- U2
"High and Dry" -- Radiohead
"Daughter" -- Pearl Jam
"Swamp" -- Talking Heads


01 March 2006

The Stewart Trane

Jeremy Stewart is a young Prince George Renaissance man; he is an accomplished painter, photographer, rock/folk musician, and poet. He is genuine and ambitious and provides a lot of energy to the Prince George arts scene.

Stewart’s new chapbook, Interstellar Trane, is an improvised long poem response to a jazz recording by John Coltrane and Rashied Ali called Interstellar Space. The c-book is 8 ½ x 8 ½ with a black cover and grey text stock. The title and author are printed across a highly pixilated image that could be space, or a man playing a trumpet, or any number of things. The title and author print seem to be emerging from a gap or space in the lighter image.

The long poem is in two long sections and formally depends on a prose stanzagraphs, subtle bold selections, and unconventional punctuation such a slashes. Stewart occasionally breaks into lined poetry which does not stick to the left margin. This freedom of form, which may have been mistaken for a lack of poetic rigour in other writing, perfectly matches Stewart’s project and subject matter. I write “subject matter” loosely because the improvisational nature of Stewart’s work takes him into a variety of fragmented, libidinal, and free-flowing realms of thought: “unconscious production becomes the only possible virtue of any writer.” Stewart ranges from fairly lyrical description of walking in PG and listening to Coltrane to much more surreal, operatic passages. At one point late in the poem Stewart pleads “don’t mourn for the opening up of form.”

Within the formal play there is a relentless stream of quick poetic paradoxes, puns, and pirouettes: “lighting fire on fire with lightning.” This makes the poem seem quite chaotic, cacophonic, but this obviously is a tribute to the musical source—Coltrane’s mad crescendos matched by literary ones.

Stewart’s originality is undeniable and his formal freedom is impressive in such a young writer. It bodes well for the future even though I know he wants it to happen now.