04 November 2006

a mclennanesque blog post

Beauty of a visit by Ottawa poets rob mclennan and Stephen Brockwell. The two of them read at UNBC to about 55, some of them in my 2nd year creative writing class. Sauve mclennan began the event by reading his contribution to the “Sex at 31” poetry project (in Aubade). He introduced it by saying something to the effect of “if you don’t know the background to this poem, well . . . forget it.” He’s right, we should know. He also read from name , an errant and red earth (a travel piece about PEI).



On my posters I had labeled this the “Poetics.ca” reading; the two authors of course edit that site which is one of the few online sources for reviews and discussions of Canadian poetics. Why? Talking to rob & Stephen later, it struck me how tenuous our connections to poetic history are—how easily a poet’s whole life work, important books in the development of contemporary writers’ work, can get lost. Thus, the importance of mclennan’s work on Andrew Suknaski and Newlove. In his poetry as well, mclennan pays homage to a history that threatens to fade.

Brockwell read from Cometology (NOT Cosmotology! Egads—I continue to be the world’s worst introducer. I do try.) and Fruitfly Geographic as well as some newer pieces. I like Brockwell; he exudes a kind, warm nervousness but is a strong poet with a pleasant penchant for experiments in form. Both like Dewdney and completely divergent, he, because of his training, incorporates a lot of scientific and mathematical language into his work. He works for AutoDesk in Ottawa (and anywhere else his Blackberry is). Throughout the stay he was using this impressive Blackberry to record the reading and email me updates on what rob’s current bodily functions were. Not really—but he could have!



Audience members included Barry McKinnon, Ken Belford, Si Transken, Gillian Wigmore and Laisha Rosnau.

I don't think I have ever seen so much coffee consumed by a pair of readers before.

Later that night, mclennan made a quick appearance at Art Space where there was a kicking jam session going on with the likes of Jeremy Stewart, Richard Krueger, and Josh Laurin. Hugs outside Cimo Restaurant on Victoria Ave. to say good bye.

PG wishes Poetics.ca good luck on the rest of their Western Canadian tour!



A contrast in hair.

[photos by Jesse Haber, Over the Edge]

2 Comments:

At 12:11 PM, Blogger GP Lainsbury said...

"always on the outside looking in"
-les isolatos

 
At 8:34 PM, Blogger Rob Budde said...

i hear you

 

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