Thursday, April 22, 2010



Okay, April has been a busy month to date. Unseasonably warm days have led to a flurry of yard work around Ootischenia with Ted's daughter, Sarah, providing inspiration, information, and a lot of the grunt work. Yay, Sarah!

I've been putting together another little book for the Castle Wood Village Lifewriters, a group of seniors who live at the Village and get together to write about their lives. This one is called Thanks for the Memory. It's their sixth collection. Got some sewing to do over the next few days.

Daughter-in-law Cheralynne is graduating from Selkirk College's Nursing Program tomorrow.

None of us can believe she's done! She's worked really hard and already has a job. Two, actually. Seems nobody gets hired full-time any more. So tomorrow we celebrate. Cap and gown begins at one, then tea, then pre-dinner drinks, then dinner. After that we get to take the child home and Cher and Jesse get to party. Yay, Cheralynne!

And, of course, it's National Poetry Month. I'm reading with Bobbie Ogletree, Judy Wapp and Marilyn McCombe, all from my Nelson writing group, at a fundraiser for Nelson Co-op Radio on Saturday night. We're reading pieces loosely wound around something to do with radio. I love specifics, don't you? To that end, I should get off here and take another run at the poem I'm going to read. It's not all written yet!

My day begins with a look at the League of Canadian Poets' Poetry Blog.

Just finished Susan Musgrave's selected poems 1985-2000, When the World is Not Our Home. Click that link and check out the cover. The image perfectly reflects the title, I think. And how pleased was I when I started reading the poems and the first two are a couple of my Musgrave favourites—Tomatoes on the Windowsill After Rain and Something Has to Give in a Life. Another reason to get this book is Susan's essay that introduces the poems, Water Trembling at the Rim — The Process of Revision. For those of us who can pick away at a poem like a crow at roadkill, this is a must-read.

I'm relishing North of Summer — Poems from Baffin Island, by one Alfred Purdy (M&S, 1967) with the oil sketch illustrations of A.Y. Jackson. Love how the poems appear in this book. Acres of white space. When I Sat Down To Play the Piano is a delightful piece. Who knew the anus, to wit, one being snapped at by huskies with "an inexplicable (to me) appetite/for human excrement" could be written about in such an eloquent fashion? People who say they don't "get" poetry so they don't read it, any of it, it's all the same, etc. should try reading Al.

"Dear Ann Landers

what would you do?

Dear Perry Mason

what would you do

in a case like this?"

(Sorry, lost the spacing).

Narrative poems. I've always had a soft spot for them.

And today Refugees of Yesteryear, a collection of poems by Gregory Wm. Gunn, arrived, and I'm looking forward to getting into that.

As long as you've hung in this long, if it's still April, you could go over here and vote for Stuart Ross' book, Buying Cigarettes for the Dog, in the Alberta Readers' Choice Award contest. For decades Stu has been a mainstay of Canadian poetry. So he writes a book of short short stories and IT gets all this attention. Poetry. Sigh. Anyway, if Cigarettes should win this mad, Internet voting frenzy, Stuart would get $10K, and I can't think of anyone who deserves it more.

Over and out!


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