excuse me, would it be all right if I vicariously faceprotested through you?

Left with a choice between saving Canadian Literature by joining a Facebook group, and saving my sanity and free time by not joining Facebook, I chose the latter. But if you're already on Facebook, you don't have to:

Coalition to Keep Canadian Heritage Support for Literary and Arts Magazines


new poems!

It's been a while since new poems of mine have been published online, but blue skies poetry is featuring two of my poems from Ghana over the next few days. If you like them, I have a whole chapbook of poems from Ghana - check it out here!

The first poem is already up:

"Field Notes: Kakum National Park"

The second will follow soon. Thanks, blue skies!

here we go again...

"Litmags threatened by new funding guidelines"

The question now is: who among the litmag defenders will come up with something as brilliant as this counter-attack?


this public service announcement is brought to you by silaron

I've been a member and active volunteer of Oxfam Canada since 2001.

I've done all sorts of things as a member over the years, though mostly they've made me dress up in foolish outfits - masks, costumes, basically anything that covers my face (that's me in the Gerhard Schroder bobblehead, for example).

As part of our latest membership drive, they've got a member profile for me up on Oxfam's site - you can read it here, if you'd like.

Oh, and also as part of our latest membership drive: you should become a member of Oxfam Canada. Yes you should.


us vancouver kids like our thursdays

Apparently...especially Thursday, February 19ths. I'm out of town this week, so you'll have to go for me. Take your pick - or time warp and see both!

Memewar Issue 8 Launch
Thursday, Feb 19th
Railway Club (579 Dunsmuir)
Doors @ 8:30
$10 - includes a free issue!

Music by:
The Creaking Planks
Ballgag n' Chain Gang (Victoria)
The Vancouver Cantata Singers

Readings by:
Rhoda Hodjati
Tony Power
C.J. Leon
and more!

More info here.

OCW Issue 12 Launch
Thursday, February 19th
Wise Hall (1882 Adanac)
9 PM
$10, or $12 for admission and a copy of the issue!

Music by:
Fake Shark Real Zombie
Guilty About Girls
The Heard
& Demos!

More info here.


there will be noise...

just not the intended noise, I suspect.

Few things make people in Vancouver want to scream more these days than the the Olympics and local transit. Now the 2010 team and Translink have come together to give you the chance to let one go without causing alarm to your neighbours. So considerate. Enjoy!

p.s. The promo photo on their blog even has the Olympic Village in the background. I think Translink might be in on the joke...


I'm trying to make it sound like it's fun

I’m talking to you guys, you know. I don’t talk like this to other poets that are friends of mine, that I’ve known for a long time. I show them my poem, they say, “That’s nice. I like the use of ‘of’ in the third line.” I feel pleased. I said to Dick Gallup, “You got any new poems?” He says, “Yeah.” I say, “Great.” Then I get to read them some time.

But I’m trying to talk to you about how to think about what you do. I don’t like aesthetics that tell you not to do much. Get your ass to work, is what I think one should do. We are Americans, right? We have to work – let’s discover, be pioneers, go to the moon...

The world is big enough to entertain all aesthetics. I think they are all interchangeable, like diseases. They’re communicable. Aesthetics will not help you write poems. I’m not trying to give you any aesthetics, I’m trying to tell you to get to work. I’m trying to make it sound like it’s fun. I’m saying, simply, that if you want to be a poet, you have to write a lot of poems. A lot of poems!...

You’re not going to write good poems unless you write a lot of poems, and you’re not going to write a lot of poems unless you write anything. That’s what I’m telling you. Write anything, and I suggest that you write it well, and the best way to write well it to not try to write well, but to just write. Almost every line that I’ve read by anybody when they were trying to write well was truly horrible, simply because most people hadn’t read enough poems and didn’t know really how to tell a good line from a bad one. The most fatal thing for a poet to do is to be poetic. It’s also utterly unnecessary. So you have to work that one out, too.

- Ted Berrigan, from a workshop he conducted in 1978, as found in Civil Disobediences: Poetics and Politics in Action.


plutonium blossoms

Frequent silaron commenter and all-around fantastic poet Daniela Elza is this week's profile over at OGOV. Check out her lightning-strike of a poem and great interview here.

It's been a real pleasure getting to know Daniela, and working with her - we have a collaborative poem set to be published at qarrtsiluni. I'll post the link to the collaborative poem when it appears. Until then, here is a collaborative piece between Daniela and Harold Rhenisch: "Icon in a Green Walnut Shell."


NaPoMoPo '09

Sounds like a sea monster. Personally, I like it (the poster, not the sea monster name):


a wazz-load of events

Ah yes, no one plans anything in December. Everyone gets together in January and says "well, let's hit the ground running!" and organizes an event for early February... here we go again:

Collage: A Night of Connection
Daniela Elza, Fran Bourassa, Suzy Malcolm, Wanda John, Mary Duffy, Jason Morden, Sita Carboni and Bonnie Nish

Participatory event! More info here.
Thursday, February 5, 2009 (7 to 9 pm)
Sidney and Gertrude Zack Gallery at the Jewish Community Centre
950 West 41st Avenue (just east of Oak Street in Vancouver)
Free admission.

Best Canadian Poetry Book Launch
Yvonne Blomer, Amanda Lamarche, Matt Rader, Keith Maillard, Joy Russell, Leanne Averbach, Maleea Acker, Anna Swanson

Saturday February 7th (7:30 pm)
Montmartre Café, 4362 Main Street

George McWhirter and Barbara Pelman
Monday, February 9th (7:30 pm)
Vancouver Public Library
Alma VanDusen Room, Lower Level
350 West Georgia St., Vancouver
Free admission.

Robson Reading Series
Patricia & Terence Young

Thursday, February 12 (7 pm)
UBC Robson Square Bookstore/Library
800 Robson Street (plaza level)
Free admission.

The Writers Studio Reading Series
Jennica Harper and Zachariah Wells (LOVE THEME!!!)

Friday, February 13th, 2009 (7:00 - 9:00 PM)
Blenz Coffee Shop
508 Hastings (at Richards), Vancouver
Free admission?

Jen Currin and Brook Houglum
Friday, February 13 (7:30 p.m.)
Spartacus Books
684 East Hastings, Vancouver
Free admission.


it puzzles her a little

You can rest assured that if your poems aren't very readable, most people won't read them. Other professionals will, but that will only earn you respect of other professionals. Also young ambitious people will. But by the time they all get to loving those works, you'll have moved on to a more accessible place, and then they'll hate you and put you down for being reactionary.

It used to be that Bernadette Mayer and Clark Coolidge were the great avant-garde poets of America. Now they're not so avant-garde anymore, and they're just these mainstream poets - which is a very nice thing to be... but it's disappointing. Some friends of mine are preparing to blacklist Bernadette from the ranks of the avant-garde because her poems can be read now. It upsets my friends who have to blacklist Bernadette because they like her, and they like her earlier works. It doesn't upset Bernadette, but it puzzles her a little.

- Ted Berrigan, from a workshop he conducted in 1978, as found in Civil Disobediences: Poetics and Politics in Action.