"poignant" "contemplative" "intricate and masterful" "rich and plucky" "wonder-inducing"
"articulate and beautiful" "lucid and intelligent" "an uncommon eye"
Waiting for the Albatross (Oolichan Books, 2015), my fifth poetry collection, features found poems I composed using fragments from a diary my father wrote in 1936 when, at age 21, he embarked on his first job as a deck hand on a freighter. It also includes a few prose vignettes from the diary and photos taken during the trip. BC BookLook recently posted a good summary/overview of this collection.
Friday, August 14, 7:30 pm: I'll be reading from my new book at the Planet Earth reading series in Victoria, BC. Hillside Coffee and Tea: 1633 Hillside Ave.
Sunday, September 27: I'll be reading at the Poetry Tent at Word Vancouver - details TBA
You can see my art at Ridgeview Studio on Pender Island. Whenever the Open sign is out, it means visitors are welcome to drop in and look around. See the local Art Map or the Pender Arts website for directions.
Poetry fascinates me. The math of it - that meticulous balancing of ideas, through image, metaphor and other devices; and the music of it - meticulous, again, that selection of words and their order until they sing. It's the kind of fascination that makes it not just possible, but essential and delightful (even when agonising) to spend hours, days, weeks and more honing a poem until it's as close to right as I can get it. Then, after all the scribbling and tossing away and starting all over again; after all the tinkering and tweaking - the relief (if I'm lucky) of still being moved by the finished work. (As Horace said, "If you want to move me to tears, you must first feel grief yourself.")
As a reader, these same things fascinate me - but in reverse order. First, the elation when my initial experience of a poem is its unique melding of sound and sense so that, one way or another, it opens my heart, my mind, my eyes. Then, the fun of sussing out the technical devices the poet used so well they slipped modestly into the background, allowing the poem as a whole to work its magic.
(Heather Rhodes photo)
My latest full-length books are:
- In Fine Form (co-edited with Kate Braid) available from your local bookstore and from Caitlin Press.