read to a very packed basement at the Royal Oak II as part of the Tree Reading Series.
I always enjoy hearing Reid and I’m a big fan of his poetry. Last night he read a few poems from his latest book: Disappointment Island (Chaudiere Books, 2007), his upcoming book: "the Luskville Reductions" (Brick Books) and a work in progress called "Host".
My favourite of last night’s poems were the Luskville Reductions, which I’ve heard some of before at previous events. Some of them appear in Ottawater.com 2.0. These sad poems deal with a break-up, but not in any sappy way. The image of a dress and its various accessories on the floor remains with me.
The poems from "Host" deal with the fact that humans are hosts to a rather large number of flora and fauna. It was hard not to scratch at imaginary itches during this section of the reading. A particularly interesting poem concerned the idea of symmetry in humans and other species. Humans are bilaterally symmetrical because when we are divided in half, our parts are mostly the same. Some plants are pentamerous, meaning they have five similar parts. Aside from being an excellent poet, Reid is also a great teacher.
I’m happy to hear he has another book coming out soon and another one in the works. If you haven’t read his writing, I recommend it highly. Apparently he’s also an essayist, but I’ve never laid hands on any of his essays and I’d like to.
I should also mention that the open mic was excellent with a lot of familiar faces and a few new ones.
The next Tree takes place on August 28 and features Mary Lou Soutar-Hynes.