at the Mercury Lounge was glorious indeed, a reunion of friends and an impressive array of poetic styles.
with not ten but eleven outstanding performances, i should really be providing you with details on all; however, thanks to brain limitations, i can provide merely the following morning after bits and pieces:
Monty Reid’s dilemma on what to read, an amusing monologue that entailed misinterpreting Max Middle’s invitation to read on the eve of a PoMo conference as reading at a Porno conference. Hear Monty read from his fresh poetry collection, The Luskville Reductions (Brick Books) at Rasputin’s on May 15.
Chris Turnbull’s reading of visual poetry, beautiful, minamalist, hypnotic, especially the silences read out loud. I had never heard her read before and it was an amazing discovery.
Shane Rhodes' boozey poems with fun language play on the ai and ee of martini. He also wears great shirts.
John Lavery's accurate and imaginative female voice describing an adolescent's onset of menstruation and a mother's response.
Gregory Betts' performance of his Coke poem, the way he tapped that microphone. His above/ground press chapbook, the Curse of Canada with its plunder of poets who died early and a plunder of Shakespeare’s sonnet 150...a manuscript with 150 poems. See Charles’ photo of Greg here. Greg is reading again on Saturday at the Atomic Rooster with other conferenceers.
Surprise performer jwcurry’s exquisite sound poetry; although he may have taken umbrage at my likening what i heard to Yoda on pop rocks.
I enjoyed the others too: the word play of Marcus McCann and Nicholas Lea, the atomic poetry of Sandra Ridley, the depth and minimalism of Roland Prevost, the cadence and imagery of rob mclennan’s poems for Monty, Sandra, Stephen Brockwell...
the room full of the famous. was that Christian Bök whooping encouragement during Greg’s reading? Robert Kroetsch, Fred Wah and Dennis Cooley...in the house. phew.
my good pals Emily and Roland and rob and Warren and Carmel and a bunch of others all around. a handful of handsome conference organizers scattered about...
a great reading, had me bouncing off my chair, made me want to drink, made me want to write. instead i went home to bed because today is an early day and i want to listen in.