poetry

Poets know failure

12 May, 2012

Another month, another list of failures. Such is the life of a poet.

Fail.jpegRejections from literary publications, misses in contest submissions, “no room at the inn” messages from retreats.
 
A poet sure doesn’t write for any kind of commercial success or broad readership. To do so would be beyond crazy – we all know that readership for poetry is pretty much limited to fellow poets, a handful of literary enthusiasts, and a grab bag of friends and family.
 

Busy like a bookstore should be

11 March, 2012

Bookstores, we hear, are in trouble.

You certainly wouldn't know that if you were among the many who stepped into The Book Man on a rainy Saturday afternoon last weekend.

LorneatBookMan.I was fortunate to have been invited to the Chilliwack, BC, book store to read from Drawing Back to Take a Running Jump. And the place certainly was jumping on this Saturday.

People were browsing the stacks, asking for titles and authors, chatting with one another and the staff, then heading to the checkout with armloads of books.

Win a book, interview & more

24 February, 2012

This week my new book Drawing Back to Take a Running Jump is featured on Book Club Buddy, which means that you can win a free copy. Just read the short profile, answer a question, and you are entered.

An interview that I did with playwright Andrew Kooman is also posted on his site now. Check it out.

And while I'm doing the promotional thing, my March 10 reading at The Book Man in Chilliwack, BC, is confirmed for 2:00 pm. If you live in the Chilliwack or Abbotsford area, I hope you can stop by.

Poetry Night at Cadboro Bay Book Co.

12 February, 2012

It was a fine evening at Cadboro Bay Book Co in Victoria on February 9. Owner Patricia Jutra was the gracious hostess for the store's first Poetry Night, featuring E.D. (Ted) Blodgett, Susan McCaslin and me.

In the process, I launched my new Selected Poems collection, Drawing Back to Take a Running Jump.

IMG_0359.jpgTed and I have a passing acquaintance from our days, way back in the early 1980s, as founding members of the Writers Guild of Alberta. It was great to catch up on Ted's work and to discover Susan's.

 

Readings update

6 February, 2012

If you live on Vancouver Island, in the B.C. lower mainland, or in Edmonton AB, I hope you can catch one of my upcoming readings.

On Thursday, February 9 at 7pm I will launch my Drawing Back to Take a Running Jump (Selected Poems) at the Poetry Night at Cadboro Bay Book Co. I will be joined by poets Ted Blodgett and Susan McCaslin. If you're coming, come early - space is cozy but limited.

Proof

17 August, 2011

It's here!

There's nothing like holding a printer's proof in hand to feel that a book project is nearly complete. This is me, slightly crazed but happy, with the proof for Drawing Back to Take a Running Jump: Selected Poems.

newbookproof.jpgI love the cover design by my friend, Ottawa writer David Weedmark. With this book, David kicks off his new Weedmark Publishing venture.

Memories of a mentor

13 April, 2011

Martin_Oordt.jpgA sense of loss is to be expected when someone in our lives passes away. When the deceased person has been a mentor we are fortunate to be able to offset some of those losses with a recognition of what has been gained – all the riches of wisdom and experience that the mentor contributed to our lives.

That was my experience recently when writer, editor and teacher Martin (Marty) Oordt passed away after complications from a heart attack.
 
Back in the late sixties, Marty came to a new university in the dryland country of southern Alberta after earning his doctorate in English at the University of Kentucky. At The University of Lethbridge, he not only taught English and Creative Writing but mentored young writers like Peter Christensen, Yvonne Trainer and many more.
 

Life As A Human

8 March, 2010

For me, all creative writing is about trying to make meaning from the human experience. This thing called life is a deep, broad, scattered, fleeting mystery and writers feel compelled to explore it.

Twitter: new literary form?

15 November, 2009

I’m taking a shot at Twitter. As in, I’m giving it a try, not aiming criticism. Certainly it’s an easy enough target for criticism or parody.

The Anthologist

2 December, 2009

Have you read the new novel by Nicholson Baker? I highly recommend it to poets, failed poets, would-be poets, readers of poetry (are there any of those who aren’t in the first three categories I listed?) and lovers of rhyme and wordplay. Nicholson has a riotous time within his character of Paul Chowder, a mid-level poet who is anguishing over an Introduction he has agreed to write for an anthology of rhyme. From the very direct first phrase (“Hello, this is Paul Chowder…”), Baker creates with hilarious effect the simultaneously brilliant and befuddled character.

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