Yearly Archives: 2013

Powerless To Amend a Broken World – The Power of Poetry in Guy Gavriel Kay’s Novel – Under Heaven

A woman, exquisitely dressed, spins lightly on her feet, then stops, her back to a man directly behind her. The man pulls her tight and calmly drives a knife through her heart. And so dies Wen Jian, consort to an emperor and so-called most beautiful woman of the age. This scene is from Under Heaven […]

And There Is No More – But Lots More of Poet, Christopher Locke

In January 2007 I was preparing to lead my first Recovering Words poetry writing workshop at The Orchard, a drug and alcohol recovery centre on Bowen Island, offshore West Vancouver. I was looking for poems on addiction from an addict’s point of view. I had found a chilling one called Half-Hearted Moon from the section […]

“The Book” and the Art of Poetic Provenance

The Beloved is Dead The beloved is dead. Limbs And all the body’s Miraculous parts Scattered across Egypt, Stained with dark mud. We must find them, gather Them together, bring them Into a single place As an anthologist might collect All the poems that matter Into a single book, a book Which is the body […]

10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1… Lift off! Poems from Planet Earth Now Available

Last Friday at 7.30 PM more than a hundred of us crammed into the The Moca House on Hillside in Victoria. There were line ups at the bar for cookies and such, coffee and beer but we were there for even stronger and more nourishing fare. It was the launch of the anthology Poems From […]

A Follow-Up To The Post: To Make Us Consider How Our Light Is Spent

I am so glad to have attentive readers of my blog! And they were working overtime earlier this week thanks to poem called The Purposes of Poetry by Marilyn Chandler McEntyre, a professor at the University of California. Here’s her poem: The Purposes of Poetry To find a way of putting what can’t be said […]

To Make Us Consider How Our Light Is Spent – An Evening With Dana Gioia

A few days ago I was high up – about 900 feet – on a mountain top overlooking hills and vineyards, stretched along the valley floor, in California’s wine country. I have a glass of Chardonnay in one hand – it would seem heretical not to – in this area that celebrates the ubiquity of […]

“The” Love Poems – Join the Conversation

At the 2013 Palm Beach Poetry Festival, the American poet Jane Hirschfield (1953 -)  was asked to pick a poem that had inspired her.  She demurred by saying she owed most to all the poets who have been sharing their words for the past 40,000 years. And  Greg Orr (1947 – ), another fine American poet (see […]

Words Make A Difference – Kay Jamison and Alfred Lord Tennyson On Grief

Grief. I read Kay Redfield Jamison’s book Nothing Was The Same last night. It is her 2009 memoir to her husband who died in 2002 at 63 from a chronic illness. Grief is never an easy subject but poets have made it a prime subject for generations. It is how we sing out our losses and […]

Shocking Intimacies – A Correspondence in Poetry between Jack Gilbert and Linda Gregg-

In 1981 the American poet Linda Gregg published her first poetry collection, Too Bright To See – a remarkable debut in its own right. But it was made even more memorable by the raw and forthright poems directly and indirectly referencing her eight year marriage/relationship with poet Jack Gilbert and his infidelities.(See previous blogs dated […]