27 April 2013

Fernwood Inn

It's been busy these last few weeks, with readings in both Vancouver and Victoria. I should tell you more, but time is running out and what I really want to tell you about is my reading tomorrow afternoon in Victoria. I'll be reading at the Fernwood Inn at 4pm on Sunday, April 28. I'm very excited about this as I'll be reading with Dede Crane who is launching Every Happy Family and Jay Ruzesky who is launching In Antarctica: An Amundsen Pilgrimage.

I've been looking forward to sharing the stage with these two ever since I was invited to come along (lucky me!), but I'll be honest that I'm also thrilled about who my date will be. My husband hasn't been able to see me read since 2009 when I was in Banff and his mother kindly came along for the week we were both there (I was in the Writers Studio and he was there for the Playwrights Colony), but tomorrow we have a baby sitter. It'll be like a real date, except, you know, shared with a few others. I'll take what I can get.

If you're in Victoria, please come by. I'd love to see you.

9 April 2013

prairie polygamy

Right now I'm reading Jenna Butler's seldom seen road. This is her third full-length collection, although I don't seem to have her second in my library just yet. I did chat with her two years ago about her poem "Inter-tribal" from her first collection.

Butler writes of the Prairie and she does it so beautifully. By beautiful, I don't mean in the sweeping-cinematographic-romantic way, but she uses language with such mastery and precision that I can't think of a better word than beauty, though I'm sure Butler would as she's so meticulous with her words. When I read "Wild Onions" I had to put the book aside and then reread it a few times because of this:

bulbs unearthed like molars
crepuscular canyon light


Later, in the section Lepidopterists, she writes of Crowfoot's wives. This, of course, piqued my interest. I had read somewhere that some of the Prairie First Nations people practiced polygamy, but I knew very little about it. From what I remember from the book, it was almost a throwaway line, with not enough detail to appease someone like me. After reading that section, I turned to google, as one does. According to the internet, Crowfoot had up to ten wives, though only three or four at a time. Unsurprisingly, there was not much information about his wives, with the most detail here. I'm not up to it (it really is time for me to leave writing about polygamy behind), but I hope someone out there does write their stories, real or imagined. I'm also curious to whether or not contemporary Blackfoot people consider polygamy as part of their culture, and if so, is reclaiming it part of the discussion. Oh, Alberta, your history is so full of polygamy.

4 April 2013

See my virility!

"I wore my fatigue with pride. At last I had earned the right to be grizzled unshaven dad picking up my caffe latte of a morning, my marsupial baby cradled in the sling, giving the wife a few minutes' rest. See my virility! I'd often envied these fellows at the local coffee shop, picking up a standing ovation along with their bag of almond croissants. Now it was my turn to share the glory, to feel the love."

from the brilliant Novel About My Wife by Emily Perkins

2 April 2013

Poetry! Poetry! Poetry!

Why yes, it's April, which means it's National Poetry Month both in Canada and the USA. It's the time of year where bookish folk remember the often overlooked, sometimes derided, genre, pull up their literary socks, and give it the ole college try of celebrating, and perhaps even reading, poetry. Thank goodness it's a short month.

It's also the time of year when poets try so very hard to have their work read by others. I'm as guilty as the rest, of course. There are so very many poets, and it's so hard to get even poets to read poetry at a consistent pace, let alone those wonderfully bookish people who devour novels like I do tea.

In celebration of Poetry Month, many literary blogs and sites are highlighting poetry in some way. Two places that have my attention are The Rusty Toque's collaborative poem and Literary Press Group 's "CoCoPoPro" aka Coast-to-Coast Poetry Project. And to be completely self-serving, you can see my contribution here.

If you want to go a bit deeper, my I suggest the always fantastic Jacket2 who recently posted North of Invention. I'm slowly going through each section. And I recently came upon Jennica Harper's The Sally Draper Poems. I was lucky to read early drafts of these, and am so happy to see them together like this.

So tell me, how are you celebrating National Poetry Month?

p.s. My giveaway for Glossolalia wraps up at the end of the month. So far only one person has entered the one on my blog. (Should I be embarrassed by this? I'm trying not be as the GoodReads number is higher than I expected. ) Follow this link and comment for your chance to receive a copy of your own. Your odds are good!

1 April 2013

dear weekend, please don't ever end

This weekend has been busy, filled with the best kind of busy, celebrations and milestones, punctuated with warm weather and cherry blossoms. My eldest turned seven on Thursday and that night we had a family birthday celebration, with the next day his friend party with six friends from school. The next day was my sister's wedding, and the next was Easter and my youngest's first egg hunt. My middle child discovered his first loose tooth on Thursday evening, too. I also made from scratch for the first time Angel Food cake, creme anglaise, and a pavlova. There was tide-pool exploring, kite-flying, and playground visiting crammed into this glorious weekend, too. Oh, and that radio interview happened, too.

Today, my husband wanted to listen to it and I found it for him then hid in the bathroom when I heard my voice. Eventually, I returned to the living room and listened to the rest of the interview with my family. I didn't come across as awkward as I had felt, my nervous laughter wasn't grating, and my tick of starting every sentence with "Umm..." wasn't nearly as pronounced as I had feared.

If you're curious, you can listen here. There is a long musical interlude at the start, so if you want to get right to it, skip to the 2:00 mark.