Wednesday, June 16, 2010


So I spent the weekend at the League of Canadian Poets conference/AGM. And of course I took the red-eye, which functionally meant that I had three hours of sleep before I got up to fly to Toronto.

Luckily, I slept on the flight and then again after I'd checked into my dingy little room.

Whatever reserves I've built up over the past few weeks lasted me until Friday night at 10 pm, when I read as a part of the traditional New Members event.

The reading was held in Toronto's city hall, which was within a molotov-cocktail's throw from the U of T residence where we were staying. And while we were in what was called a committee room instead of the main council chambers, we still had the U shaped seats, each with their own (working) mic. (I checked.)

As there were fourteen of us (!), we were each allotted five minutes...and I wound up reading three-month span of poems from the navel gaze section of Hump.

This was mostly in the interest of keeping Lori Cayer and Alice Major, both of whom have heard me read from the book recently, and who were sitting in that first row of 'council' seats, amused.

But when they announced that they'd be doing an open-mic after the fourteen readings (and the two seminars and the lunch-time readings and the welcome event...), I went a little bleary.

So I made my apologies and wandered back to the residence. And, after stealing wi-fi from someone nearby (no wi-fi in the hotel! blargh!), I promptly collapsed.

The next day, Heather Spears' sketches were on the wall. And there I was, appropriately smudged.

Having seen Spears' sketches around for years and marveled at her goddamn something-from-nothing I was especially tickled to see my own likeness, so I snapped it up. And grinned foolishly...

* * *

Other highlights of the conference included seeing Karen Solie win this year's Pat Lowther Award for Pigeon.

Included cackling over dinner with Linda Frank and Marilyn Gear Piling and Carol Little and Danya O'Malley just before seeing KS win this year's PL Award and reading (for 3 min) just after, my Tit poem accompanied this time by a litany of search terms and locations.

(Poems about tits - boobies. Tit poems. Titty poems. Tits, poems.)

Included thinking and feeling my way through the seminar on three generations of experimental poets/poetry that included Lola Lemire Tostevin, Sina Queyras, and Jenny Sampirisi.

I'm also definitely planning to pick up the new collected Pat Lowther, after a weekend of hearing her poems on the tongues of so many other poets, even that of her daughter Christine Lowther.

Finally, I was pleased and honoured to be elected to the Manitoba Representative position on the LCP national council.

Which means that I've at least three more conferences/AGMs ahead of me...though hopefully not another three red-eyes. Goddamn red-eyes...

* * *

I've got the monthly poetry column for the Winnipeg Free Press due this Sunday.

And I'm also got my wetland workshop/reading at Fort Whyte Sunday and Wednesday, respectively.

To which I say: Urk! Sputter! Fun?


Ian LeTourneau said...

nice sketch. sounds like a good time!

Brenda Schmidt said...

How cool to be sketched!

intellectualharlot said...

Beautiful sketch!

Ariel Gordon said...

Thanks, youse. I nearly hopped in excitement to see if on the meeting room wall (she puts them up like a horizon...).

Here's the artist's website: