Wednesday, December 11, 2013

How to Drive to Regina

Last Friday morning, I threw a hastily packed bag, a box of books, and a bin full of bags and shoes in my partner's car, which is a small SUV with four-wheel drive.

Photos courtesy Shelley Banks.
And then I muttered something like, "He said he cleaned!" before systematically ejecting his CDs and inserting CDs of my own into the stereo. Waiting for the car to warm up, thinking on the pair of boots, snowpants, and M's super-mitts that I'd also stowed in the back. Just in case.

I was scheduled to do a reading and workshop in Regina and I wasn't taking any chances.

I had meant to go up on Thursday, but we'd had a pile of snow in addition to the all the terrible cold on Wednesday.

I've made that drive to Regina a bunch of times over the past ten years, but mostly during the summer and fall. So I let myself be talked out of doing the drive on Thursday, even though it meant missing the radio interview that had been scheduled for mid-day on Friday.

But I was in luck. Even though I dreaded getting out of the car to gas up or eat, the roads were bare and it was an easy drive to the Queen City.

I got to Tracy Hamon's place just in time to change and head out to a dinner-with-poets. Which is the best kind, especially if it's at a Korean/Japanese fusion place where you can simultaneously eat bibimbap and reminisce about the time you read there.

Saturday was the workshop, where I deployed strategies for working with texts, for drumming up inspiration rather than waiting for that particular lightning strike. We spent the afternoon wandering around 13th Ave, visiting the fancy paper shop and the craft store and sourcing my favourite Saskatchewan product: Lucky Bastard Gin.

Sunday night was the reading with Garry Thomas Morse at the SWG offices. It was a cold night, but we had a nice crowd. And Garry sang operatically as part of his reading.

I read a few poems from Hump, a few poems from How to Make a Collage (and am now down to my last copy...) and a few brand new poems which will be published in Stowaways.

Afterwards, a bunch of us headed to La Bodega, where I had mussels and gin...and then it was back to Tracy's...and then back home the next morning.

My hearty thanks to the SWG for having me, to the Canada Council for funding the entire affair, and to Tracy Hamon, whose next book will be out in fall 2014.

No comments: