Thursday, August 27, 2015

Writing on the Ridge

Rolla, BC. August 14, 2015. Photo by Melanie Siebert.
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Before heading out to Mayfield Lake in the Muskwa-Kechika Management Area, Donna Kane had organized a reading for us in Rolla, BC.

The reading featured myself, Melanie Siebert, and Gillian Wigmore, who drove up with 3/4 of her family from Prince George for the event.

We read on the deck at Donna's beautiful house. I started the evening in the dress the Internet had incited me to bring. I put on longjohns underneath, folded up to the knees so they didn't show under the hem of the dress. Then I went and got my denim shirt.

And then, just before the readings started, someone said to me: "You're shivering."

So I went and changed into more sensible clothes. And listened to Melanie and Gilly's readings with great delight.

When Donna introduced me, she said there was a lot of heat to my poetry, which I appreciated more given that I was wearing my coppery down vest and my cute-bum jeans.

And so I read Donna's neighbours and friends in the front rows, bundled into jackets and draped with blankets, but I also read to the troublemakers loitering to the rear of the crowd, who were crowing and gesturing with their drinks but also listening.

We went inside for Art Napoleon's set of originals and covers-with-Cree-translations, the audience sitting on the floor, jammed onto the couches, and perched on the chairs. And, after that, those that wanted to danced until 2 am.

I interspersed dancing-foolness with Perseid meteor shower-spotting out on the deck. And then we noticed that there were northern lights, so I bundled myself into a quilt and followed the group over to the horse paddock, where there was a minimum of light.

And then Donna's two horses arrived.

It was nearly a perfect day. (And I haven't even mentioned how we visited the ranch/studio of Emilie Mattson & also the Rolla Pub (shuffleboard! gin!), how I got to groom the big horse Riley, and my stints mooching rhubarb from Emilie & small delicious apples from Donna...)

My thanks to Donna Kane for the splendid organizing and hospitality and that turquoise quilt as well as the Canada Council for the Arts and EventHostBC for the funding to assemble us all there.

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