August 11: Globetrotting, beast-talking and arm-wrestling

Myna Wallin

One of the pleasures the Art Bar provides is a chance to host out-of-town authors. This Tuesday’s poets all took the trip to Toronto from near and far: Andreas Gripp from London, Ont.; Stephanie Bolster from Montreal, Que. and Ian Pople from Manchester, England!

Andreas Gripp_8

Andreas Gripp has 11 poetry books to his credit. He read from his latest, Anathema: Poems Selected and New. He apologized at one point that his recent poems were “depressing.” Katherine L. Gordon, a reviewer for Ancient Heart Magazine (UK) describes Anathema as “a book of loss exquisitely delineated by the knife of the poet’s language.” Poignant, yes. Depressing, hardly. As to his philosophy about writing, Gripp feels that poetry should be more “accessible,” and that we “need to write for people, and not to impress other poets/editors/publishers/grant agencies.” Amen to that!


Stephanie Bolster

Stephanie Bolster is the award-winning author of three poetry collections: White Stone: The Alice Poems, Two Bowls of Milk, and Pavilion. She won the 1998 Governor General Award for White Stone, her first book. Bolster was the inaugural editor for Best Canadian Poetry in English (Tightrope Books, 2008), and is co-editor of the anthology, Penned, Animals in Zoos (Signal Editions/Véhicule Press, 2009), coming out this fall.

Bolster read from her next intended poetry collection, tentatively titled A Page from the Wonders of Life on Earth. Like Penned, this project tackles what she calls the “middle landscape” of zoos and gardens. Her quiet intensity as a reader held the room absolutely rapt. She signed books during every break, taking time to chat with each person who approached her. Bolster teaches Creative Writing at Concordia University in Montreal – those lucky students!

(an excerpt from)

If he took this city by the neck
and shook, would the strand break,
pearls roll into corners?


Ian Pople

Ian Pople is author of The Glass Enclosure, An Occassional Lean-To with Arc Publications and My Foolish Heart published by Flarestack. He teaches at the University of Manchester, where he won the Faculty of Humanities Teacher of the Year award in 2007. Pople’s accent has the crisp and clear enunciation most Canadians can only envy and marvel at. With delightful wit he explained that English poets are not meant to admit they like their own work. But he did confess to liking his own poetry, from time to time.

Pople left behind a copy of one if his books by mistake. Stephanie Bolster and I were forced to arm-wrestle for it. She won!


– Myna Wallin

Next week: Poetry Hoedown, featuring musicians Fran McCann & Uncle Herb Dale, singer-songwriter Shawn Sage, spoken word & slam poet Rahul Gupta, comedian Keelan Miller, poet-about-town Edward Nixon accompanied by Lalo Nixon-Pasten on guitar, former Art Bar Overlord David Clink, musician & artist Arthur Renwick… and maybe more!


One Response to “August 11: Globetrotting, beast-talking and arm-wrestling”

  1. I’ve just discovered this web page. I’m from Spain and Ian was one of my English teachers at the University of Manchester during my Erasmus year there.
    I can only say that he is the best teacher I ever had. He took us to a poetry reading at the Central Library and I simply fell in love with his poems.

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