Archive for September, 2009

September 29: Angels and monkeys practice deep thoughts while opposite poetry schools swoon tragically like doomed lovers on a windy Tuesday

Posted in Art Bar Poetry, Uncategorized with tags , , on September 29, 2009 by theartbar

Assorted volunteers have helped assemble recent blogs. I hope you’re enjoying the results of different cooks in the kitchen. It’s good to mix things up.

Thanks this week to Nicola Ward, who recorded readings and interviews. You’ll hear the voice of Myna Walllin talking with poets. Below are Myna’s photographs of Chris Dewdney and Truth Is…

– Stephen Humphrey

Christopher Dewdney

Christopher Dewdney is one of Canada’s most honoured non-fiction writers. However, he says he’s writing poetry again. He regaled the Art Bar audience with poetry about rocket science, angel patrons of physics and all kinds of monkeys.


Anita Lahey

Anita Lahey always feels like a deer in the headlights after a reading, she confessed during her ‘post-game’ interview with Myna Wallin. Myna asked Anita whether a sense of place in her work meant there was a fiction voice somewhere in her bag of tricks. Anita, who edits Arc Poetry Magazine, says it depends how much she cares to multi-task.

Anita is pictured, above on Canada’s east coast, where she sometimes goes, occasionally bringing back an accent.


Truth Is...

Truth Is… might be called an energy-efficient poet, bringing even the quietest room to life no matter how small a change she works with. Which might also make her an alternate power source, and don’t we need more of those?

Are literati and the spoken word doomed to a tragic Romeo-and-Juliet scenario? According to Truth Is… speaking out doesn’t always exclude some thoughtful writing down.

Enjoy the ambience of the Art Bar’s windy open-air studio.



September 22: Poetic trio in the key of Quattro

Posted in Art Bar Poetry with tags , , , on September 22, 2009 by theartbar

Valentino Assenza

Valentino Assenza here.

Hosting the Art Bar September 22 was a treat for sure.

The crowd was plentiful and wonderfully responsive.

The three readers all, in one way or another, have showcased their poetic wares under the banner of Quattro Press.

Paul Zemokhol

Paul Zemokhol‘s poetry had a strong subtlety to it and his humble honesty shone through. Paul usually prefaced his pieces with inspiring little stories which set them up perfectly.


Gianna Patriarca

Gianna Patriarca followed with poems from her book Italian Women And Other Tragedies, first published with Guernica Editions in 1994. The occasion marked a milestone for her, since the book was newly translated into Italian. She is now in Italy launching the book in selected cities. Her colourful, bilingual reading included wonderfully humourous poems about her family and teaching experiences.


(Podcast will be added some time after Gianna returns from Italy)

Luciano Iacobelli

Quattro Books co-founder Luciano Iacobelli switched gears emotionally, reading from his Seraphim Editions collection The Angel Notebook. He claimed to like visiting the darker side of things through his poetry. His words generated somber emotions as he paid tribute to a friend that passed away some time ago.


September 15: Artichoke thoughts and Mexican soaps

Posted in Art Bar Poetry with tags , , , , on September 15, 2009 by theartbar

The Art Bar blog and podcast will shake things up a bit over the next couple of months and invite different volunteers to interview and photograph the poets. We hope you enjoy this salad of different perspectives.

Clara Blackwood interviewed the poets who read on September 15, while Alison Hancock photographed them.

Hope you enjoy.

Molly Peacock

Molly Peacock delighted us with her musings on the “minor” side of life. Teacups, paperclips and edibles populated her poems: “Every time I cook an artichoke I think of you–”


Ricardo Sternberg

Ricardo Sternberg was the consummate storyteller. He presented new work from a sequence of whimsical poems inspired in part from the colourful characters in Mexican soap operas.


Jan Conn_2

Jan Conn shared poetry from her newest book Botero’s Beautiful Horses. Sensual and imagistic, many of the poems are immersed in the landscape and art of Latin America.


– Clara Blackwood

September 8: Love, disappearance and Barbie dolls

Posted in Art Bar Poetry with tags , , , , on September 8, 2009 by theartbar

Giovanna Riccio

Giovanna Riccio divided her reading between real and artificial people. Her set, which began with poems about people close to her and women who face gritty daily struggles was capped with her meditations on the 50-year-old toy phenomenon, Barbie.


Kristan Anderson_14

When you see the rocker hair and t-shirt that says ‘Renegade’ you may not expect a set of unabashed love poetry, which is what Kristan Anderson delivered, along with musings about relocating to Ontario’s snow belt from Vancouver Island.


Sachiko Murakami_3

Sachiko Murakami presented poems from The Invisibility Exhibit, which concern missing and murdered women from Vancouver’s troubled East Hastings neighbourhood. Not merely elegiac or outraged, her poems addressed issues such as economic disparity and the human capacity for predation.


September 1: Words you can’t say on the radio

Posted in Art Bar Poetry with tags , , , , on September 1, 2009 by theartbar

Halli Villegas

This was Halli Villegas’s final night hosting the Art Bar. She is leaving the Art Bar team to devote more time to her imprint, Tightrope Books, which just opened an office in downtown Toronto.

Rob Gee

Rob Gee was kinetic, constantly in motion throughout his whole breathless performance of poems and recollections that lurched through a series of crazed experiences, including the only performance ever to have instigated a fight at Leamington Spa Peace Festival.

Apparently Rob had enough energy to trot over to Toronto in the middle of the run of Fruitcake, his one-man show at the Victoria Fringe.

On his own behalf, Rob says, “I like nothing better than to tap into the world of chaos and adventure that lurks behind the veneer of everyday life.”


Tara Michelle

Tara Michelle’s reading was conversational to the point of her breaking out of one poem to address the audience. Featured below is a short conversation with Tara on Bloor St. and Clinton St.


Randy Jacobs

The evening’s third high-energy set featured Vancouver-based poet and slam maestro Randy Jacobs (aka RC Weslowski). Randy, or RC, ecstatically recounted the joys of taking your pants off and swearing like a sailor.


I like nothing better than to tap into the world of chaos and adventure that lurks behind the veneer of everyday life.