Archive for May, 2010

May 18 2010: If urban is the new pastoral what is the new black?

Posted in Art Bar Poetry with tags , , on May 19, 2010 by theartbar

My pastoral poem:
The Colin Carberry are ripening on its dense thickety bushes
The Anna Swaonson returns from its winter migrations
While magpies and fruit bats fly into the Blaise Moritz sunset.

– Stephen Humphrey

Anna Swanson

What inspires Anna Swanson‘s poetry? Multiple jobs and chronic fatigue. Women’s studies and coming out. Secular saints and parsons daughters. Falling in love and months of solitude, watching for fires.


Blaise Moritz

Blaise Moritz writes about cities: this city, distant cities, a city that qualifies as imaginary. Writers are often told to write what they know. What if all you know is cities? Does architecture become nature? Does civilization exist north of Lawrence Avenue?


Colin Carberry

Both a poet and translator, Colin Carberry admires the passion of Mexican poets and the passion average Mexicans show for them. He reveres the quiet passion of Irish rebel and poet Bobby Sands. His globetrotting behaviour has found him on enough islands to write a decalogue of sonnets.  And what else? He’s a snappy dresser. Just look at those shoes.


Colin Carberry


May 11: Hey Shakespeare, is that a banana in your pants or are you just happy to kick it at Art Bardy Har-Har Night?

Posted in Art Bar Poetry with tags , , , , , , on May 11, 2010 by theartbar

Can poets be funny?

Does comedy have a place in poetry?

Why are haikus so especially funny?

Did the photographer have two many beers?

Valentino Assenza

Valentino Assenza, host of the annual Art-Bardy-Har-Har night full of good humour and ready to experience life without Tylenol. One day at a time, dude. Always inclined to public service, Valentino took time to caution about the dangers of Rock Band (TM).


Cathy Petch

Cathy Petch was F*****n’ Freestyling or she was milking old material, depending on how well you know her stuff. Apparently her kitchen is her bathroom, her cat is a racist and your baby is ugly.


Mike Bryant

Mike Bryant is a nerd. He said it in front of everybody, even his wife. He can talk about Star Wars for hours. He can quote “Howl” and Neuromancer in the same breath. He can speak wookie with a slight accent and he wants to sell you razors.


Dave Silverberg

Dave Silverberg lives alone and writes haikus about fooling the pizza guy. He sees Mike Bryant’s Star Wars nerd and raises him one sports nerd. He writes stalker-like letters to Sealtest. And eggnog.


Why so serious?

Valentino Assenza is in his usual good humour and sure of his hockey loyalties, but has an ominous curiosity about Lady Gaga. By the way, “Art Bardy Har-Har” was his idea, but he’s too modest to brag.


Sandra Kasturi

Like many individuals, Sandra Kasturi wants to know the whereabouts of William Shatner’s genitals. She does a mean Jack Nicholson, and you don’t want to see her attic. She does not love the pig light.


Yehuda Fisher

Yehuda Fisher has cool hair and his own personal stash of lightsabers. He has the bat signal on his wallpaper. Geeks in the house. What part of drunk at 3 am didn’t you get? And she liked it.


Jeff Cottrill

Jeff Cottrill has a show about a grouch who lives in a trashcan. No, not that one. His open piece clearly demonstrates that Cottrill is literally his own worst critic – as in reviewer, but that doesn’t mean he’s above using a faux southern accent.


May 4: How long has the wind always been your friend?

Posted in Art Bar Poetry with tags , , , on May 4, 2010 by theartbar

Margaret Christakos

(Photos by Stephen Humphrey)

Sudbury to Margaret Christakos is a place of hills – or maybe the one hill in particular, a lake, the wind and generational pessimism. It’s a place to escape from and to return to, again and again, by Greyhound bus and by poetry. Her hometown is the subject of much poetic confession, although Margaret doesn’t sound all that guilty.


Mick Burrs

Like Margaret Christakos, along with most people it turns out, Mick Burrs, also known as Steven Michael Berzensky, comes from somewhere. He comes from the prairie province Saskatchewan, and before that the United States. Recently he thought it important to note the contribution of Americans who came to Canada to avoid participating in the Vietnam war, when he co-edited the anthology Crossing Lines with Allan Briesmaster. Like most poets, he sometimes finds himself on Greyhound buses. While Margaret Christakos remembers the sandwich lady, he remembers when passengers could smoke.


Roger Greenwald

Roger Greenwald often returns to Norway, which he didn’t come from. He poses questions to his father, who is long since deceased. He remembers Clinton Street from years ago when many Chilean refugees arrived, fleeing their country’s troubles and smiling on warm days. He champions Charles Douglas, a poet who keeps his day job and publishes sporadically. And he’s written an entire poem in quotation marks. As writers will tell you, punctuation matters.


(Recordings and interviews by Stephen Humphrey)