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

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.

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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.

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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.

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(Recordings and interviews by Stephen Humphrey)

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