Reading the Writing World

I love my career as a writer. There is so much more to it than just sitting down somewhere and writing a poem, a story, a song. There’s a world of research behind the actual creative bits. Some of it is heavy, but a lot of it is joyous. Right now? I’m listening to some…

Journey Song Arrives!

After a pandemic-induced wait of about 16 months, it’s here! The World Premiere of composer Mari Alice Conrad’s SATB Choir setting of Journey Song, sung here in a live recording in Toronto by commissioning choir Babel, under the baton of Elaine Choi. I first published a version of Journey Song in my 2009 collection, Fifth…

Gifts

To be judged by the content of one’s character. To associate with those refreshing souls who dare to ask uncomfortable questions, and listen, not in preparation to be offended, but in order to understand. A view to the East, and morning moments in which to arrive peaceably in the waking world, inspired by dreamful rest….

Makushin Readings: From Russia with Love (of Books)

In May, it was my distinct pleasure to attend (via Zoom) the 12th annual Makushin Readings in Novo Sibirsk/Tomsk, Russia. Recently, the presentation was posted on Youtube. Many thanks to my friend Svetlana Pavlenko for arranging this opportunity.

Humane – Synopsis en Español

Quien mató a Nell August? ¿Por qué las autoridades no investigaron más? Hazel Lesage nunca hubiera esperado que investigar a las crímenes ‘impopulares’ por la gente ‘disponible’ de su ciudad seria su carera. Tiene su vida y no busca más problemas, especialmente con clientes cuya manera hace que Hazel recuerda los tantos momentos en que…

Reviews and Interviews: Humane

Coming up on the first anniversary of Humane’s debut, I’m thrilled anew by the warm reception this book has received in communities across Canada. Here are four of my favourite reviews and interviews: CBC Radio The Next Chapter With Shelagh Rogers April 16 Humane Selected for Alberta Reads I’m in Frankfurt this week, wobbling astonished…

Prayer for Leaders

You are my people, and I love you and serve you. If you are in pain, I will bear it with you. If you celebrate, I will raise my voice in joy with you. If you face danger, I will face it first. If you must be constrained, I will bear with this same constraint….

When They Ask, I’ll Say

It’s not our fault you feel bad. You should. We should. It’s dead children. We can all do better now.

Words made Song: another collaboration

Canadian composer Mari Alice Conrad’s latest piece, The Peculiar Dances of Shifting Minds, inspired in part by this poem of mine which honours my late mother. Also on the program, new works by composers Athena Loredo and Alice Ping Yee Ho; all performed by Vancouver’s Allegra Chamber Orchestra, under the leadership of Janna Sailor. Congratulations…

To Russia, with Love (of Books)

Well, today has opened with an amazing experience. I presented a talk at The Makushin Readings. http://www.spsl.nsc.ru/ Our topic: What is the role of Books as carriers of culture in our globalized, digital world? To summarize my answer: Books set down the limits of the known, and point at the possible. As well, by what…

Day 27: when day and night is a short story

To define a nameless haunting: what would you call the feeling of loss, on finding out only now, a grandpa’s span later, about ‘a skeleton of my granny’? To learn a thing that, as a child of the seventies, passed by: how people wanted rock and roll so much, that lacking vinyl platters, they recorded…

Day 22: Crayons and Other Fictions, or Metonymy of Mangoes

Those were the Tang-bright 70s, the Revello days knees grazed, skies so high and hazy with bonfire smoke – Who was that kid? the one who stuck things up his nose and roasted his wieners with the plastic skins still on just to see them shrivel. They were summer people dragged West with grandparents until…