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…

Day 19: Constant/Transient/Permanent

from the bee wing to the soul comes a thrum, at once low and above the mind line, fine and high, lime-bright tingle of song, shimmer on the lake of attention breath of trees, yellow from the pine arms to the sun a cloud rolls: that’s my love of a season, windborne marked by fragrant…

Day 16: Dystopic Diagram

O thou dystopic diagram of shadows wherein we see the frame of us and hunt the breakage. Where wert thou hidden, method and artifact, before she birthed and named you? On the precise edge of language changing from reverent cases and declensions to scientific lists, and as if to mark that cross-road between French élan…

Day 15: Archeology of a Last Nerve

pull the trigger breach the dam bury the evidence we have the means, the stories, the blind need to misconstrue through archeology anything at all, create an arc of time and culture or an ark divine, in whose boots to tremble heebie-jeebie monkeys that we are. drop the rock breach the dame blaze on past…