On Tour! ArtBar, Black Coffee Video, and a Wild West Literary Bunfight with Kris Demeanor!

Two stops is a tour, right? Two stops with three events, that is.

Monday, i’m off to Toronto. Tuesday the 17th, i’ll be guesting at The ArtBar Poetry Series, longest running poetry series in Toronto. How about that? One of the organisers is an old friend from university days, Stephen Humphrey. I owe Stephen a fair bit, you might say, as he encouraged me to run away and join the circus – well, to get into theatre. He was one of those fellows i look back at as The Princes, a group of guy friends who graced my life, and my little sister’s, during some really dark times.

We’d come to the City to make our fortunes. We missed our mom and our little brothers, missed the land. All our family was shaken by the deaths of our dad and older brother within little more than a year; our older sis was reeling from her fiance’s death the year before that. So, the adventure of being young gals finding our way in a new place had some weight to it.

The Princes (we never called them that to their faces) treated us like sisters, and a little bit like princesses. They were gentlemen, unassuming, who made a space for us, and who kept us safe. In the charmed but unmentioned circle, we found ways to be okay. We had a lot of ridiculous and healthy adventures. Princes, you know who you are. If you didn’t know, i’ll cherish you always, and wish you and your families the best of roads.

Which brings me back to this tour. It’s been five years since i performed in Toronto. Five years as well, since i first heard of Black Coffee Poet. He was already making a name for himself as a blogger covering the work of Brown folks,  and of people working outside mainstream categories. He reviewed my book, Fifth World Drum, on http://rabble.ca/ – most kindly, i recall. We’ve been casual correspondents since. This winter, he graciously invited me to guest on http://blackcoffeepoet.com/  and we agreed to meet up in June. So looking forward to making his acquaintance, and hopefully shooting a video poem!

Getting home from Toronto just in time to turn around and head down to Calgary, for a gig that has me six kinds (all of them good) of nervous – sharing an evening with the amazing Kris Demeanor! Here’s what he wrote:

Join Anna Marie Sewell (Edmonton Poet Laureate 2011-13) and Kris Demeanor (Calgary Poet Laureate 2012-14) as they share work from their respective tenures and beyond, disagree about which town is the true Cultural Capital, gossip about our peers, discuss the arts in our two cities as they relate to the social and political climate, redefine the Battle of Alberta with a literary twist, and encourage everyone to support our esteemed successors, Mary Pinkoski and Derek Beaulieu!
Friday June 20th, 7:30 PM
LOFT 112

Loft 112, 535 8 Avenue SE, Calgary, Alberta 
I exchanged a couple notes with Kris when he ascended the throne (we have to say these sorts of things) as Calgary’s First Poet Laureate, and knew i was going to like him. Yup. He took the stage at Edmonton Poetry Festival 2013, singing about Neil Stonechild and the Starlight Tours, and i was a goner. And don’t even get me started about his red shoes…
guess i’d better pack carefully myself.
I’ll be on tour, in the presence of some pretty cool guys, princes of the arts. Good thing my own household king is along for the western swing of this trip.
Which reminds me to tell you, gentle reader, i’ve got a great guest poet blogging here next week…
all my relations

Meeting up with Black Coffee Poet

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