For the Changing Moon: thoughts on Poems&Songs

My new book is out.

The official launch happens Wednesday, October 24th, 7 PM at Audrey’s Books, with special guests, Edmonton’s own Spoken Word Youth Choir, under the direction of the fabulous Gail Sobat. If you’re in our town, come on down.

This is book number two, yes, only number two.

The long years of discussion and consideration of what it costs to publish a book seem far behind, now; likewise, the discussion of the spiritual responsibility of artists, the perils of ‘selling out,’ the threat of pretension. Pretentious or not, I am doing this work, this way, and have been for a while now. Most of it lives in moment and memory, in the ephemeral world of live performance.

I believe I’ll always prefer working with people, playing with people, finding ways to connect through word and song to other people. It’s scary, it’s vulnerable, and it’s irreplaceably real.

So, it was thrilling to introduce the book in a public event Sept 27th (not exactly a launch, since the book was not officially out til Oct 1st),  with other guests invited to sing, to recite, to perform their work.

This, for me, is correct, because my work does not exist without the context of a community of artists.  So, it was important to me to invite people to bring their work and their voices, too, to join me in performance at different points, because we all carry pieces of the great song.

And it was a tremendous kick to perform with the great Darrin Hagen, known around here for his ground-breaking theatrical work. He’s also a kick-ass accordion player, and the challenge of performing poetry with accordion? Well, that was too great to resist – I was just bowled over that he thought so, too.

We rehearsed some stuff. And on the night, we closed out with an unrehearsed experiment. And that was the best of all; the things that make performance most real and most magic were in play: artists who have been working our craft for long years, and know our respective chops; the crowd, who had come for fun, had both received and created art together, and were themselves alight with creative energy; and the moon, just outside the windows there, calling out for songs.

So, if you were there on the 27th at Highlands, thank you. Thank you Darrin, thank you Tolowa, Don, Kathy and Mikayla for bringing and sharing work, thank you Karly for taking care of biz (just like old times), thank you EPL Highlands staff for your warm support, and thank you, every person who came out and filled that room to bursting with good vibes.

And if you’re in Edmonton on the 24th, and want to come on out, the official launch happens at 7 at Audrey’s.

Things will happen, the way they do when the Song is with us.

The cover art, shown above, is Solstice 2012, by the ever-amazing Trish Sewell Buy her work, you’ll thank yourself. The cover design is by Jackie Forrie, for Thistledown Press.


3 Comments Add yours

  1. robert okaji says:

    I wish I could attend the launch, but I’ve ordered my copy! Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. prairiepomes says:

    Hey that’s great! Thanks for supporting your non-local poet, and do let me know what you think!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. robert okaji says:

    I know I’ll love it!


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