Literary Happenings & Lost in an Eerie Orange Haze


Or distracted, at the very least. The worst of the heat wave is over, smoke from forest fires clearing. Naturally it rained the day of my summer soiree but we still need more to dampen drought conditions. Considered wearing a mask with air quality comparable to Beijing’s, but as friend Nathaniel Poole pointed out in his blog, Loose Moorings,  the dread the eerie orange smoke instilled in people is more likely due to their own fears.  He contends that fires are a normal part of the ecosystem. For me it’s been a nuisance, the fallout annoying, though on our island, a major conflagration would be devastating. We are woefully unprepared and have a small, volunteer fire department.

I have no time to write, between working, house hunting and dealing with government bureaucracies, clawing through red tape. Ditto book promotion, though I recently appeared at the Storm Crow Tavern Reading Series, hosted by Sean Cranbury, and sold a few copies of The Town Slut’s Daughter. I’m trying to complete Detective Work, a new collection of verse. About three quarters of the way there, this last bit constitutes a formidable hurtle. Can’t seem to compose but I accomplished a little editing today.

The Goose Lane anthology that I’m featured in, Where the Nights are Twice as Long, got a good write-up and made the the cover of Literary Review of Canada. The author Méira Cook gets it, what editors Dave Eso and Jeannette Lyons are trying to do. By arranging the correspondence according to the poet’s age at the time of writing, the experience reveals much about love’s vexing nature, poets and Canada. Fascinating, and I am savoring this read.

I was happy to hear from the folks at Rebus Creative who invited me to read at Word Vancouver, AKA Word on the Street, in September. An esteemed festival, I’m looking forward to it. The gathering also provides a good opportunity to catch up with friends and associates, as it seems everyone and their dog comes out for it.

Also heard from indefatigable Mona Fertig of Mother Tongue Press who has published my work in several anthologies, regarding their forthcoming, THE LITERARY STOREFRONT: THE GLORY YEARS, Vancouver’s Literary Centre 1978-1984 by Trevor Carolan. Mona ran the place in Gastown. I believe the first time I was ever published was in their newsletter and I was thrilled. Swept up by punk rock along with poetry, this was right around the time I started my first band, the Zellots and played the Smilin’ Buddha. Heady times, for all of us. As BC Bookworld’s Alan Twigg states: “Just as Alan Crawley and Dorothy Livesay organized Vancouver writers in the Thirties and Forties, Mona Fertig took the job seriously in the late ’70s and early ’80s, long before city culture bureaucrats were upbraided in 2012 for allocating less than 2% of their arts budget to literary arts. A Literary Arts Centre will finally come to pass, but Fertig led the way.” The launch is at the Western Front Oct 10.

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