30 August 2009
27 August 2009
The project DE COMP is in its first phase -- Collis and Scott have spent the summer on a GPS journey into B.C. with copies of the book, leaving one in a remote, outdoor spot in five distinct regional ecosystems. Next year, they will retrace the route and gather the books to discuss, read and compose based on the experience. Prince George represents the northern leg of the project. The final stop is the Kootenays.
The concept for DE COMP sprung from a dissatisfaction the two writers have with aspects of nature and eco-critical writing. Collis said that it is often too simplistic, and natural elements are added to the text to make a poem more "natural." As he put it, more birds and trees do not an eco-poem make.
Stephen Collis reads from his forthcoming book, tentatively titled On the MaterialJordan Scott reads from Blert
13 May 2009
The NUDF Well Water Health Care Team for Northern Uganda is a team of 10 professionals from University of Northern British Columbia who are travelling to Northern Uganda in July of this year. The three week trip will focus on digging wells (potable water being a major deterrent in the spread of disease) and providing hospital/health care to impoverished communities in Northern Uganda.
There is also a pub-night at Alfredo’s Pub on 15th. Tickets are $15 each and include a full roast beef dinner. Proceeds ($7.50 of each ticket price) will go toward the July trip. Tickets can be purchased by contacting 250-960-6598.
12 May 2009
The Award consists of cash prizes for the three best first collections, with a first prize of $10,000 and two additional prizes of $500. The winners will be announced in Calgary, Alta., on May 23, 2009.
05 May 2009
PRINCE GEORGE - A long poem that connects the life of a tree to the life of a city woman was voted the top chapbook produced in northern B.C. this year.
Justin Foster’s from the melt was chosen by judges as winner of the fourth annual Barry McKinnon Chapbook Award at April’s chapbook fair in Prince George. The long poem, split into two parts, features the central character of ‘birch,’ a clearcut tree in a northern boreal forest and also a woman.
“The city which birch -- as a woman -- becomes a part of is very much in the likeness of Prince George. Her writing is concerned with the northern poetic.”
Excerpt: from the melt
a northern cutblock
nestled into folds of old growth tree-line
taught and rearing, this place
separated from the hustle-bustle
of northern city-life
by mountains and water ways,
by policy and intent, intenders
here the tailings of last winter shift and linger
finding solace in the shade of seasons
the ground is soft, forgiving from the melt
having never been subject
to a full, blustering squall
these trees are ill-equipped
to face the coming storms
newly exposed timber
pushes back against the wind,
pulling at the gnarled roots below
there is a shift in soil, a heaving
of the boreal landscape
04 May 2009
29 April 2009
PRINCE GEORGE - Three poets, three friends, three new books.
The local launch of Laisha Rosnau’s new collection of poetry, Lousy Explorers (Nightwood Editions), at the College of New Caledonia Tuesday evening had a more intimate feel than some readings. Rosnau, Elizabeth Bachinsky and Jennica Harper brought to the stage their writing and Vancouver-based friendship before an audience of about 40 people.
The tone, for the most part, was light as the spring night. Rosnau reflected on the local landscape with a fresh set of observations since moving to Prince George four years ago; Harper summoned the rebirth of the season with poems of youth and sexuality. Bachinsky, who grew up in Prince George, brought a darker element with poems from her new book, God of Missed Connections (Nightwood Editions).
Rosnau described her impression of northern B.C. as apparent and everywhere, and her poems roll over the landscape, combining her experiences with the places and politics that residents share.
“I hadn’t written any poetry in about two years, but something happened in the first few months I lived here -- I wrote so many poems,” said Rosnau, who's last book of poetry was 2004’s Notes on Leaving.
Bachinsky’s new book explores her search for cultural identity as a Ukrainian-Canadian. With a strong, dark stage presence, her poems melded images of post-nuclear Eastern Europe with contemporary Canada. She said inspiration for the collection came out of not knowing much about her heritage, and the subsequent research brought it to life with detail. She contrasted the journey with new experiences, such as seeing the AIDS quilt in Toronto for the first time.
Harper started the reading on a fresh note with poems from both her first collection, The Octopus and Other Poems, and her latest book, What It Feels Like For A Girl (Anvil Press). Released last fall, the latter follows the life of two teenage girls through images of pop culture and sexual curiosity. She started her reading with the poem “Warm Front,” which follows teenagers into the first days of spring. Fittingly, it was one of the first warm-ish evenings in Prince George this year.
The reading, presented by the Caledonia Writers Series, was hosted by Graham Pearce. Broadsides and books were available and signed by the authors. Rosnau and Bachinsky will read next in Vancouver on May 5 for the official launch of Nightwood Editions' spring releases.
Laisha Rosnau reads from Lousy Explorers
Elizabeth Bachinsky reads from God of Missed Connections
Jennica Harper reads from What It Feels Like For A Girl