On Your Marks

Ascant four days stand between you and the only Edmonton festival that celebrates the beauty of language: The Edmonton Poetry Festival. Surely, in your heart of hearts, you knew this? Surely you were crossing the days on your calendar, or at least had a reminder set in your electronic doodad? If not, let this block of braggadocio be your warning. Sound the trumpets, release the raptors, and barricade your doors, for in four days this city will howl louder than the ripping winds of the Siberian High. On April 22, 2012 you will forget your philistine heritage and become your higher self – the person you want to see in the mirror; the person who holds back nothing and does not apologize. In four days, poetry will be the most important thing in this city.

(Photo by Randall Edwards)

Of course, to the poets, poetry is always the most important thing in this city. Without poetry our punishing winters would be things of misery, but instead, poetry elevates our toil. It turns snow into white jazz from heaven. It turns snow-caked roads into a gravy of discontent. A blizzard is nothing but the hectic dandruff of forgotten gods, and windrows are piles of ash, waiting for an urn.

Spit the ash from your mouths and gargle waxwing thunder with the poets of Edmonton, beginning this Sunday, April 22.

Stake out your week by checking the schedule and be sure to view our lineup of authors. You would do well to follow us on Twitter, @edmpoetryfest, where we will be live-tweeting events, posting pics, and creating a stir.

To get you in the creative mood, check out our latest newsletter, where you are entreated to write a poem on your sidewalk, mirror, or other acceptable surface and post the result to your FB or Twitter account. Doesn’t have to be your words! We’ll pick the best ones and post them here.