The Heavens Have Never Seemed So Near

Sounds like The Olive and The Slam Finals were awesome! I believe that the world is indeed a better place today because of those events.

We’ve got a mighty day on deck. A veritable cornucopic assortment of miscellany awaits you today! How will you choose? Well, you could go with the time-honoured method employed by such luminaries as Ernest Hemingway and Dylan Thomas: Spill a glass of wine on a map. Whichever area is free of the grape, go there and make your mark. Some neckbeard should get to work on making that tactic work with Google Maps. Anyway, here’s the skinny for today’s events:

  1. Braidings with Anna Marie Sewell. 12:00noon-1:00pm, CBC Center Stage, City Center Mall. Braidings is a reader’s theatre/soundscaped performance for three voices, of the works of 6 Aboriginal poets. The words/works represent past, present and future, on the braided themes of Land, Love and Language. Brought to you by the hardest working poet in Edmonton, our Laureate Anna Marie Sewell.
  2. The Poetry Sweatshop 6:30pm, The Artery, 9535 Jasper Avenue. Facilitated by yours truly, Michael Gravel. Please bring your own writing utensil. Reborn in a more inclusive, gentler form, this event focuses on lowering inhibitions and having a blast with words. Explore the “micro glosa”. Ask the questions you’ve always wanted answered. Shoot off a couple “machine gun poems”. In this poem-generating workshop, editing is a four-letter word. Have a drink or two, write some poetry, and have a grand time pushing your words into the air while cheering on your mates to do the same.
  3. Take a Deep Breath 7:00pm, Audreys Books, 10702 Jasper Avenue. Four women share brand-new books that tackle survival and its compensations in very different poetic ways. If you’re looking for a mellower, more reflective vibe on humpday eve, this would be your ticket. Cuddle into Audrey’s lower-floor performance space and let the words of these four talented ladies comfort and inspire you. And when you’re done cuddling, go home and thank your family. They’re all any of us really have.
  4. Shout it Out – Queer Spoken Word 7:30pm, Woodcroft Library, 13420 – 114 Avenue. And if you’re looking for a riotous event full of all the things you wish you could say, Shout It Out is for you. In past years this event has been a giant hit, and the lineup this year looks to continue that trend. I’m warning you, though. This isn’t all feather boas, bravado, and leather jackets. This is some serious verse by some formidable poets. Grab your spectra patch and represent.
  5. Brendan MacLeod at the Artery 9:00pm, Artery, 9535 Jasper Avenue. After the sweatshop, stick around for Brendan MacLeod. Brendan is old friend of the festival. [begin old man voice] Why I remember back in ought-6 when Brendan came to town and shook the place to the ground. People still talk about it. I was just a your whippersnapper then, knee-high to a rabbit, but I tell ya my wife has yet to recover. You know what they say about Brendan, keep him away from the girls… [end old man voice]. Listen, you know Brendan will blow the stage apart. You know he’ll kick ass. Just come down and see the guy, OK?

Have fun at your events today, poets!