March Poetry Salon @ Urban Gallery: photos and video

The March Poetry Salon at Urban Gallery yesterday was MAGNIFICO! /MAGˈNIFEˌKÔ/ I would like to thank our two terrific features, Roberto Angelis and Norman Cristofoli, who were MAGNIFICENT. And those who stepped up to open mic, MAGNIFIQUE, MAGNIFIQUE! Valentino Assenza, Kayla Forrest, Arlene Paculan, Jeff Cottrill, Joe Wray, Cate Laurier, Robbie Patterson, Coral - Crescendo Excompare, and Vladimir Azarov. And to all those who came out, MAGNIFICUM!! (magnificent in Latin, yeah really). Especially I would like to thank my brother, Allan Clews, who has added my Poetry Salons to his Meet-up Group, Toronto Mindful Artists, Writers and Storytellers, and who helped set up. And a special thank-you to Calvin Hambrook, owner of Urban Gallery, who helped everyone get settled, and did the open mic list as my bus connections left me running late. When I arrived to everyone's friendly, smiling faces, wow, all I could think was, MAGNIFICO! It was fabulous!

Here are photos from the Soirée. Please go to the Picasa Poetry Salon album for the names of the poets and musicians - the link will open in a new tab.


The video of the Salon. Since these Poetry Salon videos are for my own archives, I make no apology for the quality of the editing and continue to lament the sound produced by my Canon HF G20. But I know people like to see, and for those reading or performing, videos like this are great learning tools.

direct link: March 2015 Poetry Salon at Urban Gallery

In order of appearance:

Robbie Patterson, with Roberto Angelis 1:16
Jeff Cottrill 7:29
Kayla Forrest 11:25
Roberto Angelis (Feature) 14:45
Norman Cristofoli (Feature) 18:49
Valentino Assenza 35:07
Arlene Paculan, with Roberto Angelis 39:46
Joe Wray 48:48
Cate Laurier 54:42
Vladimir Azarov 1:01
Coral Excompare 1:03
Brenda Clews 1:07

NORMAN CRISTOFOLI has published seven chapbooks of poetry and prose and produced two CD’s of poetry/musical collaborations. He is also the publisher of the Labour of Love literary magazine.

However, Norman believes that people should focus on the art and not on the artist. An artist’s bio should be buried with the artist.

From one of Norman's poems:

"The hardest part is not searching for the answer. The hardest part is living the answer once you have found it."

ROBERTO ANGELIS'S crucible: Despite a rather secular early childhood, since the tender age of ten, Roberto was raised under the shadow of a fundamentally restrictive cult. An old world religion steeped in tradition, filtered through a graceless love, rooted in fear.

He had no tv or other media in this restrictive and abusive environment. He began creating beautiful broken poetry against the vile words, retreating into his tormented being, and immersing himself within sweet symphonies of sound, with every connecting blow. He would drown out the curses, fists, and buckles, with angelic harmonies, celestial woodwinds, and sadly sometimes, red violins..

Compelled to secrecy for fear of the abuse getting worse, he went deeper inside himself, where he kept himself alive by writing the whispers of his innermost being. After this period of indescribably suffering followed tumultuous years of struggling to overcome the demons of his past, [which includes depression and even to the point of suicide. -[We cannot know what burdens and struggles such a man carries but we can open ourselves to his poetry and really listen with empathy and caring and understanding and let it make each of us stronger in the battle against child abuse.

Roberto has been described as a truly unique and groundbreaking presence on the music and art scene His main themes focus on a truthful portrayal of an innocence lost. There is always a battle within: “the antagonist and protagonist vying for position within the man, as clawing shades of grey warring within an ancient, ravaged soul.”

In Roberto’s own words.. I endeavour to embrace the unsung beauty I find strewn amongst the broken pieces of my life, writing the songs and painting the pictures which well up within me.."

Roberto’s hauntingly distended vocal texture, combined with his lyrical genius and infectious phrasing, testify to a brutal truth. An axiom at times jagged and hard to swallow, yet so often sweet, brimming with pregnant promise for a brighter tomorrow.

Roberto’s publisher won’t allow us to video him here. He has done some powerful video poems, and I urge you to go to his website, Particularly, watch the video 'Heroes.'

In Roberto’s words, let’s now place all of our crutches aside, and enter the deeper chambers of the heart in our listening.

hosted and videoed by Brenda Clews

Popular posts from this blog

Exercise Set for Lungs and Bloodstream; Yoga set for the Kidneys.

First attempts at digital drawing...

A Dance Videopoem: Shadow Cave