January 2015 Poetry Salon: Photos and Videos

At last, here are the photos and video from my Poetry Salon at Urban Gallery on January 31, 2015.

It was another wonderful, warm, talented, supportive afternoon of poetry and music! The rich imagery of the poems and the warmth of the Salon remain with me. Many thanks to our great features, Karen Shenfeld, Bänoo Zan, Michael Oesch and Saskia van Tetering, and to all the poets who shared their poetry on open mic, Susan Helwig, Mike Lipsius, Pat Connors, Norman Bethune Allan, Charles Taylor and Elaine Waddell. A rich tapestry of poetry and music indeed!

Many thanks to Josef Hochleitner, who kindly came and took photos, some of which I've uploaded here, that are superb. Thank you to Urban Gallery, and to Glenda Fordham, their wonderful publicist, who came and photographed the early part of the Salon. Full Picasa album with the names of everyone here:

Basquiat at the AGO: An Untitled Portrait

Basquiat at the AGO: An Untitled Portrait

When asked about his frequent use of "carbon" (tar, asbestos), Basquiat shot back, "How black do you think I have to be?"1 Basquiat, quintessential black artist, brilliant rebel whose astronomical rise in the international art market in his 20s, was dead of a heroin over-dose by age 27. During his short lifetime, he produced thousands of paintings and drawings. Driven, talented, full of paradoxes, aware and vulnerable, Basquiat, wild child of his times, is the focus of a blockbuster show, 'Now's the Time,' currently on at the AGO, where over 80 of his paintings and drawings are on display until May 10, 2015.

His blackness, like everything in his life and oeuvre, is entangled with paradoxes. While he would give us each bars of black soap (Black Soap, 1981) so that when we washed we would become blacker, he moved in an almost exclusively white world. Phoebe Hoban, who knew Basquiat and wrote a vivid biography of hi…

Struggling with my Basquiat review

I'm really struggling with my Basquiat article. While I knew this would happen - there are too many tangents, too many things that need further explanation, and I do have a tendency to give too much background, and any more writing will weigh it down into tedium - so I need to finish up with a bunch of his images and tidy what I've written with a bit of prepositional dusting, vacuuming stray adverbs and whatnot, and polishing with that word-i-dex spray. Oh, lol. I like and don't like Basquiat's work, and think I'll be cremated alive as I try to articulate some of my issues since he is so popular presently.

The Minions (MOesch & Saskia) perform ‘Iceland,’ a Pong, and Brenda dances

direct link: Iceland

The Minions (Michael Oesch and Saskia van Tetering) perform, ‘Iceland,’ a Pong (poem song) and Brenda Clews dances in her Split Mask at the January 2015 Poetry Salon at Urban Gallery in Toronto.

It was a fun Poetry Salon! While there are photos to come, and one long video of the Salon, I edited this clip, shot on another camera by Barry (thank you), to bring out the ice and strangeness and transcendence of Iceland in Saskia's poem and Michael's music, especially with the theramin.