Thursday, March 24, 2016

March 2016 Poetry & Music Salon @ Palmerston Library Theatre

Our March 2016 Poetry and Music Salon at Palmerston Library Theatre was superb. What a line-up of talent and warmth, I am so lucky to receive such a gift every month!

The EMU men, Luciano Iacobelli and Robert Marra, were extraordinary, and crazy hilarious. Margaret Christakos brought her elegant, mellifluous speaking voice to her poems and writings, giving her fertile work resonances that you might not find reading on the page - always such a treat to hear her. And Tom Gannon Hamilton, breaking our hearts with his violin or making them sing, he's our Pied Piper, and you should follow him around the city wherever he plays, and he read poems of opening to Spring, love poems.

High quality on the open mic too - Stanley Fefferman's writing is amazing, wowed by Victoria Lidia Ilgacs, gentle and beautiful Daniela Chis' writing is like her, Kirk Felix recited a poem that became a song with his guitar, his very first poemsong, that he wrote in 1970, called, "Christine," and he was accompanied by Tom on the violin. After the break, Margaret Code took the stage, love that woman, she is on a mission to save the Art Bar, at least in a resurrected form, and so please contact her if you would like to be on the save-the-Art-Bar committee. Finishing up the open stage were two performance poets, and how I love them both - Sahara Spracklin, a lady with her own style of poetry and song, and Stedmond Pardy, one of my favourites.

Thank you everyone who performed, and thank you to our audience! Especially I'd like to thank Iana Georgieva-Kaluba, the librarian at Palmerston Public Library who has been extremely supportive of a poetry and music afternoon at the library and who helped to organize this event and promoted it throughout the library system. The sound technician, whose name I did not get, was very helpful and did the mic levels, showed the videos on cue, and simply helped us to have a superlative Salon.

Many thanks folks for being such blessings. Love you all. xoxo

Here are the photos I took. These are mostly from the video since, without a background of artwork and daylight and the angles those differences afford, the photos looked just like the video and so that saved me some extra work. For names, please go to the album on Google Photos.


If you missed the March Poetry and Music Salon, why there is a video! - good to listen to while you do other stuff, plus you can see the poet or musician too. I think everyone looks great in the light against the dark background. Palmerston Library Theatre is a marvelous performance space.

direct link: March 2016 Poetry and Music Salon @ Palmerston Library Theatre

In order of appearance:

01. Stanley Fefferman 3:05
02. Victoria Lidia Ilgacs 9:35
03. Daniela Oana 14.21
04. Kirk Felix, accompanied by Tom Hamilton 17:03
05. Luciano Iacobelli and Robert Marra (features) 24:08
06. Margaret Code 48:52
07. Sahara Spracklin 50:53
08. Stedmond Pardy 54:34
09. Margaret Christakos (guest poet) 59:32
10. Tom Gannon Hamilton (feature) 1:13:03

Of the EMU Dialogues, it is said: "Emu is a literary cult named after a bird improvised from the spare parts of other birds, a bird that never flies because flying is a cliché. Emu is I AM YOU AND YOU ARE ME spoken at the speed of light. Emu is literature’s barber shop, where Dadaism, Surrealism, L-A-N-G-U-A-G-E get their weltanschauung trimmed and catch up on the latest sports gossip. The Emu Dialogues is a book for anyone who was ever asked the question, “why is an Orange?” and answered “because ice cream has no bones!”

LUCIANO IACOBELLI is a Toronto poet, playwright, visual artist. Luciano Iacobelli is the Author of The Angel Notebook (Seraphim 2007), Painting Circles (Mantis Editores, Mexico 2011), The Book of Disorders (Quattro books 2011).

ROBERT MARRA is an author, visual artist, psychotherapist. He is the author of a long concrete poem entitled THE WORD (Lyricalmyrical Press). Often combining words and images, he has shown his painting in various spaces throughout Toronto. The Emu Dialogue’s is the first major appearance of Robert’s literary work.

MARGARET CHRISTAKOS has published nine collections of poetry, including Multitudes (2013), Welling (2010; A Globe100 book), Sooner (2005; a Pat Lowther Memorial Award nominee), and Excessive Love Prostheses (2002; winner of a ReLit Award), as well as a novel, Charisma (2000; a Trillium Book Award nominee). Christakos designed and facilitated Influency: A Toronto Poetry Salon from 2006 to 2012 and was Canada Council Writer in Residence at the University of Windsor (2004-05).

THOMAS GANNON HAMILTON is a poet, violinist and producer. He wrote his Masters thesis on "dub poetry" (1985), before humanitarian work took him to Central America, where he joined the Salvadoran artist's cooperative "Tizon.” After relocating to Calgary, he completed a doctoral degree focused on the experiences and practices of high school poets. He has published two e-books of poetry, "Bellicose Veins" and "Deer Crossing.” He now lives in Toronto, where he performs regularly.


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

On the Edge of An Abstraction, a drawing

Watching House of Cards (shivers! the ruthlessness of it all but the acting! Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright are brilliant) and doodling - this is what it is. It seems like there might be a story in it. I was also thinking of a Muriel Rukeyser quote (which is, in fact, written in there and then blotted out), "If one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open." On the Edge of An Abstraction, 21cm x 29.7cm, 8.25" x 11.75", multi-media in Moleskine Sketchbook. © Brenda Clews 2016.

With thanks to Jean Morris for her comment on Facebook which led me to a title for this drawing.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Sketch of poet John Oughton

Little graphite sketch of poet John Oughton (done as part of a trade and at my place where I put on Chasing Ice for him to watch while I drew him). Drawing shown here, 6½" x 7", In a Moleskine Sketchbook, 21cm x 29.7cm, 8.25" x 11.75". © Brenda Clews 2016.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Watercolour Sketch of my Cat

...just a sketch. Watercolour and charcoal on watercolour paper. Did a little something that took an hour or so tonight for testing archival varnish sprays. Aria, my kitty. In a Moleskine Art Plus Watercolor Album, A4, 12" x 8.5" © Brenda Clews 2016.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Poetry & Music Salon at Palmerston Library Theatre Sat aft March 19th!

Breaking News! My next Poetry and Music Salon will be held in the Palmerston Library Theatre! It will be on the last Saturday of March break, March 19th, from 2-4pm or so, at 560 Palmerston Ave (just north of Bloor near Bathurst Stn). A brilliant afternoon. Tom Gannon Hamilton will play violin for half an hour (so beautiful). Luciano Iacobelli and Robert Marra will wow us with an EMU reading (you should not miss this- it's like taking some kind of unknown drugs). And the lady of lyrical streaming poetry, Margaret Christakos is our special guest poet. It's FREE, with pass-the-hat for the features. Here is a photo I took of the theatre - it seats 120, so do come out if you can. I'll be making organic hot apple cider too!


Monday, February 29, 2016

February Poetry & Music Salon at Charlotte Hale Art Gallery

Our Poetry and Music Salon Sat Feb 27, 2016 at Charlotte Hale's gallery was beautiful! The gallery was packed. The poets and musicians superb. An amazing afternoon of the warmth and talent in the Toronto poetry and music communities in an exquisite gallery in Mirvish Village - what more could one ask? Feeling nothing but blessed. Thank you!

I would especially like to thank Charlotte Hale for her hospitality and sharing her gallery for an afternoon event. The features, Roger Greenwald, and Richie Weisdorf, truly a treat for the mind, ear, heart, spirit. Roger is a poet at his prime, and if you ever get a chance to see him read, go. Richie is an up and coming musician who sings jazz-inspired songs to a complexity of rhythms and chords. Keep him on your list. To my two Guest Features, Karen Shenfeld, wow, she is force of her own, terrific poetry, and Jim McCuaig, maestro on his guitar, many thanks. Open mic often brings energy to an event - all those who shared their poetry added immeasurably to a rich, fertile and beautiful afternoon. Thank you Stedmond Pardy, Anita Lerek, Stanley Fefferman, Sean McDermott, Catherine Raine, Susan Munro, John Oughton, Milel BC, and Saskia van Tetering! Much love to you all. xoxo

Here are the photos I took. For names, please go to the album on Google Photos.


Here is a video of the entire Salon:

direct link: Feb 2016 Poetry and Music Salon

In order of appearance, with the time that their introduction begins:

1. Stedmond Pardy 2:14
2. Anita Lerek 8:49
3. Stanley Fefferman 12:05
4. Sean McDermott 15:25
5. Susan Munro 20:31
6. John Oughton 23:14
7. Richie Weisdorf 26:37 (feature)
8. Jim McCuaig 37:05 (guest musician)
9. Mikel BC 47:51
10. Saskia van Tetering 50:18
11. Karen Shenfeld 52:57 (guest poet)
12. Roger Greenwald 1:05:46 (featured poet)
13. Richie Weisdorf 1:23:06 (featured musician)


ROGER GREENWALD attended The City College of New York and the Poetry Project workshop at St. Mark’s Church In­the­Bowery, then completed graduate degrees at the University of Toronto. His poetry has appeared in such journals as The World, ELQ (Exile: The Lierary Quarterly), Saturday Night, Prism International, Pequod, Pleiades, Poetry East, The Spirit That Moves Us, The Texas Observer, Great River Review, Leviathan Quarterly, and Copper Nickel. He has won two CBC Literary Awards (poetry and travel literature) and has published two books of poems: Connecting Flight (Toronto: Williams- Wallace) and Slow Mountain Train (Rochester, NY: Tiger Bark Press).

Toronto born pianist and poet RICHARD WEISDORF has been performing his original material infrequently for over 10 years. His music has been described as dramatic and musical theatre; a description he can’t entirely reject. Sometimes the music examines and critiques commonly held social ideals; other times it is just straight out personal fantasy. His poetry arises under the spell of short lived binges of nighttime inspiration and caffeine. They are his attempt to think originally, sometimes treating serious topics with humor and play, which produces a strange little romp into the nonsensical realm of his own subjective truth.

Special Guests:

KAREN SHEFFIELD has published three books with Guernica Editions: The Law of Return, which won the Canadian Jewish Book Award for Poetry in 2001, The Fertile Crescent (2005), and My Father's Hands Spoke in Yiddish (2010). Her poetry has also appeared in well-known journals and anthologies published in Canada, the United States, South Africa, and Bangladesh, and she has given readings in Canada, the U.S., Mexico, and England. She is currently completing the manuscript for her fourth book. Besides being a poet, Karen is also a journalist, editor, filmmaker, and traveller. Among her many journeys, she has hitch-hiked across the Congo and the Sahara desert. She is currently preparing for her new life as a Jewish Presbyterian Church Lady in Magnetawan, a village by a fast-flowing river in the near north of Ontario.

Ex roady, ex theatre tech, ex subway driver, JIM McCUAIG is now finding joy fingerpicking East Coast Blues and some originals.

Organized, hosted, photoed, video and video editing by Brenda Clews: