Upcoming Reading at the Toronto Public Library

I have been asked to offer a presentation of some of my performance videopoems at Mount Pleasant Public Library on Thursday Feb 25th from 6-8pm. There's seating for 70 folks - so if you're in Toronto, do come out. I'll be one of 6 featured poets and musicians. Looking forward to a great evening!

Urban Folk Art Salon6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. on recurring dates listed below
120 mins Mount Pleasant Program Room Mount Pleasant Library presents, Urban Folk Art Salon. With host Gannon Hamilton; featuring poets Ann Elizabeth Carson, Brenda Clews and Norm Cristofoli and singer/songwriters Glen Hornblast, Kirk Felix and Jeff Orson.


January 2016 Poetry and Music Salon

We had a beautiful late afternoon/early evening Poetry and Music Soirée at Markham House - wow, I was blissed out for days. Many thanks to our features, Sharon Goodier and Norman Allan and our guest musicians, Amoeba Starfish (Jeff Howard & Phil Ogison Aegidiussen)! And to everyone who stepped up to Open Mic and shared: Alexi, Optimus, Stedmond Pardy, Andraya Ciel Smith, Sean Mc Dermott and Jim Hamilton. We had a full house. I keep thinking, these salons can't get any more wonderful, and then they do. Thank you to all those who read/performed and to our fantastic audience. And to the generosity of Markham House. Love you all! xoBrenda

Please go to the album on Picasa for the names and dates of everyone who has appeared in this series.

I had considered stopping showing the Salon videos. While I like an archive, it takes too long to edit them and there are not many view counts. I think of them more as a teaching tool, but then I discovered that most of the poets and musicians in…

Motorcycle Poet Solves Murder

direct link: Motorcycle Poet Solves Murder

Brenda Clews interviews John Oughton on his new novel, Death By Triangulation.

'Motorcycle-riding poet Aaron Miles makes some of his daily bread as a cultural investigator.  He likes nice little cases with an element of art or literature, and no violence, thank you very much. But a wealthy Toronto family hires him to wrap up the affairs of their recently deceased black sheep uncle, a notorious anti-Papist and man of letters.  In particular, they want him to erase any traces of a past conspiracy the uncle had alluded to. Rich families hate scandal. Against his will, Miles uncovers a plot, both large in scope and decades old, to keep the lid on the truth about a major mystery of the 20th century. Set mainly in Prince Edward County, the story accelerates to Toronto, upstate New York, and the Dominican Republic as Miles tries to stay ahead of the secret's shadowy enforcers.'

Bio: John Oughton is Professor of Learning and Teaching at …

Books to Come

Good news. I received a contract from Quattro Books to publish my novella in the Spring of 2017 (my poetry book with Guernica Editions is coming out this Fall). Another publisher sent a response that made me feel that rare thing, understood as an author, and I consider it my first review: "We found your formal experimentation with "S*'s" characterization highly appealing, in the way it plays at the boundaries of poetry to reflect the sensuousness of experience. Overall, we felt it was an accomplished work."

My book has found the right home. Lovely to join the Quattro family!!!

Digital Drawing of Split Mask

Still working on my performance videopoem, Split Mask. It's subtly complex visually and the editing program is on overdrive. I kind of like this drawing/crop I did in Photoshop - it took hours to figure out, with lots of trial and error and starting over and over, drawing with a stylus, and so it is a digital drawing more than anything.

Burning Mask

This is kind of a cool nanosecond in my upcoming performance videopoem, Split Mask.

The line:
"The mask,
a paper image

[Aftereffect: Ten minutes later, finding it too bright,  I went in and keyframed the opacity of the flames, and so the moment as it appears here no longer exists in the videopoem.]

Ganged Up On By My Muse, I Am!

Another 2 second image from my forthcoming performance videopoem, Split Mask.

I've performed this poem a number of times around the city in features and on open mic in the mask, which I made in the Spring of 2013, and which insisted on a political poem, that was begun in the Summer of 2013 and completed in the Summer of 2014, and then they insisted on a 5' square painting, which I painted in a mad frenzy over 3 days at the very end of 2013 for a solo show at Urban Gallery in January and February of 2014, and now the mask, the poem, the painting are insisting I finish a videopoem, begun in the Fall of 2014, and not yet complete.

If I get the performance videopoem done this year, if, it will be a 3 year project! From 2013-2016. All begun with a little image in my consciousness that wouldn't go away and which I had to make: the split mask.

Oy ya, what's a gal supposed to do? Ganged up on by my muse, I am.


A photo in my upcoming videopoem, Split Mask.

A photo in my upcoming videopoem, Split Mask. This has 3-5 seconds on screen, a mere blink. The line is: "Focus
 on where
 we are falling apart."

Toronto Hydro a billing mess right now...

Toronto Hydro rates are not only beginning to skyrocket, but their billing is a total mess right now. I have only electric heat and never turn on the baseboard heaters - yeah, it's cold! I try to keep my Winter hydro rates under $1.00/day. Crazy, right? Shudder me long-johns, but I manage, somehow.

But look at these screen grabs of what's been happening in my account for the past few weeks. Toronto Hydro originally estimated their Dec charge for me would be $335,635. when in reality it is about $44. And then I got some "alerts" in my email with incorrect data and estimates. I'm keeping a close eye on it and will not be over-charged. But I want to point out that Toronto Hydro's billing right now is insane!


Some eBooks from the library

Reading some eBooks from Toronto Public Library on my device. These books disappear after 3 weeks - you can renew for another 3 weeks if the book isn't on hold. All eBooks I've borrowed are on hold. Apparently, publishers grant the library a license that costs say $80. for 4 copies for a year, after that year the library has to renew the licence and pay all over again. Seems like a sweet deal for publishers.

Because of the way publishers charge libraries for eBooks, and the very limited number of copies of each book that there are, you can be waiting up to 6 months on hold for an eBook.

Arctic Dreams by Barry Lopez has been on my "a" list forever. It is factual, humane, and the poetry of his writing is magnificent!

Here's a sample of soil writing:

Soil, dirt. Stuff I love! The base of our organic lives and our food. "Soil is a living system, a combination of dirt (particles of sand, clay, and silt) and decaying and processed organic matter. It is created by e…


Determined to draw on NYE, crazy idea, I attempted... lol! NOT a night to draw! Full of delicious food, too much wine and the warmth of great company! Sharing anyway 'cause what the heck, it's a NEW year! Bring it on, 2016!!!

WISHING ALL OF YOU LOVELIES the BEST year ahead, full of wonderful surprises, health, prosperity, accomplishment and so much love, warmth & friendship you feel every day is pure blessing.