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April 29th, 2-4pm, Poetry & Music Salon @Palmerston Library Theatre!

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So happy that Tricia Postle is our featured musician! And Ian Burgham our Guest Poet! It'll be an amazing afternoon. Hosted by Luciano Iacobelli. I'll be doing a longer performance from Tidal Fury accompanied by the maestro violinist, Tom Gannon Hamilton. Sat aft April 29th, 2-4pm, Palmerston Library, 560 Palmerston Ave. Light refreshments served.

Here is my Event Listing on the Home page of my new website. It'll be up until April 29th.


Click here for the Facebook Event Page
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Finally, a website in the making...

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Last summer I began the attempt to create a new website for my art and writing. Wordpress proved daunting as I purchased a portfolio template that I was not able to master. The months ticked by. At last, I somehow hit on the right search terms, and Google delivered a list of sites that offer website software that you can buy quite reasonably and download, as opposed to on-line sites, like Wix, Weebly or Squarespace, that charge (much higher) monthly fees for hosting and a domain name with a website. I already had a hosting company, 4goodhosting.com, located in Vancouver, with very reasonable rates, and I have a domain name through Google (US$10/yr). I was looking for a way to build my own site, but also integrate this blog of 14 years.

And I found everything with RapidWeaver, and the purchase of a few plug-ins! I am super excited. I have a lot of work ahead building this site, but it is begun, viable and live! After the struggle of trying to figure out how to do this and the endless s…

Birthday @ the Art Bar Poetry Series Carries Its Risks!

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direct link: Happy Bday
Featuring at the Art Bar Poetry Series on your birthday carries its risks. Love ❤️ Love ❤️  Love ❤️  Many thanks for all the beautiful birthday wishes!
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Open Book Interview on Tidal Fury

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Somehow, I missed the publication of this Open Book interview with me on Tidal Fury last October. I just found it. Many thanks to Open Book!

As it was posted 5 months ago, I think to share the whole interview here.


NEWS AND INTERVIEWS The In Character interview, with Brenda Clews DATE October 26, 2016 Brenda Clews is the author of Tidal Fury (Guernica Editions), a narrative collection that is part love story, part examination of identity, and part exploration of power, mythology, and obsession. Illustrated by Brenda's original artwork, Tidal Fury was been called a "richly layered, challenging collection" by John Oughton, author of Time Slip. We welcome Brenda to Open Book today as part of our In Character interview series, speaking to her about the nameless narrator of Tidal Fury. She tells us about Tidal Fury's unique structure, the mechanics of poetic internal dialogue, and the writerly self vs. the everyday social self.

Open Book: Tell us about the main character in…

Tidal Fury Features this Year

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Lovely to see Tidal Fury on the shelves at Indigo (Bloor and Bay)! I signed them. A bunch of features are lined up in Toronto this Spring and I am gearing up to perform from Tidal Fury for you and, I hope, to entertain, elevate and inspire you all!
January 18th @ A literary ménage à trois of poetry, 7:30-9:30pm, Bar Italia, 582 College St February 23rd @ Urban Folk Art Salon, 6-8pm, Mount Pleasant Library, 599 Mt. Pleasant RdMarch 7th (my birthday) @ The Art Bar Poetry Series, 8-10:30pm, Free Times Cafe, 320 College StMarch 21 @ Hot-Sauced Words, 7:30-10:00pm, The Supermarket, 268 Augusta Ave., Kensington MarketApril 29 @ Poetry and Music Salons, a longer, more intense set, 2-4pm, Palmerston Library Theatre, 260 Palmerston AveSeptember 2nd @ Words and Music Salon, 1:30-4:30pm, location TBA. ___


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The Process: Close Up Portraits of Three Women

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direct link: Close Up Portraits of Three Women: the process

During the months working on these small portraits, I took photos, and one video, along the way. Thought it would be fun to collect them in a single slideshow video.

From the sketches to the finished paintings, portraits I painted of Bänoo Zan (poet), Isabel Fryszberg (musician/painter) & a Self-Portrait. Each is 20"x16”x1.5”, oil on canvas. ©Brenda Clews 2017.

Music: Lena Selyanina.


Sidenote: I found this interesting. It is from Sep 20th, 2016, showing a photo of an early Autumn leaf by Dave Bonta and my portrait of Bänoo, which was almost finished. Bänoo is a fiery poet and the colours that arose in the shadows of her face echo a leaf on fire (these photographs a co-incidental pairing on Tweetdeck, the Twitter app I use).
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View from Robarts Library

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The literary world has its own intrigues, passions, blasts and blessings. There's always a story, and there is one with my novella, Fugue in Green, which was languishing and now, suddenly, is slated for publication this Fall 2017. I have 6 weeks to do edits and revisions. I haven't read the ms since I submitted it in 2015. Hit Robarts Library yesterday and finished reading it and making some changes by closing time. It goes for a literary edit in a few weeks, so I have to work on the changes and additions I think it needs now, and then, after it's edited, I will work madly on it again. Here is my lovely view from the library at sunset. Note Hart House down there. (This post about the view, not the panicked lady behind it! Lol!)
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Pen & ink drawing of Luciano Iacobelli

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A rather raw pen and ink sketch of Luciano Iacobelli in preparation for a portrait painting.  ©Brenda Clews, 9"x12", pen and ink on Strathmore 140lb watercolour paper.

Luciano, Rocco and I are doing a triple book launch on Wednesday, January 18th:

A literary ménage à trois of poetry: Luciano Iacobelli, The Examined Life; Rocco De Giacomo, Every Night of Our Lives; and Brenda Clews, Tidal Fury. It'll be a fantastic evening, first at Bar Italia, where we will each read while you drink and eat and enjoy and of course, buy books and then the evening will continue as a party at a nearby location. Do join us for an evening of fine and sometimes raucous poetry.

 Hosted by Dominic Capilongo. Live music by Ian Burgham and friends.

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'The Child is Father of the Man' (Wordsworth)

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'The Child is Father of the Man,' (Wordsworth), ©Brenda Clews, 9"x12", pen and ink on Strathmore 140lb watercolour paper.

Last night's drawing.

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Which one is the real one?

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Which one is the real one? A too-fast sketch of Geraldine James in Jewel of India (1984), though she looks obliquely Frida somehow. With the somewhat crude tool I am using, a $2.75 bamboo reed that I love that blots and dabs, that you struggle with to draw, makes the attempt at, approach to, discovery of a more expressionist figuration in the depths, deliberate.
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'the attraction' - pen & ink sketch

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'the attraction seems not so much at the heart of it but wheeling outside it' (Larkin), ©Brenda Clews, 9"x12", pen and ink on Fabriano 140lb 100% cotton watercolour paper.

Original note at 1am a few nights ago: Loosely drawn. The sketch, fairly quick. The figures from different time zones. And yet, how strikingly real this seems.


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Dahlings! Happy New Year!

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Dahlings! Wishing you an extraordinary 2017 in all ways, creative, spiritual, financial and in your relationships. Overcome oppressions with true tidal fury!

(costume I patched together to perform Tidal Fury, a book about overcoming oppression)
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Wishing you the best of the Festive Season

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Wishing everyone a wonderful festivity of giving, love and feasting! Happy Christmas, Hannukah, Shab-e Yalda, Yule, however you celebrate the birth of the light!

(The most perfect tree ever - it is real, yes!)




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Kitty is Improving

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Some tentative good news - my kitty, Aria, is lightly using her paw again when she walks. Not every time, but definitely last night and this morning a little bit. Which implies that it was a bad sprain (the vet's original diagnosis when I took her in a week before the appointment where he took x-rays). I've seen no sign of an embolism - both eyes blink fine, breath out of both nostrils, both sides are fully sensitive and getting stroked on either side elicits loud purring, just a sore paw that seems to be getting better. She sleeps, she eats, she's playful, she's demanding, she sweet, she's fully herself. It's been 2½ weeks since I first noticed a limp. She still scoots around on three legs, but there is slight improvement (it's that right front leg in the photo) and, hopefully, she is healing.

I am quite happy indeed. The vet may have been right in his diagnosis on our first appointment.
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Wishing You a Brilliant Solstice

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Happy Solstice! When the sun is furthest, the night darkest, the return begins. Immanence, beginnings. Yeah, and also, be the shining light you are.
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Simple sketch of Aria

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I thought my pussy cat had broken her leg, but it turns out there is no fracture and it may have been an embolism. She's only 4 years old. Here's a simple little sketch because I would like to paint her. No idea what the final prognosis will be, or what's coming. She is the sweetest little companion ever.

(Different crops suggested by PS of the same little simple sketch - she didn't sit in that position for long enough! Sort of drew everything while she was sitting near me by calling her and then she'd look up and I'd draw, except for the ears, and the whiskers, she was gone by then and they are mostly guesses...)

Here is a little watercolour painting of her where I did not particularly try to get a good likeness.


I'll post some photos when I have some new ones. Rather heartbreaking to see her scampering about on three legs and always holding one paw in the air, and I have no idea how I will afford the vet care.
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Video of 'Tidal Fury' @ Guernica Launch!

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direct link: Tidal Fury Guernica Launch 2016

Here is a video of my set for my book, Tidal Fury, at the Guernica Editions launch Dec 4th. The talented and lovely Karen Shenfeld introduced me and she said such nice things I was blushing. The MC was Anna Geisler, gorgeous hard-working lady. The Publisher, Michael Mirolla, is a literary force in his own right and has brought much fine writing to public attention with an substantial yearly publishing schedule. I am honoured and fortunate to be a Guernica author. Many thanks to all!



'Tidal Fury' by Brenda Clews
Introduced by Karen Shenfeld
MC Anna Geisler
Guernica video trailer in the background
by Gabriel Quigley

at the Guernica Editions book launch
December 4, 2016
Supermarket Restaurant & Bar
in Kensington Market, Toronto, Canada

Michael Mirolla, Publisher

Tidal Fury is available from all major booksellers:

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