Monday, December 12, 2011

Well, my lovely followers, I have been in France now for two months! I'm in a tiny village called Sérignac in the Midi-Pyrenees. I'm a third of the way through a self-directed writing retreat with a few projects, not least of which is the rewrite for Sleeptalker.

Mostly I find myself distracted by the beautiful countryside, quaint medieval villages and the amazing markets. If some of you have been following along on FaceBook, you'll see I'm quite obsessed with the purchasing of weird and wonderful foods and the cooking of them! In fact, my friend Ingrid suggested some poems about food which I thought was a rather good idea and which did kickstart me into writing a few poems, albeit nothing on the projects I'm supposed to be writing! But there you are, if nothing else we writers are very good at 1. procrastination and 2. beating ourselves up about our practice.

So, it's a couple of weeks before the holiday season - mercifully I am spared, to a great extent, the onslaught of TV advertising and the gross commercalization of the season - and I figure I'd better get something done. And, with that in mind, this week I will embark on rewrites for the play.

As an aside, I don't know how many of you know about the project I was wrapping up before I left Canada. I spent a bit of the summer working with Graham Powell on a collection of musical poems, tentatively entitled "Gratitude Songs" - Yes there is a theme there! Some of the poems from my latest book have been set to music that Graham composed especially for them. Check out his site - he's also a great photographer! When I get back to Canada we're planning a bit of a launch for the CD, so I'm also working on my Lady Gaga-ish costume - an homage to Leigh Bowery.

But don't think I've been completely idle. I was in London doing a reading for fellow-canuk, Todd Swift - who is now more English than the English! - at the Oxfam Bookstore and then the following day doing a guest lecture at Kingston University.

So friends - onward and upward!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Hey Folks!

My New book, The Ecstatic Torture of Gratitude, launches tomorrow Sunday October 2nd at Supermarket in Toronto's Kensington market - 3.30 - 6.00pm. I'm reading with 5 other lovely writers, so I hope to see you all there.

It's also my 'farewell for 6 months reading' as I'm off on Wednesday for the sunny climes of the Languedoc region of France with my trusty animal companion Ansel Fancy Pants Battson. More about that when I get settled.

Hope to see you tomorrow!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Hello Folks!

Draft 6 of Sleeptalker is complete and with Andrea. Andrea is also in the process of casting the reading. There's a blog you can check out for skimpy news of Sleeptalker - cool photos from the period there also! Make sure you pencil in the 28th July for the workshop reading - they'll be drinks and poisoned eclairs for you to imbibe while you give us your feedback!

As for the CD - well, today is the day when Graham, holed up in his studio, is starting to make the music! Using the trusty Snowball mic, I laid down the vocal guides for 13 tracks! It's great fun and I get to hear some of it on Wednesday!

Apart from that, I have a reading coming up in Cobourg on July 12th at Palisades Garden at 6 pm - hope to see you there!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The 5th draft of Sleeptalker is done and dusted! You can keep an eye on its progress through my other blog: Sleeptalker. Now I've turned my attention to the CD that Graham Powell and I am doing. And there's nothing better than a meeting in the garden of Graham's new house with Ansel stretched out in the sun! Tonight I get to figure out the order and even record a few of the poems (draft versions of course) on my Garage Band application (thank you Mac!) Can you believe this little mic is all I need??

Put Saturday June 18th in your calendars - I'm the poet guest at Array Music Session 8. A few poems, I think, from the Dust Bowl series I'm working on with Rick Sacks.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Busy times here in the city! I'm on the 4th draft of the Sleeptalker script and we've set a date for the workshop presentation - July 28th at 7.30pm at the Theatre Centre, Toronto. The workshop will be your opportunity to see a work in development and give your comments/criticism/sage advice - so save the date!

Monday, April 11, 2011


At last the weather is changing and it will be a great opportunity for you to bust out of the confines of the city and trundle down to Cobourg for the POW Poetry Festival. Festivities begin on Friday and continue all weekend long with poets all over the place! I'll be reading on Sunday with Liz Zetlin and Eric Folsom who have both had a taste of poet laureateship! Check out the festival sked and circle a few of the interesting events.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Today is Ansel's 11th birthday - here he is roaming in a daisy field in Gunnison, CO.

This weekend I'm starting on the third draft of the Dion McGregor project. I've had some interesting feedback for the second draft and I'm excited to start working on the piece again!

If you're interested in coming to hear me read, I am at the Draft Reading Series on April 7th at the Merchants of Green Coffee, 2 Matilda Street. Readings start at 3pm and the admission gives you a limited edition book for the readers' work. Also on the bill: Steve McCabe, Andrew Daley, Sarah Selecky and Halli Villegas - hope you can make it out!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Okay folks! Start gargling with honey and lemon and get those vocal chords loosened up because Wednesday is Battle of the Bards! Twenty poets, one stage, one winner. The prize is a spot at the International Authors Festival in the fall - who'd say no to that? So come on down and cheer for me!

7.30 pm Wednesday March 30th at the Brigantine Room, Harbourfront in Toronto!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sharpen your pencils and grab your date book, I've got a bunch of readings coming up!

Sunday, March 27th at 7 pm
The Secret Handshake Art Gallery's Mutual Readings
189 b Mutual Street, Toronto

Wednesday, March 30th at 7.30 pm
Harbourfront's Brigantine Room, Toronto

Sunday, April 10th at 3 pm
Draft Reading Series
The Merchants of Green Coffee
2 Matilda Street, Toronto

And also an appearance at the 3rd POW Festival in Cobourg, but more about that later!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Second draft of the Dion McGregor script is complete!! So I'm celebrating by going to Panama on Saturday to write some poems longhand in my notebook! Back to the olden days!

Last week I had PL duties, reading a poem for the Cobourg Civic Awards - people seemed to like it!

And some exciting news which I can't announce till Thursday, so stay tuned!

Monday, February 14, 2011

After a successful improv session at Array Music last week I switched gears from poetry and performance to playwriting. I have finished a first draft of The Somniloquies of Dion McGregor and am half way through a second draft. I'm quite pleased with how it is coming along! But the writing is the easy part! Now I have to start looking around for partners to workshop and further develop the project. Stay tuned for more news!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Hello Friends on this snowy morning!

This Saturday I’m part of a little improv session at the Array Studio. I’ll be performing a couple of poems I wrote for a collaboration with Rick Sacks. Should be cool!

05 February · 20:00 - 23:00
The Array Studio
60 Atlantic Avenue suite 218
Toronto, ON
An evening of experimental improvised music with special guests poet Jill Battson, vocalist Lara Solnicki, guitarist Nilan Perera. Rick Sacks will leave his DAW up after the afternoon workshop to add electronics and manipulate the live players' sounds.

More info here:

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Just completed the first draft of a cycle of poems about the carnival during the depression era for my collaboration with Rick Sacks. It's going to be a performance piece, and you can take a peek on Saturday February 5th at Array New Music Centre when we will perform a snippet - stay tuned for more deets.

Now that my cupboards are bare of all the Christmas goodies, and the food fog is lifting, I am starting to work on my various writing projects again. Today the sun is beaming in the windows and it's time to start thinking about the nature of dreams.....

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Happy New Year, dear readers!
I started the year off right when I delivered a poem for the Mayor's Levee in Cobourg on the afternoon of January 1st. The Mayor's Levee is a tradition that dates way back to Louis XIV who would invite gentlemen to his chamber on new year's day so they could hear what his plans were for the coming year. A room full of gentlemen is something many of us can only dream about ;) . The reading set up a kind of resolution for me to buckle down to writing the myriad projects I have simmering on various back burners. I actually need an Aga to accommodate all those pots!