Vancouver reading

Well Wednesday’s been and gone and so has the Vancouver reading. The Peter Kaye Room was a nice space to read, in a really stunning building (Battlestar Galactica set?? who knew?)… although the partition-weight walls mean you’d better hope you don’t have anything too entertaining going on nearby. Unfortunately for my poetry chickens, the woman who was holding forth on her backpacking trip to a large and grateful audience next door launched into her best jokes just as my reading reached its emotional apex. (I guess on the scale of distraction this is still preferable to the drunks and lunatics who occasionally press body parts to the glass or wander mid-stanza into Mocambo readings.) And when my foot got stuck to the electrical tape holding down the microphone cable, that got audience members wondering what kind of personal dance steps I was perfecting behind the podium.

But other than that I was pleased with the evening. Friendly responsive audience and a satisfactory huddle round the book table, heroically managed by my cousin Deb. Many family members there, and my family of friends (and thanks, Tom, for photo-documenting the event). Celebrity visitors included writers Leona Gom and Heidi Greco and Brian Andre and Allan Brown.

I noticed Bob Dylan features set lists from his concerts on his website so I thought why don’t poets? And here’s mine in case you want to sing along:

(from Old Habits/Crosswords)
Boston School of Cooking Cookbook
(from Cartography)
Making Sense
At It Again
After the Fall
Leaf Cutter Bees
My Kitchen
(from new ms.)
Ache and Pain
London Plane
Hard Cold Realty

(from Creating the Country/Crosswords)
Another Life to Live at the Edge of the Young and Restless Days of Our Lives

On the food side of things, Ana took me round some excellent foodie places in Park Royal, including Whole Foods, a terrifyingly large and pricy American natural/organic foods supermarket chain (with branches in the UK and of course Canada). Although dazed by the lighting and swooning from all the beautiful displays, we were able to wrestle a gorgeous chunk of aged gouda into the shopping basket before we fled into the rain. Heaven on earth.

She’s lent me a promising book – Italian Food Artisans: Traditions and Recipes – which helped ease the trauma of missing the ferry back to Vancouver Island by a niggling 8 cars, followed by a tedious two hour wait for the next sailing. The joys of living on an island.

Now I’m packing my bags for a trip to Lumb Bank, followed by London – where I’ll hear Marilyn Hacker speak and attend a Troubadour reading – before swinging by the League of Poets meeting in darkest Ottawa. Expect intermittent but internationally flavoured posts for the next couple of weeks.

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