Thursday, September 11, 2014

One of the Features at 100,000 Poets for Change evening of September 27th

Saturday, September 27, from 7:00pm - 11:00pm

Black Swan Tavern
154 Danforth Ave, Toronto, Ontario M4K1N1

Featuring Robert Priest, Bruce Meyer, Anna Yin, Jeannine Pitas, Max Layton, Luciano Iacobelli, Brenda Clews, Nik Beat, Niki Koulouris, Dane Swan, Bänoo Zan and Pat Connors (who's hosting the event).

Brenda Clews is an African-Canadian poet, painter and video poet. Brenda has had solo art shows and been in a number of group art shows. Her artwork has appeared in books and as journal covers. Her poetry has been published in print and on-line journals over the years. She has been a featured poet at a number of venues and hosts and organizes monthly Poetry Salons at Urban Gallery in Toronto. LyricalMyrical published her chapbook, 'the luminist poems' in 2013. She has a poetry book forthcoming with Guernica Editions. She cites her early years spent barefoot, living in a compound of mud huts, with many wild animals and the wonderful Ndembu people, in the jungle of Kafue National Park in Zambia, for her deep resonance with the beauty, strangeness and brilliance of the tribal mind and the natural world.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Guest Poet at 'Saturdays at the Portobello'

The thing is, when I begin to memorize a longer poem for a performance piece, I keep fiddling with it and doing small bits of re-writes - little things, a changed word here or there, deleting lines, modifiers, prepositions, tightening things up. Which makes it harder to remember! It might take a whole week because every day I make changes and then have to start memorizing all over. Yes, eventually the poem does get to the point where I'm satisfied and then I rarely change a word again.

I'm a guest poet at Portobello Saturdays this coming Saturday and I will perform the poem I am working on memorizing (promise). 995 Bay St (at Wellesley), 1:30-4:30p.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

My next Poetry Salon @ Urban Gallery is Sat May 31, 3-5pm

On the last Saturday of every month, from 3-5pm, there will be a Poetry Salon at Urban Gallery! We will have 3 features and of course Open Mic. Please put the recurring date on your calendar.

The next Poetry Salon is on Saturday May 31st. And what a line-up!

CLARA BLACKWOOD is a poet, visual artist and tarot reader. Her first poetry collection, Subway Medusa (2007), was the inaugural book in Guernica Editions’ First Poets Series, which features first books by poets thirty-five and under. Her poetry has appeared in Canadian and International journals. Forecast, her second book of poetry, was published by Guernica Editions in March 2014. She lives in Toronto.

KATE MARSHALL FLAHERTY is published in journals such as Descant, CV2, Freefall, and Windsor Review. She was short-listed for Nimrod's Pablo Neruda Poetry Prize, the Malahat Review Long Poem and Descant's Best Canadian Poem. "Reaching V," a book of poems, was published by Guernica Editions in 2014. She lives in Toronto with her husband and three spirited children, where she guides yoga/retreats/writing workshops. Poetry is her lifeline.

MICHAEL FRASER is a high school teacher, poet, and writer who has been published in anthologies and journals including Literary Review of Canada, The Paris Atlantic, and Caribbean Writer. His first poetry collection, "The Serenity of Stone," won the 2007 Canadian Aid Literary Award manuscript contest and was published in 2008 by Bookland Press. He also won Arc’s 2012 Readers’ Choice Poem of the Year, and his poem, “Going to Cape,” is included in The Best Canadian Poetry in English, 2013. Michael is the creator and director of the Plasticine Poetry Series.

Eight Open Mic spots of 5 min each are also offered - sign-up at 3pm.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

April's Poetry Salon @ Urban Gallery

April's Poetry Salon at Urban Gallery (which I hosted) was lovely! Except for some equipment malfunction (a video camera mic did not work and so I missed my main feature, Michael Mirolla and two of the open mics), it went beautifully.

Here are some photos and the videos of one of the features and the open mic-ers I managed to salvage (yours truly included). Michael Mirolla and Claudio Gaudio featured, and they were followed by Andrew McLeod (in the blue cap), JD Kruger (in the touque), Margaret Code (with the purple scarf), Jacques Albert (in the leather jacket), Norman Allen (with his painting beside him), and moi.


My Video Review of the Readings of the Two Features, Michael Mirolla and Claudio Gaudio:

direct link: Video Review of Michael Mirolla's and Claudio Gaudio's Readings at my Poetry Salon at Urban Gallery on April 26, 2014.

Video of Claudio Gaudio's Reading, One of the Features:

direct link: Claudio Gaudio Reads at Urban Gallery

Videos of the Open Mics:

direct link: Norman Bethune Allan on Open Mic - April 2014 Poetry Salon @Urban Gallery

direct link: Margaret Code on Open Mic April 2014 Poetry Salon @Urban Gallery

direct link: Jacques Albert on Open Mic April 2014 Poetry Salon @Urban Gallery

direct link: Brenda Clews on Open Mic April 2014 Poetry Salon @Urban Gallery

The photograph to which I refer in the 2nd poem, The Understory:

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Three Split Masks

Split Mask painting (for sale) and me in my handmade Split Mask at Urban Gallery where I had performed my poem, Split Mask, on January 29, 2014.

Original photo by Josef Hochleiter, and then I spent hours photoshopping it to bring all the masks out of the shadows since it was a night time indoor shot.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

A Poetry Performance Evening on Jan 29th @ Urban Gallery featuring Luciano Iacobelli, John Oughton and Brenda Clews

Featuring: Luciano Iacobelli, John Oughton and Brenda Clews.

Luciano is a poet, visual artist and publisher. His work transgresses borders, edges, finds places where definition is bare. While his pared-down poetry is rich with literary and philosophical reflections and echoes for those who wish to delve into layers and meanings, it is always passionate.

Luciano is performing a piece entitled THE STUTTER NOTEBOOK: The piece employs a stylized stutter to reinforce the idea that all communication is stutter, all language is an attempt at arriving at fluid communication, but the attempt is destined to fail. Language itself is a faulty tool, unstable and full of hesitations. The best anyone can do is stumble to their meanings. The stumble has its own peculiarities, it's own beauty and rhythm. and the determination and drive behind the stumble is poetry.

John has worked as writer, musician, photographer, and performer. He was part of Toronto's improvisational dance/performance art scene, as performer, moving prop, musician and scriptwriter. He has staged his writing with slides, music, video, dancers, and even a battery-powered toy robot. His poetry also is hard to pin down, morphing from comic and satirical approaches to meditations on the presence of science, technology and nature in everyday life, and elegies. 

Brenda is a multi-media artist who dances poems in hand-made masks that often find their way into paintings. Thirteen paintings from her Poempaintings Series are currently on show at Urban Gallery. She will be performing in full gear at this Poetry Salon - expect masks, creative movement, rich and sensual poetry - and to see the poempaintings hanging on the walls in a new light.

(PWYC, suggested minimum donation $5.)


LUCIANO IACOBELLI is a poet, publisher and visual artist. He is the author of numerous chapbooks and 3 full length books of poetry. His book The examined Life is being published by Guernica Editions in 2016. He is the co-owner of Quattro Books, and the publisher of Lyricalmyrical press.

Born in Guelph, JOHN OUGHTON has lived in the Middle East, Japan, and Nova Scotia, but always seems to return to Toronto. He completed a BA and MA at York U., where he studied with Irving Layton, Miriam Waddington and Eli Mandel, and also was a "graduate assistant" to Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. He is the author of five books of poetry -- most recently, Time Slip from Guernica Editions-- and several chapbooks. His first novel, Enough of Hate, will be published by Neopoiesis Press around the end of 2014. John is also a photographer with three solo exhibitions to his credit. He works as Professor of Learning and Teaching at Centennial College.

BRENDA CLEWS is an African-Canadian poet, painter, videopoet and editor living in Toronto, Canada. She has edited textbooks, written articles for newspapers, taught yoga, done temporary office work, and dog sitting, while maintaining a reclusive lifestyle of writing and painting. She has a degree in Fine Arts and abandoned a PhD in English Lit many years ago. Brenda has had solo art shows at York University (2000), Q Space (2013) and currently at Urban Gallery, and has been in a number of group art shows including 5 By 5 at The Gladstone Hotel in 2013. Her artwork has appeared in several books and as journal covers. Her poetry has been published in various books and in print and on-line journals over the years. LyricalMyrical published her chapbook, 'the luminist poems' in 2013. She has a poetry book, 'Tidal Fury,' forthcoming with Guernica Editions. She cites her early years spent barefoot, living in a compound of mud huts, with many wild animals and the wonderful Ndembu people, in the jungle of Kafue National Park in Zambia, for her deep resonance with the beauty, strangeness and brilliance of the tribal mind and the natural world.

direct link: Luciano Iacobelli's The Stutter Notebook

direct link: Brenda Clews' Ink Ocean

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Artist-in-Attendance: DANCE JAM @Urban Gallery

DANCE JAM this Sat afternoon, from 2-4pm, at Urban Gallery, where my POEMPAINTINGS show is currently!

Calvin Hambrook, the Manager at Urban Gallery, when we were working out the details of my show, said that in the warm months, May-Oct, a lot of people who are browsing in the area come into the gallery on Saturdays, but that it's very dead in the Winter months. So I immediately offered to do an Artist-in-Attendance/Artist-at-Work Saturday, which became an offer to do three - one every two weeks for the duration of my show. Only, when I considered them, I thought I really didn't want to sit around for two hours with no visitors, and so decided to offer something interesting on each of the Saturdays (Jan 18th, Feb 1st, and Feb 15th). I like to dance, so let's dance! I like to draw, so let's do a life drawing session! I am a poet, so let's do a poetry workshop (an hour writing, an hour sharing what you wrote or something you brought to get feedback on)!

All the paintings are for sale, and if you love one or more and consider purchasing yourself or know someone who would, I'd be happy. There's nothing more an artist wishes than their work go with beautiful people to their homes or offices for their own enjoyment and investment.

So, this Saturday, if you are in Toronto, come for an afternoon of art and creative movement: let the poetry in your body dance you to live and CD movement meditation music!

The schedule is:

2-2:30pm - live music with John Charles Daly and Nik Beat (and maybe Willie Anicic and whoever else comes), then a break of an hour

2:30-3:30pm - a dance CD that I've made of tracks adhering to the 5RhythmsTM practice -flowing, staccato, chaos, lyrical, stillness- taken from different CDs of Gabrielle Roth and The Mirrors (it was her work, and it's a healing moving meditation practice, don't worry, any kind of movement is good, a series of yoga poses, moving slowly and gently caring for your body, or dancing like a crazy coyote, all is permissible, no rules, you’ll love it)

3:30-5pm - live music (the Gallery is open to 5pm, and I doubt we’ll stop at 4pm)

No admission charge (maybe pass the hat for the musicians is all). Enjoy some hot apple cider gratis of Urban Gallery too!

Artist-in-Attendance: Brenda Clews
Sat Jan 18: 2-4pm

Urban Gallery
400 Queen Street East
(between Parliament and River St on the north side)

I thought I'd make the Artist-in-Attendance afternoons fun! Here are the dates:

Sat Jan 18: 2-4pm - DANCE JAM
Sat Feb 1: 2-4pm - LIFE DRAWING
Sat Feb 15: 2-4pm - POETRY WORKSHOP