09 Jan

A New Year

Well, 2012 was a good year despite the fact that I did not complete writing any poems. I spent most of the year reading books and doing research for writing projects that I will shortly begin to work on. I have several smaller poetry sequences I want to tackle, as well as the next full-length book of poetry, which I have been planning in my mind for several years, but could not work on until I finished writing my first book. So, I am excited to begin work on this new book, as well as the smaller sequences, but still have some further research to do before I can truly start writing. The next full collection will be a book of sonnets and I hope to begin working on poems for it in late spring or summer.

This fall though I started working on a few new poems that are not related to any specific project. It is always a good feeling to be writing poetry, especially after such a long break. I suspect I will be working on singular poems, such as these, while also working on the poetry sequences that I previously mentioned. I find it helpful to be able to jump back and forth from a sequence of poems to a singular poem in order to keep up the energy in each piece of writing. I find the same thing is necessary when working in poetic forms. If I am exclusively working in stricter forms, as I will be with the book of sonnets, I find it necessary to write alternately in less strict forms, such as free verse, so that the lines in the stricter forms do not become stilted. This also helps to tighten the technique of the free verse poems that one is working on. It is mutually beneficial to both forms of poetry.

I had a great time reading at the St. Thomas Poetry Series in November, and enjoyed sharing the stage with John Reibetanz and Don Martin. As always, David Kent was a wonderful host, and Richard Greene gave me a very kind introduction. This reading was one of the highlights of the year for me and my sincere hope is to read at the series again once my next book is published.

On a personal note, my health has improved in 2012, after a very difficult 2010 and 2011. I was able to begin practicing T’ai Chi again in the spring and that has helped me immensely. I hope my health will continue to improve throughout 2013 as I have several exciting projects and plans that I want to be able to pursue, including restarting Junction Books, my independent chapbook press. And speaking of exciting projects, I almost forgot to mention that my poem sequence, “Junction Elegies,” which is the final section of my book, will be used for the libretto of an intermedia chamber opera by contemporary composer Emilie Cecilia Lebel. I am very honoured that Emilie wanted to use my poems in her work, and I am very excited to hear the opera once she has completed it.

Well, I guess that is all I have to say for the moment. I hope to write a little more frequently in this blog, but as I have stated before, my ambivalence toward it is an obstacle. But I will try. I wish you all the best for the coming year. Cheers!

12 Oct

St. Thomas Poetry Series

I will be reading at the St. Thomas Poetry Series next month, organized by David Kent, and I am very excited about the opportunity to do so. I first happened across the St. Thomas Poetry Series in 1996, when my English professor at the University of Toronto, John Reibetanz, launched a book in the series. That publication, Near Finisterre, is still one of my favourite books, for both the poetry and the wonderfully designed and printed book itself, and I am very pleased that John will also be reading at the event next month. I have attended book launches and readings at St. Thomas’s Church whenever possible over the years, and have enjoyed reading all of the publications that I have collected from the poetry series, especially Richard Greene’s Crossing the Straights and Leif Vaage’s Schooled in Salt. Please join me on November 14th at this wonderful poetry series. Cheers.

* * * *

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012
8:00 p.m.

The St. Thomas Poetry Series

St. Thomas’s Church
The Parish Hall
383 Huron Street, Toronto, ON

Please join us for poetry readings by

Carleton Wilson, author of The Material Sublime,

D.S. Martin, author of Poiema,

and John Reibetanz, reading from Common Prayer,
a pamphlet by Jeremy Clarke.

Reception to follow. This is a free event.

This event is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts
and the League of Canadian Poets.