Poetry fans can feast on an eclectic mix of poetic voices by twelve local and award-winning out-of-town talent as well as the Canadian launch of a California-based anthology during Sarnia’s National Poetry Month Celebration, Saturday, April 11 from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. at John’s Restaurant “Famous Room”, 1643 London Line on the outskirts of the city.
Each Canadian poet will share his/her “desire or road kill” themed work featured in LUMMOX #3, a 215-page international anthology published by LUMMOX Press in San Pedro, California. In addition to launching the book, all poets will share “food-themed” verse in keeping with the League of Canadian Poets’ 2015 poetry month initiatives. Four out-of-town readers will also introduce poems from new books.
Travelling to and reading in Sarnia for the first times are: Ronnie R. Brown (Ottawa), winner of The Acorn-Plantos People’s Poetry Award (2006) and David Haskins (Grimsby), winner of a CBC literary prize (1977). Returning guests include John B. Lee (Port Dover), two-time recipient of the CBC Literary Award for Poetry (1995 and 1991) and Michael Mirolla (Toronto), two-time recipient of the Bressani Prize (2010 and 2014). The Bluewater Reading Series Committee acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and The League of Canadian Poets for this event.
The eight spotlighted local and regional poets include: James Deahl, Joseph A. Farnia, Debbie Okun Hill, Norma West Linder, Lois Nantais, Denis Robillard, Lynn Tait, and Grace Vermeer.
“It’s not usual to have many Canadian poets showcased in the annual LUMMOX anthology, but this time there are seventeen,” said James Deahl, committee spokesperson and emcee for the April event. “The fact that seven of these contributors are from Sarnia’s After Hours Poets illustrates the depth of our local literary talent. And adding in Windsor’s Denis Robillard means that half of the Canadian writers in Lummox are from Southwestern Ontario. Our region has quietly become a hotbed of creativity.”
The Bluewater Reading Series is a free literary event that aims to introduce professional local and out-of-town authors and their work to the general public. Additional events featuring a mixture of prose and poetry have been planned for future Saturday afternoons: May 9, September 12 and October 3.
This year’s organizing committee includes Deahl as well as Lambton County writers Venera Fazio and Lynn Tait.
Sarnia’s National Poetry Month Celebration – April 11, 2015
OUT-OF-TOWN SPOTLIGHT READERS/PERFORMERS
IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER
Ottawa author of six books of poetry and one chapbook, RONNIE R. BROWN has been published in hundreds of magazines and anthologies in Canada, the U.S. and abroad. As well, a staged adaptation of her work On Falling Bodies, was presented at the Atelier of Ottawa’s National Arts Center. Short-listed three times for the CBC Literary Awards, Brown’s work has been recognized by numerous literary competitions including: The Leacock Poetry Competition and The Sandburg-Livesay Anthology (1st place, judge Al Purdy.) Thrice short-listed for The Acorn-Plantos People’s Poetry Award, Brown’s fourth collection, States of Matter, (Black Moss Press) was named the winner in 2006. In late 2013, Brown’s long narrative poem, UN-Deferred was the winner of The Golden Grassroots Chapbook Contest.
DAVID HASKINS is published in over thirty literary journals, anthologies, and books, and has collected his earlier poems in the book Reclamation (Borealis Press, 1980). He has won first prizes from the CBC Literary Competition, the Canadian Authors Association, the Hamilton Literary Arts Council, and The Ontario Poetry Society. His most recent book This House is Condemned (Wolsak and Wynn, 2013) is a narrative collection of essays, stories, poems and anecdotes. He lives in Grimsby, Ontario.
JOHN B. LEE, Poet Laureate of the city of Brantford and Poet Laureate of Norfolk County is the author of seventy plus published books. His work has appeared internationally in over 500 magazines, literary journals and anthologies. Two time recipient of the CBC Literary Award for poetry, he has won over eighty prestigious literary awards for his work. The most recent of his titles include Burning My Father, (Black Moss Press, 2014); In This We Hear the Light (poems by John B. Lee with photographs of Cuba by Tai Grove) (Hidden Brook Press, 2014); the anthology Window Fishing: the night we caught Beatlemania, (Hidden Brook Press, 2014), and Alice Munro a Souwesto Celebration (a special issue of Windsor Review dedicated to Nobel Laureate Alice Munro co-edited by J.R. (Tim) Struthers and John B. Lee); The Beauty of Being Elsewhere (the travel poems of John B. Lee) (Hidden Brook Press, 2015); and The Full Measure (Black Moss Press, 2016). He lives in a lake house in Port Dover overlooking Longpoint Bay on the south coast of Lake Erie where he works full time as an author.
The author of a clutch of novels, and short story and poetry collections, MICHAEL MIROLLA describes his writing as a mix of magic realism, surrealism, speculative fiction and meta-fiction. Publications include a punk-inspired novella, The Ballad of Martin B.; three novels: Berlin (a 2010 Bressani Prize winner); The Facility, which features among other things a string of cloned Mussolinis; and The Giulio Metaphysics III, a novel/linked short story collection wherein a character named “Giulio” battles for freedom from his own creator; two short story collections: The Formal Logic of Emotion and Hothouse Loves & Other Tales; and three collections of poetry: Light and Time, the English-Italian bilingual Interstellar Distances – Distanze Interstellari, and The House on 14th Avenue (2014 Bressani Prize). His short story, “A Theory of Discontinuous Existence,” was selected for The Journey Prize Anthology, featuring the year’s 10 best Canadian short stories, while another short story, “The Sand Flea,” was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. A new collection of short stories, Lessons in Relationship Dyads, is scheduled for publication this coming Fall from Red Hed Press in the U.S. Born in Italy and raised in Montreal, Michael now makes his home in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
ANOTHER National Poetry Month Celebration – April 25, 2015 in Sarnia
A second national poetry month reading (not affiliated with the Bluewater Reading Series) will be a reunion presentation with James Deahl and four literary colleagues from his days in Toronto, over 35 years ago. Readers include: Deahl (Sarnia), Bruce Meyer (the inaugural Poet Laureate of Barrie), Jeffery Donaldson (Hamilton), and from Toronto: Larry Hopperton and Andrew Brooks. This free public event will be held Saturday, April 25 from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. at John’s Restaurant’s “Famous Room” in Sarnia.
**NEWS FLASH: (ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ADDED MARCH 26, 2015) To read about the April 19, 2015 Lummox #3 reading in Hamilton and to submit your work to Lummox #4, check this blog post here.