“There’s no quicksand in the creek,” I said./ Aunt Helen stopped and glared at me.* – Ryan Gibbs
Call it a mystery! Call it serendipity! When I first read Ryan Gibbs’s “Quicksand”, an honourable mention short story in Indelible (a 2006 Cranberry Tree Press contest anthology), I was curious. Who was this phantom local writer and why was he hiding at the local college versus socializing with like-minded scribes from the literary community?
Canadian writer Ryan Gibbs Photo by Lois Nantais
Super sleuth-college colleague-local poet Lois Nantais tracked his whereabouts and eventually nudged him to attend a Spoken Word event in the Turret Room of the Lawrence House Centre for the Arts. Gibbs’s kind demeanor immediately left a huge impact on those in attendance.
When Nantais and Ena Forbes stepped down from hosting this popular open mic event, he joined the organizing team as the new co-host.
“We may get scared tonight/but we have each other” –Tom MacGregor*
Last Friday, I attended an open mic event and hid inside a “Tree Spirit” costume. I sat at the back of the room, as far away from the open mic podium as possible, and scanned the audience. Not everyone wore a costume for this Halloween event but many had.
Glossophobia is the fear of public speaking. Makes you feel like you’re in the middle of a horror movie!
On my right, a black-wigged man in a red housecoat held what appeared to be the skeleton of a cow’s head. On my left, a woman arrived as a social media butterfly. Her back dress was adorned with social media logos.
Writers are indeed a creative bunch but those who are introverts (and many are) may limit their exposure to social settings so that they can relax with their writing at home.
POETRY: HEAR THE WORDS COME ALIVE!
Poets Clara Blackwood, Lynn Tait, Allan Briesmaster and John Wing Jr. during Sarnia’s 2014 National Poetry Month Celebrations! Photo collage courtesy: Bob McCarthy
“Poetry has always been a “spoken word” art, not a “book page” art…Through National Poetry Month, poets are able to travel all over Canada and present live readings.” –James Deahl, spokesperson, Bluewater Reading Series