I’ve been writing poetry for a long time. The first poem I ever wrote was in grade six for a school assignment. It was a rhyming poem about the colour black, and my teacher was so impressed that I ended up getting an award for it at a school assembly. Not only that, Janice Atwood, who was then the chair of the Peel School Board, sent me a card commending me on my “wonderful colour poem.” I saved the card with the envelope it came in and still have it to this day. Even from a young age it seemed that I had talent for words and it’s something I’ve pursued over the years by writing relentlessly, reading tirelessly, and holding onto the dream that someday I will become known as a great writer.
It takes a lifetime of experiences and honing your craft to achieve greatness in any art, and poetry is no different. For me to ever be able to sit at the same table as my idols; greats like Y.B. Yeats, Leonard Cohen, and Walt Whitman; I have to start at the bottom. I’ve had a couple poems published, but that isn’t enough and getting published in journals is becoming increasingly difficult these days as competition increases but publishing house budgets, and page counts, diminish. I need to get out there and make some noise. I have to show my face, and let my voice echo through the street and sky.
Instead of trying to get someone else to publish my work, why not take matters into my own hands? So, now I’m having a chapbook printed. I assembled 24 of what I feel are some of my best poems in a pdf file, called it Signals in the Fog, and sent it to Rubiks to be printed. I’m only having 10 copies made, and I might even just give them away rather than sell them, but at just $2.01 per copy I’m surprised at how inexpensive this really is. I should have done this a long time ago! On Monday they’ll be ready for pick up; just in time for my reading at Kafein.
I’ve done readings many times in Toronto, and I even tried my hand at Slam poetry for a while, but I’ve never done a reading in Montreal. In fact, its been about two years since the last time I was on a stage. I’ve been told that I have a good voice and stage prescience, so I’m not nervous (yet), I’m just wishing that I’d done this a long time ago. I should have been seeking out places to share my work as soon as I moved out here. Montreal is famed for its outstanding arts and culture community, after all.
My reading will be on Tuesday June 30, 2015 at Kafein, which is a nice cafe-bar near Concordia U. Readings should start around 9pm, so if you can come, please do. I’ll even give you a free copy of my chapbook!