This is going to be an awesome event: A Poetry and Music Salon that is a fundraiser for Doctors Without Borders. It takes place on Saturday, May 27th from 1:45 to 4:00 p.m. at the Palmerston Library Theatre, 560 Palmerston Ave., Toronto, and features 6 poets and 6 musicians. Brenda Clews is the host, and I will be one of the featured performers, along with Isabel Fryszberg, Heather Babcock, Karen Shenfeld, Jim McCuaig, Michael Marian, Tricia Postle, Tom Hamilton, Stanley Fefferman, Neil Traynor, James Dewar, and Anna Gutmanis. I am so excited!
I am very excited to be sharing the stage on Saturday, July 9th at 8 p.m. at the Free Times Cafe along with some truly amazing artists: dub poet Clifton Joseph and singer-songwriters Carmen Toth and Tim Maxwell.
Before the show:
Because my words are all wound up with my paintings, I was thinking that I’ve got to somehow bring my artwork into my performance so that the audience can see the whole picture. I considered taking the actual paintings up on stage with me, but I I thought that would be awkward and complicated and distracting. Then I thought: photo prints! Then Duane suggested Power Point and I responded Great Idea, projection! So I don’t know. I have two days to figure it out. In the meantime I’ll tell you a little about the process of how some of the poems/stories came about.
The poem History began with some words in my head that followed with a drawing then a lot more words then a poem then a painting. I had just been in a car accident. It was all about the body. I spent a lot of time in bed, and to keep sane (and happy) (and alive), I had to do some art. I wrote in bed. I painted in short stints here and there. (I also went back to work, and saw chiropractors and acupuncturists and my favortie massage therapist, Moni.) Even though it wasn’t, it was still all about the body because either I could do something or I couldn’t based on how my body felt.
After the painting History was completed, I began working on the oils, watercolors and inks that are in the WRITTEN ON THE BODY series.
Seattle-based poet Brandon Pitts was in Toronto for the Canadian launch of his second collection of poetry, Tender in the Age of Fury, published by Mosaic Press. He performed to a standing-room only crowd at the Central Bar.
TENDER IN THE AGE OF FURY is a powerful collection of poems. In the words of Cathy McKim, blogger at Life with More Cowbell, “Pitts’ work is visceral, political, irreverent, historical, biblical, romantic, vulgar and lyrical.” The book is available at http://www.brandonpitts.com/
I met Brandon at the late Nik Beat’s apartment in Toronto’s Beaches in the spring of 2011. We talked about writing, and I was inspired. And we became fast and close friends.
The long and the short of it is that Brandon chose my 2013 painting, Angel Over the City, for the book cover; it is a match made in heaven!
You can read Brandon’s post about me and check out his website at http://www.brandonpitts.com/happy-birthday-to-artist-jennifer-hosein/
Willie Anecic accompanied me on sax for one poem at Lizzie Violet’s Cabaret Noir on November 26th, 2015 (photo by Duane MacNeill).