A memorable evening last night: we launched my two new collections, New & Selected Poems and Stromata to an enthusiastic audience and, I add (much to my relief), there were no glitches or screwups on my part. I read for just over 35 minutes and then took questions from those in attendance. Great questions too, folks seeking clarification on my status as an independent author and also asking me about the changes in my writing over the past 25 years, among other things.
I’ll post some pictures ASAP but we also had two cameras running so in the next couple of weeks we’ll be uploading the entire reading on to YouTube where people can tune in and see me in action.
Without a trace of humbleness, I can tell you that there aren’t too many authors in this country who perform their work as well as I do. I take my responsibilities as an entertainer very seriously; I have been to too many readings where the authors have forgotten that they must also be performers. When I hit that podium, it’s my intention to blow people away, destroy their preconceptions, make it a night they won’t soon forget. And usually I succeed.
Thanks to everyone who came out on a chilly autumn night and an especially big THANK YOU to my production crew—Sherron, Sam, Sean, Micah—for their hard work.
Watch for the finished film, I really believe it captured one of the best readings I’ve ever done.
Man, was I hot…
“Matriarchy” (matriarchy.pdf) was a pleasant surprise…and a revelation. It was originally written as sort of an exercise, three or four pages of text which I then filed away. But I never quite put it out of my mind, there was something that stayed with me, the voice of the main character, the notion of these vile, old women controlling and manipulating and intimidating him.
Last summer (2007) I was, as they say, between projects and chafing at the inactivity. I recalled “Matriarchy” and thought I’d dig it out and have another crack at it. The tale came together remarkably quickly, at least for a plodder like me. I read it aloud to my wife and sons and their reaction was gratifying–I knew I had something. God bless Kelley Jo Burke, producer of the CBC Radio arts program “Sound XChange”, for thinking enough of the tale to pick it up. It was broadcast the end of October–on my birthday, as a matter of fact.
Here it is, a heart-breaker…and a gem. Enjoy!