Thanks to the marketing team of the Okanagan Regional Library, posters, radio spots, and newspaper ads are spreading word of an upcoming Poetry Reading at the Mission Branch, Kelowna.
Lesley-Anne Evans will read poems and share her experiences of getting poetry out into the community through Pop-Up-Poetry initiatives. Local creative, Dörte Meyer, will provide atmospheric instrumental backdrop to a fun evening of poetry readings, and interactive poetry with the audience.
Thursday, October 17th @ 6:45 pm
The ORL Mission Branch is located on Gordon Drive, in the Capital News Centre.
And if you, like me, have trouble pronouncing this word, here’s some immediate help!
A couple of weeks ago I did not know what PechaKucha was. I’m beginning to understand. And armed with this small and growing knowledge, along with a big dose of creative energy and OK, an even bigger dose of courage, I’m going for it! On April 26th, I’ll be part of a group of 11 PechaKucha presenters at the British Columbia Society of Landscape Architects Annual Conference ~ Depth of Field, in Vancouver, B.C.
PechaKucha, Japanese for “the sound of conversation”, and according to Wikipedia;
A presentation on any topic, with supporting visual images (in our case all images and no words allowed) for 6 minutes and 40 seconds in total. NO LONGER! Rumor has it the microphone is turned off after your time is up. Yikes!
You would think 20 seconds would go fast. It does not. To look at one image for 20 long seconds allows for a fair amount of gazing, thus rendering some images downright boring after 10 seconds. So, to choose 20 visually engaging images is not easy. Thankfully I have a family of avid photographers with some very uniquely creative eyes. NO SPOILERS HERE!
And, the topic of my presentation… POETRY. Before I worked out the exact timing, I thought I might read 2 poems. Seems I’ll have time for 4! Just like the images, perception and reality are different. And I am finding as I overlay poetry and images how some combinations jar the senses, how some images support the words or don’t. It is an exercise in patience as well as persistence so far. (And thankfulness for a very kind woman at my husbands office who initiated me in the ways of Power Point.)
I’m not certain how it will all turn out, but I’m excited to be creatively challenged and find a new way to offer up my poetry. I’ll let you know how it goes. And for now, here’s a Vancouver PechaKucha on the topic of the future and what open media, open source and open culture might mean for us.
Which occurs to me, is in part what PechaKucha is about… encouraging an open sharing of what we are most passionate about. Hmm… sounds a lot like Pop-Up-Poetry!
The moments when
we sit on the porch and you look
sideways and I lean soft into
your hard and you let me as
clouds gather over top the ridge
and the garbage cans are lined up
back beside our garage door. The tick
clicking of the neighbour trimming his
side of the hedge and our lawn needing
cut and the sun pouring it’s gold onto
our bare toes. The bed rumpled and
the dog sprawled over it snoring and
another clean load wanting out of
the dishwasher. The last fragrant
fifteen minutes before the apricot pie says
it’s done and perches on back burner
stove top until some celebration
of this day occurs after supper and
we join together to open words
and taste day’s end. The parts in
my library novel that keep my throat
full and now prognosis isn’t good so
I cry over the sink while dishes drown
in bubbles. The moments between
until always when I wonder if you
really will come home from work
and say let’s go walk the dog and
we will do things until it’s time
for bed and give our bodies over
to long breaths until morning and
you tell me again how these
moments make a life.
Lesley-Anne Evans, SDG, 2012
So, now that I’ve tried a couple of variations on the theme of popping up, and now that it’s winter and very cold and icy and not the best conditions for street artists, I’m wondering what your opinion is. If given the option of receiving the spontaneous gift of poetry up close and personal, would you;
1. prefer to see some indication of professionalism, like a sign, or a business card, or a published book perhaps, to indicate that the person reading poetry to you isn’t a complete nut job? (ok, well, just because one has a business card, does not mean they aren’t a nut job, but at least they took the time to present themselves in a positive way, right?)
2. keep it casual, eyes up, smile on face, poet walking up to you and asking the simple question, “could I read you a poem today?” and you stopping on your way and listening for a while, attentive look on your face?
3. be more structured, like a lecturn or a podium that said poet reads from (with a sign), therefore offering a buffer between you and them, and the option to pass on by if they continue to read just a wee bit too long?
4. happen upon poetry spontaneously placed in the environment, with no poet attached, and be allowed the opportunity to enjoy without the pressure of the smile, or the voice, or the book, or the business card (like the wonderful examples in the photos of Clint Gardner)?
5. all of the above, at various times and in appropriate ways?
6. none of the above, I just don’t prefer poetry.
Please respond in the comments with your vote and your comments. Thanks! If you like what you read, PLEASE COMMENT AND VOTE!!!
I think it’s time to hit the streets as soon as the mercury rises above, let’s say 10 degrees C on a day with no wind and perhaps a little bit of afternoon sun. Yes, I sense a wee bit of stir crazy setting in!
I’ll be seeing you,
Lesley-Anne, SDG, Pop-Up-Poet
Monday night I was asked to read a Spoken Word piece for the Mosaic group at Trinity. I showed up early for rehearsal, and as I sat waiting for the group to gather I asked, so just how many young adults do you have attending here? Well, around 60, leader Storm Moore told me. Hmmm… that’s quite a few, I thought. And then the inner voices started and the anxiety started and I began to feel like a fish out of water because, really, what does a middle aged poet have to offer to these kids… I mean, really?
Until I started listening to the lyrics of the music set as they did their run through (did I mention Trinity is my local faith community here in Kelowna?). Anyway, turns out Mosaic, a gathering for the 18 to 28 year old set, is about ‘doing old school yet still relevant church’. Supper, conversation, music, learning… them and me. Me, delivering up a spoken word piece on “Purpose” because they asked. Me being scared and full of self-doubt…
And then the words and the music washed over me and I found myself, on the inside of me, on my knees in awe of God. Have a listen to this song… “Awakening” and tell me… does it move you like it moved me? Specifically these words were the ones that put things into perspective for me…
for you and you alone, awake my soul, awake my soul and sing
for the world you love (the young adults at mosaic, each and every one)
…let your will be done in me (in my poem, my voice, my heart)
So, I waited, I breathed in the words of the song, I opened my hands, let go of my fear, and asked God to do what he had to with my small offering, and when the time came for me to share my poem, I walked up to the microphone and spoke;
Lesley-Anne Evans, SGD
One thing this poem will NOT do
is answer all your questions
it won’t tie up loose ends in a pretty little bow
and say, “There, there you go.” No.
Truth is, we ALL have questions ~ like
Who is God?
Who am I?
Why am I here?
What is my PURPOSE?
Questions that jam up inside us, stop us
from making a move.
We are immobilized by FEAR
want to get it absolutely RIGHT.
I believe God is less interested in RIGHT
than we are. He’s more interested in
what lies BENEATH our choice ~ our INTENT.
And that’s what PURPOSE is.
PURPOSE is intent.
PURPOSE is the reason why.
The Book says GOD has a PURPOSE.
A John 3:16 purpose to SAVE THE WORLD!
The loving, giving, dying, soul-saving
divine purpose of God
God the SEEKER
God the RESCUER
God the REDEEMER
God the LOVER
God who finds his deepest JOY in WHO we ARE
and WHY we do what we do
more than WHAT we do for him.
And when we choose God, when he saves us
GOD’S PURPOSE becomes OUR PURPOSE
World savers, God lovers, God glorifiers
Witnesses to all humanity
tellers of HIS ~ STORY.
The confusing part for us
where we get twisted up
is in the PRACTICAL
the WHAT, WHERE, WHEN and HOW
we live our God purpose out.
We want facts. Details. NOW.
This or that, here or there, where oh where…
We take eyes off GOD, looking for
precisely WHAT to do FOR Him.
What if our PURPOSE is
to choose ~ SOMETHING?
Based on what we know of GOD
Based on what we know of OURSELVES?
Something YOU and GOD decide.
GOD knows YOU best. And you know
what you DREAM about
what makes you ANGRY
what makes your HEART BEAT faster
what is uniquely YOU?
(If you don’t know yet, take time and find out
get away, get quiet, pay attention, ask GOD
and WORK it out.
With God PURPOSE, God INTENT
an ORDINARY life is far from ordinary.
Every act, loving God and others, is SIGNIFICANT.
Like building a house. Feeding the homeless.
Teaching English to new Canadians.
Writing a computer program. Writing a poem.
Or going for Gold, like this guy who ran, ran fast.
He said God made him to run fast.
He said he felt God’s pleasure when he ran fast.
And he told everyone. When he won the Olympics he said so.
THIS is what God wants for YOU, THIS is what gives God PLEASURE
you giving back what He’s given you, WHO YOU ARE
your unique personality, talents, treasures, experiences.
WATCH and SEE what GOD does with a LIFE like that!
And, now there are echos… here in me. Maybe in others. I love how God loves us, so specifically, so bang on personal, right when we need it most.
A purposeful ‘pop-up-poem’… yes.
So, here’s my new blog “pop-up-poetry” that will follow my adventures in reading my poetry out loud on the streets of Kelowna British Columbia (and maybe other locations). Each time I read a poem in public, I will post the poem here. I might share a story about a poetry reading encounter too.
I believe art is for all of us, first for the artist, then for humanity. Art for our need to create beauty, express the gift… and beauty for the sake of saving the world, exposing our gift to others to touch their lives in a positive way.
Yeah, a bit of a lofty idea perhaps, but I do believe it is true.
I’ve been writing for years, and now I’m going to lay it out there for you. I hope it grabs you. I hope it echoes. We’ll see what happens.
The idea of me popping up and reading poetry in a spontaneous way to complete strangers, was planted in my mind when I took a trip to Vancouver, B.C. and learned about Pop Up retail. I heard of a movie company that had set up shop in a vacant storefront for a couple of weeks to sell off props, then once they were done, they closed… vanished. Same thing happens with clothing, art, and other retail establishments that literally pop up overnight and are gone within a very short time frame. I thought HOW COOL IS THAT! I looked into it a little more, and discovered that there are poets out there doing this… or similar things to this. Check out this YouTube video of a New York experience of pop-up poetry. Like the Flashmob phenom., there’s this idea of taking what we have to offer artistically and giving it freely to others. The artist as cultural philanthropist kind of thing.
Anyway…I’ve been blogging for years, writing poetry longer. Reading to myself/family/friends/acquaintances is fun, but reading to strangers is… risky, exciting, and I believe, necessary for me to grow as a poet/artist. I need to up the ante. So, here goes…
I’ve popped up to read poetry spontaneously a couple of times. Once last April, I walked around a plaza and read a poem by someone else… for National Poetry Month. This time, I went out one sunny September afternoon and read poems to a dozen or more people… my poems. I had some unique responses, some very interesting conversations. It was good.
And I do all this knowing that in some circles, the idea of freely sharing your work isn’t done. The purse strings are tight, the rules restrict. I’m doing it anyway. Until I’m convinced otherwise. Here’s something I wrote on the topic.
I’m excited to meet you, I really am. As with all of my blogs, I consider this to be community… a dialogue… not a monologue. So, let me know what you think. (Talk back!)
Click here to read what I read first time out… it’s my next post!