Location, location, location

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It appears that art installations, like real estate, may be all about location, location, location. After the fiasco of vandalized art earlier last week, I intentionally returned to the same site, but a slightly different location. Rather than the quiet north side parkway, I chose a location directly adjacent to the front door of our Aquatic Centre H2O. While my daughter worked out, I installed lights and poetry and stood back all spy like and watched what happened.

Within 15 minutes all 20 copies of my poem and as many tea lights were taken by an interesting variety of people. I overheard joy, gratitude, questions and comments that affirmed what I was doing. The most energetic and positive being a group of tween girls with their enthusiastic YMCA leader who said “Look, this is a random act of kindness (RAK) which lines up completely with what we are doing tonight! Let’s take a poem back and copy it and share it with everyone.” I hadn’t thought of PUP as RAK before. Yes, I was standing fairly close by to hear all this! I also saw people take selfies with the installation. Yep.

The funniest comment was from a boy who was very excited until he saw “They aren’t real candles!!!” Then I returned to my car and received a sticky under my wiper blade. It said “you are special in many ways 🙂 🙂 “ I think it was placed there by those very same happy tween girls! So undeserved, so personal, so WOW.

I want to thank each one of you who spoke kindly and affirmatively when I was feeling hurt about the vandalism. Thank you for your reminders to rally on and not let the darkness win. You know who you are. You are my light.
LA

This little light of mine…

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DSC_0001 DSC_0011 DSC_0014So be it, at approximately 4:30 pm yesterday, I embarked on my first illumination installation. A little paper lantern and inside a battery operated tea light turned on, some additional tea lights noted with, “be the light,” and “shine on,” my poem, “The Properties of Light,” and a candy cane, suspended from the trees and porches of my neighbours.

I came home aired out and rosy cheeked and with a giddy feeling of having done something, while only a few hours earlier I was questioning the validity and integrity of my initiative (feeling rather dark in the beginnings of this winter season, feeling rather inadequate). Then I was reminded of a tiny verse that is fixed to the front of my fridge with a magnet, “Go in the strength you have.” Joshua 6:11. So, deep breath, small prayer, winter coat, cozy scarf, flipping stomach, I went out. I hung lanterns. I took photos. I saw the lights twinkle in the dark. And that was enough.

City Light Kelowna, and something inside me flames.

SDG, Lesley-Anne

Your Voice–Let’s Hear It! dVerse Meeting the Bar

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Today, I’d like to spend a few moments speaking about “Voice” in poetry. I’m sure most of us have had the experience of reading a poem and recognizing the poet without seeing the byline or credit. When Luke Prater and his team had his critique site, they held several contests for participants. Entries were, of course, submitted anonymously. But I remember reading one of Claudia’s poems and having not the least doubt to whom it could be attributed. Claudia—and numerous other poets who participate in dVerse offerings—write work that just screams Here I am; it’s me! Poets of times present and past are recognizable in this manner: Gerard Manley Hopkins, William Shakespeare, Langston Hughes, Wallace Stevens, e.e. Cummings and (my own personal favorite) Mary Oliver to mention but a few.

As I understand it, voice or tone is what reveals the poets personal attitude about his or her subject. Extrapolate…

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Wherein pop-up-poetry meets people

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National Poetry Month continues, and PUP is still getting out there. Poetry is placed out and about in Kelowna every couple of days, and people read it (I’ve seen them) Some make contact online or mention it to me in person when they ‘find’ a poem. I get a giddy feeling every time I head out with new poems (in plastic sleeves because it won’t stop raining). I wonder where I will place them, who will find them, who will read them, what might the outcome be? I wonder, is this what it feels like to be eccentric? Nah, can’t be.

I’m reminded of a book I read a few years back, “Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast,” by Wendy Morton. About Wendy’s innate ability to share poetry without apology, and for money, which she did as West Jet’s Poet of the Skies, and Chrysler’s Poet of the Road. Wendy brought poetry to regular folks on a regular basis. Wendy began what has become a national week long celebration of literacy in Canada, “Random Acts of Poetry.”  Wendy and her ideas inspire me.

And as all ‘new things’ have come in some shape or form previously, perhaps PUP is the result of this concept messing about in my mind over the years since I read her book. That and the pop-up-stores I saw in Vancouver. That and the desire of all poets to speak out what we write down, at some point.

Here are some PUP installations for this week;

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