Resting…

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DSC_0041What a year.

Installing poems @ Los Angeles, Port Townsend, Kelowna, Penticton, and Vancouver.

Performing poetry on the streets, in cafes, libraries, churches, and in homes.

Writing poetry and submitting and having some published in literary mags and elsewhere.

Stretching and growing through all of the above.

Yes, a very good year. I am exponentially blessed.

And now I shall rest until the New Year.  And I shall bask in the good company of family and friends. And I shall be glad.

For words that pop up and expand in 2014,

Lesley-Anne, SDG

What’s next…

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What a wonderfully big and complex and exciting world we live in. I know this to be true, but I need reminding on a regular basis. Sometimes I need helicoptered out of my normal life to have my heart jump started.

This weekend did that. A road trip to Vancouver… springtime… sun on cherry blossoms… art installations… White Caps season opener… the pecha kucha… time with my son shopping for grad.… time with my husband on a professional and personal movie going level… time for reading and sharing poetry and coffee and urbanity… time to meet new people… time to recalibrate. All that and the big sigh as we drove over the top of the last rise over Peachland and saw Lake Okanagan spread out below us… HOME. I’m absolutely energized and ready for what’s next.

My deep thanks to the organizers of the BCSLA Conference for their invitation to present in the Pecha Kucha… just wonderful. What an inspiring bunch. 

Akebono cherries 3, in Vancouver BC

Akebono cherries 3, in Vancouver BC (Photo credit: wlcutler)

Poet busking is next. I am going to audition with Kelowna Streets Alive Program this week, and then I will take it to the streets. Not that random spontaneity isn’t fun, but this way appeals in its legitimizing of what I do. I’ll have the choice of 15 sites in the downtown area, any time during 12 hours a day, for as long as the duration of my license. And there is still a random pop up aspect. I’m soooo excited! The only rule… no bagpipes!

And, this weekend on May 5th, another unique poetry opportunity afforded me by the gracious Dorte Meyer at Tribehouse Collective. The Grace Experience at Bo.ttega (one of my favourite venues in Kelowna). It’s a free, family friendly event, a convergence of artists/musicians/creatives/ poets on the topic of grace. What does it mean to each of us… how can we share this overwhelmingly beautiful and somewhat difficult to understand concept in a tangible way, a communal way, an artistic way? I can’t wait to find out. I will be the poet for this event, and have been invited to read several collections of my work. I will also be absorbing all else, and will no doubt come home drained and thankful. GET YOUR FREE TICKETS ASAP!

What a trip life is…

Lesley-Anne, SDG

You pechakucha, I do!

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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;

PechaKucha or Pecha Kucha (Japanese: ペチャクチャ, IPA: [petɕa ku͍̥tɕa],[1] chit-chat) is a presentation methodology in which 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each.

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!

All SDG,

Lesley-Anne.

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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I get by with a little help from my friends

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Here’s to friends, real, tried and true, old like a comfortable slipper, new and heart racing scary, virtual friends, and those yet to be.

Girls skipping at an athletics carnival

Girls skipping at an athletics carnival (Photo credit: Powerhouse Museum Collection)

Here’s to friends who share wisdom, like another supper idea when the recipe box in my head comes up empty, or say no when the bathing suit is just a little on the scanky side. Here’s to friends who laugh til they pee when I say something completely off the wall, and share their leftovers, and pass me kleenex at just the right moment, and let me use their chapstick.

And here’s to wordie friends… those who read and listen and affirm and suggest. The ones who understand the writing life is a bit lonely at times, who know a village, similar to the one required to raise a child, is needed to release a poem to the world. The ones who say something back when you say something you think might be OK to say out loud.

I have what I think might be a new poet/blogger friend in Vancouver, just over the mountains to the west. I recall reading about Samantha once in the paper, a couple of years ago. She inspired me. I found her online recently and read her blog, read what she’s up to which includes writing a poem a day for over a year. Wow.

And although I have yet to meet this friend face to face, she gave me a gift. What a generous spirit Samantha Reynolds has. What a gift to be featured on her blog, bentlily!  Thank you Samantha Reynolds! Thank you for believing, like me, that writing words down must always be followed by giving them away. Thank you, my friend.

Here’s the link to bentlily, Samantha Reynolds stunning, uplifting and creative blog.

And here’s the link to bentlily’s featured poet for the week (me).

Breathless and happy,

Lesley-Anne, SDG