So, the lives of the poets. Or, the non-academic poets. I have known so many variations over the years. The organic farmer poet, the poet who compiles on scraps of paper and carries their poems in plastic bags. The poet who doesn’t work at all, the many versions of the mom poet that include the mom/crossing guard poet and the mom/teacher/organizer/arts promoter poet. There is a couple who alternate working and supporting each other every few years, and the poet who makes films. There are of course, many book store poets, and a few fishermen poets. I have not heard of an opera singing poet, or a surgeon poet, or an architect poet, though I have met doctor poets and lawyer poets. You get the idea.
Carey Toane and Elisabeth de Mariaffi want your quarters. Paul Vermeersch talks to Elisabeth about Toronto Poetry Vendors for Open Book Toronto.
Ten poets are packed into each machine, so ten different poems will be available for purchase. The broadsides are colour-coded. You know, like LifeSavers.
Concrete Trees and animal effigies. Poet Melanie Janisse talks about the red road, Joseph Boyden, a night we had out, and making maps out of napkins.
Boyden perfectly captures the disjointedness that occurs when one is willing to see through and past the constructs of the city. When as individuals we identify the effigy of trees that constitutes a city, and we begin to question the very concrete we live in.
The theme of this issue is “Conversation,” which I understand to mean dialogue, relationship(s), images that reverberate and connect, and language in the service of vision, understanding, and meaningfulness. Editor Sylvia Legris traces the word’s roots to “the act of living with” or to keep company. Grain is all this and more.