Apr 11

Celebrate Poetry Month Downtown

by Downtown Calgary · 0 comments

The Poet Laureate is an artistic ambassador for Calgary, presenting at events and producing literary work that reflects our city and its citizens. When I was interviewed for the position of Calgary’s 2014–2016 Poet Laureate I entered the discussion with one task in mind: to honour and recognize the city’s rich literary history: our journalists, our novelists, our poets and playwrights.

I am entering the last few weeks of my 2-year term as Poet Laureate. In the past 2 years I have participated in almost 80 public events (around one event every 10 days) and almost a hundred meetings with community groups, city officials and organizations; the role of the Poet Laureate is to be reflective of, and responsive to, the community. To dialogue, teach, learn and listen—to provoke, initiate, inspire … and to remember.

Outside of Calgary, in the last year I have presented, read, talked and lectured in Edmonton, Lethbridge, St. Catharines, Thunder Bay, Manchester, Oslo, Stockholm and London. On every trip the audiences in those cities want to know what is happening in Calgary, how are the writers—they are deeply invested and interested in Calgary’s literary community. Calgary’s literary reputation is among the very best in the world, we are regarded as a hub of risk-taking poetry and breath-taking fiction. Calgary is a city populated with award-winning novelists and poets with international reputations—writing from Calgary has changed the face of Canadian literature and has influenced writers internationally.

Inside the city, however, Calgary is less aware of our rich literary past; of the writers who have walked our pathways and lived in our neighbourhoods. With their passing, they fall out of our collective imaginations and back on to our shelves. The books become a silent footnote to the communities that they helped build, reflect, document and enrich.

The writers that we are featuring in our Pop-up Poetry Series, like so many others, have crafted our imaginations, they have testified to the importance of community and the vitality of the arts.

Celebrate poetry month in Downtown Calgary by attending one of the Pop Up Poetry Performances.

The readings feature performances by a collection of individuals including Calgary Poet Laureate derek beaulieu, Past Poet Laureate Kris Demeanor, Kirk Miles from Calgary’s longest running spoken word series The Single Onion, Sheri-D Wilson from the Calgary Spoken Word Society and representatives from the Calgary Slam Team and some special guests.

Wednesday April 13, Eighth Avenue Place, 12-1pm. More details here.

Wednesday April 20, Devonian Gardens, 12-1pm. More details here.

Wednesday April 27, Bankers Hall +15, 12-1pm. More details here.

This has been a guest blog post from derek beaulieu.

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