El Paso. Robbins was always my brother’s favorite country singer (I wonder if he still is?).


I’ll be starting a new feature on this blog. I’m going to be doing the occasional interview with poets who have new books. I don’t know why I didn’t do this earlier, but the interview with Kerry and Ariel put thoughts in my head of doing more.  Stay tuned for the first one tomorrow.


…for the Literary Saloon, I thought it would be fun to post some videos of westerns. I started today on my facebook, but then I thought I may as well do it here. Just in case someone actually reads this blog once in awhile. I remember watching this when I was a teenager, some years after the movie came out, and being totally in love with Terence Hill. Oh those eyes! Definitely, two hands up!


I’m afraid I’m too young to qualify for this call, but if you fit the bill this call is for you:

Untying the Apron:

Daughters Rediscover and Remember Mothers of the 50s.

Edited by Lorri Neilsen Glenn

In this collection, writers of fiction and poetry (some established, some emergent) gather their recollections of the women who raised them in the 50s. What do we realize we didn’t see then? Has our perspective changed on these women as mothers, and as women? Given the social and cultural climate in which these mothers lived, worked, and raised children, how do we read now the various ways they adapted (or didn’t), accepted, rebelled against, repressed or expressed who they were or wanted to be?

This call for contributions invites prose and poetry of no more than 2,000 words (prose) and 1000 words (poetry). Emphasis for this collection will be on vivid, engaging prose and poetry filled with fresh insights and compelling anecdotes. The aim here is to create a collection that transcends the ordinary to reveal complexities, nuanced understandings, anomalies, and startling observations.

Confirmed authors in this collection include Daphne Marlatt, Sharon Thesen, Jane Munro, Marsha Lederman, Zoe Landale, Pat Clifford and others. Marjorie Anderson, editor of the successful Dropped Threads series, has kindly agreed to write an introduction to the collection.

The project was conceived more than 18 months ago to honour the lives of a dying generation; then, the editor, Lorri Neilsen Glenn, put the project on hold for several months because of her own mother’s illness and death.

Postmark deadline for submissions: February 20th, 2009. Earlier submissions welcome. Unpublished, new work is preferred, but previously published work may be considered depending on the themes and issues emerging. (Please ensure you have retained the copyright on any published work you submit).

Email to or mail to Lorri Neilsen Glenn, 10 Laurentide Drive, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3M 2N1. Phone messages can be left at 902-457-6156.

A Note on Submissions: Please use a standard 12 font such as Garamond, Times, or Courier and if you are submitting electronically, please send the work as a separate attachment in Word 2004 (or earlier) or in rtf.

Lorri Neilsen Glenn is the author and editor of six academic books on women, literacy and research, and the author of four collections of poetry, including the forthcoming Lost Gospels (2010). Her nonfiction and poetry have won national and international awards. She is currently Poet Laureate of Halifax and is Professor at Mount Saint Vincent University where she teaches literacy and literary studies.


…can be fun. Today I’ve been reading lots of poems by Denise Duhamel. I don’t know how she came up on my computer screen, as I was searching for something not even close to what I found, but it was a delightful discovery. I nearly spit my lunch onto the computer screen a few times after reading the poems on the site, but then I came across this, and well, with a stitch in my side, I am still wiping off a few bits and pieces.


…with a view. This is where I am for 3 days; not a bad place to be. Saw many writers I haven’t seen in a long time, and a surprise visit from Daniel Scott Tysdal who is back in Saskatchewan for awhile. It is a good conference so far, and I’m looking forward to tomorrow now that the bulk of my work is done here. Hopefully I can take a few more pictures and post them here, but who knows. Life has a way of getting in the way.

This is from my blackberry out the window of the Parktown. I’m on the 4th floor. There’s not much more.

An update (better late than never)

Here is a shot of Melanie Schnell, winner of the SWG short manuscript award for poetry reading from her long poem.

A shot of Daniel Scott Tysdal and James Romanow, in deep thoughts and listening (I hope).

Here is a lively shot of Katherine Lawrence and Glen Sorestad as they talk about love in poetry. It was more stimulating that the shot shows, and although I was substituting love for something else, and making my own notes for some sonnets I’m writing, I found the session useful to provide a platform for me to think deeper about the poems.

The infamous Gerald Hill Open Mike where I was introduced as a particular kind of bruiser. Meh.

The view from James Romanow’s 22nd floor apartment where we celebrated his Gary Hyland Award with champagne and lox.

And not one self-portrait while driving.


…well, even though I’m dragging my tired butt around the kitchen tonight, I thought I’d post a post before I dive under the comforter and snore the night away. A good friend of mine, SM Steele is preparing to go to Afghanistan as one of five selected artists in the 2008-2009 Canadian Forces Artist Program (CFAP). Right now she’s in Shilo with the army checking things out. You can follow along with her journey on her newly made web page. The whole program sounds interesting; I’m not sure I could do it, but I wish her the best on her journey.


…something large to start your day, and something small because mine is a busy one. I’ve a passion for the modernists, in case no one has paid attention here, and I enjoy browsing the ubuweb when I have extra time, or when I’m procrastinating having extra time, and I’ve been going to the conceptual poetry section on a regular basis, trying to read one of these a day this past week, so I’ll start you out with the second one I read, Howard Fried “The Cheshire Cat, Part 1.” I won’t be back until next week. Meetings, meetings, and meetings await my presence. So does Saskatoon. Maybe they have a saloon or two I can attend as well. Learn a few new tricks. Yeehaw.


…Or more to the point, what is a falafel? These are some of the questions that arose from the Nightowls & Newborns reading in Regina last night. It was a delightful reading, done salon style, and more questions found their way into the after-session with Kerry Ryan and Ariel Gordon.

After the reading, I had a chance to ask some questions of my own, and here is the questionable interview (well, in multiple choice form) with Kerry Ryan, author of The Sleeping Life, that arose from our gathering:

Kerry: I like reading. I don’t find that I’m usually nervous, although I was for the initial book launch in April in Winnipeg this year, which was packed with nearly 100 people. I haven’t had any special training, such as theatre classes, but I like looking at the audience’s reaction when I catch their eye, and it’s interesting to see their response when I do.Tonight some of the people were even taking notes, probably Gerry’s students, but it’s great to see them engaged with the poetry.

Please pick the question you think most fits this answer:

1. Do you spell comfort with  a “k”?

2. Where is Regina?

3. Do you own a trained elephant?

4. How do you feel about reading, in particular the reading tonight?

Kerry: I feel it’s my job in a way, my duty. Community service. I don’t write poetry for money, but for fun. Although, it’s work, it feels like the thing I should do. Writing is my obligation, but doesn’t come easily, which is what I’m trying to say in my poem “29.”

when i realize

at 29 it’s too late

to become a child prodigy,

that–at best–

i might merely be ordinary,

competant at something

only i am interested in

Please pick the question you think most fits this answer:

1. Could you talk about the waters?

2. Where is the Comfort Inn?

3. Why do you write poetry?

4. Are you an entertainer?

Kerry: Not really. I had many short poems to begin with which my editor cut, but I snuck some back in that I thought worked. Clarise Foster, my editor, was good, and the editing process was heartbreaking but inspiring. This was my first time working with an editor and I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I’m pleased with the strength of the book that resulted from the process.

1. Where are the rye bread, marble cheese, kielbasa, ripple chips, French’s mustard, and pickles?

2. Is there dip?

3. Did you see that woman with the mossy teeth?

4. Do you see your smaller poems as interruptions in the sleep process?

Kerry: I begin from notes in a notebook, usually they can be snippets I hear, or read, words, phrases, but I find that often what starts the poem is what will eventually be cut from the poem. The trigger so to speak. Often I try to save it, but usually nothing comes of the what I’ve cut from a poem.

Please pick the question you most think fits this answer:

1. Do you want to join my book club?

2. Have you ever tried bison carpaccio?

3. Where is the bathroom?

4. How do you write, what is your process?

Kerry: The tour has been great so far. Ariel and I get along really well; we both respect each other’s work, and are peers in Winnipeg. We plan our readings in the car between cities (the tour has hit Saskatoon, Edmonton, Regina, and Prince Albert), which is fun. We try to come up with new ideas on reading the poems, to make the reading interesting for the audience, as well as to break it up for ourselves, so we don’t get tired of the same routine.

Please pick the question you think most fits this answer:

1. Does that necklace only come in black?

2. Would you like a cookie?

3. Are you still pregnant?

4. How is the tour going so far?