Friday, June 12, 2009

Northwords Writers Festival- Day One

This'll have to be a quick update. I was out way to late last night and I still have to work in an hour. I'm very tired.

Yesterday some of the visiting hours had mentorships, but the festival really seemed to get off the ground with a family barbecue. After we ate, Carol Morin of CBC NewsWorld and a LOT of other projects (writing, singing, etc), opened with a couple songs. My daughter was particularly enamoured with the feathers in her hair. Unfortunately my picture didn't turn out for that one. Then John Tees sang followed by readings from Doris McCann, Joseph Boyden, and Jay Ingram of the Daily Planet.

Here's Jay talking about the science of dreams. Very interesting stuff. Specifically he talked about colours in dreams. Do you dream in colour? Do you dream in red?

When that portion of the evening was over we all headed off to Javaroma for a night of poetry. Among the many talented performers last night were Jim Green:

Calvin Redvers, who read from his father's Mother Raven Nursery Rhymes:

This guy who seemed very nervous, but finally made it up only to confuse everyone with a poem about peas, but recovering slightly with a toast to melancholia:

And the wildly talented (and funny and super-nice, though I tend to hit her whenever we talk) Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm:

Here's one of the greats she performed last night:


i twist and gasp
open and close my mouth
whenever a sturgeon is caught in the rainy river
i know
the feel of strange hands touching my body
the struggle
to be free
the longing to go where i want to go
i feel
the impact of stick or rock on bone
the splash of colour
then the emptiness that is my head
my head like a midnight sky if the stars and moon were captured
by another heaven

(Read the rest here.)

Also be sure to click here for links to many of her other poems, including a reading of "My Heart is a Stray Bullet."

Finally, Jim, Joseph, Anita, Kateri and I went to the Black Knight for a few drinks and I got home at about 12:30, it still being light enough to read a bit outside before succumbing to sleep.


Carrie K said...

Sounds interesting!

Why do you hit her? Why? lol.

What's with dreaming in red?

Hope work was tolerable!

John Mutford said...

Carrie: Work was manageable. Why do I hit her? Good question. I don't normally talk with my hands but maybe I'm more animated around her or maybe she's in my personal space or something. The "dreams in red" bit-- sorry, 'bout that. As I wrote the line "Do you dream in colour?" I instantly got Pearl Jam's "Better Man" stuck in my head and the lines, "She dreams in colour, she dreams in red" became the lines you saw above.