Asa Boxer and Max Layton

28 July 3.30 p.m.

A perfect summer afternoon was the setting of a double-bill of two esteemed poets, Asa Boxer and Max Layton, both sons of poets who emerged from Montreal in the 1950’s.  Asa read from his new chap book Field Notes From the Undead (published by the Elora Poetry Centre & Gallery/Interludes) and earlier publications The Mechanical Bird and Skullduggery, along with some wonderful new material composed since his last visit.  Tilly Kooyman provided a creative accompaniment to parts of the reading on her clarinet.  Max, eldest son of Irving Layton, read from several of his works, including his latest book of poems LIKE, which has just been published by Guernica Editions, after opening with three of his songs, on which he accompanied himself on the guitar.  A short discussion followed in the house and garden, with a buffet and drinks. Tom Althouse of Silk Purse Recordings, Elora, has agreed to assist us in archiving this and future events.

croc E Moses

25 August 4.00 p.m.

croc E Moses, whom several of you may have met here last year, read from a wide range of poems and songs from his thirty years in South Africa.  He topped it off with some new material written since he returned to Canada, where he has been living in rural Ontario.

 

bill bissett and Brian Henderson

29 September 2018

This was another double bill to celebrate Michael Rothenberg’s annual global initiative 100 THOUSAND POETS FOR CHANGE. 

It was a day to promote peace & social change with emphasis on the needs of all children. bill bissett, accompanied by pete dako, returned for a half reading, continuing from their colourful range of work of the previous year. 000085190005

Our other featured poet was Brian Henderson, who has now retired as Director of Wilfrid Laurier University Press. Brian has eleven publications, the latest being [OR] from Talonbooks. Nerve Language (2007) was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award. Brian read from his twelfth publication, Unidentified Poetic Object, forthcoming from Brick in spring 2019.

Both bill bissett and Brian Henderson were sponsored by The Canada Council for the Arts and The Writers’ Union of Canada. Morvern McNie and Jerry Prager rounded out the poetry performances.

A highlight of the day was The Voices of the Anatolian Girls, with Ali Ihsan Okan playing the kanun, and Mehlika Altay and Betul Okan singing. They delivered a powerful performance dedicated to the children presently imprisoned in Turkey.

Afterwards, everybody enjoyed the usual finger food and drinks, with people mingling and sharing their thoughts on the day’s memorable performances.

Asa Boxer Reading

7 April 2018

Asa Boxer read from his newer works, accompanied by Tilly Kooyman on the clarinet.  A lengthy discussion period followed, after which there was the usual finger food and drinks.  Asa’s new chapbook, Field Notes from the Undead, will be published at his reading at the poetry centre 28th of July.  Copies will be available for purchase.

Environmental Sculpture Day

26 May 2018

A big thank you to those who attended our annual Environmental Sculpture Day and the  Elora Puppets who, even though en route they lost Sir Arthur Montgomery-ffinch, who was to have been the attending art critic, still performed their version of Stone Soup.  Soup, focaccia and drinks, plus goodies supplied by guests, followed the work of the day!  Janice Ferri and Peter Skoggard sent some of the photographs of the day which will be on the webpage shortly.

Works by Asa Boxer

Skulldugery by Asa Boxer

Skullduggery (Signal, 2011) by Asa Boxer

The poems in Skullduggery, Asa Boxer’s masterful new book, have a simple warning: trust nothing. Like the book’s hilarious final poem, which recasts Canada’s discovery as a hoax from the Middle Ages-Boxer transforms shortfalls of perception into tour de force performances. Drawing on a deepened range of forms [comic set-pieces, verse-plays, dramatic monologues] Skullduggery embraces deception as both theme and tactic. In poem after poem, encounters test the threshold of what’s real and what’s not; turns of phrase appear to say one thing, but really mean another. What is without doubt, however, is that Boxer strengthens his status as one of our most gifted young poets.

 

The Mechanical Bird By Asa Boxer

The Mechanical Bird (Signal, 2007) by Asa Boxer

An old idea of reality animates the poems in The Mechanical Bird: things are never what they seem. Opening with a quick-talking disquisition on lying [“Keep it simple, tidy, / take a noncommittal stance”] and ending with masterly mediation on the workshop and its “drawing-board dreams,” Asa Boxer’s debut constantly tests the claims of authenticity over artifice. Objects, settings and everyday details are swept up in an imagination that can never quite shake the sense of the visible world-even nature itself-as an artful mixture of fact and invention. As suggested by the eponymous metal songster, these poems are exquisitely crafted, infused with a sense of kinetic spell-making, and sing with an exuberant trust in their own guile.

 

primer2

Friar Biard’s Primer to the New World (Frog Hollow Press, 2013) Poetry by Asa Boxer Illustrations by James Hillis

Inspired by the medieval journeys of Sir John Mandeville–Endmatter. “In which is mapped the kingdom of the New World, its five Great Lakes, its inhabitants, perils and wonders”–Added title page. “Book design: Caryl Wyse Peters”–Final leaf recto. Published in a limited edition of 150 hand-numbered copies.

 

 

etymologies+cover+slice

Etymologies by Asa Boxer and David-Antoine Williams

Asa Boxer’s poetry has garnered several awards and his work is widely anthologized. His books include The Mechanical Bird (Signal, 2007), Skullduggery (Signal, 2011), and an illustrated chapbook entitled Friar Biard’s Primer to the New World (Frog Hollow Press, 2013).

David-Antoine Williams teaches at St Jerome’s University in the University of Waterloo.

 

 

 

 

Notes from the Undead

Field Notes from the Undead, (The Elora Poetry Centre ) by .Asa Boxer

Coming soon!

 

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Asa Boxer reads from “Field Notes from the Undead”, April 7, 2018

Asa Boxer Photo

Montreal poet, Asa Boxer, returns to the Elora Poetry Centre & Gallery for the fourth year on Sunday, July 30, at 4:00 PM to read from his series of poems about the undead: zombies, vampires, and ghouls, including the poem “Zombie Apocalypse – after Solzhenitsyn.” With mischievous humour, these poems examine cruelty, brainwashing, and just plain stupidity.

Asa Boxer’s poetry has garnered several prizes and is included in various anthologies around the world. His books are The Mechanical Bird (Signal, 2007), Skullduggery (Signal, 2011), Friar Biard’s Primer to the New World (Frog Hollow Press, 2013), and Etymologies (Anstruther Press, 2016). He is also a founder and manager of the Montreal International Poetry Prize. Asa Boxer is the son of the well-known poet Avi Boxer, who with others, such as Irving Layton, formed the poetry scene in Montreal.

 

We anticipate starting around 5.00 p.m. Drinks and finger food will be available.

Tilly Kooyman will also be performing the clarinet, accompanying Asa’s reading.

Notes from the Undead

Asa Boxer’s Notes from the Undead, published by The Elora Poetry Centre/Interludes.

 

bill bissett

bill bissett, poet, artist, performer, publisher (b at Halifax, NS 23 Nov 1939). The son of a judge, bill bissett ran away from home several times as a child, once to join a circus, looking to escape conventional middle-class life. In 1958-59 he moved to Vancouver, where he spent 2 years at the University of British Columbia before dropping out to pursue writing and painting. Although his poetics harmonized with the experimental creativity of the TISH movement, he was unable to find a publisher for his concrete and visual poetry. As a result, he founded blewointment magazine in 1962 to promote his own poetry and that of similar writers, such as bpNichol and Steve McCaffery. bill bissett is known for his distinct spelling, for combining lyric, visual, and sound poetry with drawing and collage, and for a deceptively naïve voice that masks the personal and political perceptiveness of his work.   Continue reading at http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/bill-bissett/

https://canpoetry.library.utoronto.ca/bissett/index.htm

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/bill-bissett

100 Thousand Poets for Change September 30 4pm

Press Release – 100 Thousand Poets for Change
The Elora Poetry Centre & Gallery presents the annual, global “100 Thousand Poets for Change” day at which poets and artists around the world celebrate peace, sustainability, and justice, and call for serious social, environmental, and political change. Canadian poet and artist, bill bissett, the “shaman of sound and performance,” will read/chant/dance his work. Among bissett’s awards are The George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award and the Dorothy Livesay Prize. Join us September 30that 4p.m. at the Elora Poetry Centre & Gallery. There will be live music, finger food, and conversation.
Admission by contribution. elorapoetrycentre@gmail.com. 519-846-2551