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IF A POET FALLS IN THE FOREST ...or perhaps that should be falls in the BUSH GARDENAndreas, it's sad to learn you are leaving the ranks of Canadian poets, & I'd consider you a member in good standing of the People's Poetry tribe as well. But as someone who has also laboured long & hard in the CanPo scene, I can well understand your desire to get on with your life - to do other things. I hope you enjoy your sabbatical from the bush league confusion which is the current state of CanPo, where there is too little satisfaction & often too much back stabbing from too many frenemy poets.I've taken a number of sabbaticals from being a Canadian poet - & they've proven very productive. In general our society hates poets, or at least mistrusts & misunderstands us. The only poets who prosper in our neo-liberal, materialistic culture are the professor poets, & they tend to be the least talented. I'm pretty damn sure you'll return to CanPo sooner or later, refreshed & reinvigorated, & likely better off financially and socially as well. peace, poetry power & I know you'll enjoy the break, however long it needs be!Chris (Faiers)p.s. This aft I snail mailed you the new issue of UMBRELLA with your excellent poem "The Season Arrived in Bird Song"
Hi Chris, Thank you for your kind comments (as well as the issue of Umbrella). Though I know one should "never say never" I have to keep in mind that the few of us remaining as People's Poets (particularly here in southern Ontario) are not getting any younger and many of us have been struggling with health issues. To be frank, who will be remaining in 10 years or so anyway? Most poets between 30 and 60 belong to the CanLit scene while those under 30 are into the Slam scene. I don't fit into either of those, as do many of the poet friends that we know. When I go to one of our anthology events or whatnot (put on by the remaining Peoples Poets) I'm often the youngest one there and I'm 51. Hopefully one day, in posterity, our work will be studied and looked back upon positively. Cheers.
Hi Andreas,Yes, your comments are sadly accurate - People's Poetry as we've practiced it is becoming a part of CanPo history. Terry Barker's new book, CONTINUING CHESTERTON: THE PASSAGE AND REVELATION OF CANADA'S RENAISSANCE ROOTS IN PEOPLE'S POETRY, documents this fading aspect of our Canuckian People's Poetry tradition. There's a TO launch coming up for this book & an updated reprint of Milton Acorn's classic book in just over a week at the good old Parliament Street Library (once home to Cabbagetown poet Ted Plantos).I don't have much interest in the 'CanLit scene, if I'm to understand that as the 'poetry' of the more academic poets. And I'm not a fan of the slam scene - I've already said there's enough aggression among poets, & the whole slam thing just seems silly & show-offy to me.A final thought: maybe posterity is already here as documented in Terry Barker's new book ; )Anyway, peace & poetry power!ChrisI do know of several excellent younger People's Poets - Patrick Connors and Martin Durkin. I'm pretty sure Martin is under 40, & I believe Patrick is just a notch past. I didn't realize you had reached the half century mark yourself, I thought you were a decade younger!
Ah, Andreas...I've heard this before. I know you'll be back writing, publishing, speaking. But if this is goodbye I wish you peace and the silent contentment of every poet who wrote always at the prompting of his heart and deep abiding love of life and people.
thanks so much, my friend. This time it's a little different -- a wonderful wife to spend the rest of my life with. Makes all the difference. Cheers.