Poetry in the ebar

I attended the poetry reading in the Bookshelf this past Monday (April 7th, 7pm). Three poets were represented:

Karen Houle
Tim Lilburn
Alison Pick

This is an alphabetical list. They presented in the reverse order.

I really enjoyed Alison Pick‘s reading, side stories and poetry. She read from her latest book: The Dream World which covers a 5 year period where she moved to Newfoundland and back. It was warm, approachable and evoked a strong sense of place with me. My wife and I moved to Nova Scotia for 8 years in the late 80’s and, perhaps because of this, I found I could relate very well.

Tim Lilburn is more of cipher. He read from his new book Orphic Politics. This book devles into what he describes as an undiscovered country: illness. Tim’s rythmic hand gestures reminded me of a beat poet but that’s where the similarity and accessibility ended. The poetry does not lend itself to oral presentation, in fact I found I couldn’t connect with it all in that venue. It’s complex and I would probably need to read his poetry myself with a dictionary to understand it.

Karen Houle’s work was the least enjoyable for me. I found it subjective, pretentious and angry. Her poetry is too one-sided to invoke anything but a reaction to her specifically. She read from During.

I applaud the Bookshelf for hosting this event to kick off Poetry Week. I’ve already put holds on all the works these authors have in the library so I’ll learn more (except Karen who didn’t have any books there).


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