MAY 4 at London Open Mic: Indigenous Poetry Featuring Charmaine E. Elijah, David D. Plain, & Gloria Alvernaz Mulcahy - Poems & Interviews
London Open Mic Poetry Night's May 4th feature will include indigenous poetry, music, and stories. Our regular feature consists of one poet reading for 20 minutes. For this special event, the feature portion of the night will be expanded to an hour with 3 featured readers.
Charmaine E. Elijah is a poet and scholar from the Oneida of the Thames. She studied Aboriginal Studies at the University of Toronto and is currently at Western University where she studies Anishinabbe, the original languages and cultures of the Great Lakes area.
Satkatho ka’ik^ kayatale , lolihwa’ne’tsk^ kwe.
Look at this picture, he was a gentle person.
Shiyatk^la’:tu’ laksohtak^ Harley luwaytskwe.
I set him free, my grandfather, Harley was my grandpa’s name.
Okwali ne;ho’ talot^ nen laksothk^.
Bear was the clan of my grandfather.
Kanuhtunya’kwas wahatshanu:ni kaika kayatale.
I think he got happy in this picture.
Katsa okunu Montreal ye:les’kwea;e tkyo’t^hsla’wanu.
Somewhere in Montreal, he was there at this job site big.
Kayatale, lakhalo’lihe’ “wahsatkahlo’klike’ okahle tsi’niyotshanunya’:t”
In this picture, he is telling me “you wink and it is really happiness, that makes one happy”.
-Watahti/ Charmaine E.
Click here to read the rest of Charmaine's poems
David D. Plain is a member of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation (Ojibwa) and a grandson of Chief On The Plain. He holds both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Tyndale University College and Seminary, Toronto, Canada. Always a lover of history, he has devoted much time and effort to his family's genealogy and how it has affected the history of the Ahnishenahbek of Aamjiwnaang. David has published four titles through Trafford Publishing. One title, "The Plains of Aamjiwnaang" won a Golden Scribe Award for excellence in the non-fiction category in 2008 and it was also a Finalist in the 2014 Eric Hoffer Awards.
Ojibway creation story in tercet poetic form.
Behold the cosmos, all that is in it
Great mystery shaped an awesome creation
Each thing that exists, does so with spirit.
Only the human is yet to be made
But first a council, each spirit summoned
The Master of Life free heartedly bade
Come now to reason, yes to determine
If all in accord, the spaces shall live
Objection brings death, less than an urchin
Consensus achieved! the spirits agree
To give of themselves, sustain the weakling
The human shall live, propped up by decree
Creator creates, environs nurture
The poor naked soul who cannot survive
Feeble in power brings only failure
Thanks is in order and so we lay down
Tobacco in prayer for love and for grace
Sacred plant given for gifts that abound.
Click here to read David's interview and more of his poetry
Gloria Alvernaz Mulcahy is of Tsalagi Aniyunwiya ancestry and was born in the Monterrey Bay area on the Pacific coast. She became a member of the League of Canadian Poets after her first book of poetry - Songs that Untune the Sky. She has a PhD from the University of Maryland, and acted as both Chair of the Department of Psychology and Curator of the Creativity Centre at King's College, Western University.
Alvernaz Mulcahy's most recent book, Borderlands & Bloodlines, is focused on her indigenous roots-exploring how displacements and re-locations become journeys of necessity. The poems reflect on all our relations where cultures/races and classes touch edges occupying land, sea and sacred spaces.
Alvernaz Mulcahy is co-author of several poetry books and various CDs with sound poet P. Kemp including Gathering Voice (2004) and Pinceladas in 2005. She launched Pinceladas (in English and Spanish) at Centro Cultural Canadá-Córdoba, Argentina de la Universidad Nacional de Córdoba. Her most recent publication, Viva la Vida is part of an Anthology of collaborative textual poetry and is based on two poems about Frida Kahlo-mestiza (Alvernaz Mulcahy) and Frida on Exhibit (P. Kemp) which culminated in a video poem edited by videographer D. Sneppova featuring Alvernaz Mulcahy as Frida and includes her photography from Mexico and videography. Alvernaz Mulcahy's poetry is featured in various books including Four Women and Origins (Red Kite Press) and appears in various anthologies - New voices: A celebration of new Canadian poetry (Clifton Whiten, Ed.; Mosaic Press) and Anthology of magazine verse and yearbook of American poetry(A.F. Pater, Ed.; Beverly Hills: Monitor Books). She is a mixed media artist-filmmaker, photographer, and musician, and more recently has created drawings influenced by petro glyphs & pictographs combined with her poetry.
a closer look
at the garden where
where the flowers
and the skin
of trees tell
of sun and wind
and the leaves
sing up their
i find some
who tell amusing
eavesdrops on earthlings
that sun rises
out of the sea
and moon in love
with the sea
pulls the tides
and how grief
in a black cloud
Click here to read Gloria's interview and more of her poetry
WHERE: The Mykonos Restaurant at 572 Adelaide St. North, London, Ontario. The restaurant has a large, enclosed terrace just behind the main restaurant, which comfortably holds 60 poetry lovers. Mediterranean food and drinks are available. The terrace is open to the parking lot behind. Overflow parking is available across the side street and in the large lot one block north, in front of Trad’s Furniture.
WHEN: Wednesday, May 4th, 2016. Doors: 5:30 to 6:30 (it's a restaurant.) Event begins at 7:00
THE FEATURE: Aboriginal poetry, stories, music, and other performances, followed by a Q&A. The feature will last for a full hour (vs our normal 20 minutes).
OPEN MIC: The normal poetry open mic section will be significantly shortened because of the lengthened feature that precedes it. Each poet has five minutes (which is about two good pages of poetry, but it should be timed at home). Sign up on the reader's list, which is on the book table at the back. It's first come, first served.
COVER: Pay What You Can (in jar on back table, or use Donate Button on website Donate Page). Your contributions are our only source of income to cover expenses.
RAFFLE PRIZES: Anyone who pays what cover they can at the event receives a ticket for a raffle prize, three of which will be picked after the intermission. The prizes consist of poetry books donated by The Ontario Poetry Society.
Organizer Stan Burfield recalls the evolution of London's upcoming indigenous poetry and history event. Stan discusses how it came about and why, and reads his poem Moccasin Bells, which contains the memory which started the whole thing. The London Open Mic Poetry event is on May 4th, 2016, at Mykonos Restaurant, London, ON. at 7:00 pm. It will feature Charmaine E. Elijah, historian David D. Plain, poet Gloria Alvernaz Mulcahy and other indigenous poets, readers and musicians.
April 6th, 2016: Steven McCabe & fellow poets
On April 6th, the terrace of Mykonos Restaurant once again threw itself exuberantly into a world of poetry as fourty of us listened intently, lifted our glasses, and let our minds dance the distinctive word dances of a multitude of readers, beginning with featured poet Steven McCabe who carried us along, line after line, for twenty skittery-smooth minutes, by sheer creative talent, followed by a full night of open mic readers, some new, some familiar, but all bursting forth like ripe fruit.
Read Steven McCabe's bio, interview and three poems.
See slide show of event.
from Shelly Harder's Blog:
wish upon fleabane and columbine
upon toad lily and beard tongue
fairy wings, foamflower, goat’s rue
wish upon fringed yellow loosestrife
when feet find in darkness a groundhog hole
wish to the jabbing white of your bone
for prayer is to fall in love with
and hope to dance upon the knuckle of
and grace a lambent bellow bumbling
why did the chicken cross the Moibus strip?
to get to the same side