Roy McDonald, possibly London's most well-known citizen and "the grandfather of this city," will be the featured poet at the October 1st, 2014 London Open Mic Poetry Night at Mykonos Restaurant.
Roy was born in London in 1937 to the tuning of global war drums. He has since been an active member of the demonstrative community: he participated in the call for universal civil rights, environmental awareness and an end to the southeast Asian bloodbath of the 1960’s and 70‘s, and, more recently, denounced and supported the American invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the Occupy movement of 2011, respectively.
1970 met Roy with the publication of his poem “The Answer Questioned”, a stream of idiosyncratic puns which found the January edition of 20 Cents Magazine; it was reprinted and bound in 1979 by ERGO Productions and twice since by Conestoga Press. In 1978, ERGO productions again favoured Roy with the publication of “Living: A London Journal”. In 1979, Don Bell’s “Pocketman”, a novel which loosely follows Roy’s “wanderings and exploits”, was published by Dorset Publishing. A play about Roy’s life entitled “Beard”, written by Jason Rip, found the ARTS Project theatre in 2012 under the direction of Adam Corrigan Holowitz. After decades of transience, including residence in Montréal and Rochdale College in Toronto, all the while comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable, Roy presently lives in his childhood home in London, Ontario.
(Interview by Kevin Heslop for London Open Mic Poetry Night)
Despite the fact that this interview – originally an eight-thousand word transcript – has been segmented into themes, it retains the linearity of the conversation between Roy, Stan, and I. Roy’s words have been reproduced in their original form with some minor, faithful sculpturing in the interest of clarity. Put another way, the following consists of the two fillets of a single tuna, cubed raw. K.H.
KH: Do you feel any obligation, speaking specifically of poetry, to your reader? Or do you write solely for yourself?
RM: I think a writer writes for both. There are different ways of writing, different reasons people write poetry or anything else. If we talk about poetry, it’s a way of thinking, a way of therapy. It can be very good therapy. You know, someone breaks up with one’s girlfriend or one’s girlfriend breaks up with you, and then you write a poem about the heartache. It helps. To write about the relationship can be very helpful. And another reason, of course, is memory. When I recite a poem... There’s a whole different feeling when one recites a poem than when one just reads a poem.
Welcome Shelly Harder Blog!!
When Shelly Harder volunteered to help with our internet work, I had no idea about her poetry. For all I knew she wasn't into it. In fact I knew very little about her when we first talked except that, as became obvious very quickly, her fingers on her Mac seemed to be on some kind of high-speed cruise control. And her mind even moreso.
When I mentioned Shelly to Kevin Heslop the next day, it turned out he knew her from Eng. Lit at Western. He said she was a good poet. Well, he didn't use the word "good". Of course, he being a good poet himself, he wouldn't. I think he said "raw". But anyway, he had me waiting for my first glimpse. And now I can share it with you. Here's the first entry on her blog. S.B.
Here a space, hidden cavern receding from underneath the sliding skin of marching, second-ticked moments, tickled present dotted down the stretching line of time-spanned day.
There is a second in every day that, found, can never be quantified and lost, can never be discovered by those prowling, precise watch-fiends.
I have searched in the dells and behind the trees of Brescia hill: here is a labyrinth-bathed tree from up whose gorgeously-mottled trunk falls diffuse illumination.
There is a second in every day blooming into a vastness beyond day.
Fall off the path of accustomed treadings.
Forsake known ways.
Wander into gemmed grasses.
Shelly Harder's bio.
Clayton and Burfield to co-host season three.
London Open Mic will have two hosts for the first time, with Joan Clayton opening Season 3 on Oct. 1st and London Open Mic Poetry Night organizer Stan Burfield hosting the 2nd event on Nov. 5th. Clayton and Burfield will take turns hosting throughout the season.
Having two hosts will add variety to the reading series, but the main reason for Burfield taking on half of the hosting is that,“It’s time to take my shyness therapy to the next level.”
THE MYSTERY OF THOSE GREAT DRAWINGS ON OUR WEBSITE
I recently began wondering if I could zip up the open mic website with some art of some kind, and wondered if James Wood, one of our regular attendees, could help us out. So I send him this email:
“I have a proposal for you regarding your drawings.
“I`m always trying to make the home page of our website as attractive as possible. I view it as the front page of a newspaper. It`s in two columns, with the top stories at the top with the largest headlines, and the lesser and older ones further down with smaller headlines. When I put a new story at the top, an old one comes off the bottom. And I try to have them illustrated with photos so that the page isn`t just boring words. The only little problem I have is that sometimes I get the body of two articles side by side, with no photos, only words. Well, I was thinking about you and your art the other day and it occurred to me that a drawing would be the perfect thing to insert there.
Four months have passed now and, as you can see, James has agreed! Just as I had hoped, his wonderful poem-like drawings do indeed add visual variety to the homepage. A new drawing appears there each mid-month. Following James’ stipulation, the drawings only appear on the website homepage, not on our Facebook page as well. Also, when each is posted, the old one disappears. And there is no page where the old drawings can be found. Check below for his latest while it’s still here.
Aug. 9th on London's Boler "Mountain"
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Poetry Workshop Started by London Open Mic
A series of monthly poetry workshops open to anyone will commence on Wed., Oct. 8th, at the Landon Library in London’s Wortley Village.
The facilitator will be Kevin Heslop.
Each workshopped poem will be read silently, then aloud by the poet, and will then be followed by a discussion. The workshoppers will try to see the intention of the poet, will comment on the poem’s strengths, and, with appropriate tact, on its weaknesses. The workshop should help the poet see the poem through the eyes of its audience.
Since there is no way to predict how many people will attend, and there won’t be time to workshop more than six poems in the two hours, if more people arrive at the Oct. 8th workshop, a second room will be opened. The two simultaneous workshops could then hold a maximum of twelve participants. On the unlikely chance that more than twelve arrive, each workshop will select its six poets by random ballot selection. The second room will be facilitated by Stan Burfield.
Time: Arrive before 6:30.
Location: In Landon Library, the room immediately past the large hall at the base of the stairs.
From Frank Davey Blog: