From Kevin Heslop's Blog:
"My Writing Process", Heslop's Blog Tour Stop
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Upcoming Poetry Events
From Frank Davey Blog:
Lavish New Book on Ceramicist Max Laeuger
Max Laeuger: Gesamt Kunst Werk, ed. Arthur Mehlstäubler. Karlsruhe: Badisches Landesmuseum, 2014. 312 pp. 27.4 x 21.4 cm. EUR 24.90.
Max Laeuger: Gesamt Kunst Werk is the catalogue for the recently opened exhibition in Baden-Wurtemburg, Germany, that addresses ‘all’ the artwork of Max Laeuger, architecture, interior design, watercolours, sculpture, and ceramics. On the cover the editor has placed one of Laeuger’s earliest works, an advertising poster he produced for a woolen manufacturer in 1894. Here the young Laeuger’s portrayal of wool from Classical sheep to modern mill has inadvertently also symbolized the aesthetic poles of his own career: in the foreground an art nouveau idealization of the pastoral; in the background the geometric factory buildings which would not only serve two World Wars but help inspire Constructivism, the Bauhaus, Futurism and Cubism, as well as the functional architecture of concentration camps. It’s an appropriate cover for a book that portrays Laeuger, in the words of the concluding essay, as “an artist between the epochs, a pedagogue in contradiction” (283).
I first noticed Max Laueger’s artwork only a few years ago when I encountered an unusual vase (below, left) at London, Ontario, estate auction. It was 9" high and 9" across its waist, mid-green with a unusually regular, almost geometric, network of black shapes in an overlaid glaze all around it. It was too geometric and abstract to be Art Nouveau but perhaps not sufficiently to be Art Deco. The auction house knew it was a Laeuger, and I further tracked it to his Kandern workshop, in the state of Baden-Württemberg in southwestern Germany, around 1908. So it was contemporary with the painters of Die Brücke and Der Blaue Reiter, and with the early canvasses of Picasso and the Delaunays. That seemed to make sense. I soon discovered that Laeuger had been born in 1864 during the German equivalent of the Victorian period, produced his first works in 1884-1900 while the Pre-Raphaelites, Art Nouveau and, in Germany, Jugendstil were flourishing, and then had become a respected contemporary of successive waves of modernism including German Expressionism and the Bauhaus, with numerous international exhibitions including a gold medal at the Paris Exhibition in 1925.
A little later I looked into Lauger’s early ceramic work, and sure enough it included small sculptures of ethereal women, often Madonnas, and Art Nouveau vases depicting realistic flowers and flowering plants (below left), not all that dissimilar from what the Moorcroft factory is still producing. But his sculptures, watercolours, and wall plaques of women had become less idealized by the 1920s and in style begun to resemble the rough outlines of figures in the 1906-1920 paintings of Kirchner, Nolde and Schmitt-Rottluff. And as early as 1907-8 his floral ceramics had begun to present highly abstracted shapes such as on this tulip-decorated vase (below right), one example of which is held by Cleveland's Museum of Art. Read More......
One Volunteer Photographer
London Open Mic Poetry Night needs a still photographer. If you love to take photos, this is for you. You will get to practice your portraiture. And refine your technique. For every monthly event, we need good photos of the musicians, the featured poets and the open mic poets, plus a couple of the audience enjoying the evening.
Your duties would include not only taking several photos of each person (to choose a good one from), but also editing them (cropping, getting the exposure and colour right, and eliminating red eye), and entering them as galleries in the open mic website and Facebook page.
What would you earn for all this work? The excitement of being an integral part of the local poetry scene, meeting people, taking part in decision making as a member of the London Open Mic organizing committee, having your own blog on the well-read London Open Mic website if you want one, and getting a good letter of reference if you should need it.
Contact Stan at email@example.com
KongsRegrets Pencil work by James Wood
Heslop's report from the Bayfield poetry retreat
Kevin Heslop and five other London poets are on retreat in the Bayfield Garden of Eden, their mission being to turn out poems. This is from Heslop's first day. You can catch the rest of his reports on his Facebook page:
He also regularly posts some of his best poetry on his blog here on the open mic website: http://www.londonpoetryopenmic.com/kevin-heslop-blog
here it is-
the empty page.
how you goin’ to fill it up?
there are some sun-electric fronds over there,
languid verdant ribcages in the riffling breeze,
and you’re beneath the maple,
amidst its tenuous, forked flickerings of shade and light,
and somewhere a child’s voice (your voice?)
on the open, elsewhere air...
the french baguette is sanctified
and we drink our wine
we drink our wine.
the lake a roar at ears’ peripherals
the chitterings of the birdies in cloaks of leaves
and we drink our wine
we drink our wine
this place is as holy as we make it.
may we baptize it, continually.
may we smear ash upon its forehead.
may we drum for it.
may we make offerings of our music.
may we be enchanted.
may we be enchanted.
may we be enchanted.
oh, that rapture would hasten
and leave us here
woven into enchantment,
daring upon the air.
ventriloquize the sun, puppeteer,
ventriloquize the sun red and amber and gold.
make speak the clouds,
their ruddy, adjusted drifting.
make speak the tree.
make speak the bird.
make speak we with, of, between, amidst
your various elegant tattering projects
of gratitude and decay.
ants in rivulets upon the park bench.
a chipmunk quivering in the garden.
Ron Stewart steps down from his poetry workshop
After seven years of facilitating his monthly poetry workshop at London’s Landon Library, Ron Stewart is stepping down to put more time into his own poetry. He and wife Jan will continue to support local literary events, partly through the now-traditional announcements on his extensive email list, which many Londoners have long depended upon.
Ron began the workshop as an essential finishing touch to the group of ingredients already supplied to the local poetry scene by the Poetry London Reading Series, also held at Landon Library. Since then, many poets have benefitted from his initiative and hard work.
Following are expressions of thanks by Poetry London and some of the local poets who have attended the workshop:
Ron and his wife Jan continue to embody the creative energy, hard work, and congenial spirit that has come to define the London poetry community. We offer our congratulations and appreciation to Ron for initiating and nurturing such a successful workshop - one that has meant so much to so many writers in London over the past several years. We wish him continued success with his own writing and all of his future endeavours in our poetry community.
~ the Poetry London Reading Series
To the other sentiments expressed here by others, all of which are true, I would like to add that if not for Ron’s workshop there would be no London Open Mic Poetry Night, which is a spinoff of the workshop.
~ Stan Burfield, organizer, London Open Mic
I want to thank you so much for making the London (especially winter) nights seem so much more welcoming for your generous hosting of those wonderful poetry gatherings.
With much appreciation and warmth,
~ Cheryl Cashman
I think Ron is a wonderful poet, and a great supporter of other poets. His way of summarizing other’s poetry and encouraging them to write, is remarkable, heartfelt and full of spirit!!!
~ Joan Clayton
Thanks, Ron. I haven't been to any workshops recently, but I have good memories of those flights of fancy. Arriving to find you at the end of the table ready for take off. Orienting us to the program. Apprehensive as to what this flight would be like. Excited about reaching for the upper ether of poetry. Hearing your calm confident gentle voice reassuring us it would always be a good flight (which it always was) and landing us safely at the end (which you always did). They were quite the trips. I miss them. Good luck with your solo flights. Bon voyage.
~ Martin Hayter
When I think of Ron, I see, when entering the clean, well-lighted room in the Landon Library underground, at the head of the long, peopled table strewn with poems, the welcoming smile, the articulate, white goatee, the glimmering eyes and freckled dome which I have come to know and trust. If there is any one secret to the endurance of his workshop, I think it is that trustworthiness which has compelled each of us to uncloak the vulnerability which in daily life we habitually deny, to communicate in all its shifty-eyed, anxious humanity a wish to express ourselves and be heard. Ron - thank you for listening. And thank you for having tenderly impressed upon each of us those four simple words which unfailingly conclude your summations: Live Life, Love Poetry.
~ Kevin Heslop
The poet Muriel Rukeyser said, "Breathe-in experience, breathe-out poetry." Ron Stewart helped us add a third dimension, share poetry. He did so by creating a non-threatening, congenial poetry workshop. Thank you for that, Ron.
~ Louisa Howerow
Ron’s workshop was unique and will be missed. It was one of a kind.
~ Carl Lapp
A bit lost at the Poetry London Events, it was really Ron's Workshop that helped me feel at home in the London poetry scene. His gentle and positive leadership developed my confidence and introduced me to friends I hope will be in my life for a long time to come. Thanks, Ron (and Jan)
~ Janice M. McDonald
Ron is an enthusiastic and talented poet whose presence enhances many events in London’s poetry community. His dedicated work has fostered and supported the growth of various venues. Particularly important is the monthly workshop (held at the Landon library) organized by Ron. This workshop series has provided London poets an opportunity to share and discuss their poems. Many thanks, Ron!
~ O. Nowosad
For Ron, who has, in the Open Poetry Workshop at Landon Library, created a safe and encouraging atmosphere for poems finding their perfection, a place of meaningful, good-humoured discussion, an evening from which we come away with both wits pencils sharpened. For Ron, who has faithfully and with such generosity led the workshop 10 months of the year, for so many years. To Ron, I offer my deep gratitude.
~ Christine Thorpe
From Stan Burfield Blog:
I had just risen from the toilet
and was pulling up my pants
when the door popped open and
Linda’s wide eyes looked up
into mine, and she said,
“I had an aggressive sales lady today.”
July 28th, 2014. My thanks to Stan Burfield for inviting me to present the week after him on this Virtual Blog Tour. Some of you may have come here after reading his presentation which he posted July 21st. If you missed it, you can always go back and check it out. And from there you can check out the other bloggers who came before him, the immediate one being that of Penn Kemp. Stan asked me to write about my writing process and then introduce one or more other writers, who will in turn discuss their writing process for the rolling blog tour on Monday, Aug. 5th, and they will introduce more writers for the following week. And so it goes…
To see my choice for next week, scroll down. Then set your calendar for next Monday, Aug. 5th.
What are you working on?
The next line and the next, finding a voice, reading a lot and trying to carve a niche with a hacksaw into the wicker firmament. I’ve just turned 22 and I’m not seriously pursuing publishing. I don’t think my stuff is good enough to enter that arena. Yet. When asked, I’ve often used the metaphor of a basketball player who shows up early at the stadium in which the game will be held that evening. He practices free throws, jump shots, three-pointers, half-court hook shots, etc, working on an efficiency of release, trying to understand his relationship to the net. It might sound cheesy, but it’s a metaphor I think is appropriate. And secondly, and probably more importantly, without a real sense of myself as a writer, or as an individual, rejection, the slings and arrows a writer must suffer, isn’t something I could stomach much of, whereas when I feel my writing and m y sort of philosophy is at a level I’m reasonably comfortable with, any external reactions won’t much shake or dilute my opinion of my writing.
Why do you write what you do?
It’s obviously a difficult question. In terms of style, I think an exasperation, a sense of urgency, is important, and I try to imbue my poetry with as much of that as possible. And with that, as it applies to both prose and poetry, comes that often sought economy of language. Cutting the fat, so to speak. Also, there’s a certain aggressiveness in my writing which reflects my own artistic disposition. It comes across when I draw or write and perform music, too. Maybe part of that is the impatience of youth, but I’ve always created with a bit of a hard, abrasive edge. Read More....
London Open Mic Poetry Night will open it’s third season with a new host, Joan Clayton, who was familiar during the first two seasons as a regular open mic reader.
Dr. Clayton is a clinical psychologist in private practice. She began writing creatively ten years ago. She has had seven plays produced, and several poems and articles published. Joan thinks of herself as a story teller and enjoys the research behind many of her productions, the most recent being ‘The Power of Work’ for Goodwill Industries which told the history and future vision of Goodwill International.
She received the Kobzar Scholarship to attend the Humber Summer Writers Conference in 2012, and last fall received funding from the Shevchenko Foundation in Winnipeg to publish a children’s book on the Ukrainian Genocide of 1933, the Holodomor.
Joan is currently working on a one act play about Frida Kahlo for a Festival in November, as well as an erotic collection of poems called CHOCOLATE CAPPUCCINO MORNINGS, and a series called ‘When Smoking Was Still Sexy’.
Joan Clayton’s first shot at hosting London Open Mic will be Oct. 1st, when Roy MacDonald will be featured. MacDonald will be introduced by London Town Crier Bill Paul and warmed up by the music of Jef-something Brian Thomas Ormston.
Previous host, Dawna Perry, who pulled London Open Mic through it’s crucial and difficult first two seasons, is now putting her time and energy into a full load of post-graduate studies.
From the June 4th London Open Mic: