Roy MacDonald, 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.
From Frank Davey Blog:
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Jef-something Brian Thomas Ormston is set to open London Open Mic on October 1 at 6:30 p.m. He will also perform during the intermission and at the end of the event.
A member of the London branch of the Ontario Master Gardeners, but a philosopher at heart, local artist Jef-something, who is known to sing with guitars and banjos and stray cats, began learning guitar in May 2000 while looking for a new form of poetic expression. (He also began with a Scorpio-esque stubborn intent to learn a world-altering new song). He learned music while busking on the streets of London, Toronto, and Montreal, and his influences range from Billie Holiday to Radiohead to Dave Matthews and just about everyone and everywhere and everything between.
Jef-something says of his music: “Guitar, well, music in general, is my kung fu, for lack of a better comparison. I've been told it's jazzy-freestyle-rock-fusion with a hefty side dish of Celtic-sounding bluesy folk.” He describes Roy McDonald as “the grandfather of this city” and promises to “bring all I have and leave it upon the stage, dripping with emotion.” With two such lively artists performing, this open mic looks to be a truly one-of-a-kind event.
WHERE: The Mykonos Restaurant at 572 Adelaide St. North, London, Ontario. The restaurant has a large, covered terrace just behind the main restaurant, which comfortably holds 60 poetry lovers. Mediterranean food and drinks are available. Except for the coldest months, 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, October 1st, 2014
LIVE MUSIC: Jef-something Brian Thomas Ormston will open the event at 6:30. He will also perform during the intermission and at the end of the event.
THE FEATURED POET: Roy MacDonald will open the poetry portion of the event at 7:00, followed by a Q&A.
OPEN MIC: Following the featured poet, 15 open mic poets will read for about 1.5 hours, ending about 9:00 pm. 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.
RAFFLE PRIZES: Anyone who donates to London Open Mic Poetry Night receives a ticket for a raffle prize, three of which will be picked after the intermission. The prizes consist of poetry books donated by Brick Books and The Ontario Poetry Society. Donations are our only source of income. We still haven't paid off our initial debt!
Morton Bay Pencil work by London artist James Wood
Poet/scholar/London-Open-Mic blogger Frank Davey has been elected to the Royal Society of Canada.
Davey is one of six Western scholars named among 90 fellows of the Royal Society of Canada who have been newly elected by their peers in recognition of outstanding scholarly, scientific and artistic achievement. Election to the academies of the Royal Society of Canada is the highest honour a scholar can achieve in the arts, humanities and sciences.
Frank Davey, Faculty of Arts & Humanities, is an internationally recognized scholar and a leading figure in exploring alternative and experimental theories of Canadian literature. His critical studies have transformed our understanding of language and discourse in the study of Canadian texts. Professor Davey’s sustained efforts – as critic, theorist, editor and poet – to enlarge and redirect Canadian literature studies have been essential contributions to its contemporary diversity and self awareness.
Davey currently has a blog on the website of London Open Mic Poetry Night.
The other newly-elected fellows from Western.
Fellows of the Royal Society, the most eminent scientists, engineers and technologists from the UK and Commonwealth, are elected for life through a peer review process on the basis of excellence in science. Founded in 1660, there are approximately 1,450 Fellows and Foreign Members, including more than 80 Nobel Laureates.
The fundamental purpose of the Royal Society is to recognize, promote, and support excellence in science and to encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity. The Society has played a part in some of the most fundamental, significant, and life-changing discoveries in scientific history and Royal Society scientists continue to make outstanding contributions to science in many research areas.
This year’s new fellows will be inducted on Saturday, Nov. 22, in Quebec City.
New Writer-in-Residence, Gary Barwin: Office Hours and Events
Gary Barwin is a musician, writer, and artist whose work spans multiple genres, such as poetry, music composition, fiction, visual art, and multimedia.
The London Public Library has partnered with Western's Writer-in-Residence program to bring Gary to London for the academic year. He will be holding office hours at both the university and the Central library and will be facilitating free writing workshops throughout the year.
There will be a reading and reception on Thurs. Sept. 25th at the Central Library (Stevenson and Hunt) at 7 pm. All are welcome to come and meet Gary!
The following link provides further Information about office hours and events:
New committee member Shelly Harder will be taking a huge load off Organizer Stan`s shoulders, doing much of the open mic`s internet and computer work. Her youthful computer fingers move as fast as her flying mind, so what takes Stan`s trembling, arthritic digits hours to accomplish she will do in a snap. And she writes! And is a fine poet! (Stay tuned for Shelly`s blog.)
And so the open mic becomes ever more solid and stable.
Shelly`s bio: I'm a twenty-something student of English literature and philosophy. When not occupied with one too many essays, I (try to) write fiction and poetry. I adore Virginia Woolf, am permanently inhabited by T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land, and feast on the works of Donne and Milton. I am, however, most entranced by the works of the great Romantic poets: Blake, Shelley, Coleridge, Keats. Immersed in such an illustrious tradition, I wonder each time I write how words I string together could say anything that has not been said better before. Still the inexorable drive to partake in this vast universe of word sends me scrawling, typing, tossing fragile scribbles into a plenitudinous void. And when not reading or writing, I may be found playing piano or taking a long walk. A final word: Beethoven renders all words void.
London Open Mic Poetry Night will open it’s third season with a new co-host, Joan Clayton, who was familiar during the first two seasons as a regular open mic reader.
London Open Mic organizer Stan Burfield will also co-host, taking turns with Clayton.
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.
Upcoming Poetry Events
in the London Area:
(See the page, Upcoming Poetry Events, for more details.)
Sat. Sept. 20th: Reflections on Peace
"Join us as we invoke a personal experience of peace with a tapestry of music, poetry and prose by peace advocate Sri Chinmoy. Featuring flautist Janice Seagrove, chanting with Indian wisdom traditions expert Shivaram Trichur and participatory poetry and art with community meditators"
Where: London Central Library 1st Floor, Stevenson & Hunt Room
Tuesday, Sept. 23: Penn Kemp's Gathering Voices Radio Show on chrw radio
When: 6:30 - 7:00 pm. (R. September 30, 2014,
6:30-7:00 am). The show celebrates 2014's 100,000 Poets for Change
event on September 27 world-wide, http://100tpc.org/. Part 2 features
a poetry reading celebrating the theme of change that took place on
September 29, 20013, at Landon Library.
Wed. Sept. 24: The Poetry London Reading Series
the first reading of our 2014/15 season!
Featuring Gary Geddes from the BC coast and Toronto's Karen Connelly.
Landon Branch Library, 167 Wortley Rd., London, ON
readings at 7:30pm
with pre-reading workshop at 6:30pm
Oct. 1st: London Open Mic Poetry Night
WHERE: The Mykonos Restaurant at 572 Adelaide St. North, London
LIVE MUSIC: Jef-something Brian Thomas Ormston will open the event at 6:30. He will also perform during the intermission and at the end.
THE FEATURED POET: Roy MacDonald will open the poetry portion of the event at 7:00, followed by a Q&A.
OPEN MIC: Following the featured poet, 15 open mic poets will read for about 1.5 hours, ending about 9:00 pm. Each poet has five minutes. It's first come, first served.
Sat., Oct. 11:, The Poetry Salon.
Reading with Allan Briesmaster, with flautist April Barker and Open Mic. Gallery of Ancient Egyptian Art,
Where: 211 Elgin Street North, Durham, ON.
When: 7:10 pm
Penn will perform sound poetry and read from From Dream Sequins. We will launch Jack Layton: Art in Action, Quattro Books. Contact: Daniel Kolos, Box 567, Durham, ON N0G 1R0, 519-369-1129, email@example.com. Sponsored by the League of Canadian Poets.
Wednesday, October 29, 7--8:30pm, 2014. “Meet Up with Your Muse”.
Reading/workshop, London Public Library, Stevenson/Hunt Room, 251
Dundas St, London ON N6A 6H9,
http://creativeagelondon.ca. "Penn Kemp will read several scenes from
her plays to serve as inspiration for your own writing, whether as
dialogue or as poetry or prose, whatever form it may take. We will
work with memory, sound, dreams, images and character development to
conjure evocative new ways
of entering your writing. Perhaps a memoir will emerge; perhaps a
story: be open to the surprise of possibility. For more information on
Penn's work, see www.mytown.ca/pennkemp. Come prepared to raise the
roof of your imagination!” Sponsored by Playwrights Guild. Free but
register at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/planning-your-creative-retirement-facilitator-kathy-smith-tickets-12443337357.
More events coming: Email me any poetry-related event, any kind of poetry, it all goes here. firstname.lastname@example.org