David Stones features Dec. 7th -- three poems and a conversation with David can be found here!
David Stones, a well-known regional poet who has read to acclaim in many of our open mics, will feature at the Dec. 7th London Open Mic.
A poet and spoken word performance artist, David lives in Toronto and maintains a secondary residence in Stratford, Ontario. Since semi-retiring from senior executive and CEO roles in the marketing/ communications and business sectors, David now devotes his creative energy to the craft of creating and performing “little islands of grace” and what he jokingly calls “small acts of poetry to change lives.”
David Stones published his first book of poetry, Infinite Sequels, in 2013, and his one-man show of the same name followed soon after. Acclaimed by audiences and described as “mesmerizing,” “riveting” and “not to be missed,” David has performed Infinite Sequels on stages throughout southern Ontario, from Toronto’s Arts & Letters Club to a recent stint at Stratford’s 2015 SpringWorks Festival. Published in various poetry journals since his student days at the University of Toronto, David also performs regularly at poetry events throughout the GTA and southwestern Ontario. In 2017 he will be the Anchor Poet as part of London’s Couplets series, as well as Feature Poet at several events including Bay Street’s Words & Music Salon. David has recently completed his second book of poetry, Such A Frail Book Of Endings, as well as a unique poetry cycle, 141 Imitations Of Love….. Follow David and his blog
WHERE: 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. 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.
THE FEATURED POET: David Stones opens the event with a reading that begins at 7:00, followed by a Q&A.
OPEN MIC: Following the featured poet, 15 open-mic poets will read until 9:30 at the latest, with an intermission at about 8:00. 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). Donations are our only source of income to cover expenses.
RAFFLE PRIZES: Anyone who donates 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.
A poem by Don Gutteridge commemorating his reading at London Open Mic!
by Donald Gutteridge
After a reading at Mykonos
Restaurant in London, Ontario
There is a murmuring in the crowd
at Mykonos, all eyes
upon the ageing poet
as he grasps the lectern
and steadies himself under
the bright stage-light,
and, as those in their seats wait
to be wowed, words
drip off the bard’s lips
in the sheer shape of poems,
rhymed or not, he reads
with surprising alliterative
ease, then nods at the sudden
outbursts of applause,
at the oohs and ahs in just
the right places, he smiles
a septuagenarian smile
in gratitude at something
significant having been affirmed.
Poets not photographed were Joan Clayton, Kevin Heslop, Paul Branton.
London Open Mic Poetry was proud to host London’s most well-known member of the Canadian literary scene, Don Gutteridge, who launched his 20th book of poetry, "Inundations", published by Hidden Brook Press: Brighton, 2016, before an audience of 53.
Don's poems of the home and village he grew up in, Point Edward, Ontario, and of the wonderfully eccentric characters who lived there, were very warmly accepted by his large audience. Those who hadn't experienced this kind of life as children wished they had, after listening to his poetic stories. As Don said in our interview, "The poems are a place of safekeeping for memories, thoughts and emotions. They also serve to trace my inner development as a human being: father, grandfather, custodian of the family and historical memory....I’ve created a Point Edward in my memory and given it a mythical quality (as every-village). And such a creation enhances my own memories about the town."
Sarnia-born Gutteridge, Professor Emeritus in the Faculty of Education at Western, is the author of more than fifty books, including poetry, fiction and scholarly works in educational theory and practice. In 1972 he won the President’s Medal at The University of Western Ontario for his poem "Death At Quebec". Among his best-known poems are the mythic tetralogy: Riel: A Poem For Voices, Coppermine: The Quest For North, Borderlands, and Tecumseh. Gutteridge is best known across Canada for his historical fiction. He has also recently produced a series of mystery novels, The Marc Edwards Mysteries.
Read Don Gutteridge's full interview, and three poems
This is my last season: HELP WANTED!
This 5th season of London Open Mic Poetry will be my last as organizer. I’ve had a good run, and accomplished what I wanted to, both in terms of personal growth and helping to build a poetry community in London. But I have other things I want to accomplish that will require all my time and effort in the future.
Our committee right now doesn’t include anyone who can pick up where I leave off. It would be a shame for London Open Mic to die, or even to fizzle away in a half-hearted fashion. So we desperately need someone to step forward before the end of the season: June, 2017.
• You must be able to plan ahead, continually. Not everyone can handle this. Since London Open Mic is a series of events, two events have to be prepared for simultaneously, first in finding featured poets, then in making sure everything else is done in proper sequence and on schedule: writing and posting ads on the website and social media and other platforms, doing interviews with the features, hosting the actual event, getting photography and videography done, writing and posting summaries and photo galleries. Consequently, a strong sense of responsibility and an ability to manage time are necessary.
• You need to persuade other volunteers to do as much of the work as possible. This is also important because the open mic is a social event, and so should be run by a social group, which then forms one of the seeds of the community it is promoting.
• You have to do any work yourself that other volunteers aren’t getting done.
• You must communicate with all parts of the community: featured poets, open mic poets, poetry aficionados, other poetry organizations, city agencies, etc.
• You must search not only for new featured poets, but for other possible kinds of features, and also for new ways of involving the organization in the community--then make them happen.
• You must inspire others.
• You must use your position to do as many good things for individuals as you possibly can. This is more important than all the rest.
Organizing London Open Mic Poetry has been a very rewarding adventure, ridding me of a debilitating shyness and, at the same time, involving me productively in my community.
I’m hoping that someone else will want to carry it forward. If you’re just curious but not likely to go for it, please ask me about it anyway. If you know someone else who might be right for it, suggest it to them. It isn’t for everyone, but it may, in the end, be perfect for someone who doesn’t think so at first glance. That was certainly true for me when I started it.
I’m happy to talk about it:
Done! We presented our sidewalk poetry idea. Now we wait.
On Dec. 1st, three English students from Western and I presented to the London Arts Council (LAC) our idea to stamp poems in fresh cement as it’s being poured in sidewalk repairs. The interest seemed to be there so we went away cautiously excited. Of course, the people responsible have to spend some time going over it, thinking and talking about it, before they can decide.
Andrea Halwa, LAC executive Director, Rachel Pennington, its Public Art Specialist, and Tom Cull, London's LAC-appointed Poet Laureate, listened as the three third-year English students made the presentation they had researched and written.
Jennifer Ball (L in the photo), Leizel Rafanan and Noelle Schmidt did the work as part of Professor Manina Jones' class "Canadian Literature, Creativity and the Local".
After the presentation, Andrea Halwa cautioned us about some of the difficulties, but the three of them, especially Poet Laureate Tom Cull, seemed quite positive nevertheless.
The presentation included discussion of some of the methods, processes and costs from the St. Paul, Minnesota project, which has been stamping poems 2008, with over 700 impressions in its sidewalks now. It also included ideas of our own, the results of a petition the students circulated, and a number of letters of support.
Jennifer Ball (L), Leizel Rafanan and Noelle Schmidt are getting a first-hand view of how poetry can be propagated outside of campus. They’ve been doing research, making petitions, asking for letters of support, refining the idea and writing the proposal.
Click for COMPLETE VIDEO PLAYLIST of the Nov. 2nd, 2016 London Open Mic, featuring Donald Gutteridge. Included are videos of poets Frank Beltrano, Alan Leangvan, David Stones, Richard Weston, Wendi Waters, Stan Burfield, Ralph Graham, Zoe Button, Robin Marie Butt, Gloria Alvernaz Mulcahy, and Paul Branton.
Don Gutteridge & a host of open mic readers enjoyed our Nov. 2nd event
Fifth Season (last season with Stan Burfield as organizer):
Dec. 7th, 2016: David Stones, Stratford
Feb. 1st, 2017: Ron Stewart
Mar. 1st, 2017: Andy Verboom
Apr. 5th, 2017: James Deahl & Norma Linder
May, 2017: Jason Dickson
June, 2017: Stan Burfield
NEW IDEA: A BASIC POETICS STUDY GROUP
I'm fishing for potential here. Please tell me what you think.
1. This group would be mainly for poets (and poetry lovers) with little formal education in poetry. As for example, yours truly.
2. Because poetry is like chess in that a person can become endlessly more proficient at it (because of its ancient lineage and because bright people have been studying it and writing and teaching about it for nearly that whole time), there is a God-awful lot to learn. Thus the world of poets can be divided into two groups: those with a formal university education specializing to some degree in poetry, and those without one.
3. The group's professors would be the group members themselves. Each would pick a topic from the world of poetics, research it, and present it, discuss it, show examples of it in poems, and generally get the group thinking about how, why, and when to apply it, and what happens if it's not applied, and so on. In other words, by the end of each session, everyone should have a new tool at their disposal to help them enrich their poetry. (And to help them read others' poetry.)
4. Topics would include especially the aspects of poetics most commonly employed in contemporary poetry, but not limited to them. Some examples: the major aspects of poetry, including lines, syntax, diction, trope, rhetoric, rhythm, meter, stanza and then some of the zillion sub-categories like enjambment, stress, scansion, allusion, imagism, metaphor, free verse, feeling, metonymy, allusion, abstraction, how to read a poem, etc etc.
If there's enough interest, we'll definitely start this thing.
Express yourself here, but especially send me an email so I can put you on the invite list: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks, Stan Burfield
Help us keep videotaping our poets
Sebastian is volunteering his invaluable services videotaping our poets. Please help keep him with us. If you or anyone you know can use his videography or any other tech work he does, which is extensive and detailed in the video below, by all means contact him.