By coincidence, her first novel will be launched shortly before the Nov. 6th poetry reading, on Wednesday, Oct. 23rd. It includes poems, some of which she will read later at the open mic reading. Entitled ‘Juanita Wildrose: My True Life’ (Pedlar Press), the book will be launched at Landon Branch Library, 167 Wortley Rd, 7:30 to 8:30 pm. It is a reminiscent piece touching on motherhood, mortality, love and sex.
Susan Downe’s work (poetry and fiction) has appeared in Fiddlehead, Grain, Prairie Fire, Canadian Forum, and Pottersfield Portfolio, and is included in several anthologies.
Her first book of poems, a chapbook called ‘Between This . . . and This’ (Spanish Onion Press, 1998), dealt with her father's death and it’s effect on her mother.
“Whether she is writing about the loss of her breast, or the loss of a friend, about the pleasure of time with her grandchildren or the passion of making love to her husband, Susan Downe writes with a surety of voice that comes from looking at the world and words with a gracious honesty. These spare and graceful poems are love stories; even the title sequence, about Downe's struggle with breast cancer, is a loving celebration of the beauty, the fullness, the irrefutable blessing of being alive.” Brick Books
has hitched itself
to the inside
of my skin, slip-
knitted to my nipple:
who would have guessed
genius - it means
to gallop far
and has tethered itself
to a mothering place.
"These poems are full of feeling but not in the least sentimental. They confront breast cancer and stare it down more lyrically than one would have imagined possible. This is a fine first book." - Maxine Kumin
A review by Heather Fitzgerald (Quill & Quire, July 2004)
Listen to Downe read from ‘Little Horse’ on a Brick Books podcast.
Susan Downe is a retired psychotherapist, also a mother of four, stepmother of four, grandmother of eight, and “apprentice to two large gardens”.
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. Overflow parking is available across the side street and in the large lot one block north, in front of Trad’s Furniture.
WHEN: November 6th, the first Wednesday of the month, as with most of our events.
LIVE MUSIC will begin at least by 6:30. There is also an intermission with live music and (usually) more at the end of the event.
THE FEATURED POET: Susan Downe begins reading shortly after 7:00, followed by a Q&A.
OPEN MIC: Following the featured poet, there is about 1.5 hours of open mic, 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). NOTE: WE WILL NOT BE SELECTING NAMES AT RANDOM, BUT, AS IS TRADITIONAL AT MOST POETRY OPEN MICS, POETS WILL WRITE THEIR NAMES IN A SPOT OF THEIR CHOOSING ON A LIST AT THE DOOR. They will also be asked for their email addresses and whether or not we can photograph and videotape them reading.
RAFFLE PRIZES: Anyone who donates to London Open Mic Poetry Night receives a ticket for a raffle prize, three of which will be picked. 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.
EBOOK ANTHOLOGY: Our annual ebook is an anthology of the poets who have read during the year, including both the featured poets, with one or two poems by each, and the open mic readers, with from one to a few, depending on length, from each of those who wish to participate, no matter how many times they read. The ebook will then be available on Amazon at the end of the season, at a few dollars each, used to help offset expenses. If anyone gives us more than several poems, we will select from them. All poems that are included must have been read at the events during the season. The ebook will include a short biography (up to seven lines) of each poet. This must be included with the poems. We may also add a photo of the poet reading at the event. This hasn’t been decided yet. To keep transcription errors from creeping into the poems, the preferred way to get them to us is by email. Those who don’t use email can give us a copy at the events. A cautionary note: Some poets may not want certain poems to be included in the ebook because it would make them unacceptable for later publication in certain poetry journals. Erik Martinez Richards will edit and publish the anthology. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org