Showing Mary the ropes
At the cafe today, I was showing London Open Mic's new Internet Manager, Mary Dowds, what it takes to put an interview blurb together and post it, this one of James Deahl and Norma Linder, our April 5th features. I walked home smiling because this is the last interview I'll ever have to tackle! After five years of them. The very last one! YES!!! Thanks, Mary! Here it is: http://www.londonpoetryopenmic.com/…/james-deahl-norma-west…
Sat. April 8th, 2017: the launch of this series of get-togethers and learning sessions for London, Ont. poets who would like to learn more poetics, brush up on what they've forgotten, or just get to know some fellow poets.
(Earlier we announced it as April 1st, but, sorry, the room wasn't available.)
Group founder, Stan Burfield, will be the 1st episode teacher, discussing something he has forever been guessing at: line breaks.
The general idea behind the group:
1. This group is be mainly for poets (and poetry lovers) with less formal education in poetry than they would like to have. 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 will be the group members themselves. Those who would like to will 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 will 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.
Send me an email so I can put you on the invite list: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks, Stan Burfield
London Open Mic is happy to announce our newest committee member: Mary Dowds. Mary is in training to become our Internet Manager, just in time to take over that responsibility from Stan Burfield, the current London Open Mic organizer and series founder, as he is set to retire from active duty at the end of this season, June 7th, 2017.
Mary Dowds was previously a Court Reporter. Having written millions of other people's words, she now enjoys writing many of her own. Mary was also a live TV broadcast captioner "and always some kid's mom". .
As organizer, I have a big decision to make before the end of April.
I want this to be my last season, and, if that turns out to be the case, there are three events left that I'm responsible for. But what comes after that? Well, at least we now know there will be a next season because we have a new volunteer who will be doing most of my duties, consisting of all the internet work (website, facebook, tweeting, newsletters, constant communication with people). Mary Dowds, whom I'm training now, is our new Internet Manager. Nobody else in our group either has the time or the ability to do this essential work. So, with Mary, the open mic will definitely be able to continue.
The big question in my mind is what form the administration of the open mic will take. The ideal would be a group of equals, with each member taking responsibility for a share of the work, and each excitedly trying to make the open mic work. Sounds good, and it's my #1 hope, but having researched it a bit, it seems committee-run organizations tend to get bogged down in rancour and conflict, often resulting in some members leaving, and even, occasionally, the demise of the organization.
I have till the end of April to feel out the volunteers who are actively working on the open mic now. If I decide by then that a committee-run system wouldn't work then I have two choices: to appoint someone to take over my position, or to stay on as organizer for another season to try to work out some lasting solution more gradually.
London Open Mic is opening to the public a new poetry workshop. The Wed. March 8th workshop (at 6:30) is modelled after, and in honour of, the workshops pioneered in London by veteran facilitator Ron Stewart.
Each participant will bring copies of their poem, which will be read silently by everyone, then read aloud by the poet, then critiqued, first in terms of what people like about the poem, then in terms of ideas for possible improvement.
Participants aren’t required to bring a poem but can nevertheless join in the critiquing.
A maximum of six poems can be critiqued in the time allowed per session. From experience, twenty minutes allows us to get into each poem in depth. To accommodate more people, we are going to use a sign-up sheet. Everyone will sign up as they arrive and the first six will go first. Those who don’t make the cut will automatically be at the top of the sheet for the next month. If so many people come that even the sign-up sheet technique isn’t going to work, then we will start a second, Saturday workshop. The names left over from the first workshop will be at the top of the Saturday list, and then again at the next Wednesday list. If it’s no-show by then, they will be dropped.
Beginning March 8th, it will be held at 6:30 on the second Wednesday of each month at Landon Branch Library at 167 Wortley Rd. in London’s Wortley Village, in the downstairs room at the far end of the hall. If you would like to attend, bring ten copies of your poem (max. length, one page.)
Further info: email@example.com Wortley Rd