The previous day’s Alberta election was still as fresh as prairie air on the minds of many in the audience of thirty, an election in which the Alberta NDP shockingly booted the PCs out of the province in one of the most stunning upsets in Canadian history. By glorious coincidence, the featured poet for the evening was Laurie D Graham, who had just moved to London from Alberta, and who read poems about the province - its land, people and history - from her collection, “Rove”. Graham’s grandparents and great grandparents had homesteaded in Alberta, just as had my (Organizer Stan’s) father, and his parents. In memory of which, I wore my father’s old 1930‘s tweed cap and read at the open mic his (and partly my) poem of homesteading in the dust bowl and of finally escaping to log-cabin country in the north in 1931.
The West wafted strongly through the Mykonos terrace, but so did the essences of many other places and people, as fourteen very diverse open mic poets read their creations to warm applause.
Interview with feature Laurie D Graham, and some of her poems.