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from Rings

Problem is our armpits and crotches are feathered
with cobwebs. Problem is she leaks soft-boiled eggs
or I package seedless grapes. Problem is her parents
made us wait until that had crossed the width
of my nose. Problem is she has a migraine. Problem is
we did not want children. Problem is we did
not want each other until too late. Problem is I can’t be
late for work in the morning. Problem is this morning
she says she dreamt she was holding a sandwich bag
of crickets. Problem is I am already late and listening
to the weather. Problem is we don’t speak
to the problem. Problem is the school bus
that stops in front of our townhouse just as I’m reversing

the problem is we don’t know who

But we did not want children. But we did
not want a townhouse either. But we got
a townhouse in a field of children with round
dimpled faces. But we did not want girls.
But we saw them in ribbon and crinoline
at church. But we did not want boys. But
we saw them squeezing frogs near the ravine.
But we did not want children. But they knocked
on our door with UNICEF cartons and chocolate
almonds. But we did not buy. But we bought.
But they wore soccer uniforms and ballet leotards
under their winter coats. But they sat in their mother’s
car as she dropped off the Avon. But we were surrounded by

pregnant women who grew round around

Or we could get a Pekingese. Give me children, or else I die.
Or a Siamese cat. Give me children, or else I die. Or we could
redecorate with glass and steel and pointy corners
in the best modern way. Give me children, or else I die. Or else
move to a ch-ching penthouse. Give me children,
or else I die.
Or throw parties and serve canapés. Give me
children, or else I die.
Or travel by train from farther to further
every spring. Give me children, or else I die. Or we could spend
the evenings counting our gold. Give me children, or else
I die.
Or become the cool aunt and uncle. Give me children,
or else I die.
Or sponsor a child or buy a goat. Give me children,
or else I die.
Or buy a hybrid or recycle more or run
a shelter or feed the poor or bike for cancer or knit for preemies

or else give me children or else give me children

The PEN Pinter Prize 2017: Michael Longley

Title: The PEN Pinter Prize 2017: Michael Longley

Date: October 10, 2017

Location: London, England
Description: The 2017 PEN Pinter Prize – the annual prize in memory of Nobel-laureate playwright Harold Pinter – will be awarded to Michael Longley. He will be presented with the prize at this event and deliver an address. A limited edition booklet containing the presentation will be published by Faber & Faber and available to the audience at the event.

Learn more here.

Return to the International Poetry Calendar.

Fog Lit Festival

Title: Fog Lit Festival

Start Date: September 27, 2017
End Date: October 1, 2017

Location: Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
Description: Fog Lit is a not for profit festival for readers and writers of all ages. They offer a modern all inclusive family festival, providing an exciting lineup of mainstream events, workshops, panel discussions and readings. Fog Lit Festival’s aim is to encourage reading and writing, while recognizing the achievements of many talented Atlantic Canadian writers.

Learn more here.

Return to the International Poetry Calendar.

#todayspoem

Title: #todayspoem

Date: October 7, 2017

Description: In fact, every day is #todayspoem day. With the #todayspoem hashtag, you can share an excerpt from any poem that happens to have made your day. Everyone shares their #todayspoem experience a little differently, with an image, a link, an excerpt, whatever fits in a tweet. Each tweet is enough to spur a moment of delight or recognition or, handily favorited in Twitter, is a lovely bookmark for future poetry explorations.

Learn more here.

Return to the International Poetry Calendar.

Wigtown Book Festival

Title: Wigtown Book Festival

Start Date: September 22, 2017
End Date: October 1, 2017

Location: Wigtown, Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland
Description: Wigtown is a traditional market town, set in the beautiful countryside of Dumfries & Galloway, south-west Scotland. It is also Scotland’s National Book Town, a designation that reflects its dozen or so secondhand bookshops and annual literary festival.

Founded in 1999, the 10-day Wigtown Book Festival is now one of the UK’s best-loved literary events and this year has more than 200 events and activities for all ages, including music, theatre, food and visual arts. The Guardian has called it “the sort of festival people become possessive about”.

Learn more here.

Return to the International Poetry Calendar.

The Forward Prizes for Poetry 2017 readings

Title: The Forward Prizes for Poetry 2017 readings

Date: September 21, 2017

Location: London, England
Description: Hear readings from the ten collections chosen by the Forward judges from poetry published in the UK and the Republic of Ireland over the last 12 months.

Between the readings, see the nation’s most coveted poetry prizes awarded live on stage.

Michael Longley, Emily Berry, Sinéad Morrissey, Tara Bergin and Nuar Alsadir are up for the £10,000 Best Collection Award, while books by Ocean Vuong, Nick Makoha, Eric Langley, Maria Apichella and Richard Georges are in the running for Best First Collection. The Best Single Poem prize shortlist features Malika Booker, Mary Jean Chan, Harmony Holiday, Ishion Hutchinson and Ian Patterson.

Learn more here.

Return to the International Poetry Calendar.

The Sidney and Peninsula Literary Festival

Title: The Sidney and Peninsula Literary Festival

Start Date: September 22, 2017
End Date: September 24, 2017

Location: Sidney, British Columbia, Canada
Description: The Sidney and Peninsula Literary Festival celebrates readers and writers and the books that bring them together. The festival is supported by granting agencies, local businesses, other arts organizations and individual donors. The festival extends special thanks to Tanner’s Books, for their continued support and generous sponsorship, and to the festival’s dedicated team of volunteers.

Learn more here.

Return to the International Poetry Calendar.

Real Vancouver Writers’ Series September Sizzler 2017

Title: Real Vancouver Writers’ Series September Sizzler 2017

Date: September 21, 2017

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Description: The Mighty RVWS returns from a summer of dining on torrid pocketbook romances and sunset barbeques at the beach to bring you six amazing writers this September:

  • Monica Meneghetti, author of What the Mouth Wants, Caitlin Press
  • Curtis AuCoin
  • Gary Barwin, author of No TV for Woodpeckers, Wolsak and Wynn
  • Carys Cragg, author of Dead Reckoning, Arsenal Pulp Press
  • Ian Williams, author of Personals, Freehand Books
  • Selina Boan, Vancouver poet, and editor with Prism Magazine, and new chapbook publisher Rahila’s Ghost

Learn more here.

Return to the International Poetry Calendar.

Pivot Readings with Crosbie, LaSorda and Sinclair

Title: Pivot Readings with Crosbie, LaSorda and Sinclair

Date: September 20, 2017

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Description: Pivot presents the writers breathing life into Canadian literary culture. Established and emerging, time-tested and fresh; they’re what’s happening in literature, right now. This evening’s readings at the Tranzac Club’s Tiki Room in Toronto are by Lynn Crosbie, Allison LaSorda and Safiya Sinclair.

Learn more here.

Return to the International Poetry Calendar.

Token Resistance

As one turns to one in a dream
smiling like a bell that has just
stopped tolling, hold out a book
and speaks: “All the vulgarity

of time, from the Stone Age
to our present, with its noodle parlors
and token resistance, is as a life
to the life that is given you. Wear it,”

so must one descend from checkered heights
that are our friends, needlessly
rehearsing what we will say
as a common light bathes us,

a common fiction reverberates as we pass
to the celebration. Originally
we weren’t going to leave home. But made bold
somehow by the rain we put our best foot forward.

Now it’s years after that. It
isn’t possible to be young anymore.
Yet the tree treats me like a brute friend;
my own shoes have scarred the walk I’ve taken.