soraya-peerbaye-250

Skin

It wasn’t said. What we were, beneath the skin of our respectability. My father, a doctor, his accent learned from Indians who studied in England. My mother, a Mary Kay consultant: pink makeup kits in the living room, the paperback success story on her night table. How I dreamed of her winning the pink fur-trimmed coat, the pink Cadillac.

Unsaid, as she held my brother’s hand, going door to door to find out who had beaten him with a bag full of bottles. Her wrist a golden ribbon between the gap of coat sleeve and glove.

~

Once I woke in the morning and looked out my window to see boot prints in fresh snow. A trampled path, as though someone had taken a shortcut through our backyard, suddenly unsure which way to go. As though I’d rubbed my eyes too hard, opened them again to see dark stains on the light. An afterimage. The watermark on my grandfather’s stationery.

I went outside in my nightgown and winter boots. Stomped it out, beat my arms, did a little chicken dance of fury and shame. Paki. I wasn’t even – A word, mouthed in snow.

~

I perfected my English. That is not what I am. I wasn’t even from there, didn’t speak that language, was not dark brown like the servants, les bonnes who cleaned our house, the chauffeur, the gardener, the tailor “back home,” Bhai Aziz, Bhai Yousouf, Shiva. Did not carry the bitter scent of turmeric on my skin, the smoky rose of agarbhatti; did not glisten with the shine of almond oil and sweat. That is not what I am. That is not what I am. I perfected my English.

Prior and Matuk read at Poetry London (Ontario) Reading Series

Title: Prior and Matuk read at Poetry London (Ontario) Reading Series

Date: January 18, 2017

poetry-london-caLocation: London, Ontario, Canada
Description: The Poetry London Reading Series hosts monthly readings and poetry workshops in London, Ontario. The series brings Canada’s best national poets into London for readings, as well as providing a wide range of poetry-related opportunities for local writers and poetry aficionados. The series’ home is the Landon Branch Library in London’s beautiful Wortley Village.

The series was created in 2004 by poet Cornelia Hoogland in partnership with the London Public Library. The series partners with several other Ontario venues, including The Hamilton Poetry Centre, Ancaster’s Redeemer College, London’s Fanshawe College, Western University, and St. Jerome’s College in Waterloo, to provide national poets multi-stop Ontario tours. Poetry London strives to host a dynamic mix of voices, from established Canadian poets to new and local writers.

This evening’s event features readings by poets Michael Prior and Nyla Matuk.

Learn more here.

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Under the Surface: Studying the Music of Your Imagination – workshop with Rowan Ricardo Phillips

Title: Under the Surface: Studying the Music of Your Imagination – workshop with Rowan Ricardo Phillips

Start Date: January 16, 2017
End Date: January 20, 2017

kwls-writers-workshopsLocation: Key West, Florida, US
Description: In this workshop led by Rowan Ricardo Phillips, you will work to enhance simultaneously your imagination and your use of sound in order to take your poems to their next level. A poem is always about the relationship between its sonic and imaginative parts; this is what convinces the ear that the subject is not only real, but important. We will study techniques used by poets across various eras, as well as workshop your own poems extensively in search of the keenest balance in your work between these three pillars of the art of poetry: sound, subject, and the imagination.

Learn more here.

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Don’t Talk to Me About Love 2017 Poetry Contest submission deadline

Title: Don’t Talk to Me About Love 2017 Poetry Contest submission deadline

Date: January 15, 2017

dont-talk-to-me-about-loveDescription: What does LOVE mean to you? Don’t Talk to Me About Love wants your poetry exploring love in any of its myriad expressions: romantic, platonic, parental, and much, much more. They know there is a whole world of love out there, and they want to read about it. See last year’s contest winner and honourable mentions to get a sense of what the publication is looking for.

First prize is $1,000 and three honourable mentions are guaranteed publication in donttalktomeaboutlove.org.

Learn more here.

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Emily Dickinson Tribute – Tracy K. Smith with Dr. David Devorkin

Title: Emily Dickinson Tribute – Tracy K. Smith with Dr. David Devorkin

Date: December 12, 2016

poetry-society-americaLocation: Washington, DC, US
Description: In our annual celebration of Emily Dickinson’s birthday, award-winning poet Tracy K. Smith reads Dickinson’s work and discusses the great significance of her legacy. Smith is joined by Dr. David DeVorkin, Senior Curator of Astronomy for the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, to talk about astronomy from a 19th century perspective.

Learn more here.

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Poetry for Every Season: Billy Collins and Eamon Grennan

Title: Poetry for Every Season: Billy Collins and Eamon Grennan

Date: December 10, 2016

poetry-society-americaLocation: Bronx, New York, US
Description: Two great friends — Billy Collins, former US Poet Laureate and Poet Laureate of the NYBG whose poems are on the grounds of the Garden this winter, and beloved Irish poet and former Vassar College Professor Eamon Grennan — read their own poems and have a dialogue on their experience of writing poetry.

Learn more here.

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The Open Door Readings at Poetry Foundation

Title: The Open Door Readings at Poetry Foundation

Date: December 20, 2016

poetry-foundation-logoLocation: Chicago, Illinois, US
Description: The Open Door series presents work from Chicago’s new and emerging poets and highlights the area’s outstanding writing programs. Each hour-long event features readings by two Chicagoland college and graduate writing program instructors and two of their current or recent students. December’s Open Door Reading presents Young Chicago Authors’ Jamila Woods with Nate Marshall and his student Carlina Duan.

Learn more here.

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Botha, Calabro, Peerbaye and Swan at Brockton Writers Series

Title: Botha, Calabro, Peerbaye and Swan at Brockton Writers Series

Date: January 11, 2017

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Description: The Brockton Writers Series (BWS) is a bi-monthly literary reading series founded in November, 2009, and held in the west-end Toronto neighbourhood of Brockton, at full of beans Coffee House & Roastery, 1348 Dundas St. W. The series’ vision is to host writers who reflect Canadian literature and Canadian diversity, defining diversity to include: established and emerging writers, writers of colour, queer writers, younger and older writers, aboriginal writers and other writers who might not always have the platform to showcase their work.

This evening features readings by Danila Botha, John Calabro, Soraya Peerbaye and Dane Swan.

Learn more here.

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National Poetry Month (Canada, US, UK)

Title: National Poetry Month (Canada, US, UK)

Start Date: April 1, 2017
End Date: April 30, 2017

national-poetry-monthLocation: Canada, US, UK
Description: National Poetry Month is a month-long celebration of poetry established by the Academy of American Poets in 1996 and observed since 1999 in Canada. As the Academy of American Poets states, National Poetry Month is meant to widen the attention of individuals and the media to the art of poetry, to living poets, to the nation’s complex poetic heritage, and to poetry books and journals of wide aesthetic range and concern. National Poetry Month events and initiatives increase the visibility and availability of poetry in popular culture while acknowledging and celebrating poetry’s ability to sustain itself in the many places where it is practiced and appreciated.

Learn more about National Poetry Month via the Academy of American Poets, the League of Canadian Poets and UK Book Trade’s National Poetry Month.

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The Poetry of the Sacred course at The Poetry School

Title: The Poetry of the Sacred course at The Poetry School

Date: April 6, 2017

the-poetry-schoolLocation: London, England
Description: How does poetry reach towards a new understanding of the unknown?

Auden wrote that ‘the centre I cannot find is known to my unconscious mind.’ In today’s increasingly complex and often urban environment, what is sacred to us as individuals? And how does poetry reach towards a new understanding of the unknown, whether through religiosity, nature or science? Students will be encouraged to generate new work as we explore these issues through close reading of contemporary poets such as Louise Glück, Maitreyabandhu, Daljit Nagra, Alice Oswald, Rowan Ricardo Philips, Adélia Prado and R.A. Villanueva. Tutor for this course is Karen McCarthy Woolf.

Learn more here.

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