russell-thornton

Cells

I find webpages and see the faces
of two of your now forty-something siblings,
and imagine how you looked in middle age.
Study even the obituary notice picture
of your mother, seventy-eight, for clues.

But you are twenty-two. It is late summer,
you are wearing white pants, a simple blouse,
you stand at a distance and smile slightly,
and let me take a photograph of you.
You are there in sunlight, in my cells –
you are there, you are twenty-two.

Meals I did not sit and eat with you,
and my food and drink without you now,
all of it nourishment for the cells –
the cells vanished along with what they held
of what I was and what I knew of you
and since replaced with new cells,
and the cells still here, which will vanish.

I saw somewhere among a poet’s lines,
What is not of flesh, we won’t remember.
And I know that the cells of the body
both remember and disavow the body.
And the living flesh is its testimony
that it can only remember then forget.
And the sunlight falling all around you
is timeless, blameless, and continues falling.

And what is of the body, we will remember
because it is what we can possess, though it can’t last.
And what is not of the body, if we imagine
it is another body that can only remember –
even then it can’t save us. The body will forget us,
and if the spirit can tell us it knows us,
or which among the scattering and fading cells
comprised us, we won’t be there to hear it.

Far inside the cells of my body now,
where I am only barely a body, in sunlight
you are twenty-two, and you remember and forget,
and you arrive neither to fulfill touch
nor invisibly hold sway, and you step toward me.

jane-munro

Sonoma

He totalled his blue truck –
slowly spun out on an icy bridge,
rammed it into a guard rail.

Climbed out unbruised.
Coal Creek. Middle of nowhere.
A passing couple brought him home.

Then three years
with letters from the Motor Vehicle Department
before he relinquished his license.

Before we met, while driving cab,
he broke his neck. It rewelded
off-kilter: head stuck forward.

Six years later, it’s that jut I suddenly see ahead.
It’s late, but for once no mist or fog. And on all
the twists and turns of that coastal highway,

its bluffs and coves, I am following
the spitting image of him
in that battered Sonoma –

its peeling paint, cracked brake lens,
the slumped driver silhouetted by my lights –
only the two of us on the road.

Spoken and Sung – a night of music and poetry in aid of the Scottish Poetry Library

Title: Spoken and Sung – a night of music and poetry in aid of the Scottish Poetry Library

Date: June 19, 2015

scottish-poetry-libraryLocation: Edinburgh, Scotland
Description: National Poet of Scotland Liz Lochhead headlines a fundraiser for the Scottish Poetry Library. Also on the bill: Edinburgh Makar Christine De Luca, poet Ron Butlin with music by Rudsambee Company of Singers.

Learn more here.

Return to the International Poetry Calendar.

Wordfest

Title: Wordfest

Start Date: October 13, 2015
End Date: October 18, 2015

calgary-wordfestLocation: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Description: Wordfest’s main event is a literary festival that features upwards of 75 writers from the local, national and international stage. The Festival has approximately 60 separate events across Calgary and attracts an audience of over 15,000.

Wordfest’s programming is accessible, engaging and promotes a love of reading and a curiosity about the writing life. Events include poetry and spoken word performances, current event panels, publishing industry workshops, art installations, youth and multilingual programming, in-school performances and featured events with the biggest and brightest stars of the book scene.

Learn more here.

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Winnipeg Public Library writer-in-residence application deadline

Title: Winnipeg Public Library writer-in-residence application deadline

Date: June 15, 2015

winnipeg-public-libraryLocation: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Description: The Winnipeg Public Library is seeking applications for the 2015 – 2016 edition of its Writer-in-Residence program.

From an office at Winnipeg’s Millennium Library, the Writer-in-Residence will work with emerging Manitoba writers by email and phone as well as through individual consultations, group workshops and public programs within Winnipeg.

The residency will begin October 1, 2015 and run for seven months, subject to funding.

Learn more here.

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Annikki Poetry Festival

Title: Annikki Poetry Festival

Date: June 6, 2015

annikki-poetry-festivalLocation: Tampere, Finland
Description: The Annikki Poetry Festival (established in 2003) has grown to be one of Finland’s foremost poetry events. The festival’s focus is still on poetry, although it has expanded to also include prose, music and the visual arts. The Annikki Poetry Festival aims to vitalize contemporary poetics and to put together surprising combinations of performers, as well as redefine the very boundaries of what poetry events can be. The Annikki Poetry Festival has gathered around it a three-day off-tier event cycle called Annikki OFF.

Learn more here.

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Poetry evening with Tomasz Rozycki

Title: Poetry evening with Tomasz Rozycki

Date: June 5, 2015

st-antonys-collegeLocation: Oxford, United Kingdom
Description: The conversation with Tomasz Rozycki will focus on his career as a poet, essayist and translator, and will be held in English, with readings of his work in Polish by Rozycki himself and its English translations by Antonia Lloyd-Jones, a renowned translator of Polish literature in the UK.

Learn more here.

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Broox, Weslowski and Tkachuk at the art bar poetry series

Title: Broox, Weslowski and Tkachuk at the art bar poetry series

Date: June 30, 2015

art-barLocation: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Description: The Art Bar is recognized as Canada’s longest running poetry-only, weekly reading series. Since 1991, it has featured both emerging and established poets from across Canada and occasionally from abroad. It has become a hub for the poetry community, and entry point for new voices, a place for people to enjoy one of the oldest arts.

This week’s offering features Klyde Broox, RC Weslowski and Alexander Tkachuk.

Learn more here.

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Dewar, Vermeersch and Zachary at the art bar poetry series

Title: Dewar, Vermeersch and Zachary at the art bar poetry series

Date: June 23, 2015

art-barLocation: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Description: The Art Bar is recognized as Canada’s longest running poetry-only, weekly reading series. Since 1991, it has featured both emerging and established poets from across Canada and occasionally from abroad. It has become a hub for the poetry community, and entry point for new voices, a place for people to enjoy one of the oldest arts.

This week’s offering features James Dewar, Paul Vermeersch and Adam Zachary.

Learn more here.

Return to the International Poetry Calendar.