Poetry

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The Terrible Legacy Of Duncan Campbell Scott

He was considered one of Canada's preeminent poets, a writer whose verses sang of Canada's natural beauty, whose poems painted pictures of Canadian wilderness that brought pride to a nation. He was also a heartless civil servant, the first superintendent of Canadian residential schools and a deputy minister of Indian Affairs in the early part of the 20th century whose policies targeting First Nations, many believe, meet today's definition of the UN genocide convention. And yet this very same man who had such contempt toward aboriginals became a revered writer and poet.

Bob Chelmick's Solar-Powered Cabin In The Woods

Chelmick's getaway required the hard work of clearing brush and laying a foundation. The original cabin was 600 square feet and solar-powered, complete with battery storage. Why solar? Chelmick recalls seeing brown streaks across the sky near Lake Wabamun.

The B.C. Election: The Pitfalls of Flip-Flopping

Here Warren Kinsella's oft-repeated maxim rings true. In Kinsella's latest book he states that what is true of car crashes is true of political life. When polled, voters will insist they hate negative ads. But when they thinking no one is looking they will slow down, take a look, and remember what they see.
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Sexism and Silence in the Literary Community

There are so many reasons a literary community remains silent when faced with the unpleasant business of sexism or misogyny: many writers fear the repercussions of speaking out because many of the people who get away with both blatant and subtle forms of hate are also in positions of relative power in the literary community.

Has Politeness Become Passé?

I remember meeting an executive at a corporate reception a couple of years ago who was bemoaning the fact that he's just too busy to deal with what he called "the niceties" of peer-to-peer communication. According to him, there just aren't enough hours in the day to swap insignificant comments of courtesy. When he said, "I wish people would just get to the point" it struck such a chord in me that I Tweeted about it, suggesting that maybe he's missing the point:

AFRaKaReN on Why Art Is Power

Before we had written language, we had storytellers. Their role was critical: without paper and pen the passing down of stories by word of mouth was the only way communities could preserve the lessons...

Introducing Wakefield Brewster

I first met Wakefield last year during the first People's Poetry Festival. He struck me as a larger than life character with a magnetic energy which compelled people to listen to every word he spoke. In discussions with him he revealed that he had come from Toronto, firstly for love, and secondly for the opportunity to connect with a new audience. He is like a pioneer of sorts in the world of spoken word and has been largely welcomed into its circles in Calgary.
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Ode To A Wedge Sneaker

Wedge sneakers were due for some poetry since their invasion and take-over of the feet of the young, frivolous, and trendy in mid-2011, but it wasn't until I saw their latest incarnation from the original sneaker maven, Madame Isabel Marant, that I felt compelled to write a ditty myself...

The Music Diaries: "Half Angel Half Eagle"

Someone's mother falls to the sidewalk; on the next street someone looks up. In the cathedral, a burst of laughter; in another city the pigeons fly up and scatter. Someone put down in a New York subway a newspaper picked up in Australia. For each event, the inarticulate glory, the equal and opposite, will tell the story.