Celebrating Poetry, part deux

celebrate poetry: here’s two readings you should really go to.
one, tomorrow’s nooner, and two, next week’s speaking crow!!!
National Poetry Month Reading
Featuring Colin Smith & Deborah Schnitzer
Tuesday, April 26, 12:00 – 1:00 pm; Main floor, Millennium Library (251 Donald Street)

Every spring, the League of Canadian Poets celebrates National Poetry Month, which is dedicated to reading, writing, speaking and promoting poetry.
In 2011, the League of Canadian Poets will also celebrate 25 years of the Public Lending Right in Canada, which attempts to both nurture poets and provide free access to their work. This spring, explore Poets + Libraries = PLR for National Poetry Month!


Speaking Crow

Tuesday May 3rd, 7 pm, Aqua Books: come early to sign up for the open mic!!!!

Featured Reader this month, Ken Kowal


and here’s a wonderful bio written by the bio guru himself, Colin Smith:


KEN KOWAL has been for some time a purveyor of what could be called a blues-inflected Tidy Prairie Lyric. This is apparent over two chapbooks: 1997’s i dream my father’s hands (published by Patrick Carroll’s KAW Publications) and 2006’s Ripley Retreats (published by Jonathan Ball’s The Martian Press); as well as Brookside Poems (2002) and  fire work (2006) (these two book-length collections came out through Leslie Mundwiler’s Highbrow Books). While riding around on Winnipeg buses in 2008, you might have read a Poetry in Motion text that could have reminded you of Margaret Avison, but was more poetry by Ken.


With his full-length perfect-bound debut, Gimp Crow (Turnstone Press, 2010), the blues is still in evidence, but we are almost in contemplation of a different writer. Gimp Crow bears far more experimental technique and displays a far more insouciant tone. To quote one local wag, “Gimp Crow is a left-handed doozer of a prairie picaresque. It’s rude, wise, sly, and sad. In pulverized rhyme and crabby free verse, Kowal sketches a tale of the eponymous avian and his gals, his pals, his son. Fall asleep beside Gimp Crow, it’ll eat your third eye.”


A trio of quotes to display its various textures:


O black muse

shell my egg O


Crow blood die bird

Of much less soul

So caw shun words

Stay good side sold


clouds black sky white

sun black moon white snow

black ice white desert

black swamp white yin

black yang


Next Tuesday’s poetry set will be bracketed by two songs performed live. Kowal, along with John Orhuf (a.k.a. little ken and the late night embers), will do “Drunk on Thee” — which appears in Gimp Crow — and a new song honouring a local writer.


Ken Kowal still works as a warehouseman, but at a different place and during the day. He was recently nominated for the John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer.



happy poetry hunting,




Katherena Vermette

One Response to “Celebrating Poetry, part deux”

  1. Patrick Carroll says:

    Note to Ken Kowal – if you could please…congratulations on the “recent” publication and on the nomination. Nice to see you getting recognition. Sincerely, Pat…of KAW Publications, now Amherst Cove, NL. Best wishes.