Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Internet is for Porn.

In other news that outs me as the giant nerd that I am, my most recent project is to create a publishing house for my canlit class. I have a few excellent book ideas:

1. The Real World of Warcraft
A collection of the best and most scandalous gossip going on in the Warcraft world. Complete with links to footage from the events in WoW and players who were involved.

2. The Internet is for Porn
A sex-positive guide to the best porn on the internet. A great way to avoid spamware, adware, and hidden fees. The best and only source for porn by and for women, lesbians, and gay men. Also an excellent list of the funniest porn satire on the internet, so you can say you just bought it for the comedy.

My professor hinted in class yesterday that he had heard one of our ideas and wants to put it into business because it's such a good idea. I have a feeling it's one of those.

Any other ideas?

spreading that spoken word like a virus

Things have been going along swimmingly on the spoken word front. Wednesday mornings are increasingly fun. Yesterday morning I read some serious and some funny Leonard Cohen that went over pretty well. Margot added her comments, as she always does, and confused us all into being completely unsure what to say. It was certainly fun, though.

I've been doing my official-sounding MCR trainings at CKUT, which means that on November 30, Thursday, at 8pm, I will be replacing Fortner Anderson for his Dromotexte show. I will have a whole hour all to myself, and i will be doing all the tech stuff too. I'm thinking I'll read Civil Elegies (a poem that becomes increasinly important to me as it is in my life), and play some excellent spoken word that i found in the bowels of the CKUT music library. Should be a good time.

My friends keep asking me when to listen to my morning after show, so I'm going to give the details again: CKUT 90.3 FM, Wednesday mornings usually between 8-830 am. If you don't live in Mtl, you can listen live at, or you can download it and listen to it anytime. Just go to the archives and click on the show the Wednesday Morning After.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I recieved a comment on my last post that I'd like to address more openly, having already responded to it. The anonymous poster wondered what the point of poetry is in a world full of genocide, poverty, AIDS, and terrorism. He or she would like to know if Canadians, like me, don't have something more important to think about than writing poetry.

Dear anonymous poster, it is for you that I do everything I do in Canadian literature.

Yes, Canadians face a host of global political problems today. We live in a complex world, and it is poetry, not newspapers, that can teach us about it. I am assuming that this poster, like most Canadians, has only ever been exposed to the boring, nature-loving, apolitical, pretty poetry that I believe threatens poetry today by ignoring its political responsibility. The reason I want to expose Canadians to the poetry being written in Canada right now is because it is about some pretty volatile stuff. These poems ask us to face the issues rather than hide in the newspapers, which really don't tell us that much anyway.

I wonder if this poster had heard any of the poems I have read on the show so far. If not, I urge him or her, and everyone else, to listen to the show tomorrow (or download it whenever: and go to the Wednesday Morning After). I will be reading one of the most politically volatile works of Canadian poetry I have ever read. It is called No Language Is Neutral by Dionne Brand, and it asks Canadians to look at their society beyond the idealistic image of multicultural harmony we have going on. The speaker's experience, as a Caribbean Torontonian immigrant lesbian, is one of racism, sexism, and oppression, and yes, this is Toronto in the 1990s. Poets like Brand ask us to look more closely at our society from a different perspective from what the newspapers would like us to see.

For this reason, my anonymous poster, we must do more than "read the newspaper" as you so kindly suggest. We also need to read the poetry that is showing us what's really happening outside what the general Canadian media would have us believe. Maybe then you could make a more intelligent response to something you are ignorant of.

Thanks for the comment.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

What do you think of the title: "Naked on a Park Bench?"

This post is a little belated, since it's been 'news' for about three weeks now, but I have, in fact, started reading Canadian poetry on CKUT on Wednesday mornings. I have a ten-minute segment on the Wednesday Morning After show, usually between 8 and 9. Last week I read some stuff by Karen Solie and Donald Hall, and the week before that, I read some stuff by Canadian poets against the war, including my mom's cousin Peter Jaeger, who's excellent. Upcoming this week: everyone's favourite Leonard Cohen. This is the man that can change your mind if you think you don't like poetry. Or I might break down and read some of Dennis Lee's Riffs instead because I miss Cheyne, and I can do whatever I want because it's my show. Segment. Whatever.

I was sitting in my Canadian literature class learning about the life-threatening situation facing Canadian literature and Canadian publishing today. Apparently Canadians could care less what their literary culture is doing, and probably figure Margaret Atwood has it covered. It terrifies me that all the excellent, intelligent, and political poetry Canadians are writing right now is slipping through the economic cracks of the conservative government and the general apathy of Canadians to do anything about it. And plus, it hurts me that so many people think they hate poetry, because high school totally ruined it for them. I hated poetry when I got out of high school too, and now I love it. The radio show is just meant to be about someone who likes poetry and wants to share it, and the possibilities of broadening that community through the airwaves. Last week, Neil, who does the music and tech on the Morning After, said he stopped paying attention during one of the poems. i was so glad he said that, because it gave me an opportunity to say that that was okay--for the poems to be boring, or pretentious, or to not like them. that's hwy the discussion is there.

I'm not going to stop here, either. I'm hoping to help out with another poetry show on the station, Dromostexte on thursday evenings at 8, and do a canadian version of his show. I also hope to make it into a full-length show, so i can have people come in and read their favourite poems and talk about them.

Up next: podcasts. I'll keep you updated.