Today’s Poll

Nelson Library hosts accomplished poets

By Contributor
April 8th, 2015

You could say poetry is food for the soul. And you’d be right, according to the League of Canadian Poets, which has given National Poetry Month—celebrated annually in April—the theme of Food and Poetry.

“Food nourishes, grounds and connects us, much like poetry. Without food, as without poetry, we go hungry,” notes the League’s website.

The Nelson Public Library celebrates National Poetry Month on Tuesday, April 21 at 7pm with a buffet of local and imported poets, featuring Nelson poet Jane Byers and Hamilton, Ontario poet Ellen S. Jaffe, with special guest spoken word poet Damian John.

“Poetry is truly food for the mind and heart,” says Jaffe.  “Many of my poems involve kitchens and cooking, and poetry – like all art—is the creative transformation of ‘raw’ experience into ‘cooked’ works we can taste and digest over time.”

Ellen Jaffe is the author of two collections of poetry, Water Children (2002) and Skinny-Dipping with the Muse (Guernica, 2014). Her work has appeared in literary anthologies, including Crossing Lines: Poets Who Came to Canada in the Vietnam War Era.  She teaches writing in schools, is a contributing editor of Great Lakes Review, and has co-organized three Canadian Jewish Literary Festivals.

Jane Byers is the author of Steeling Effects (Caitlin Press, 2014). She is the recipient of the 2014 Richard Carver Emerging Writer Award. Her work has appeared in Grain, Descant, The Antigonish Review, Plenitude, The Canadian Journal of Hockey Literature, Poetry in Transit, and Best Canadian Poetry 2014. 

“I love good food and I love good poetry. These are not unrelated,” says Byers. “I was astonished to find out that 14 of my poems from Steeling Effects have food in them. It underlines what an essential ingredient food can be in poetry!”

The Nelson Public Library acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the League of Canadian poets for the April 21 poetry reading of Byers and Jaffe.

Kicking off the evening, slam poet Damian John offers a spoken work tribute to poetry. John was one of two poets chosen to address Nelson City Council on April 7 in honour of National Poetry Month.

 “Many of my poems are really creative ways to dialogue with myself about issues I find incredibly difficult,” he says. “I’ve been doing the spoken word versions for about two years now because I feel a need to share thoughts and listen to what others are thinking.”

The Library will provide refreshments to complement the poetry smorgasbord. Admission is free, but donations are always welcome.

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