The House of Anansi Poetry Bash was something special. It was hosted by David O'Meara and included presentations by Garth Martens, Sarah Lang, Anne-Marie Turza and Matthew Zapruder, all of whom had tremendous chemistry throughout the evening.
If you've ever had poetry read to you in a church, then you'll understand what Matthew Zapruder meant when he said, "All poetry should be read here until the end of time. It should be illegal to do it anywhere else."
All four writers had incredible stories to share and it felt less like a staged event and more like a reunion among friends, which is all part of the magic at the Ottawa Writers Festival. There were discussions, debates and thoughtful commentaries which arose from the conversations during the night. It is always a pleasure to hear kind words of encouragement from authors and this evening was no exception. The poets urged writers to create problems to solve, to question "what can poetry do?", and to allow an editor to completely annihilate your work.
Some highlights of the night were Garth Martens' poem, "The Bug Unit," Sara Lang's poetic advice in "For Tamara," Anne-Marie Turza's "The Veil," and the first poem in Matthew Zapruder's book, "Sunbear."
Given that it is Poetry Month, the bash allowed for the authors to present an abundance of styles under the poetic umbrella. There was lightness, darkness, humour, a mosquito gracing ears and a letter written to God.
A lamp gave out when the authors were on stage but that didn't stop the artists from saying two things:
One; that a poetry book is an interior world in which we should wander around in.
and Two; a true poet will forget about making you look for double meanings.
I'll take poetic advice like like that any day.
The next poetry event is the Poetry Cabaret at 8:30 PM on Saturday, April 26