Poetician1 (Wally Keeler) of the glorious imagine nation of the Peoples Republic of Poetry (PRP) and an agent poetvocateur collaborator from the Cobourg Poetry Workshop drove over to Poet Hope, without authorization, on a Sunday afternoon to propose some text be raised to the heavens, don’t ya know. It was a meme mission.
Poetician1 settled on POETRY IS POETENCY, the ‘semi-quasi-unofficial’ motto of the PRP and brought it up in conversation on the ride to Poet Hope. But, it was then that Poetician1 blurted out another idea for a signature text, and got a good nod of approval, actually an energy burst. And by the time the van drew up to the Poet Hope West Beach, it was settled. It wasn’t going to be POETRY IS POETENCY.
The event was hosted by Critical Mass, a group of creative, disruptive collaborators who assert, “…art changes how we see the world and our place in it. We bring contemporary art experiences to Port Hope so that everyone in our community can have the opportunity to see the world anew.” And so they do, very successfully. Poet Hope is their playground and their venue. Cobourg Poet Laureate Emeritus, Ted Amsden, has often referred to ‘keeping it weird’ in Poet Hope, a tribute to its quirkiness and distinctiveness.
Recently, the playground was turned over to the textnology artist, Andrew Maize. It was his second appearance in Poet Hope, after setting up a live texthibition last Christmas, hosted by Critical Mass, of course.
It was early Sunday afternoon, and as the car pulled into the parking lot, we were met with a laundry list of letters hung out in beach breeze tease mode. These were the letters to assemble the text to be raised by kite. They also demonstrated the strength of wind at ground level, signalling a good launch.
Andrew Maize was busy tending to a Father’s Day slogan. He was in serious negotiations with the wind, tugging it rhythmically or directionally. This was the intersect of nature and culture. He was fully engaged with his project, throwing his entire body into it, to collaborate with capriciousness to lift text organically into the sky. Meanwhile letters flutter in wind swipes.
Here we have the lead facilitators of Critical Mass assembling the next kitelift. The matrix on which it is fixed is quite intricate. No doubt it was informed by Maize’s experience negotiating with wind. Finally it was announced and the text banner was walked out to the launching pad. It was shy at first, reticent to launch, dragging letters on the beach. Then, then, lift-off.
WORDS ON A WIRE. In a blue sky. Over a blue lake. A great lake. The wind lifted it gracefully; it furled and curled all catly in the sky. It takes the shapes of random breezes, passing fancies free to frolic. It was poetic ululating language.
WORDS ON A WIRE, don’t ya know, is a spectacular poetry reading textravastanza involving the Parliamentary Poet Laureate of Canada, the Ontario Poet Laureate, the Poet Laureate of Cobourg, the Poet Laureate Emeritus of Cobourg, the Poet Laureate of Brighton and loads of regional poets full of eloquence and articulation.
WORDS ON A WIRE, hosted by the Northumberland Festival of the Arts, is being held in the Grand Concert Hall of Victoria Hall. Tickets can be had here: Buy tickets – WOW! Words on a Wire – Poetry Event – Victoria Hall, 55 King Street West, Cobourg, Sat 17 Sep 2022 2:00 PM – 3:45 PM (tickettailor.com)
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