To launch my new collection of poems about music, Helpless Angels, I’m happy to say that a series of events is planned for May and June across Western Canada, in Calgary, Nelson, Vernon, Vancouver, Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton. All but the first one celebrate the book’s theme by involving performances by a variety of musicians presenting several musical styles. The initial reading features a former writing student from my days teaching at the U of Calgary, who has just had his first book published.
Here is the lineup…
On Tuesday, May 9 at 7 pm at Shelf Life Books in Calgary, I’m very pleased to be reading with John Creary. John is launching a wonderfully energetic first book of poems, Escape from Wreck City (Anvil Press).
On Friday, May 12 at 7:30 pm at Nelson BC’s Oxygen Art Centre, I’ll be doing the home-town launch of Helpless Angels. Along with me talking about and reading from the new book, famed jazz saxophonist Clinton Swanson, accompanied by guitarist Doug Stephenson, will perform two sets.
On Friday, May 26 at 7:30 pm at Vernon BC’s downtown Bean Scene Coffee House, I’ll be joined by the Lent/Fraser/Wall Trio. My launch will be combined with a concert by the dynamic roots/blues group consisting of author and musician John Lent and incredible guitarists Neil Fraser and Shelby Wall. Two of the poems in Helpless Angels are about this group in performance (I find them that memorable), so it’s a special thrill to appear with them.
On Thursday, June 8 at 7 pm in the Alice MacKay Room of the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch, I’ll be joined by famed folk/blues/roots/ singer-songwriter ensemble Fraser Union (Augmented 5th): Roger Holdstock, Henk Piket and Barry Truter of Fraser Union, with special guests Kathy Griffin and Susan Larkin. I have a long association with Fraser Union, who not only played at a launch of mine in Vancouver eons ago, but also performed several times with the Vancouver work writing circle of which I was an active member 1979-1989, the Vancouver Industrial Writers’ Union. VIWU and Fraser Union together cut a cassette of songs and poems, Split Shift, issued in 1989. (A cassette was a compact analog device for recording music on tape, in use during the late vinyl era.)
On Friday, June 23, 8 pm, I’ll be at Artesian, 2627 – 13th Ave. in Regina along with the guitar/bass duo John Lent and Mark Nishihara. Their musical emphasis is on folk-rock plus original compositions in that vein by John.
I’ll also be appearing with John and Mark in two more prairie venues:
On Saturday, June 24, 7 pm, we’ll be at d’Lish by Tish Café in Saskatoon; and
on Monday, June 26, 7 pm, we’ll be at Audreys Books in downtown Edmonton.