Saturday, May 14, 2011

Dempster & Kerr: Sage Hill Poetry Colloquium

Poets Barry Dempster and Don Kerr charmed their audience in Lumsden, SK, on Friday night with two great readings at the Muziek Art Gallery. The readings were part of the Sage Hill Writing Experience Spring Poetry Colloquium, which attracts participants from across the country.

Barry Dempster reads at the Sage Hill Poetry Colloquium, Saskatchewan
Barry Dempster reads. © SB 
Barry Dempster lives in Ontario and has published 15 books, including 12 poetry collections. (Wow.) His four most recent are Blue Wherever (Signature Editions, 2010); Ivan's Birches (Pedlar Press, 2009); the delightfully witty Love Outlandish (Brick Books, 2009); and The Burning Alphabet (Brick Books, 2005). 

Don Kerr reads at the Sage Hill Poetry Colloquium, Saskatchewan
Don Kerr explains the finer points of poetry © SB 
Don Kerr is Saskatchewan's current Poet Laureate, with eight books of poetry (among other books), including The Dust of Just Beginning (Athabasca University Press, 2010); My Own Places: Poems on John Constable (Calgary University Press, 2005); Smoke/Screen: Poems on Cigarettes and Movies (Thistledown, 2003?) and Autodidact (Brick Books, 1997)(And thanks, Don, for my gift copy of Going Places!) 

Tracy Hamon welcomes the readers at the Sage Hill Poetry Colloquium, Saskatchewan
Tracy Hamon welcomes the readers,
colloquium participants and guests.   © SB

The evening was hosted by Regina poet Tracy Hamon, the current president of the board of the Sage Hill Writing Experience, with support from Fionncara MacEoin, Sage Hill program assistant.

I confess to feeling some degree of regret... or longing... if not (surely not) envy, listening to the readings and audience chatter afterwards. I was at Sage Hill (though not the Colloquium) several years ago. That was a very good experience. But more: Barry Dempster, this year's instructor, is a talented poet and a generous editor, and everyone seemed so energized and happy, writing reams and having fun...

When I mentioned my conflicting emotions to one participant, perhaps she thought I was implying it was all a two-week holiday, because she responded: "It's work!"

"I know!" I said. "But it's the right kind of work."

And that, we both agreed on.


A note on these images: Yes, I continuing my journey to learn Photoshop. These started with the desaturated portrait look from Scott Kelby's "Photoshop CS4: Down and Dirty Tricks." However, my tiny camera is somewhat deficient under low light conditions , and as a result there was a lot of digital noise on these images. After trying to clean it, I decided to embrace the speckles and posterize the pictures. (The pre-posterized images are in my Facebook album.)  


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