Monday, April 14, 2014

Poet Ian Stephen: From the Outer Hebrides to Regina, SK

Ian Stephen
It's always a treat to meet and listen to writers from other places, and it was great this weekend to hear Ian Stephen, a writer, artist, storyteller and sailor who was visiting from Scotland's Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides.

Stephen, who is in Canada as part of the Commonwealth Poets United tour, read at the Saskatchewan Writers' Guild office in Regina, along with Regina poet Bernadette Wagner.

And now my list of books to read and blogs to surf has grown again.

For example, the awesome Scottish Poetry Library.

And the beautiful collaborative site run by Stephen and visual artist Christine Morrison, Stephen | Morrison.

The readings were great and I'm now floating in a wake of inspiration. (That's meant to be a sailing/sea image, okay? Not a funereal one.) Loved the voices, the images, the words, and the trust in sharing in-progress pieces...

And as for the tour — what a concept! Six Scottish poets are visiting Commonwealth countries: Canada, India, Jamaica, New Zealand, Nigeria and South Africa, and six poets from those countries — including former Saskatchewan Poet Laureate Louise Halfe, whose Cree name is Sky Dancer — will in turn visit Scotland. It's related in some way to the Commonwealth Games being held this year in Glasgow, but the idea of celebrating that with poetry seems too good to be true! How wonderful!

For more on the tour, and to read reflections and in-progress works from the poets involved, visit

Bruce Rice (MC for the reading), Bernadette Wagner, and Ian Stephen 


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