Fraser Valley Poets Society

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Blue Moon for Spirit Path

Posted by Violet Nesdoly on September 17, 2016

A Blue Moon reading and book launch were the features of FVPS’s first poetry night after the summer break, September 12th.

Brayden Sawatzky, Erin Fisher and Michael Linburg, co-creators of the just published anthology Spirit Path began the evening by each reading selections from their segments of the book.

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Brayden, Erin & Michael pose with Spirit Path (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

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Brayden Sawatzky (Photo © 2016 b V. Nesdoly)

Brayden intrigued us all with four poems from his “Garden of Poets” section—21 poems that describe inspiration he has gained from the society and individual members of it. He supplements these poems with quotes from the Bible and other sources.What a gracious and affirming beginning to a book by three authors.

He also read from other sections of the book. A poem of his I found particularly poignant begins:

“On highways to our destinations
traveling with our heaviness
wishing for lightness of being
our cares will slow us to a stop
dangerously close to devastation…” – from “Lightness of Being” – p. 61.

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Erin Fisher (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

Erin Fisher surprised us all by presenting writings of hers longer than just a few lines. But even in the longer selections, her poems retain the cryptic distillation of which she is such a master. He three sections: “early, early words,” “early words,” and “later words” illustrate how she has grown in the skill of editing herself, stripping away all that is extraneous to the sinew and bone of metaphor and suggestion. To wit:

“in my mind’s eye a friend,
a bond that cannot be grasped,
would you interrupt every snowflake
to verify its beauty?” – from “early words” p. 156.

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Michael Linburg (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

Michael Linburg entertained, probed, and inspired us with his well-crafted pieces. He delivered the clever ending to his poem “Randomness” with just the amount of deadpan its punchline wanted:

“And if by chance
You happen to find
That things are not falling
The way you want
There is the distinct possibility
That it was me” – “from “Randomness,” p. 214.

But it was his poem “I Am,” full of its hard-earned affirmations that will stick with me long past the evening.

Well done, you three (and Alvin Ens, who got the book ready for the press)! This 266-page book sells for $20. Contact Brayden Sawatzky for details on how to get your own copy.

After a short break for refreshments, catching up, buying books etc., we reassembled for the open mic portion of the evening. Thirteen poets delivered the usual varied smorgasbord of poems, from our founder Donna Bishop’s rendition of “Encouragement’ to Terry Broadworth’s poem about learning to love herself. (Only 12 are pictured. I read too but there is no photographic proof.)

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September 12, 2016 FVPS Open Mic readers (Photos © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

Thanks to all who came out to read and listen!

Now mark your calendars for our next poetry night, Monday, October 3rd (6:30-8:30 p.m., Clearbrook Library, 32320 George Ferguson Way, Abbotsford, B.C.). It will be another Blue Moon Reading featuring Robert Martens reading from his most recent book Hush. An open mic will follow so come prepared to share something with us.

Also, remember that the deadline for submitting to our 2017 anthology in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday is quickly approaching (October 15th). See all the details on the Home page.

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