Aging and reflection at mid-life and approaching age inform the poetry of Andrew Burton and Al Rempel as read to about 35 listeners at a recent Spoken Word event at Café Voltaire in Prince George.
Andrew Burton has been writing poetry since he won CBC’s Post Card Award in the 1980s. The spark from getting that award encouraged him to continue writing. He has written short stories and many theatre plays, some of which have received international awards. Recently Burton was long-listed for the BC Poetry Prize.
The unrestricted literary imagination was at play during the literary readings by Barry McKinnon and Cecil Giscombe held at the Black Donkey Café on June 10th. The atmosphere lent itself well to free-thinking and the strengthening of friendship.
John Harris introduced the two poets, Barry McKinnon of Prince George and Cecil Giscombe of Berkeley, California. “I like what they’re talking about – serious issues,” Harris said.
Fabienne Calvert Filteau is in her late twenties and from an old Central BC family. Her great grandparents settled in Vanderhoof around the turn of the twentieth century. As the family expanded it spread across the country but centred itself on a cabin that the grandparents built in the late twenties near Fort St. James — at Stone's Bay on Stuart Lake in the shadow of Pope Mountain. Calvert Filteau grew up in Ontario and returned to BC to study Creative Writing at the University of Victoria: her book acknowledges Tim Lilburn and Lorna Crozier, among others, as mentors. She worked her way through school as a tree planter and continues in that occupation, presently residing in Hazleton.
The poetry reading at the Twisted Cork banquet hall at the end of November tested the outer boundaries of appreciation of the poetic art. Held at the Twisted Cork in Prince George on October 23rd, 2015 the event drew about 65 people.