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Saturday, January 9, 2016

On Poets and Poetry

My blog is devoted to fiction, but a couple of stories about poetry caught my attention this past week.

Bill Richardson has a new collection of poetry, The First Little Bastard to Call me Gramps:  Poems of the Late Middle Ages.  This past Monday, Shelagh Rogers had a conversation with him on her CBC radio show, The Next Chapter (http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thenextchapter/farzana-doctor-on-the-dark-side-of-vacationing-and-bill-richardson-on-the-funny-side-of-aging-1.3383121/bill-richardson-on-late-middle-age-1.3383129).  I will definitely be checking out this collection since I’ve loved his previous works.

Schatje’s Shelves has five books written by Richardson:
Queen of all the Dust-Balls and Other Epics of Everyday Life
Canada Customs:  Droll Recollections, Musings and Quibbles
Bachelor Brothers’ Bed & Breakfast (which won the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour in 1994)
Bachelor Brothers’ Bed & Breakfast Pillow Book
Bachelor Brothers’ Bedside Companion
When you’re looking for some books in the comic vein, peruse any of these.  I would recommend all of them!


Also on the topic of poetry, Canada’s newest poet laureate was appointed this past week:  George Elliott Clarke (http://www.cbc.ca/books/2016/01/george-elliott-clarke-named-canadas-new-parliamentary-poet-laureate.html).  According to the official government site, the Poet Laureate’s role is “to encourage and promote the importance of literature, culture and language in Canadian society; and to draw Canadians’ attention to poetry, both spoken and written, and its role in our lives.”  The Poet Laureate may “write poetry, especially for use in Parliament on important occasions; sponsor poetry readings;  advise the Parliamentary Librarian regarding the Library’s collection and acquisitions to enrich its cultural materials; and  perform other related duties at the request of the Speaker of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Commons, or the Parliamentary Librarian” (http://www.lop.parl.gc.ca/About/Parliament/Poet/index-e.html). George Elliott Clarke, from Nova Scotia, has won numerous awards and is the seventh poet to fill this post.