This week has been eventful as it relates to literature. As I posted a while back, I took part in the CBC Poetry Face-Off this year at Bitter’s Pub in St. John’s. It was a lovely evening with music to get the crowd warmed up. There were five participants, each of which have a bio on the CBC Poetry Face-Off website. A young writer named Randy Drover won the evening with a poem inspired by the Great Awk. The other poets had some lovely poems to present as well making the evening quite entertaining. The place was very nearly packed with a great turn out for the evening.
I’m always weary of this event since it is, essentially, a popularity contest. The in house crowd votes for the winning poet, not poem and all you need is to have a fan section that outnumbers those of the other contestants. I personally thought Amy Evans’ poem was well written, but also well presented. But hey, it’s not about the winning, it’s about giving poets the attention they deserve and the opportunity to promote themselves through their own work in a public venue. This is the real value of such events.
On March 12th the March Hare literary festival took place in Gander. This is an annual event that takes place in St. John’s, Gander, Corner Brook, Toronto, Ireland and at times other places. It was quite a success. I attended in order to see, in particular, Sue Sinclair whom I have not heard read before, and Mark Callanan, a local poet and editor of the Riddle Fence literary journal based out of St. John’s. There was music, recitation, and piles of literary fun. A great time. Word is I’m on the list to read next year, so keep your eyes peeled for that.