This is the archive of the 2007 Poetry Gabriola Festival. For information on the current festival, start at the home page.
Louise Amuir lives on Gabriola Island with her beloved and their son. She is the author of People Who Live In Glass Houses (1997 Potluck Press) and has appeared in a number of anthologies. She has worked with Soulfire Theatre, Gabriola Players, Gabriola Musical Theatre and The Theatre Centre on Gabriola and with Theatre One's Emerging Voices in Nanaimo. Louise has pretty much always marched to the beat of her own kettle of fish.
Sonja Arntzen was raised in Vancouver, pursued graduate studies at UBC, and taught at Canadian universities for many years. The translation of poems written in Chinese by the Japanese monk Ikkyû Sôjun (1394-1481) absorbed her for twenty years and resulted in the publication of Ikkyû and the Crazy Cloud Anthology (Tokyo University Press, 1986). Also drawn to the vast body of work produced by Japanese women writers in the tenth and eleventh centuries, she has published a translation of a tenth century woman's poetic journal, The Kagerô Diary (University of Michigan, 1997). Recently retired as Professor Emeritus from the University of Toronto, she has moved to Gabriola Island and is working on various translations and a history of Japanese women's writing.
A specialist in experimental voice, DB Boyko has performed with a variety of Vancouver musicians, including recent guest appearances with the legendary NOW Orchestra. Her newest venture, Idiolalla, is a vocal tour de force with fellow singer Christine Duncan and drummer/spin doctor Jean Martin. DB's larger undertakings have included her song cycle Amphibious Tales (1992); the Jesse Awardnominated score for the Arts Club Theatre production of Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing (1995); and musical direction for the Songbird Oratorio (2000-2002), an ecological tribute to Vancouver's bird songs. DB has devoted much of her energy to producing the work of other artists as curator/director for the Music Program of the Vancouver artist-run centre the Western Front.
Texas duo Tom and Christina Carter, aka Charalambides, have broken new ground in the primitive/folk/mystic/improv/psych music field. In Our Bed Is Green (Wholly Other, 1992), the two Carters showed a firm grasp of the haunting nature of American blues and country, as well as a mastery of tape manipulation, a disregard for genre boundaries, and a marked tendency toward vertically stacked guitar drone. Numerous releases followed, as the two recorded both as a duo and a trio with Jason Bill or pedal steel player Heather Leigh Murray. These days, Tom and Christina are concentrating on their duo work, fusing introspective, open-ended and often spacious song structures with blasts of feedback and explosive sound often startling to fans familiar only with the band's deceptively low-key reputation. A Vintage Burden CD (Kranky, 2005) represents a culmination of the threads of repetition and psychedelic song that run through much of their work. Partially an homage to the clarity and ambience of 60s' and 70s' songwriting, the album retains the spook, space, and mystery of even their most extreme releases. Despite being a duo, their live sound achieves an energy and ferocity not often glimpsed on their releases, while maintaining the hissing delicacy of their most haunting studio work.
The fourth annual Poetry Gabriola Festival is Dinah D's virgin foray into spoken word on stage, at least in her adult life. When she was young, she was a storyteller at the local library in her little hometown, telling stories to the kids in the afternoon while her mother worked across the street at the Potter's Guild. Over the years, she has kept the spirit alive with her four-track recording machine as her guide.
Christine Duncan began learning her craft in church. A minister's daughter, she performed with her musical family The Duncans in gospel shows on stages across North America from the age of five. When she was 15, she recorded her first album of her own original gospel tunes in Nashville. Inevitably her roots led her from gospel and inspirational music to soul, singer/songwriter folk music, R&B/blues, jazz, and more recently, new music and improvisational music. Since 1994 she has released five albums under her own name, and has been involved in many other recording projects, including two albums with Hugh Fraser's VEJI band. A musical chameleon with a near five-octave range, Duncan uses her voice as an instrument, exploring a wealth of tonal, timbral, and textural possibilities. She was also the subject of a CTV/BC Film-funded documentary-portrait entitled Coming Home: Christine Duncan at Christ Church Cathedral.
Veda Hille has been making records, staging events, and touring relentlessly since 1992. What descriptors can we come up with? Classically trained pianist, art school dropout, performance curator, self-taught singer, puppet show enthusiast, independent artist. Her 12th independent record, This Riot Life (Ape Records, UK) will be released in January 2008. She has completed numerous commissions for dance, theatre, and special events. Collaborations with other artists have resulted in video and music performances, electro-acoustic experiments, rock songs for children, and a musical about former finance minister Paul Martin. In her spare time, she organizes parades and sews slogans onto old towels. Above all, Veda aims to write songs that are distinct and precise and beautiful. Songs about the natural world, human relations, and mathematical theory: she turns her eye to the things that amaze her, and the results are interesting, odd, and amazing in turn.
Alison Humphries is a singer/songwriter, guitarist, concertina player, and all-round entertainer. One of Northern Ireland's more outrageous exports, Alison was a regular on the folk scene in England until 2001, when she came to live in Canada. She is now terrorizing British Columbia's peaceful shores with her repertoire of parodies and comic songs. With her Irish gift of the gab, Alison delights audiences and makes them laugh between songs, just as much as during them, with a sense of humour that has been described as delightfully twisted. Alison likes to perform or MC at folk clubs, festivals, parties, seniors' homes, and anywhere else, she says, where the doors can be locked to prevent the audience from escaping!
Kedrick James regards himself a poet, and recognizes the hubris of doing so. He is a fishy character, and as a result, he's done a lot of schooling. However, he is defiantly experimental in his artistic practices, which include literature, music, theatre, visual art, video, animation, and performance. Aside from twenty years of actively writing, publishing, performing, and promoting poetry in Canada and internationally, he currently plays in a musical duo called The Emetics, is working with Vancouver New Music on a tribute to Roy Kiyooka, just completed writing and acting as Marinetti in Futuristi at the Frederick Wood Theatre, and opening the New Forms Festival in Vancouver. Among his publishing credits, he has produced several articles and documentaries on West Coast Canadian poetry. He studies spam email and is employed as a teacher, educator and technical manager in the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia.
Andreas Kahre is an interdisciplinary artist, designer, writer, and musician whose work involves images, sound, and text in many different configurations. He has been involved in the creation of more than a hundred performance projects with theatre, dance, and music ensembles across Canada, with a focus on interdisciplinary, site-related, and performance installation work. Andreas is a regular collaborator with many Vancouver theatre and dance companies, including Rumble Productions, the Electric Company, Radix, Lola Dance, and Karen Jamieson. As a musician, he has collaborated and recorded with, among others, Paul Plimley, François Houle, Lori Freedman, DB Boyko, Amir Koushkani, and the Vancouver Community Gamelan. He has composed scores for dance and theatre, and has performed as a percussionist across Canada and elsewhere, including at the Sound Symposium, the Victoriaville and Vancouver Jazz Festivals, the Frostbite Music Festival, Bumbershoot, and the Vancouver Folk Music Festival. Andreas is the editor/curator of FRONT Magazine at the Western Front.
A graduate of Studio 58 in Vancouver, Robin has acted professionally in theatre, film, TV, and voice-overs for over 20 years. Robin's career as an acting teacher has also spanned 20 years, and she has taught for a variety of private acting schools, groups, and individuals. On Gabriola she has hosted, directed, acted and taken part in a variety of island functions from theatre to dance to salmon BBQ's. She's thrilled and delighted to be hosting for the Poetry Gabriola Festival and if for some reason Robin can't attend, many of you who know Laurette, will be pleased to know she may step in to MC the evening.
Born in February 1938 in England, Tim Lander attended London University before moving to Canada in 1964. A pennywhistle-playing street poet, he has published numerous chapbooks and a volume of poetry with Ekstasis Editions. Gentle, thoughtful, and articulate, he has remained an important presence on the West Coast poetry scene for several decades, mostly based in Nanaimo. His books include Street Heart Poems (1993), Pecunia Non Olet (The Poem Factory No. 8, 1997), The Glass Book: Poems (Ekstasis, 1999), and The Book of Prejudices (2002).
Dennis McNally received his PhD in American History from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1977 for a biography of Jack Kerouac, published by Random House in 1979 under the title Desolate Angel: Jack Kerouac, the Beat Generation, and America. That work brought him to San Francisco, which on first sight became his home for life. He settled there in 1976, and after a period of odd jobs and freelance journalism, in 1983 he became the first archivist for Bill Graham Presents. Having been selected as the Grateful Dead's biographer in 1980, he became the band's publicist in 1984. From 1984 to 1995, he toured with the band, in the process working on its behalf at the United Nations, the White House, and Congress. In 2002, he published A Long Strange Trip/The Inside History of the Grateful Dead (Broadway Books); it achieved The New York Times bestseller list. He remains the publicist for Grateful Dead Publications and for Bob Weir and RatDog.
Bill Miner received his training under Antony Holland, Catherine Caines, and Don S. Williams at their Film and Theatre School in Vancouver, and further instruction at Studio on the Drive. He has performed and written for independent films, commercials, and comedy shows, as well as for the Vancouver Fringe Festival. He appeared in the Island Musical Theatre production of The Fantasticks, Ponomo Productions' You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, numerous old-time radio shows and, along with Tony Gradanti, created An Adult Evening of Shel Silverstein. In addition, Bill has performed at Western Edge Theatre in Some Random City, Kitchen Sink, and Screen Play.
Sumiko Nishizawa is originally from Japan and holds a PhD in Language and Literacy Education from the University of British Columbia. Her research interests include a post colonial approach to language education and translation studies. She teaches Japanese at Kwantlen University College and UBC.
Sheila Norgate was born in the heart of downtown Toronto in the back seat of her uncle's late model Buick. In the midst of an accidental and bland career in banking, Norgate suffered a life-altering illness and began to dabble in painting. After one semester of art school in 1985, she became convinced that she needed to find her own way and her own voice, and has gone on to a career as a full-time painter represented in galleries across Canada and the Southwestern United States. In 1997 a body of her work was published in book form as Storm Clouds Over Party Shoes, Etiquette Problems for the Ill-Bred Woman. Today Norgate divides her considerable passion between painting, writing memoirs, and proving that a feminist can have a sense of humour.
A Gabriola resident for fourteen years, Leslie is a writer, performer, and more recently a director with her work at The Theatre Centre. She enjoys a good laugh and has shared her sense of humour with Gabriola audiences during her time on the island. In 2002 she published her dramatic monologue Edith Piaf as a chapbookand then performed it. Later her comedy pieces gathered themselves together in a one-woman show called Lunar Afflicted.
Hilary Peach is an audio poet, filmmaker, recording artist, and producer. She has performed internationally for many years and for the past ten has worked in heavy construction as a high-pressure welder. In 2003she released an exquisite audiophile spoken-word CD, Poems Only Dogs Can Hear , featuring music by Pat Morford. Publications include 10 Flowered Cactus (1996) and Love is a Small Town (2001).
Hilary Peach has been active in the organization and execution of literary events since 1986. She has been an advocate for the production, presentation, and performance of poetry for twenty years, and is a founding member of the national Spoken Word Arts Network. In 2000 Peach created the Poetry Gabriola Society and established the Poetry Gabriola Festival. In the last seven years, Poetry Gabriola has produced 38 events involving more than fifty artists from across Canada, the United States, and Europe.
Since the mid-1970's Paul Plimley has been actively developing his music out of the continuum of American and European aural traditions. He has played with many great improvisers in jazz and new music from around the globe, and has received rave reviews from the North American and European music press for his numerous recordings and festival performances. His hundreds of compositions cover all media: orchestra; jazz bands; solo piano, marimba, and guitar; electronic music; music for modern dance; and movie soundtracks. Plimley has performed extensively throughout Europe and North America, and recently toured China with the Mei Han Quartet. He's also been called a nice guy by people who've been lucky enough to catch him on a good day, and asks you to remember that music generates heat!
At 30, Alasdair Roberts has already emerged as one of Scotland's greatest contributions to contemporary music. This Glasgow resident's talents are diverse: he's a compelling singer of traditional ballads; a writer of magical songs; and a guitarist whose fingerstyle approach mixes sturdy melodies with sparkling ornamentation. He's also an artist who is
still growing: his fourth and most recent CD, The Amber Gatherers, finds him taking a giant leap forward with its subtle and intricate arrangements and especially with its multi-faceted songwriting. The new disc's Waxwing, for instance, is both a family drama played out by birds and a meditation on the conflict between the artistic temperament and Presbyterian rigidity; Firewater (Library of Aethers) touches on sensuality, the creative process, and the restorative power of a good single malt. Scotch remains Scotland's most famous export, but Roberts' music is no less intoxicating.
Born in Vancouver, Janet is a Mohawk writer from the Six Nations territory in southern Ontario. She began her creative career as a visual artist and started writing in 1996. Since then, she continues to stretch her abilities, writing poetry, short fiction, science fiction, plays, spoken-word performance poetry, and video poetry. Her literary passions are her native heritage, feminism, historical territories, human love, sexuality, and spirit. Janet has many anthology credits as and receives many invitations to share her performance poetry all over North America. Her first collection of poems, Splitting the Heart, has recently been released by Ekstasis Editions. She began recording her poetry with music during a residency at the Banff Centre, and continues to create successful recorded collections of her work. A CD of Janet's spoken-word poetry is included as an insert with Splitting the Heart. Janet has been collaborating with musicians as a lyricist and reading with dance troupes, creating unique mixed media presentations. Her most recent accomplishments include the creation of a video poem entitled Rightful Place, and hosting Vancouver Island's only native radio program on CFUV 101.9 FM in Victoria, called Native Waves Radio.
Nathan Tinkham has been a perennial guitarist and songwriter on the folk and country scenes since 1980, when he was hired to play with Diamond Joe White. Since then he has toured and recorded with Ian Tyson, Sylvia Tyson, Cindy Church, Quartette, the Great Western Orchestra, the Undertakin' Daddies, and has worked as a sideman with Jethro Burns, Patsy Montana, Charlie Louvin, and many others. He covers many styles of roots music, from country to blues and swing to folk. As a songwriter, he has had his songs covered by most of the people he has worked with, as well as others such as Melanie, Kip Calahagn, and Bill and Bonnie Hearne. These days he is living on Gabriola Island, dividing his time between touring and working in his home studio.
Magpie Ulysses has been called one of Vancouver's most prolific and dynamic performers. In just two-and-a-half years, she has been a member of three Vancouver poetry slam teams, and has performed at festivals, poetry slams, and shows across Canada and throughout the United States. She has hitchhiked over 25,000 kilometres; climbed mountains; canoed on the ocean in a dress; cut some trees down; grown some food; sung in choirs; tobogganed on glaciers; played baseball; hugged some trees; fed some chickens, shot some rifles; served people food stuffs; travelled to eight countries; lived in a tent, a van, a broken-down bus, and a hovel made of glass bottles; manicured rich people's gardens; worked as a mental health worker in the Downtown Eastside. Magpie is the author of two chapbooks, Tinfoil Twist-ties & Other Shiny Things: Love poems from the aviary (2005) and School of Etiquette (2006). She spits hot fire and is always happy to see you.
Alex Varty has spent the past twenty-five years navigating the boundaries of folk, popular, and improvised music, recording and performing with artists as diverse as John Oswald, Veda Hille, Evil Twang, Wayne Horvitz, Al Neil, bill bissett, Randy Bachman, and choreographer Jennifer Mascall. His work blends folk- and blues-inspired fingerpicking with electronic processing, extended techniques, and a lively physicality. He has also worked to promote innovative music as a columnist for the Georgia Straight magazine, occasional Canada Council juror, and former music curator for the Western Front artist-run centre.
Naomi Beth Wakan has written over thirty books, including Haikuone breath poetry and the Gabriola bestseller Drumbeg Park . She is a member of The League of Canadian Poets and Haiku Canada, and her essays and poetry have appeared in many magazines. Her Late Bloomer writing workshops are based on her latest book, Late Bloomers - on writing later in life (Wolsak and Wynn, 2006). Compositions, her new book, will be out from Wolsak and Wynn in the spring of 2008.
RC Weslowski is a clown mouth full of silly balls and x-ray visions attempting to get at the heart of things. RC has dragged his tongue across Canada and portions of Europe and the US, where he has seen many of the finest comb-overs the world has to offer. RC has performed at many arts festivals, including the Winnipeg Writers Festival, the Calgary International Spoken Word Festival, the West Coast Writers Festival, and the Vancouver Fringe Festival. RC recently finished second at the World Cup of Poetry Slam Competition in France.
Born in Hiroshima, Japan in 1943, Takeo Yamashiro studied the shakuhachi for seven years with Master Shuzan Yamashita in Kyoto, and in 1971 was promoted to uchideshi (protegé and successor) to Master Koku Kikusui in Kyoto. He was awarded the professional name Rempu, which means Lotus Wind. Living in Vancouver since 1972, Takeo has remained committed to the shakuhachi and has introduced the instrument and Japanese music to thousands through his performances across North America. He has performed and toured as a solo artist, as well as with Themba Tana, Uzume Taiko, and Kokoro Dance. Takeo was featured as part of the Verdant Stones Project at the Vancouver Folk Festival. Other highlights include the Mariposa Folk Music Festival, the Powell Street Festival, Bumbershoot, the Michio Mihagi Anniversary Concert in Seattle, Katari Taiko's 15 th Anniversary Concert at the Vancouver Playhouse, and concerts at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre. Takeo's recordings include Takeo YamashiroShakuhachi (Aural Tradition, 1990) and NYO (Lotus Wind Records, 1998).
Poetry Made Public is a Gabriola youth collective dedicated to creating spoken word & poetry workshops, events and performances for local youth. We promote a positive and supportive environment for youth to develop their writing skills and to explore the art of live performance. The project is hosted by the YSpace Arts program at The Gathering Place. Our first series of workshops will be held every Saturday during the month of November. We are also hosting an all ages Spoken Word Performance Event on Friday November 30th.
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