|by Wild Grace|
Sunday, February 26, 2017
A bouquet of poems arranged and translated by Slippery Elm
The thread that ties this bouquet together is that of the story of Blodeuwedd from the Mabinogion. A woman composed of flowers, who sought to kill her husband, and was thereby transformed into an owl. Blodeuwedd meaning flower-face, and the owl said to have been called blodeuwedd in the Welsh of yore.
Just as the wizard Gwydion gathered blossoms of broom, meadowsweet, and trefoil, the editor gathers the poems to conjure something greater, a something that then goes on to wing the poetry out into the world. A deadly and nefarious agenda in the eyes of the princes of our age, or of those who are their followers and find no love or meaning but in their expendable busts.
In the garden of these pages we encounter the whimsy and abandon of the eccentric who goes through life, toothless and in colourful rags, giving out flowers just because. Who heard the patter of Death’s slippers by their nightstand and received him with a bouquet. Who throws flowers at grooms and graves, and awoke suddenly as the rose’s final petal fell. We encounter the lyric and litany, the poison, the perfume, the lament, the laughter, and the eschatological love poem. The flowers that open above us.
Flowers have been plucked from a well pick’d troop of poets, poets of the other breath, of the diverse brushstroke and the obscure melody. Major figures in English, Spanish, Arabic, American, and Welsh literatures, as well as newly emerging voices. Poets both young and old, and poets dead as much as living. Poets who have proven themselves worthy of the appellation, not just through prizes, accolades or infamy but through a certain generosity of the spirit and a marked commitment to the Poetry. This almost spiritual pedigree, of wise innocence, of beatific inspiration, might be boiled down into two words, which in some ways, are each a reflection of the other. For the old: trust. For the young: bravery.
All poems appear in English and Spanish, and one in Arabic. The two languages form a dialectic in which meaning is generated in the space between them. It is in this hermeneutic tension between the Yes and the No, at the interstice between the two different tongues, between the dead nettle and white archangel, right in the centre of the book, that the beginning of an answer is given to the riddle of all riddles.
This book is a fairy dart tipped with a draught to re-enchant a chantless world. That the lector remember his or her mortality and live all the more fully for it. Our aim is true. We swear by all flowers.
Thursday, October 13, 2016
I am recovering from the whirl of VCon 41, at which the Pallahaxi Players read Carlos Lozano Gilabert's play Deep North, and at which I participated in a writers workshop, attended and participated in panels, contributed my usual joie de prose pourpre (or "joy of purple prose": apologies to actual French speakers), ran around after The Kids, AND SO ON.
But for the moment I want to bring to your attention something that had nothing to do with me at all, except that I was lucky enough to be at the Opening Ceremony and perfectly seated to film Karl Johanson, editor of Neo-Opsis Magazine, sing his stirring anthem in honour of Star Trek's Fiftieth Anniversary.
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
It's that time again, folks--the time when you look at my blog and think, oh! She's not dead!
No, she's not. And this year I will be as active as ever at VCon. I am gathering my forces (two nieces, a nephew, a friend, and an honorary nephew) and storming the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel in Surrey for the weekend.
I've agitated until a panel I want to see (not be in) was organized:
This is special to my heart as I was once a reader of, and occasional producer of, fanzines (I still read faithfully a couple of zines, such as Bruce Gillespie's Science Fiction Commentary.) For years I had a beautiful Gestetner machine in my kitchen--indeed, as a young pup my main job at my place of employ was tending to the Gestetner room. Now I get to sit back and listen to tales of yore from them that was there. Yippee!
The following morning we are staging another Pallahaxi Players event:
I'm excited about this one. Carlos Lozano Gilabert has been widely published in Mexico and Spain, but this is his first performance in Canada. His play involves the crash of a rescue plane in the far north of Canada, and things that go AAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!! in the night.
I love reading with Eileen. We have been reading together, critiquing each other's works, and generally getting buzzed on writing for many years now. I will be reading from my latest publication, "Fog". Eileen is being coy about what she will read, but as one of my all time favourite authors (and I really do mean that, I am not just out-gassing because she's my friend) I know I will enjoy whatever it is.
On Saturday morning I get to enjoy the usual In Camera Writers Workshop, which critiques I am almost finished doing now. This is followed by:
Always a favourite for me, when we in the front of the room get to go over the top in reading aloud from, shall we say purple? science fiction novels of past glory, while audience members act them out, and others pay good money to make them stop. And start. And stop... A fund raiser for the Canadian Unity Fan Fund. A good last hurrah for me before I get to flake up to the hospitality suite for a cuppa joe.
See you there?
Tuesday, July 05, 2016
The Nettle Tree – Jun 12 2016
by Kenneth Weene (Editor), Bye Clifford Clayton (Editor)
Strangely Different Stories ... The Nettle Tree, edited by Kenneth Weene and Clayton Bye, is a collection of genre stretching and busting stories by some of the most talented writers we have. Their challenge was to write strangely different western stories in a format of 3,000 words or less and to take you to places traditional westerns have never taken you. We think they have succeeded admirably. And with powerhouse writers, some known and others whom readers will find delightful discoveries, you will not be disappointed.
Available in e-book and trade paperback.
Monday, June 06, 2016
I have been sawing away at a tremendously huge poetry collection for the last couple of years, sending out the odd one but mostly just writing and writing and editing some more. All very different from the story writing that used to be my focus. However, I did pop out one story recently in response to a call for submissions, and had "Fog" accepted for the upcoming anthology The Nettle Tree, a collection of strangely different westerns. I have also had several poems accepted for the upcoming Your Death Full of Flowers, and yes, flowers are pretty much the main focus, but in myth and spirit settings. Both of these are poised to be published in the fall.
Also in the fall, VCon 41. Looking forward as usual to the fun and frolic.
Theme: Muppets, Puppets and Marionettes Friday, September 30 – Sunday October 2, 2016.
At the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel.
Here's a wee spot from Co-Op Radio about VCon 41.
See you there!
Image: By Steve Hillebrand, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
Thursday, February 04, 2016
R. Graeme Cameron, known and loved by SF fen the world over (especially on the Wet Coast), has launched a new semi-prozine called Polar Borealis, in which he hopes to feature beginning writers, with a few oldtimers like myself to help out.
To my delight, my niece Flora Jo Zenthoefer has the lead story in the zine--"Paperwork for Mazes". My own silly story, "This is for Mrs Zaberewsky", falls somewhere around page 38.
Thanks to Graeme for his energy and encouragement for young writers--Graeme has been running the VCon Writers Workshops for some years now, among his many other fannish offerings.
Download a free copy of Polar Borealis and get reading!