Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sense and Sustainability aftermath

In all, it was a decent affair, attended by 25-50 people, not bad considering that this was the first such conference and, outside the University, not well publicized. Standout readings (I won't mention myself... I was standup, and it will be up to to others to say whether I was standout) were Vince Tinguely reading "Oilers", Darlene St-George's "Earth and Sky", photo-manipulée, Ian Ferrier performing "Blue Train" and accompanying himself on guitar, Jeffrey Gandell's hilarious and self-revealing prose piece about online dating, "Going Awol: Reflections on Lavalife, the Israeli/Palestininan Conflict, and Dating Across Enemy Lines", J.R. Carpenter's "Air Holes", and Carolyn Souiad's "The Dormant Butterflies of Earth: Readying Themselves for Takeoff". Interesting that the poets on the program engaged themselves more directly with the environmental crisis than the fictionists, for whom nature or world politics was an allusive backdrop for their narratives. The buffet -- pleasant. Free food always appreciated. My criticism: too many readers. Sitting through 26 readers of -- putting it kindly -- varying quality left me pretty bummed out. (In all there were 30 readers through the day.) What this conference needed, to vary the pace, was discussion panels.

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