Author reading series resumes
Steve McOrmond + Chris Bailey
Carriage House, Beaconsfield
September 17, 7 pm
Stever McOrmond’s poetry has captivated readers across Canada since his first book, Lean Days, in 2004, while Chris Bailey, from a North Lake fishing family, is a newcomer to the literary scene.
Chris Bailey, a recent UPEI Psychology graduate, has been living in Toronto and Hamilton, earning a Master’s degree in Creative Writing. He comes home during the summers, working on the family boat. Many of the poems in What Your Hands Have Done (Nightwood Editions) focus on the lives, work, and relationships of fishing families. This is the first major poetry book by an Islander to honour, at length, the realities and lore of PEI’s fishing community.
A 1995 UPEI graduate, Steve McOrmond’s has lived in Toronto for two decades, returning yearly to the Island. His metropolitan experiences and computer software business career ingeniously permeate his new book, Reckon (Brick Book): “And we felt fortunate to live in the afterglow of Steve Jobs” and though “the air smells like burning tires...I love it here, I really do”
His new poems reflect and critique the growing domination of our lives and consciousness by digital platforms and realms: “Deep in an offshore data centre, my vagaries / are tracked, time-stamped, mined / for meaningful adjacencies.”
A guest poet, Annick MacAskill from Halifax, will give a short reading, followed by McOrmond’s and Bailey’s featured readings, a book signing, and a reception. The evening is sponsored by the UPEI Dean of Arts and Department of English, with generous support from The Canada Council for the Arts.
A. F. (Al) Moritz
UPEI Faculty Lounge, Charlottetown
Oct 1, 7:30 pm
In a Globe and Mail review, Doug Fetherling writes, “In somewhat the same way that a person can become a highly decorated soldier, A.F. Moritz has become a highly decorated poet with a half-century of campaigns on the poetic front, twenty books, and a wall-full of awards."
Al Moritz’ all-seasons subject matter includes love and eroticism; divine presence and mortality; contemplation of nature; history, modernity, and current events; philosophical, ethical, sociological, and political inquiry; and an elegant evocation of life’s exaltation and ennui, emptiness and fulness.
He won Canada’s most lucrative poetry prize, the Griffin, with The Sentinel. In the title poem, readers witness the anxieties of a sentinel for an armed camp bedded down for the night. He must report to his commanders, who may find him lacking or, worse, a foreign agent. Mortiz says it is also “an allegory of the poet and poetry”—the poet at once a far-seeing scout, ethical bellwether, and troublemaker.
Born in Ohio, Moritz moved to Toronto in 1974, worked in journalism and advertising, and has taught part-time at the University of Toronto since 1986. “I’ve never considered myself anything but a poet who does other things to support himself.” At UPEI, he will read from his newest book, The Sparrow, a selection of poems from his forty-five year vocation.
The evening is sponsored by the UPEI Dean of Arts and Department of English, with generous support from The Canada Council for the Arts.