Writers recite poetic connection

Creative spirits converge for a poetry reading at Kingston Frontenac Public Library

All art is deeply intertwined, and if we attempt to absorb it, we can be inspired in a multitude of ways.

That is the advice Canadian poet Karen Enns offered to the budding artists, writers and poets in attendance at the Kingston Frontenac Public Library’s poetry reading event held at 7 p.m. on May 12.

The evening was filled with thought-provoking readings presented by renowned Canadian poets Joanna Lilley, Jane Munro, Arleen Pare and Karen Enns, as part of the Kingston leg of Brick Books’ 2014 cross-Canada spring author tour.

The tour travels across Canada, with stops at major cities like Vancouver, Winnipeg and Toronto, as well as Kingston.

Hosted by the Kingston Frontenac Public Library’s Writer in Residence, Patricia Robertson, the event kicked off with Yukon-based, UK-born Joanna Lilley’s poetry collection from her latest book, The Fleece Era, during which Lilley offered the audience samples of some of her best poems.

“The Fleece Era” was inspired by how I first saw the material fleece in the 90s, and it struck me as to how it’s so delicate, and so much softer than a sweater,” Lilley said.

As a resident of Yukon, she was fascinated by its wilderness. Most of her poems reflect her ardent love for nature and her personal relationship to the environment surrounding her, she said. Her most personal poems resonated with themes of grief, simplicity, relationships and the environment. “The Scientist” stuck out as one of her most intimate pieces filled with passion as well as simplicity. Her delivery left the audience in awe of her breathtaking work.

Enns, who is also a classical pianist, was the second poet to entertain the audience for the evening. Her style of delivery was the most impactful; her way of reciting poetry reflected her musical personality.

When asked whether her music unconsciously influences her poetry, Enns said it did — most of her time is spent working with music, performing it and listening to it.

“Whatever sounds we surround ourselves with get absorbed in the way we hear things, and unconsciously influence us,” she said.

Her poem “Pianists at Night” seemed to reflect her musical soul. She delivered it with a slow, deep rhythm that left the audience in a state of deep reflection. It was the most captivating out of all her pieces.

Pare’s poetry, from her second poetry collection, Lake of Two Mountains, offered the audience a chance to reflect on their relationship with the environment. Most of her poetry focused on the relationship between humanity and nature. She frequently drew similarities between the intricate nature of humanity and lakes, which share complex paths of connection between each other.

The evening ended with the award winning poet Munro’s spiritually evocative and hauntingly sensational poems from her latest book, Blue Sonoma.

Inspired by Taoist poetry, Munro’s work resonated with wisdom and pathos. Drawing from her late husband’s first-hand battle with dementia, Munro considers the illness as a means to explore the complexity of human relationships. “Creative talent is like a volcanic island,” Munro said during a question period

“There is lava in the core that comes out when you try to express it, and then it develops a form, and maybe you can plant a garden in it as it takes its shape.”


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