More Mayworks PoFest!

Our Mayworks Poetry Festival (Nanaimo’s first!) concluded yesterday with featured poets Wendy Morton and David Fraser, and no less than 11 great readers at the open mic: Leona Gallant, Leanne McIntosh, Mary Ann Moore, Hugh McLeod, Judith Neale, Harvey Jenkins, Kirsten Emmott, Ursula Vaira, Shena Meadowcroft, Paul, and Serge. All emceed by Yours Truly and held in the main exhibition hall of the Nanaimo Museum where we were literally engulfed in remants of Nanaimo’s rich labour history.

We started the day with our two featured poets conducting one-on-one interviews with people about their lives and work, and then composing a quick poem for (or with) each person drawn from their own comments. This segment (along with Kate Braid’s fabulous free workshop that preceded last week’s readings) was a super big hit and has inspired us to think about organizing some kind of Poetry Fair for Mayworks next year where people can wander from booth to booth and have an interactive poetry experience at each…

More on that in months to come! In the meantime, here are a few pics from yesterday’s event. (And in case you missed it, pics from the previous Saturday’s Mayworks readings are here.)

David Fraser interviews Paul, and then writes him a poem about his life.

I took a tour through the Museum's life-size coal mine



Wendy Morton read from What Were Their Dreams? - her collection of interview-based poems revealing the lives of workers in the Alberni Valley in the last 100 years.


Text and photos (c) Kim Goldberg 2011

About Kim Goldberg

Kim Goldberg is a poet, journalist and the author of 8 books of poetry and nonfiction. Latest titles: DEVOLUTION (poems of ecopocalypse), UNDETECTABLE (her Hep C journey in haibun), RED ZONE (poems of homelessness) and RIDE BACKWARDS ON DRAGON: a poet's journey through Liuhebafa. She lives in Nanaimo, BC. Contact:
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4 Responses to More Mayworks PoFest!

  1. Sorry to miss it. Sister Donalda; who I call Beth in my last book, Flesh in the Inkwell – poems from a writer’s life, an autobio in poetry lost her husband Albert. He could never get better. I’m 17 months younger than Donna, both been married once, about the same time and married a longtime. The funeral was in Langley, and unlike any I’ve attended; hadn’t been to Van. for ages and could write a novella about getting to the rites on time. First sky train etc., all came to Donna’s home after. She’s devastated but has a grandkids etc. Got a late ferry home was like a droopy dishrag the next day.

    • Kim Goldberg says:

      Sorry to hear about Donna’s loss, Winona. Sounds like you had quite the adventure getting there and back. Would have loved to have had you at our open mic for Mayworks. But there will be other opportunities too! Take care. 🙂

  2. Joyce Hedges says:

    What a vibrant offering in a great setting! I sincerely hope you will do this again next year, in whatever format. Although I was only able to attend part of the first session, I thoroughly enjoyed the readings. Bravo!

    • Kim Goldberg says:

      Thanks, Joyce! We certainly hope this will become an annual event for Nanaimo. And the museum setting was perfect. Glad you were able to catch some of it. 🙂

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