A poem from my manuscript Blueshift Road
, “Da Capo al Fine,” has been featured at Dusie
. Thanks to rob mclennan for asking me to contribute!
I’m obsessed with The End, with the smorgasbord of choices for Armageddon that Neil deGrasse Tyson cheerfully ticks off: asteroid, caldera eruption, mega-tsunami, black hole. Not surprisingly, some of my poems have an apocalyptic theme.
So in honour of the rapidly-approaching December 21, 2012—of the dreaded cataclysm that Mayan astronomers predicted (unless they just got tired of chiselling)—I’ll be posting poems to while away the countdown to the terrestrial torch. The first poem is below.
And what would 2012 prophesies be without a little shameless commercialism? I’m selling poetry, not opulent underground condos, but then, to paraphrase William Carlos Williams, survivalists die miserably on doomsday for lack of what is found in poems.
The clock is ticking, but you can still get a copy of Sonnets
from the following vendors: Small Press Distribution
, Book City in Toronto
, and Shearsman Books
Help keep my kitchen, where I’m hunkering down with proper Canadian garrison mentality, stocked with beans and rice during these anti-climactic end times.
From a helicopter at night, an aerial
view of a city. In the dark, gigantic
iron statues loom with an ominous
aura of permanence. The people
who live in the city obsess
about the possibility of doomsday
erupting among their soaring
buildings and effigies. Of the end
they’ve made a fetish, chatting
about it at cocktail parties as if
it were the latest vogue. They believe
that it could happen at any moment,
so they no longer bother
to make their beds in the morning.
Posted in apocalypse, poetry
Tagged Apocalypse, Book City, Camille Martin, Canadian garrison mentality, December 21 2012, doomsday, Looms, Neil deGrasse Tyson, poem, poetry, Shearsman Books, Small Press Distribution, sonnets
Before the Skylab Gallery reading in Columbus, I went out with John and Cathy Bennett for a bite to eat. We had time to kill, so they suggested collaborating on cinquains
Cathy published them on her blog
. Have a look-see.
This year, Steve Evans of the University of Maine
invited me to participate in the tenth anniversary of Attention Span
, in which eighty poets list the eleven books that influenced them the most in 2012 (not necessarily published in 2012).
Click the image below to go to the complete list of my choices. I was just getting warmed up when I had already used up my allotted eleven books. I could have listed so many more. Have a look at the lists of other poets while you’re at the site, and stay tuned to Attention Span for the annual tally of votes.
Posted in poetry, poetry review
Tagged A Broken Thing: Poets on the Line, Adam Seelig, Anton Vander Zee, Attention Span, Camille Martin, Ish Klein, Jeramy Dodds, Ken Babstock, Lissa Wolsak, Maxine Chernoff, Meredith Quartermain, Nicole Markotic, poem, poet, poetry, Robert Majzels, Steve Evans, Third Factory, Tony Lopez, University of Maine
On Tuesday I read at one of the poetry reading series in Cobourg, Ontario. One
? That’s right, the town of Cobourg, population under 20,000, has two
poetry reading series and an active and dedicated poetry community who work together in the CPW (Cobourg Poetry Workshop) to sponsor readings and workshops.
I read for the Doug Stewart Reading Series at the Palisade Gardens Retirement Residence. I thought it was a great idea to have the reading at this facility. It was open to the public and attracted several residents of Palisade Gardens.
My original trepidation about how my poetry (which can be pretty edgy) would be received dissolved once I started reading—the audience was warm and appreciative, and somewhat to my surprise I sold more books there than at any other reading I’ve ever given!
I shared the microphone with Sharon Knap and Rick Webster—it was a pleasure to meet them and hear some of their work. Bridget Campion was one of the best emcees I’ve ever met. Thanks to the members of the CPW who not only organized this reading but also drove and showed me around Cobourg and arranged a pre-reading dinner and post-reading beer.
Some pictures, most taken by James Pickersgill (I think):
Posted in poetry, poetry reading
Tagged Bridget Campion, Cobourg Ontario, Cobourg Poetry Workshop, CPW, James Pickersgill, Palisade Gardens Retirement Residence, poem, poet, poetry, poetry reading series Douglas Stewart Reading Series, Rick Webster, Sharon Knap
My “world premiere” of Looms
will be in Cobourg, Ontario, about an hour’s train ride east of Toronto.
Poet James Pickersgill put together some thought-provoking interview questions in advance of the reading. Below is a sample, and the complete interview can be found here.
Q – Camille, it is not at all true that poetry is your single creative outlet. You are known as a collage artist, too. You are an editor yourself … and a translator. Your own work has been translated into other languages as well. You have been a university teacher. You’ve organized poetry reading series. You’ve had radio shows and you blog actively on the internet. When listed like that, these activities might sound like an array of separate pigeon-holes but I suspect that there is a lot of cross-pollination, so to speak. What is the nature of this creativity as you experience it: one spark that finds many openings to jump into flame, or, can it be distinct and separate creative impetuses?
Camille Martin – I love the idea of cross-pollination. In fact, I think my primary creative impulse is to bring together: to merge or to juxtapose. It’s the basic impetus for the metaphor: to bring unlike things into dialogue. And for me, that goes for disciplines as well. I was reading and seeking out poetry on my own from an early age, though I didn’t begin writing it in earnest until my late 30s. But my first creative expression was musical – I was trained as a classical pianist since I was six years old, and I went on to get a graduate degree in piano performance. I was also intensely interested in visual art. I’ve always felt a desire to bring the arts together. So now, in the autumn of my life, I have the pleasure of doing all three: making collages, writing poetry, and setting my poetry to music. I think these disciplines are sparking conversations among each another.
Posted in interview, poetry, poetry reading
Tagged Camille Martin, Cobourg Ontario, James Pickersgill, Looms, poem, poet, poetry, poetry interview, poetry reading, Shearsman Books
A poem of mine is featured in Truck
Thanks to rob mclennan, who is in the driver’s seat of Truck for the month of August.