I’ve been living in
There are some very good writers here. As anywhere, there are some not good writers here. There are some writers who have a sense of the “big picture” (i.e. the world outside
Yesterday, I attended the launch of a new periodical called “Street.” (More about that below.) I gots to thinkin’ about the Hamilton Literary Community. I’m sort of part of it, sort of not. I usually identify with the
Thing is, I really like the scene here. It’s quite small and, though most of the people are sophisticated and knowledgeable, most importantly the scene is (at least in my experience) entirely unpretentious, earnest, and warm. At the reading, David Hillen’s widow, Janet, read a poem of David’s. She very movingly introduced the poem by thanking those assembled there for their part in her late husband’s life. She spoke of how important the literary scene was to him, how he loved the people in it. She thanked them for their “community.”
My writing doesn’t really fit in here, but no one seems to mind. It has a small town welcoming feel. There is an acceptance of such diversity as exists here (I guess we’re the local characters. Klyde Broox does dub, Jeff Seffinga does post-beat, Chris Pannell and Kerry Schooley and their “The New Phrenologists” text and music ensemble, etc.) I generally relate better to
Certain people in the community are constantly resourceful, coming up with new ideas to promote writing in the city. (I remember reading in the food court at the downtown mall on a Friday night. Large packs of teens, neither particle nor wave, moved before us. I remember reading in a cramped little used clothing store, at Festival of Friends, of going to the east end to participate in having my picture taken as part of a group photo of “writers in Hamilton.”It’s like
Kerry’s latest venture, in cooperation with Kairos Literary Society, Bob Megans and (see what I mean about
At the launch, we sat on the bluster patio right on King St. at the BIA office and the BIA provided us coffee and apple strudel replete with custard and whipped cream from “The Black Forest Inn,” an amazing German restaurant that can’t have changed since the fifties. The last wienerschnitzel I had there was as big as Richard Wagner’s ego. We read as buses passed and passersby looked at us curiously.
The various poems scattered about downtown windows include work by Klyde Brooz, Chris Butler, David Hillen, Gary Kristiansen, John B. Lee, Matt Firth, Chris Butler, Chris Pannell, Bernadette Rule, Jeff Seffinga, and Ed Wood as well as my own.
As my favourite