Thursday, September 13, 2012

derek beaulieu delivers keynote reading as part of Mount Allison poetry conference Sept. 20 to 23

From the Mount Allison University events website:
SACKVILLE, NB — It won’t all be about the written word when Mount Allison University hosts a poetry conference on campus Sept. 20 to 23. Public Poetics: Critical Issues in Canadian Poetry and Poetics highlights all forms of poetry, including conceptual visual poetry, performance poetry, and poetry that blurs the line between music and poetry.

“The conference is a way to provide public access to poetry and to some of the fun things that are happening in contemporary poetry,” says Dr. Bart Vautour, a postdoctoral fellow at Mount Allison and a member of the conference’s organizing committee.

Although at its heart an academic conference, Vautour says they want to involve the wider community as much as possible, so many events are open to the public, including the two keynote lectures.

Dr. Diana Brydon, the Canada Research Chair in Globalization and Cultural Studies at the University of Manitoba, will deliver the first keynote address — Canadian Poetry and Poetics in a Globalizing World — on Thursday, Sept. 20. Sina Queyras, a poet, English professor at Concordia University, and author of Lemon Hound, a contemporary arts and letters blog, will present a lecture entitled Public Poet, Private Life: On The Dream of a Communal Self on Friday, Sept. 21. Both lectures take place in Room M14 of the Crabtree Building beginning at 7:30 p.m.

There will also be a keynote reading by conceptual poet derek beaulieu and Governor General’s Award-winner Erín Moure in Crabtree M14 on Friday, Sept. 20 at 4:15 p.m. One of beaulieu’s visual poems will be on display in downtown Sackville during the conference. 
“Take a look for it, but don’t try to read it,” Vautour suggests.

One of the highlights of the conference is a concert at the Vogue Theatre on Friday, Sept. 21 at 9 p.m., co-sponsored by SappyFest. Featuring Tanya Davis, a musician and Halifax’s poet laureate, as well as spoken-word poets El Jones and Ardath Whynacht, and folk musician Old Man Luedecke, it promises to be a not-to-be missed event. Tickets are $10 for students, $15 in advance, and $20 at the door and can be purchased at Thunder & Lightning Ltd., 6 Ford Ln., Sackville.

Community members are also invited to a mass poetry reading at the Owens Art Gallery on Saturday, Sept. 20 at 7:30 p.m., where participating poets can perform with the caveat that they can only present one or two poems and the performance has to take place in under five minutes.

The academic component of the conference will see about 50 poets, authors, and academics from within Canada and around the world come together for a series of discussions, roundtables, and lectures.

“We want to talk about the way that poetry is working in our contemporary communities and put that in dialogue with the way poetry worked in the public realm historically,” Vautour says, adding that contemporary poets and those who study poetic history too-often do not cross paths. “We wanted to bring those two communities together and also get the wider community as involved as possible to show as much of a diversity of poetics as we can.”

The Public Poetics conference is sponsored by the Centre for Canadian Studies at Mount Allison University, the Canadian Studies Programme at Dalhousie University, and is working in collaboration with The Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory. It is supported by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

For more information on the conference, visit Public Poetics.

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