Wednesday, November 17, 2021

new from above/ground press: A Wolf Lake Chorus, by Phil Hall

A Wolf Lake Chorus
Phil Hall

A Wolf Lake Chorus is a dramatic voice-poem for poet, birds, & saw:
1 poet, 8 birds, & 1 musician bowing a saw.



A podium rigged with a microphone at centre stage.
Two high screens behind.

The poet & the musician walk onto the stage.

The poet goes to the podium.
The musician sits on a chair at the side of the stage.

The musician plays the saw.

        ("Stage Directions")


A Wolf Lake Chorus began as an invitation from Madhur Anand in 2015 to write a poem using only the words contained in one of her academic articles. The article chosen is mentioned in the poem.

Originally called The Overstory, it was performed in Guelph at Silence on Friday May 18, 2018 as part of an evening of performances in support of Wolf Lake. Also presenting were Madhur Anand and Gary Barwin.

The cast included David Lee on bass and Georgia Urban on musical saw, plus 8 volunteers who were the birds. I am grateful to everyone involved, especially the birds for their overlapping voices.

A video of the evening, with A Wolf Lake Chorus as the final act, may be viewed at:

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
November 2021
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Phil Hall's
most recent books are The Ogre (Trainwreck, 2021), Toward a Blacker Ardour (Beautiful Outlaw, 2021), and Niagara & Government (Pedlar, 2020).

This is Phil Hall’s fourth above/ground press chapbook, after Verulam (2009) and the collaborative Shikibu Shuffle (with Andrew Burke; 2012) and Alternative Girders (with Stuart Kinmond; 2018).

To order, send cheques (add $1 for postage; in US, add $2; outside North America, add $5) to: rob mclennan, 2423 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa ON K1H 7M9. E-transfer or PayPal at rob_mclennan (at) or the PayPal button at

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