Commentaries

A short interview with Armand Garnet Ruffo

Armand Garnet Ruffo was born in Chapleau, northern Ontario, with roots to the Sagamok Ojibwe First Nation and the Chapleau Fox Lake Cree First Nation. Ruffo’s first collection of poetry, Opening In The Sky (1994), reveals an abiding interest in the complexities of Aboriginal identity in a multi-cultural society.

Juan Gregorio Regino: 'The Song Begins' (from Mazatec & Spanish)

Translation into English by Jerome Rothenberg 

 

David McGimpsey: Three new poems

Montreal writer and musician David McGimpsey has been the author, for about 20 years now, of what he calls “chubby sonnets,” each sonnet consisting of sixteen metred lines instead of the usual fourteen. The author of a critical study on baseball writing and a collection of short stories as well as five poetry collections—Lardcake (ECW Press, 1996), Dogboy (ECW Press, 1998),

Bob Holman's 'Language Matters' (PBS) on the world's 3000 endangered languages

Watch now: Language Matters | Full Episode | PBS Video

A beautiful and important PBS documentary in which Bob Holman carries forward the fight to save endangered languages (3000 of them) and their attendant poetries. Language Matters asks what we lose when languages die, and how we can save them.  Writes Norman MacAfee in The Huntington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…/let-the-world-speak_b_65382): 

 There are 6,000 languages in the world, and half are endangered. Those 3,000 will be gone by the end of this century if we don't do something. What are we going to do? That is the situation outlined in a new PBS documentary, Language Matters with Bob Holman, by David Grubin and Bob Holman. Why is saving endangered languages important?

These 3,000 endangered languages are part of the history, and the prehistory, of humanity. They are part of prehistory because many are only spoken languages, not written, passed orally from generation to generation, down the millennia.

The Canadian prose poem

Notes toward an essay I haven’t quite written

a fragment of our poetry shelf
a fragment of our poetry shelf

A few years ago, reading through issues of the now-defunct Sentence: A Journal of Prose Poetics started me thinking about the prose poem in terms of difference between Canada and the United States. As much overlap as our two countries have, the evolution of the nebulously-termed “prose poetry” has been different, and yet, at least on this side of the border, the form hasn’t been (for what I’ve been able to find) much explored in terms of possibility, genealogy and influence. Back in May 2012, as a prelude to composing a possible essay to explore the subject, I sent out an email to a variety of individuals, and even a couple of list-serves, seeking information: