This Sunday if you’re in San Francisco I hope you can come to a reading in the Mission at 4 pm. I will be reading but the excitement is all about Colin Smith, who will be reading with me and giving his first reading in San Francisco, maybe in California, maybe in the USA.
We’re going to be reading at ATA (Artists Television Access), 992 Valencia Street, at 21st Street, from 4—6 p.m. This event is sponsored by Krupskaya Books and also by Right Window, so what do you have to lose!
I remember going to see James Schuyler when he gave his first reading in San Francisco, and the electricity that filled the auditorium of SFAI when the lights went down and the man himself lumbered onto the stage. A few years later, I remember the first time Jeff Clark read, —still maybe the only time I’ve seen him read?—at Small Press Traffic when it was still housed at the now defunct New College, and Jeff looked so terrified we had to pry him out of the shadows with a hook. All I’m saying is that this is one event you won’t want to miss, for Colin Smith is really something special. There’s a page on the Electronic Poetry Center devoted to Colin, with a sharp photo of the man by Tom Orange that I liked so much I put it at the top of this page.
On his EPC author page you can access poems, sound files, etc, and his biography:
Born and raised out of Oshawa, Ontario, Colin Smith studied creative writing at York University (often with Don Coles), and graduated in 1983 with a BFA in it. Moved to Vancouver in 1987 and immediately became part of Kootenay School of Writing "doings". Was an active collective member c.1989 through 1996, and again from 2005 to 2007. Proofread many issues of Writing and Raddle Moon magazines.
His first book of poems, Multiple Poses, was published in 1997 by Tsunami Editions. A second, 8 x 8 x 7, is recently out from KRUPSKAYA.
He is now living for the second time in the isolation chamber and racial holy war otherwise known as Winnipeg, Manitoba.
When we were at the Positions Colloquium in Vancouver this past summer the organizers had us all write up Poetics Statements, and I thought Colin’s one of the very best. Here’s an excerpt:
I think poetry is the most intense language form we have in our DNA, capable of giving maximum flexibility and complication to binaries like clear/opaque and singularity/multiplicity. Short of feeding children and building housing, I like to think there isn’t anything poetry can’t do, but this is tempered with the knowledge that we live in a very limiting world. Your Facebook is checking you out. Go ahead, I dare you to scale that fence and wander about that vacant lot. I’ll try to make bail. I'll bring cigarettes.So I hope you can come out and meet the man himself. I can't wait.
Not to be outdone, Kevin wants me to tell you about a reading he’s organizing in honor of another visiting poet, Britain’s Tim Atkins! Tim is reading at Books and Bookshelves in San Francisco (at 99 Sanchez) on Tuesday, April 14, at 7:30 p.m. Kevin will be reading in support of him, as will another local writer, in fact a great star, Leslie Scalapino, whose O Books printed Tim’s recent work of translation, Horace. Three for the price of one, though Leslie and Kevin have said that they will be reading only briefly in order to let Tim Atkins shine.
I met Tim Atkins many years back when he lived here in San Francisco in the early 1990s. I remember him among the many young poets who joined up when Intersection offered an extensive poets theater workshop that Carla Harryman was teaching, and in the years since then we have often wondered how to get back that spirited energy, that generosity, that talent. Well here he is at last!
Tim Atkins is the author of To Repel Ghosts (Like Books), Oriental Tapping (Fulcrum), 25 Sonnets (The Figures), Horace (O Books) and Folklore (Salt). His current work in progress, Petrarch, is widely published in poetry journals and online.
Editor of the international poetry journal onedit.net, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at The University Of East London, Buddhist, father, and brown belt in Judo, Tim lives in London with his wife and daughter.
So to sum it up, I will be reading with Colin Smith on Sunday, April 12, at the ATA space on Valencia (from 4 to 6), and Tim Atkins will be reading with Leslie Scalapino and Kevin, at Books & Bookshelves (99 Sanchez), in the Castro, on Tuesday, April 14, at 7:30 p.m. Hope to see you at one or another of these spaces.