Monday, October 20, 2008

RAP from Edmonton

RAP 2008 was a blast.

It started with a CBC Radio morning show interview where I read Billy Collins' "Introduction to Poetry," Amazing how many people heard the interview and said they hoped they would be poemed.

From there, I went to Lis Cressey's Grade 6 class at Parkdale School where I took We Can Say This and did a poetry workshop with the kids.

Here are some excerpts from the poems:

If my poem were a superhero it would be my mom,
because she loves me and that is her power.

If my poem were a laugh it would be a laugh with a snort in the middle,
because I love the sound of a pig.

If my poem were a hairdo it would be a funky spiky pink
because it reminds me of myself.

If my poem were the end of a story, it would be mysterious
because it makes me think of what will happen next.

We had fun.

Friday was a beautiful day--sunny and golden--and my able poetry assistant Kirstin Mayo and I poemed all kinds of people in Churchill Square and City Hall. Some memorable moments:
Bill the underground parking attendant who was delighted to get a poem and a book.
Tom, a homeless man who played the grand piano in City Hall beautifully, and who traded me for my poem and book with his playing and with a spirited rendition of Hamlet's To Be or Not To Be soliliquy.
Glen, a folkie busker in the underground causeway, who read one of my poems--"The Debt Tango"--amazingly well.
Margo, who laughed with such gusto.
The Mayor, Stephen Mandel, who is a big poetry supporter.

Saturday I poemed at the Carrot Cafe on 118 Avenue and at the Anarchist Book Fair in the Ukrainian Hall, an event that draws activists from all over Canada and the States.

Monday, I visited Amiskiciy Academy, an aboriginal school, where I joined the community for morning drumming circle and prayers, before visiting a Grade 10 and Grade 8 class.

Thank you for the opportunity!

Jannie Edwards

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