Two internationally acclaimed Canadian poets, Manitoba’s Dennis Cooley and B.C.’s Jake Kennedy, are reading from their works Wednesday at the Bean Scene’s Artists’ Salon Reading Series.
“These two poets are amazing,” said John Lent, reading series organizer. “This evening of poetry is going to be a blockbuster. Don’t miss it.”
Cooley is known, nationally and internationally, for his ground-breaking work in contemporary form in poetry (he has published 20 volumes of poetry over 30 years), and for his incisive essays on poetry as seen in the book The Vernacular Muse and the anthology RePlacing.
He has been one of Canada’s most fascinating practitioners of the long poem (Fielding, Irene and Bloody Jack), and has just released two books from the University of Alberta Press: a book of poems, abecedarium (2014), and a book of essays, The Home Place (2016), based on Robert Kroetsch’s work.
“Poetry lovers in the Okanagan will be familiar with Cooley because he was a writer in residence at the Mackie House in 2003 and Kalamalka Press published a volume of his poetry called Country Music in 2004,” said Lent. “Dennis has won many awards for his work, and is one of the funniest poets you will ever hear.”
Cooley lives and writes in Winnipeg.
Kennedy’s book of poems, The Lateral, won the prestigious Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry in 2010, and his chapbook, Hazard, won the bpNichol Chapbook Award in 2006.
His latest book, Made Line Sing (OPR Press), was launched last November in New York City. Other books include Apollinaire’s Speech to the War Medic (2011) and Merz Structure No. 2: Burnt By Children At Play (2015).
“Kennedy is a dedicated poet who takes aesthetics seriously and demands wonderful degrees of attention from his readers,” said Lent. “He is also, on another level entirely, one of the warmest and most accessible poets you will hear anywhere.”
Kennedy lives and writes in Kelowna and teaches literature and creative writing courses at Okanagan College.
Doors to the reading, on Bean Scene’s second floor, open Wednesday, March 22 at 7 p.m. Readings begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for the general public and $5 for students, available in advance at the Bean Scene or at the door.