Hello ~

I am very happy to announce that, along with the infinite help of web-guru Justin Medved, my blog has been spring cleaned and moved into a new home @! VERY EXCITING! New audio tracks, including two from Kevin Fortnum’s Sea Docks Doxies (and a collaborative version of Morning Skin). Thank you Justin, and you dear reader, for reading my updates and meanderings, and hanging in over the last three years…

Please come visit me at the new domain!


Jean Ann Verlee & Kevin Fortnum

Feet just now back on ground after an incredible night at the Toronto Poetry Slam Finals featuring the astonishing Jean Ann Verlee . It has been a long while since any one performer’s poetry affected me like this. Check her out. Read her poems. Buy her book, entitled Racing Hummingbirds, if only for the spectacular cover art. There is nothing about this transaction that will leave you less rich. She is worth the drive/train/bus/flight to New York City. Seriously. Truly. Magic. As if that weren’t enough, the rest of the show was equally spectacular.. CR Avery graced the stage with a two-shot of songs and poetry to open the show, and the BAM Youth Slam put on a showcase that let us see what we would be facing a few years down the road… Amazing stuff, and incredible to think they are getting up alongside veterans to perform at Hugh’s Room (an incredibly storied venue on the West end of Toronto).  I was very happy to contribute to the show, performing as sacrificial after dropping out of finals (to concentrate on launching my new collection). It was a hard decision, but I was grateful that I made it, once I heard Valentino Assenza pour his heart into the microphone with an amazing new poem. Incredible work all around.. I was happy to be there, and proud to be a part of such an amazing scene (including the capacity crowd).

I’ll be heading into the studio in the next few days at Ryerson University, taking part in an amazing program called Well Versed, hosted by Brian Cauly. Expect to hear a compilation piece that takes several of my poems and works them into a 30 minute piece of ‘poetic listening’.. It should be a great experiment and I love the collaborative aspect of working with other artists.. Details to come on where and when it will be launched…

On the collaborative note, keep an eye out for Kevin Fortnum‘s new CD Sea Docks Doxies, which is currently featured on Sound Click. Kevin and I co-wrote Morning Skin, and perform on two tracks together.. The cd is filled with great artists such as Electric John, Relevant (of the newly formed 2010 TPS Team), and Valentino Assenza.. alongside some incredible singers and musicians. Worth a must-go-see…

Take care, thanks for listening.


Myths to Live By

“…who are concerned only with economics, sociology, and politics, hurling bricks at each other and licking then their own wounds. Those are not the ones that are heading for the moon or even noticing that the greatest steps in the progress of mankind have been the products not of wound-licking, but of acts inspired by awe.”

~ Joseph Campbell

The Cartographer’s Skin

It has been a whirlwind past couple of weeks, between school, readings, youth poetry festivals, wonderful dinners and time outside with friends (and my pup), and I’m glad for the chance to settle into stillness for at least part of the long weekend. Thanks to the Art Bar for a great feature with Tom Wayman and David Day. Very happy to report that I had an absolutely wonderful time at the Queen’s University Grad Club show; the crowd was fantastic, and host Jill Battson was a great steward. Special thanks to Professor and author Carolyn Smart for organizing a great show. If you are ever in the area, be sure to check out this particular venue (corner of Earl and University), for slams or anythings else… coming up in the next few weeks are shows by Jason Collett and Dan Mangan. Worth a go see..

I’ve decided to drop out of the Toronto Poetry Slam Team finals coming up this April 24 (featuring the amazing Jeananne Verlee from NYC), in lieu of promoting my new book this summer. On that note, I continue to book shows for the spring and summer months, please keep an eye on the Upcoming Shows page for details. Summer shows in Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal (with Toronto ex-pat Kate Leadbeater!) and all over Ontario are in the works, and some possible East Coast dates as well, all to support the launch of my first full length collection The Cartographer’s Skin (Piquant Press, May 20). Please let me know if you have a great idea or venue for a show; I’d love to come visit! In the immediate future I’ll be hitting Montreal next weekend to visit some wonderful friends, and then zooming back into town for a feature on Sunday April 11 at The Grouch Fundraiser for Jeff Cottrill’s Fring Festival show, alongside  Andrea Thompson, Hi Heels Lo Fi and some other wonderful artists… There will be a raffle of donated prizes — including a spot in an audition skills workshop, dance classes, a photo shoot, and free career coaching! Black Swan Tavern, 7pm.

Went to a great send off  the other night at Rochdale Rhymes and Readings, the last edition of Mike Lipsius’s storied reading series. Having featured there a few times over the years, and many times on the open mic just to catch a glimpse of some of the great talent passing through, I can say it was well worth the steam room like ambiance of the Reagal Beagle’s back room. 🙂 The show went out in style, with amazing readings from Valentino Assenza, Rocco De Giacomo and Blair Trewartha. It was a great night, and a packed house; well deserved for Mike, who has put in a lot of work over the years.. The night continued after the show, outside on the patio, with old friends and great artists showing up from every corner of the sidewalk. A late, great night for everyone.

Remember that it is National Poetry Month, so there are happy, working poets in every library, coffee shop and bar in the city. Toronto is packed with poets, and there is something for everyone! Don’t miss the talent. A lot of shows listed here, many more on Toronto Poetry Slam’s listings page. Keep an eye out for The Fugitives on April 6.

That’s it for now, enjoy outside.

Thanks for listening.



Very happy to have made it into TPS Team FINALS on Saturday April 24 (Hugh’s Room, 2261 Dundas Street West)!! Come out to see TPS’s top eight poets battle it out for a spot on the Toronto Poetry Slam Team.. It was an amazing showdown on Sunday, featuring the one and only Buddy Wakefield. Buddy did a set that included deep breathing, mind altering revelations and ukelale. Everything a Sunday night needs. The crowd was amazing, and the Drake was packed to capacity by 7:15pm! I performed Alarm Clocks, and a brand new poem from my upcoming book called On The Way Home. It was a risk to read off paper, but I was really happy to have finished the poem and sometimes you just have to read what feels important to you in the moment. Some other highlights from the evening were Valentino Assenza, Krystle Mullin and Pan reading about mothers, opera and technology (but funnier than I can summarize it here). All poets worth checking out on youtube…

Poets advancing to the finals include: Relevant, Macer, Kiki, myself, Tomy, Truth Is.., Fraser, and David Delisca. All amazing poets, it will be an amazing show. $15 advance, $20 at the door. Make sure to buy early, we sold out a few weeks before Finals last year…! See you there.

TPS Semi-Finals TONIGHT!

Come on down to the Drake Underground TONIGHT by 7pm (we’ve been reaching capacity by that time, even though the show actually starts at 7:30pm) and check out twelve poets (myself included!!) vying for spots on the Toronto Poetry Slam Team.

The Cartographer’s Skin

Cover of my upcoming collection of poetry, out on May 20, 2010! This one has been a long time in the works, and I am so proud and happy to be able to share it soon. Special Thanks to Sue Reynolds of Piquant Press for helping me turn (literal) covers dreams into reality! She is an incredible artist, if anyone out there is looking for a way to articulate a piece of their heart.

Speaking of, this book really represents what is close to my heart, and contains poems on everything from maps to loss to polar bears. Yes, polar bears. Please check it out if you can, and spread the word if possible (so many ways to support independent artists!!!)

“There are places where the earth peels back, like shell or skin casing, to reveal bone of beneath…”
~ The Cartograpaher’s Skin

The book is just in it’s final stages now, and will be ready to drop in Spring 2010. If you are in or around Toronto on May 20, make sure to drop in on The Black Swan Tavern for a huge poetry bash featuring special performances from all over. Thanks to James Dewar (also of Piquant Press) for offering up his Hot Sauced Words show for the event. The last launch he gave was for Kate Marshall Flaherty’s amazing book Where We Are Going, and I had the time of my life…

If you can’t make it out (and keep an eye on my Upcoming Shows page, because there will be a lot of dates posted on there in the coming weeks), the book will be available through this website as well, and at any of my feature readings. I’ll be in British Columbia in the fourth week of July, so any west coast ami’s can check it out when I come to town..

Thanks for listening,