thomson-pinetrees Spent eight wonderful days up in Haliburton working with some of the best young artists on the planet (in York Region, anyway)… have just now started to get back on track. This time of year that usually means marking exams and packing up teacher stuff, but lucky for me there are a few new elements thrown into the mix. On June 2nd I caught the tail end of Rust Belt, Toronto’s completely successful bid to host the storied midwestern poetry festival. Ed Mabrey and friends took over Kensingston Market and turned the streets into a Pedestrian Sunday. Amazing collection of people, all loving poetry in the sunshine. Definitely worth checking out next year.

Last weekend I was also lucky enough to take part in New Waves, a celebration of artistic collboration at Toronto’s Luminato Festival. Artists draw spots and end up in a myriad of interesting places and spaces, jamming solo, drawing on the audience, or diving into a whole checkerboard of opportunities… I ended up performing one set in a tiny back room, red lit and sealed…something akin to performing in an Amsterdam elevator (for willing participants). Installation poetry, at its finest… Next weekend I’ll return for another four shows (see following post for details). Definitely try to make it out if you can…most of the shows are subsidized (read free; thank you Mr. Miller), and from what I saw last weekend, there is a ridiculous amount of talent running around. Resident artists jamming with newbies, legends breaking all kinds of ground. Somehow, amidst the newness of everything, there was a lot of peace to be found. LB


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