The Hermit Poet

September 18, 2006

Boxcar Poetry Review – Issue 4 is Up

Filed under: General — Neil Aitken @ 11:16 pm

Edited Sept 19 — Interview with Aaron Smith will be online tonight.
If you haven’t noticed yet, the new issue of Boxcar Poetry Review is up.

This month’s issue features:

Arlene Ang
Jon Ballard
Pris Campbell
George David Clark
Michael Estabrook
Amanda Laughtland
Willie Lin
Marty McConnell
Benjamin Morris
Erin Elizabeth Smith
Laurie Soslow
John Sweet

J. Marcus Weekley

Puerta del Sol by Francisco Aragon — reviewed by Ruben Quesada

A Conversation with Aaron Smith — interviewed by Eduardo C. Corral

“After Neruda” – Now Available in Dutch?! (translation)

Filed under: General — Neil Aitken @ 6:18 pm

I’ve been translated! Or more precisely,my poem “After Neruda” was recently translated into Dutch and now appears in the online Dutch literary journal Het Oog van de Roos.
Check it out — if you read Dutch tell me how well it worked out.

Upcoming Features

Filed under: General — Neil Aitken @ 6:13 pm

For those in the Vancouver area, I’ll be featuring at a couple of venues in the next few weeks.
Sunday September 24, 2:00 pm
Poets’ Corner at the Word on the Street Festival (Robson Street)

Tuesday October 3, 7:30 pm
Chapters Bookstore (3rd Floor),
788 Robson (@ Howe), Vancouver BC

September 1, 2006

The Lady from Sockholm

Filed under: General — Neil Aitken @ 6:08 pm

Someone has beaten me to the punch — or more precisely, outdone my previous plan to put together a sock puppet poetry show.

I mean, you really can’t beat a full length film noir entirely cast with sock puppets.  It’s unbelievably cool.  The music is great and I’m suddenly jealous and proud all at once. 

Definitely check it out.  Wish it were showing here in Vancouver.  If you’re in New York, by all means do see it and let me know what you think.

Productive Week?

Filed under: General — Neil Aitken @ 11:49 am

In some senses, yes.

  1. Poetry Feature.  Bonnie and Sita at Pandora’s Collective, a large local writers’ collective, have offered me the opportunity to be a featured poet at the downtown Chapters Bookstore in early October.  I’ll share the limelight with local poet Carson Tipper — it’s a great opportunity to get some more visibility.
  2. Joined the Creative Borg.  Met with and officially joined the Vancouver Artists Collective Association.  Seems like an excellent business and networking move.  I’m excited about the overall vision and project of the collective, as well as the prospect of working with and learning from other local  writers and artists.
  3. Radio Appearance.  I’ve been offered a chance to appear on a local coop radio poetry show called World Poetry Cafe — probably sometime late September or October.  There’s a good chance I’ll get on to the December reading list at the World Poetry Reading at the downtown Vancouver Public Library – if not, it will be in the new year.  While that won’t be a feature, it will be great publicity.  The reading is co-sponsored by the library, a local tv station, and a few other interested parties.
  4. Found Another Potential Client.  Met with my new employment counsellor (the last one is out on sick leave due to a freak grocery shopping accident).  Seems she also is interested in writing, but has difficulty fitting in the time.  Perhaps I should put together a 30 minute presentation on how to get started when you have “no time” to write?

PS.  I’m leaving tomorrow to head to Calgary where I’ll be helping my sister out with her family’s move to Victoria.  Won’t be back till Thursday.  I’ll be offline for most of that time.

An Office (Space) in Gas Town

Filed under: General — Neil Aitken @ 10:03 am

I tried out my free membership to WorkSpace in Gas Town earlier this week.  Mixed feelings so far.

Things that I liked 

  • I did get a fair amount of writing done.
  • Great view – very beautiful at sunset and early evening.
  • Lots of places to work at (tables and chairs all over the place, but enough privacy to work uninterrupted)
  • Bill greets everyone from the cafe at the front — it’s like coming home, or for some people, to their favorite bar.

Things that were different than I expected

  • Frequent noise from the railway lines below, complete with  late night train couplings and uncouplings (oh the tragedy of the mechanically mobile!)
  • People keep very much to themselves.  I guess this makes sense, you’re working after all.  But I wouldn’t mind more interaction and conversation.  The cafe portion at the front was under-utilized as well.  Is it different in the daytime?  Or was it merely because I was there on a Monday?  I think I’ll try again tonight.
  • Dead silence.  Really.  I was surprised how much I felt like I was at a library or a morgue.  Perhaps a library morgue.  Almost unnerving.  But the lights stay on.  Also different from what I expected — guess I was stuck on the old programmer environment of the darkened floor with only a few cubicle lights on.  Here the lights are all on (makes sense) and there are no cubicles.

I guess I would like a little more chatting and banter.  I realize people need to work, but I miss that occasional human element – part of what draw me to it in the first place.

Another strike against WorkSpace is purely practical — it’s on the other end of the city from me.  As intrigued as I am by the space, I can’t reconcile the cost of travel and gas to make use of it.  If I lived closer or worked in the area it might make more sense.