Last November, I was asked to read some poems at Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Asked what to call the presentation, I chose the lofty title above. The talk looks at the influence of place on poetry and the influence poetry has on our perceptions of place. Poems can change the way we see the world, and in that way construct the world. Here is a link to the talk, if you're into that sort of thing. There are lots of poems from all three of my books and lots of stories about the poems and the places that shaped them. There is also quite a bit of heckling from a rowdy audience of word lovers. Enjoy. Making Place: How Poetry Invents the World
Here is an interview with Toronto-based songwriter Ansley Simpson published in The Rumpus. If you don't know Ansley's music, get to know it.
Here is an article by Brian Kelly from The Sault Star: "The River Inspires Dunn's New CD"
Here is something really cool. Bruce Cockburn has been a hero of mine, a hero to millions, for years and years. I've had the great honour to interview him twice. The first time was in 2015 for Canadian Dimension Magazine. The link is on this page, if you'd like to read it. The second time I interviewed Mr. Cockburn was in January, 2018. That one you can read here: THE RUMPUS/BRUCE COCKBURN
It was very kind of Exclaim! Magazine to ask me to review Bruce Cockburn's new album. I had intended to write a longer, song-by-song review, but just have other things that need doing. For now, here is the Exclaim! review of exclaim.ca/music/article/bruce_cockburn-bone_on_bone_Bone on Bone_.
I have been talking about this album by Ansley Simpson so much for the past few weeks that people just nod their heads and say, "Yeah. Yeah. Breakwall. Yeah. Ansley Simpson." So, instead of repeating myself to friends and family, I decided to review it. Those who know me know that I used to write lots of reviews etc. Over the next few months, i will post more reviews of music that moves me. Thanks, Exclaim!!, for publishing the review. And thanks to Ansley Simpson and crew for making such a moving and beautiful album. If you don't believe that music can heal, here's proof:
Here is a really cool review of SOLACE from Penguin Eggs, Issue #71
In October, 2015, I had the fortune to interview, via telephone, one of the greats, Mr. Bruce Cockburn. The interview was published in the Winter, 2016 issue of Canadian Dimension Magazine. If you like Mr. Cockburn's music and support independent journalism, please consider buying a copy of the magazine at www.canadiandimension.com
I was blown away by Mr. Cockburn's generosity and openness, taking an hour and a half to talk for a short article. He even answered some guitar questions, which didn't make it into the article. Maybe somewhere down the road I will post it. Best.
Click here to read "Bruce Cockburn: The Moral Imperatives of a Modern Troubadour."
I am beginning to like (we)blog as a title. It is 1980s to the max, as people said in the 80s. Since no one has made any suggestions, I'll let the title stand. Don't be surprised if you wake up one morning, check for the day's (we)blog and find it under a completely different title. It is good to challenge oneself in the morning. I begin my morning challenges with the question, "How do I turn off this alarm function?" In the 80s, you could throw the metallic spring-filled yowling box across the room to silence it and wind it back up in the evening. To mistreat a smart phone like we treated our alarm clocks in the 80s is likely a criminal offense under some machine's bill of rights. That's a shame because beating the shit out of an alarm clock was one of the enjoyable aspect of the time before weblogs.
Lately, I have been listening to 80s music and have incorporated a couple of choice tunes from the era into my cover sets. I'll leave you guessing which ones. If you happen to hear me play them somewhere, they'll be the songs that kind of sound like something you heard on the radio and yet sound nothing like it.
I was way too cool for the 1980s. The 80s couldn't handle me. And I wasn't alone. An entire generation of teens grew up in warped time, in a haze of residual culture that arrived like the spent edge of a thunder clap. The air I breathed growing up was the previous generation's nostalgic off-gassing, which I claimed for my own. My friend George Case over at https://georgecaseblog.wordpress.com/ writes about cultural influence with a clarity I will never muster. So, if such things interest you, check him out.
For now, I say farewell to (we)blog posting two.
Hello, Thank you for stopping by. This is my first blog entry on this new website. A better title will follow. If you have suggestions and nothing to do with your time but to comment on this blog, please make 'em in the Comment section. Please no ads or links to troubling things. For now, the blog is titled (we)blog to acknowledge the word weblog, of which blog is an ellipsis. They chopped the "we" out of "weblog" to get "blog," and created nothing along the way.
Of course, the block from which blog was chopped was a made-up word, a portmanteau of "web," a word amended from "interweb" (please, check my research), and "log" as in sailor's log, nurse's log, as in diary. The "web" they added to sound futuristic. As the word drifts, the technology the word describes, and our engagement with the technology, change.
Change in all things. Even language.
Portmanteau, surely someone has noted, is a portmanteau. That is kind of like the word "fish" being a real fish.