by Patrick Mackenzie
Just in time for Christmas: Vancouver veteran literary magazine subTerrain has released its “Vancouver 125” issue, a celebration of this city and its poets and poetry.
As the title suggests, the magazine features 125 poems that comprise the biggest, and perhaps most ambitious, issue subTerrain has published to date—and at $6.95 a copy not only is it a veritable bargain, it is also a terrific entry point for anyone interested in Vancouver’s vital and diverse poetry scene, past and present.
For you design geeks out there, “Vancouver 125” continues the subTerrain tradition of offering an attractive format and layout via editor-in-chief Brian Kaufman. The issue also features the stylized illustrations of local visual artist Dave Barnes.
To honour the publication of “Vancouver 125” the subTerrain crew and fans gathered at the Army, Navy, and Air Force Veterans’ Club on Main Street in Vancouver on December 20th and held a marathon poetry reading.
It seemed fitting that readers had to compete against a crusty group of cantankerous regulars who were perturbed that the regular ambiance of the Veterans’ club was punctured by something other than the background noise of televised hockey. But, perhaps helped by the ghost of Al Purdy—who, it is rumoured, could silence the rowdiest of bars filled with the hardest of men with his words—the cadence and meter of Vancouver’s poets, both alive and long gone, seemed to win over at least a few bar-room hecklers.
Notable Vancouver poets who read their work included George McWhirter, Peter Mitham, Nedjo Rogers, Renee Sarojini Saklikar, Trevor Carolan, Calvin Wharton, Adam Cramb, Catherine Owen, Rob Taylor, Karen Green, Dennis E. Bolen, Peter Trower, Heather Haley, and veteran NDP MP Libby Davies.
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