Friday, March 8, 2013

Poets and the Social Self

Yesterday I took part in the latest instalment of Am Johal's SFU Woodward's presentation series, an evening devised by writer Renée Saklikar, entitled Poets and the Social Self.

I have taken part in a number of panel/reading/talks in my life, but the shape this event took was extraordinary -- the way Renée framed the evening in terms of her own practice as a poet, introducing it not as a discrete event but within the context of her "life-long poem chronicle" the canadaproject.

Renée's format -- that of poet/editor -- altered how I felt amidst it, more a happy stanza than a tired writer drifting in and out of public space. I would extend this feeling to how I listened to what my fellow panelists Joanne Arnott and Wayde Compton had to say, as well as the audience, to say nothing of Renée herself, whose introductions to our work, and her readings of it, were impressive.

Renée's partner is NDP provincial MLA and party leader Adrian Dix, who was also in attendance. While driving home last night I wondered what Adrian might have to say about Renée's form of social and aesthetic "governance", how a proprioceptive model (as opposed to an egoceptive one) could be applied to public service.

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