There are VERSes and Verses…

Posted: March 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

This week is VERSeFest and we are half way through. I have seen some amazing poetry, picked up some books (so far, Lenelle Moïse’s Haiti Glass, Sue Goyette’s Ocean, and Karen Connelly’s Come Cold River), witnessed the power of Ian Ferrier and Body & Light… and found myself fighting the urge to go find a corner and break down completely.

David McFadden.

I was not familiar with him coming into the festival, but that is not a surprise. One of the things I have done as part of the VERSeFest Organzing Committee over the years is keep my mouth firmly shut when ‘page poets’ are suggested as features, knowing that my knowledge in that field is extremely limited. Then I come to the festival and have my eyes opened by some incredible talent. I learn and grow. My library has expanded as I have left myself open to poetry… always a worthwhile feat. In previous years, it was Phillip Levine and Rob Winger who leapt onto my reading list. This year, as shown above, there have already been… four.

I say four while I only bought three books because the tome by David McFadden that I really want to get isn’t out yet. It is due soon and is called Shouting Your Name Down a Well. I will be buying it once available.

I wasn’t prepared for David McFadden.

As he was introduced, we were told that this prolific writer – author of 35 books and counting – was diagnosed two years ago with a form of Alzheimer’s Disease.

He continues to write and live with the help of his partner, Merlin Homer. His poetry was captivating and while some of his problems were apparent as he read, he fought through them and gave a masterful reading.

If you know me or have been reading this blog for a while you will know that my Father died last year after battling Alzheimer’s. You might also know that I have been dealing with anxiety about my swiss cheese memory. I have been assured that I am NOT facing any early signs, but that doesn’t change my fears.

It felt like I was watching my future.

Now this isn’t a despair thing, because I also watched how he was DEALING with it. Masterfully and with good humour and style. Also with the knowledge that it will get worse.

Yes… all the feels ‘as the kids say…’

Tonight is the Urban Legends SLam which shoudl be fun. Poetry is all things…


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