Posts Tagged ‘Amal El-Mohtar’

A Year in Blogging

Posted: December 29, 2010 in Poetry
Tags: , , ,

I started this blog on Jan. 5th, 2010.

In some ways it has been less a blog and more a chronicle of my poetry career… but that is what it was always meant to be, so it’s all good. 🙂

As 2010 winds down I thought I would take a stroll through the blog and find some factoids… a year in review, as it were.

Total # of views (Not including my own) : 2,741
Busiest day: June 9th, 2010 – 74 views

Not exactly Wil Wheaton…

Top Referrer: Facebook and get the nods, but that is almost unfair since that (along with Twitter) is where I announce a new entry.

Top Referrer that wasn’t directly from one of my pages:

That is the one and only R.C.Weslowski!

Top Search Engine Terms that led to this blog: “Ian Keteku”

Hey, a guy becomes World Slam Champion and suddenly gets important.

I just tried to look at which post had the most subscribers…. but it is a big tie…

The biggest Click Through FROM this blog (after the links to my Live Journal and the JRSW blog I share with some friends) is a tie between:

Ian Keteku and Song for an Ancient City by Amal El-Mohtar.

Before I get to the TOP POST of the year, what about it’s poor cousin, the BOTTOM POST of the year…

Which post got the least hits? (Not counting one line posts that just give an update on my weekend poetry plans. Only entries with actual content are eligible):

What is Art?

A poem that was a sequal of sorts to Why Art? that I wrote to perform at the National Art Gallery.

It isn’t the worst poem I ever wrote, but neither does it deserve great fanfare.

So, which post is the TOP POST of the year?

Amal El-Mohtar

That says more about Amal’s fans that my blog. She linked to the post I gave me a cavalcade of hits.

The POEM that received the most hits was Moving to Arizona.

Interesting. That isn’t my most popular poem, but it seemed to strike a chord on-line.

So, my poetry career, crammed into a year, with some interesting side tangents along the way.

Not a bad year. 🙂

Anyway… here is 2011… and the new poem I will be debuting on January 3rd!

This past Saturday was the last Capital Slam of 2010 and it was a great show! PrufRock won with Loh El, Amal el-Mohtar, Brad Morden and Sepideh rounding out the final round.

What I want to talk about here is Amal… well, kind of.

Anyone who reads this blog should already know that I think she is an amazing poet.

When I found out she was coming to the show I immediately started trying to talk her into slamming. She has never slammed before. In face, she had never BEEN to a slam before.

Why did I want her to slam so badly? Not for her gratification, to be honest. She is already a very well-regarded writer and poet. She isn’t going to become a slammer (she doesn’t live in Ottawa currently, or damn straight I would be trying to turn her into a slammer…) No.

I wanted to prove a point.

I have always heard that to be a successful slammer you need to perform a certain style of poetry. I have heard that well-thought out and well-written pieces do not do well. If you are primarily a page poet, there is no point in even trying.

I call bullshit.

Amal is a page poet. Unlike many (not all by any means) page poets, she is able to present her poetry well orally.

That is it.

Write good poetry and present it well. That is all slam audiences ask for.

There is a place for railing against the establishment. There is also a place for a ‘song’ for a beautiful old city.

Write good poetry and present it well. The audiences will eat it up.

(It just so happens that my new poem, not yet performed, deals with similar topic…)

Amal El-Mohtar

Posted: June 8, 2010 in Poetry

I think I have a new favourite poet.

More to the point, I think I am in love.

No, not with Amal (that would be awfully weird – lovely girl, but I still remember her as the teenager who hung around the Haunted Walk booth when Ruthanne was working), but with the way she spins words that are dripping with honey…

Yes, honey. Anyone who saw her perform tonight at Voices of Venus will understand why that is an apt metaphor.

No conversation about Amal’s writing can leave out Song for an Ancient City, which won the 2009 Rhysling Award for Short Poem.

Add to the the incredibly gorgeous story, And Their Lips Rang with the Sun. While she would say that is a story and not poetry, I would argue the point. Much in the same way that George Elliott Clarke’s George & Rue is poetry, so is this. (though that is pretty much where the comparison ends. Amal has created a world full of magic and bells. George’s world is all too real.)

The last work I would like to mention, and the way that somewhat explains the honey allusion, is her new book, The Honey Month. What started as a blog where she wrote a review and a piece of poetry (or poetry prose) for a different honey every day. Someone took notice of it and realized that what she had created deserved wider recognition.

I am a fan and anyone who reads this and is not familiar with her work should take a look. She is a treasure waiting to be discovered, again and again.