It would be an interesting thing to write an additional blog post each week, a profile about the person who purchases my work at auction. After last evening’s encounter, this makes perfect sense. Shannon McClennan is the the Director of Marketing & Communications for The People’s Poetry Festival. Last year, a wonderful injection of funds came along for artistic projects throughout the City of Calgary. This year, projects and programs are struggling to keep the momentum going and so I wish to, in my own way, promote this particular festival.
“Shannon McClennan is a Calgary writer, poet and arts-and-culture junkie. She has a Master of Arts in International Journalism from the University of Leeds, UK, and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of Calgary and has done time as a communications specialist for big business and not-for-profit. Shannon currently works in provincial politics and is director of communications for The People’s Poetry Festival. When not writing, ranting about politics or planning festivals, you’ll find her doing yoga, sleeping, and taking in the local arts and culture scene—but rarely at the same time. You can read about her exploits here; follow her on Twitter; or check out her personal blog for more.”
Poets have been very generous people in my world. In fact, the poetry of Al Purdy, in some ways, kept me afloat these last two months. When a person is grieving, words so easily slip into the soul and speak kindness. I don’t mean this in the corny way; let me clarify. Grief brings on all sorts of feelings…numbness, anger, dark sadness, fear. It is the kindest thing…that poetry mirrors back to you, all of these emotions. I want to have my mother back in my physical life…to hold her and kiss her and skype with her…to laugh with her and sing with her. I can only describe this utter frustration with not having her in this physical world as breathlessness…an inability to breath…a seizing up of everything in me.
Poetry gives me breath.
Back to Shannon. Shannon McClennan is a writer.
She has passed a poem to me on bond paper…words by Weyman Chan lined up against the left margin. This week, I will paint the words and donate the piece to the festival. I feel graced by this opportunity. Thank you, Shannon, and nice to meet you.
The break up
Go on. Fight desire with clarity.
Why bother our muscle with
Your Dadaist halo? We
eat from the same neglect,
athletes run, they don’t argue about synaesthesia-isn’t
that the reason? The terms.
There’s no saint of snow. Only fire.
If Roman baths were an escapement,
misery wouldn’t run on
second hand news.
Tonight, an ant speared
the moon with her salacious
purse. You, even pursier.