Friday, November 06, 2009
There's no sign of aesthetic tribalism
...in Saskatchewan's writing community. At least not that I can see. I'm talking about the aesthetic tribalism described in this post on Table Music. If a lack of interaction is what creates certain camps, as Chris Banks suggests, then I can see why we are like we are. In Saskatchewan we interact all the time. Our doors are wide open. And while we find ourselves in various circles of like-minded writers from here and there across the country and beyond, place does matter. Saskatchewan's new formalists, surrealists, narrative-lyricists, popomos and everything in-between frequently sit down together at a table and break bread. We hear each other read. Then we sit down at another table afterward and chat some more. Writers of all types are brought in from across the country and we sit down with them. The Saskatchewan Writers Guild and The Sage Hill Writing Experience have been important community builders in this regard and have been for decades. Of course there's the Saskatchewan Festival of Words. The reading series Tonight it's Poetry in Saskatoon and the Vertigo Reading Series in Regina do this as well. And we spend time with each other and with writers across the country and beyond at the Saskatchewan Writers/Artists Colonies, which have been held for nearly thirty years. There we chat over three square meals a day and at happy hour and hear each other's work at the weekly readings. So I belong to no poetry camp. I can't imagine it. I have no fort. I like to think I could sit down with any writer anywhere and have a nice chat. I like to think I'd be welcome. This thinking sits down with me at every table.