MIND BLOOM I'm delighted to be part of this creative collaboration with my friend, artist and ceramics maker Susie Osler. Have a look at our bookmarks project, available now in our little corner of eastern Ontario and online. Bookmarks by SGSO Discover a splash of colour paired with an effervescent poem in the pages of your books! Your favourite book-lovers (and your books) will appreciate these sets of 3 bookmarks, BLOOM (2021) and MIND (2022). The first creative collaboration from SGSO , poet Susan Gillis and artist Susie Osler. Each bookmark pairs an evocative poem by Susan with a painting (reproduction) by Susie. Bookmarks measure 2.1 in x 7.5 in Order  here . $ 10/set of 3  For additional information, email


       Often near our house I find papery chunks of abandoned wasps' nests, fallen from under the eaves. Photo by Adrian van Leen /freeimages I keep thinking about reiteration and recursion in poems and groups of poems. (Right?) So when I came across this Rumpus interview with Kaveh Akbar about his new book Pilgrim Bell , it made sense to pause and listen. The whole book is really interested in recursion, recursive forms. I read the line in a Hadith about the prophet receiving revelation “like the ringing of a bell” and it blew my mind. And, the idea of the bell as a spiritual technology powered by the human form (someone has to pull the rope, which often literally lifts that person in the air, maybe almost too on the nose, that) is so akin to poetry, to me. A spiritual technology powered by the human body (lungs/breath/voice/tongue/ocular muscles across the page/fingers across the Braille, etc). Repeating titles: it’s iterative, recursive. Also, nerdily: Islamic architect


First we delayed a few months. Then we delayed a year. Then we thought, let's just read and talk poetry on Zoom! So we did. It's grainy, it's messy, it's warm, and I hope you'll listen in. Thanks to Poetry London for including Mary di Michele and me in this remarkable series. On Wed June 30, we'll launch the long-awaited video collaboration of @marydimichele & @GillisSusan , including work by @Yokosdogs ! Local Openers #MichelleArnett & #MicheleNicole YouTube Event 7:00pm ET Zoom Workshop 6:00pm Join us for great online #poetry ! #ldnont — Poetry London (@poetrylondon_ca) June 23, 2021  image: pre-pandemic reading with Yoko's Dogs at Knife Fork Book in Toronto


Resistance: Righteous Rage in the Age of #MeToo , edited by Sue Goyette. University of Regina Press, 2021 Sue Goyette's sensitive and uncompromising foreword is a necessary guide through this anthology of poems that take on, and take up, the subject of sexual assault and abuse. The presence of care and commitment, Goyette's and all the participants', is felt on every page. Four sections track increasing intensity: Innocence/Exposure; Endurance/Persistence; Rage/Resistance; and arrive at an unsettled rest: Survival/Recovery. Variations of Ren √© e Munn's arresting cover image, "Ophelia," make striking section markers. Poems that open a world to me include Catherine Greenwood's "Black Plums," a chilling revision of the nursery rhyme about Little Jack Horner; Eleonore Sch√∂nmaier’s "Sixteen," in which two voices meet "on the narrow rocky trail;" Byrna Barclay's clear-eyed "Birdman," which watches an exterminator rid

READ: Cyborg Poets

  Look how I can't die, look,   -- from "Death Fable"   Over at Concrete & River I take a walk with this poem from Lindsay B-e's remarkable book, The Cyborg Anthology .


  What makes a great first line of poetry?    I fell into Alice Oswald's long poem Nobody with this one:                     "As the mind flutters in a man who has travelled widely"   A comparison; a restless mind; a character I'm likely to find alluring and provocative. A rhythmic onrush, chasing and settling like the flutter it names; so in reading, my mind is already acting like that of the traveller.   The lips, the front of the mouth, all softly active: m, f, v, w.     What else to do but give over and go along?  __ I often stall at first lines both as a reader and a writer.    I don't always understand exactly what it is that fails to pull me in, but as often as not it has to do with receptivity. If I scroll through a lot of poems feeling disconnected and dulled by their openings, chances are high it's me not them.  And if I scratch out a few syllables for a poem and turn away bored, it's definitely me.    The problem is always how to keep going, no


SOLSTICE NIGHT A blue lake surrounds the house: snow restored by twilight to a version of its original self, stippled where wind and animals have crossed, barred by shadows of trees. And speaking of trees, shadows fly out from them like time-traces of late-summer bats, and return. Everything dampens down. A sudden stillness— and the earth’s tilt reverses. Gradually the first stars prick the sky around the moon’s pearled curve. The last of the year’s scrap wood is ready for burning. Also a twilight everything turns from: stamping our feet on the platform waiting for the train, lined up on the curb waiting for the bus, blowing on our fingers. Young men shaking snow from their collars as they pass through turnstiles and descend with everyone else into the tunnels and shopping concourses, into the wet stink, the grit and slush, blasts of heat and noise over the hornet-hum of earbuds and ringtones, ignoring everything, which is a form of love —