The Great CK Williams

CKWilliams_Portrait_7Thanks to Raoul Fernandes for introducing me to this poet.  You can also hear him reading it at:


Thank goodness we were able to wipe the Neanderthals out, beastly things,
from our mountains, our tundra—that way we had all the meat we might need.
Thus the butcher can display under our very eyes his hands on the block,
and never refer to the rooms hidden behind where dissections are effected,
where flesh is reduced to its shivering atoms and remade for our delectation
as cubes, cylinders, barely material puddles of admixtured horror and blood.
Rembrandt knew of all this—isn’t his flayed beef carcass really a caveman?
It’s Christ also, of course, but much more a troglodyte such as we no longer are.
Vanished those species—begone!—those tribes, those peoples, those nations—
Myrmidon, Ottoman, Olmec, Huron, and Kush: gone, gone, and goodbye.
But back to the chamber of torture, to Rembrandt, who was telling us surely
that hoisted with such cables and hung from such hooks we too would reveal
within us intricate layerings of color and pain: alive the brush is with pain,
aglow with the cruelties of crimson, the cooled, oblivious ivory of our innards.
Fling out the hooves of your hands! Open your breast, pluck out like an Aztec
your heart howling its Cro-Magnon cries that compel to battles of riddance!
Our own planet at last, where purged of wilderness, homesickness, prowling,
we’re no longer compelled to devour our enemies’ brains, thanks to our butcher,
who inhabits this palace, this senate, this sentried, barbed-wire enclosure
where dare enter none but subservient breeze; bent, broken blossom; dry rain.

Source: Poetry (April 2011).

Three poets at People’s Coop Bookstore

Thurs Oct 22 – join Spenst, DeCroo and Steudel for what promises to be an intriguing event:

Three poets digging into the outdoors, under the city and through tunnels into the past. Bring a shovel! Bring a flask! Bring your best friend and armwrestle to see who’ll pay for drinks afterwards.

Rodney DeCroo is a singer-songwriter, poet, playwright and actor. HIs debut collection of poems Allegheny, BC was published by Nightwood Edtions in 2012 which was the basis for his play Stupid Boy in an Ugly Town that has toured across Canada . His poems have appeared recently in Event Magazine, Geist. and BC Bookworld. He has released seven critically acclaimed albums through labels such Northern Electric Records, Barge Records and his current label Tonic Records. He was recently featured on the cover of the Georgia Straight for his newest cd Campfires on the Moon for which he recently finished a cross-Canada tour.

Jeff Steudel’s poetry has appeared in several publications including, prism international, CV2, The Fiddlehead, subTerrain, and Canadian Literature. He has received the Ralph Gustafson Poetry Prize, and his work was chosen as a finalist for the cbc Literary Awards. Foreign Park is his first book of poetry. He lives in Vancouver.

Kevin Spenst is the author of Jabbering with Bing Bong (Anvil Press) and ten chapbooks including Pray Goodbye (the Alfred Gustav Press), Retractable (the serif of nottingham), and Surrey Sonnets (JackPine Press). His work has won the Lush Triumphant Award for Poetry and has appeared in dozens of publications including Prairie Fire, BafterC, Lemon Hound, Poetry is Dead, and the anthology Best Canadian Poetry 2014. A second collection of poetry, Ignite, is forthcoming with Anvil Press in 2016.

Full details:

Strangers on a Train Returns! Tonight 19:00!

strangersStrangers on a Train is a monthly reading series, hosted by the Langara College English department, devoted to creating dialogue between writers and writing groups that would not typically interact with one another. Each event features writers from a variety of genres and backgrounds: from spoken word to highbrow prose – the up-and-coming, the student, and the venerable. The goal of the series is to encourage discussion and promote collaboration within Vancouver’s diverse literary community (or with members of other Canadian literary communities).

Join us on Tuesday, October 20 for the next installment of Strangers on a Train. All events are free to attend and are open to the public (19+ years).

Readings by:
Reg Johanson (Mortify; Courage, My Love)
Juliane Okot Bitek (Words in Black Cinnamon)
Emily Davidson (Best Canadian Poetry 2015 Anthology; Grain Magazine)
Jano Klimas (Langara Student Writer)

Full Details:

Fiddlehead taking entries for 2016 issue!

Tell It Slant: The Fiddlehead’s 25th Annual Contest.

Get your entries ready! This year’s contest is now open!

The winning entries will be published in the spring 2016 issue
of The Fiddlehead (no. 267) and on our website.
The winning authors will be paid for publication in addition to their prizes!

$2,000 Ralph Gustafson Prize for Best Poem
$250 each for Two Honourable Mentions

$2,000 for Best Story
$250 each for Two Honourable Mentions

Good luck to all entrants. This year’s contest deadline is December 1, 2015 (postmarked)

Full details: