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POETRY READINGS
Heather Spears makes annual reading and lecture tours throughout Canada. She has also toured in Scandinavia, UK, Germany and Austria; with readings in London, Belfast and Edinburgh, and at literary festivals in Guildford and Cheltenham 1993 and 1999, 2000-2003. For readings in Canada this year, please see Calendar on Home Page.

Please contact Heather Spears well in advance to arrange a Canada Council funded reading or presentation: annual deadline September 10. The Canada Council: silvie.bernier@canadacouncil.ca tel. 1-800-263-5588 ext. 5537; The League of Canadian Poets: league@ican.net

Paying attention at poetry readings


I am always moral
at poetry readings
I pay attention, or I try
I always get lost
I begin to rearrange the hair of the poet
or to trim (or eliminate) his beard
I press his trousers
I am fascinated by his fingers
I love his pleasure and his disarming smile
at a particular phrase
I love the little pieces of paper sticking out of his
books

Some poets are austere
they read impatiently
they frown
they do not ingratiate
they dare you to alter their appearance by one thread
they look at you
suddenly
under this kind of pressure
I am dismayed to find
I have again lost track of what they are saying

It is necessary for the poet
to be present
it is to be hoped
that in an audience of twelve or over
(twelve being a respectable, even apostolic number)
that the poem, having been as it were reborn
foundering among the chairs
will be received here and there
by the large if fallible pale ears of the listeners
cupped for it like hands

Human Acts, 1991

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