I’m posting today to pre-celebrate my first foray into New Brunswick (either as a poet or as a person), which I’ll be embarking upon next month from October 3rd to October 8th. Thanks to the unyielding acumen of superstar poet/critic and OG New Brunswicker Shane Neilson–as well as the enduring friendship of fellow poets Jim Johnstone, Kevin Heslop, and Jeff Kirby of knife | fork | book–I’m looking forward to a car ride crowded with poetry and pals.
We’ve got a few stops planned for our tour, and I’ll be reading at a few of them. The main event, of course, is the University of New Brunswick’s annual Poetry Weekend festival in Fredericton, which will feature us five Ontarians alongside a slew of other poets spread across two full days of readings (plus affiliated events, a house party, and who knows what else). Based on the Poetry Weekend stories I’ve heard in the past, I’m both excited and terrified, but odds are it’ll be a great time for most involved.
Before the weekend, though, I’ll also be reading at the Attic Owl Reading Series the day we drive into the province, October 3rd, in Moncton. Heslop and I are preparing some kind of collaborative set for the event (something about faith in the contemporary world–it’ll be good, I promise), and we’ll be reading alongside Neilson, Kirby, Danny Jacobs (who I still owe some in-person thanks for writing a wonderfully well-thought-out review of Players some years ago), and Claire Kelly (who I also had the pleasure of featuring with at Toronto’s Common Readings in the spring), plus musical guest Bruised Orange. If you’re around, or if you might be, check out the event here.
Finally, Neilson, Heslop, and I are also slated to read at the Petitcodiac Public Library in the afternoon of Saturday, October 5th (poster below). This is also thanks to the fine work of Danny Jacobs, who, you can probably guess, I’m pretty stoked to finally meet! Neilson and Heslop are fabulous presenters, and while I can’t speak for myself, I think it’ll be a pretty good reading.
Of course, my compatriots will also be engaged in other events over the extended weekend, but it’s a little beyond me to gather all the details here (and besides, Shane already summarized everything beautifully in his own post about the tour). In any case, whoever you’re thinking of coming out to see, I hope to catch you next week in the Maritimes!