Thursday, September 2, 2010

Emily Carr

Emily Carr read from her book, "Directions for Flying: A Young Wife's Almanac" at Cavanagh's Fine Wines (1215 Edgewater Drive). I rather liked the intimate warmth of Cavanagh's. There were a few tables nestled between the free standing wine racks. I ordered a house white wine and blocked in the background before Emily started to read. The proprietor bought a bowl of popcorn and placed it on my table. Most of the people who came for the reading were still crowded around the bar located in the far corner of the establishment. Darlyn Finch, an amazing poet in her own right, said hello and joined me at my table.
When Emily stood up on a small step stool to reach the microphone, she seemed small and delicate. Her right arm is decorated with a poem she wrote over time line by line, each line being tattooed in a new color. The upper part of the tattoo has a tree branch and a lone sparrow. This collection of poems she explained tells an ongoing story which changed with the seasons. The book of poems is broken up into months from April to March with three poems per month. One poem involved thoughts behind sitting in an abortion office and realizing that she must follow through. The myriad of thoughts and rationalizations hit a deep human chord. Many of the poems were dark and brooding yet a sparrow seems to light up each unexpectedly. "Directions for Flying" won the 2009 Furniture Press Poetry Award.
Emily is the current resident author at the Kerouac House. At the Kerouac House I got to see "The Nest" which is a spot in the corner of the living room where Emily placed a mattress on the floor . She surrounded this spot with knick knacks she has gathered in her travels, a heart shaped snow globe, an Elvis post card and tiny glass figurines. The nest made for a cozy little artistic fortress.


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