Ariadne’s Notes; From October 19 to November 19, 20 18, World Poetry Canada International is looking forward to a special visit from Michael Kwaku Keese Somuah and Ama Kesse Amponsah to participate in a number of literary activities and share his poetry. Will be such fun to see him again and to meet his fiancé. It also would be wonderful for Kwame Agyare Yirenkyi (Sharon’s beloved illustrator for her Big Bessie Books) to come also.
Michael and Kwame at the radio show.
Join us in welcoming them at the different events!
Michael is a young avid writer and International Congresses and festivals have included his poetry presentations in their programs and has travelled widely to Greece, USA, Canada, South Africa, India, Netherlands, Paris-France, Italy, India, Belgium to read and perform his poetry and also engaged himself in Not-for-Profit programmes related to Sustainable Energy in Belgium by the European Commission and IDAY International. Some of his awards include his recent Decoration at an event in India during the IPF poetry festival where his poem, “When the Sun Sets” was considered as one of the best poems for the event, the National Youth Achiever’s Award in Literature where he was honored by the President of Ghana, His Excellency, John Dramani Mahama, the Kostis Palamas Poetry Prize winner in Greece, World Empowered Youth Poet and World Cultural Ambassadorial Award at the University of British Colombia in Canada by World Poetry Canada and International among others. He has performed on several platforms including the Mayor of Vancouver’s office during ExplorAsian Heritage month in Canada.
Ama Kesse Amponsah is Michael’s beloved fiancée, a young lover of the Arts. She’s travelled extensively to the United Kingdom and Netherlands. Her love for literature, drama, spoken word and poetry was as a result of her early introduction to the “Abuakwa Drama group” during her Senior High School days. She played lead roles in it. She loved reading and her interest for poetry developed when she was introduced to a group called People of Equal Thoughts (POETS), Ehalakasa, which are young poetry and spoken word movements in Ghana. Since her attachment to them, she’s being a great and ardent follower of the Arts. Ama has proofread and reviewed works of some young poets such as Oswald Okaitei, Nii Ayi Solomon and Michael Kwaku Kesse Somuah. She has witnessed readings and performances at the Pan African Writers’ Association, Adesa festival among others. Ama Kesse Amponsah is also the Fund Administrator at National Trust Holding Company Limited (NTHC), an Investment Holding Financial Institution in Ghana.
During their stay in the beautiful city of Vancouver, they will undertake the following activities:
1.World Poetry Welcome Party for the Celebrated Young Poet and the fiancée from Ghana.
2. Literary encounters with Michael Kwaku Kesse Somuah with his supportive fiancée
3.Readings and Performances at Libraries and other venues such as community centres.
4.Radio Interviews on the internationally heard World Poetry Café, 100.5 FM. A feature on the World Poetry site: www.worldpoetry.ca
The World Poetry Café Radio CFRO 100.5 FM , August 23, 2018. 1-2 PM PST, celebrated its 20 year on the air this year with a new segment in Living Memory for Dr. Warren Stevenson and a tribute written by his daughters.
A unique, talented musician and educator Jeff Densen joined us at 1:30 PM,PST with his new CD, Outside my Window .
Subscribe to his newsletter and receive a demo at www.jeffdenson.com *Courtesy of Braithwaite and Katz. I love this CD, it is powerful, haunting and enjoyable.
The Team: Co-host Jaqueline Maire and host Ariadne Sawyer, super tech Victor Schwartzman and special volunteer Sharon Rowe with her Big Bessie Story, read by Victor.
Another talented award winning poet from the Lincoln Club: Jane Rowland with her lyrical poem, Simple Courtship was read on the show.
Sometimes all it takes is a tiny spark to ignite a raging inferno. For Jeff Jensen, the spark occurred in 2011. Feeling the need for a fresh start, he loaded up his car to head back to his boyhood home in California. Just as that journey was to begin, a deep and unexpected calling starting boiling inside, Jensen changed directions and headed to Memphis. There was no job waiting for him; no plan, no family, no band, just a lone friend with a temporary place for him to stay. But our intrepid guitar player felt it was the right move, the only move. In less than thirty hours after arriving, he met Brandon Santini and was offered the opportunity to be his guitarist. Soon after, Jeff became music director for the Brandon Santini Band. The inferno has been building ever since. After two years, almost 500 shows and three recordings with Santini, Jensen re-formed his band with long-time friend and musical collaborator Bill Ruffino (bass). Then they recruited Memphis native Robinson Bridgeforth as drummer. They hit the road and never looked back. Most people are in for a shock the first time they experience a Jeff Jensen Band performance. It starts with the trio mixing an eccentric blend of soul, rock, and American roots music with a deep blues influence. Suddenly Jensen feels the spirit, transforming into a whirling dervish of sight & sound as he bounds across the stage, barely able to contain himself as he wrenches stark, biting six-string explosions from his guitar. His passion is there for all to see, a rare occurrence in these times of buttoned-down music-making. At first, the sheer emotional force he creates can be a bit overwhelming. Then you realize that all art is an expression of the soul, of the power of the life-giving force that created the universe. And Jeff feels it is his responsibility to make the effort to communicate his passion with each member of the audience every night. After all, music is art, and art is the physical form of emotion. In 2015, Jensen released the vibrant Morose Elephant album that captures the flavor of the band’s creative force. Combining seven originals with covers of songs from Memphis Minnie and Amos Milburn plus a traditional gospel hymn, Jensen articulates the depth of his musical vision with help from a number of friends including Victor Wainwright, Reba Russell, and Annie Harris. The disc received even more critical acclaim as the band’s previous release, Road Worn and Ragged (2013), both produced by Jensen. This led to two consecutive Blues Blast Music Award nominations in the Sean Costello Rising Star category (2014/2015). The band continues to tour the US, Canada and many European countries relentlessly, as the inferno shows no signs of burning out. Whenever there is a break in the schedule, Jensen switches roles, acting as the producer with other artists including Mick Kolassa, John Parker and co-producing Santini’s This Time Another Year, nominated for a Blues Music Award in the Contemporary Blues Album category (2014). *Biography written by Mark Thompson.
Co-host Jaqueline Maire with one of Warren’s books.
The World Poetry Café Radio CFRO 100.5 FM , August 23, 2018. 1-2 PM PST, celebrated its 20 year on the air with a new segment in Living Memory . We welcomed the new series with a wonderful tribute to Dr. Warren Stevenson written by his two daughters. Co-host Jaqueline Maire and host Ariadne Sawyer, super tech Victor Schwartzman and special volunteer Sharon Rowe with her Big Bessie Story, read by Victor. Also a wonderful musician Jeff Densen with his new CD, Outside my Window He will have his own feature next. Subscribe to his newsletter and receive a demo at www.jeffdenson.com Courtesy of Braithwaite and Katz. Another talented award winning poet from the Lincoln Club, Jane Rowland with her lyrical poem: A Simple Courtship. We will read her second poem next week, Prayer to My Unborn Child.
Warren Stevenson was born in Hamilton Ontario in 1933. His mother divorced his musician father when Warren was young and enrolled him a year early in Hillfield School in his home town. He skipped another year at school, and a scholarship allowed him to do grade thirteen at Toronto’s Upper Canada College. Warren studied at Bishop’s University in Quebec where he met his wife Mary, continued at McGill for an MA (where he was a contemporary of Leonard Cohen; the two are published together in the 1954 edition of “Forge,” the student writing Journal. Leonard has two poems in there and Warren has a short story, set in Quebec’s Gaspe region, where he’d previously spent a summer teaching English to miners.) Warren earned his PhD by age 24 at Northwestern University, in Illinois. His thesis was on “Shakespeare’s Hand in The Spanish Tragedy by Thomas Kidd.” Scholarship and fatherhood were the constants of his life for the next many decades, as he and Mary, who was a school teacher and homemaker, had five children. After starting teaching in Manitoba, Warren spent the rest of his career teaching in the UBC English Department, publishing six books of literary criticism on the Romantic poets, as well as several volumes of his own poetry. He continued writing poetry well into retirement, as well as a lively pen pal relationship with Margaret Atwood. Retirement also meant a chance to read for his own pleasure, see many movies and plays, collect artwork, and also, of course, continue with his poetry-writing and his participation in the World Poetry Association’s events and comradeship. Warren is now a live wire in a wheelchair in a care home. And while he continues to be known there as “The Professor”, his memory and cognition have, like his body, suffered the slings and arrows of time and degeneration. But being a poet at heart, he can find joy and beauty in the small things, like the smell of a rose, or feeding and apple to the resident horse, aptly named “Beau” which had been Warren’s childhood nickname.
Note: Warren was ahead of his time with his interest in the myth of androgyny. One of his academic books he published is called Romanticism and the Androgynous Sublime Revisited A New Perspective of the English Romantic Poets in which he studies that theme in the works of Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron Shelly and Keats.
*Tribute by his two daughters.
A short poem:
Why did you
who had written so beautifully
on the unity of life
when part of it flew in
through the open window?
By Dr. Warren Stevenson (C)
Book: The Western Path, Collected Poems by Dr. Warren Stevenson , Publisher: Multicultural Books of BC.