Category Archives: Radio Show

World Poetry Celebrates Naomi Beth Wakan!

 

Ariadne’s Notes:  The World Poetry Café on March 14 at 1:10 PM PST on CFRO, 100.5 FM  had the honour to celebrate  Naomi Beth Wakan ‘s book launch  and poetry readings  on Tanka and Haiku. Since Naomi was not able to call in, Victor Schwartzman (our super tech) and Ariadne Sawyer, host and producer took turns in reading different segments. This was the first time that we had done this and we did our best.  I learned about both Haiku and Tanka and really liked the easy to learn format and the descriptions.  This show had a lot of positive responses from listeners. Poems and information  below.

LISTEN TO THE SHOW RIGHT NOW! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Naomi Beth Wakan is the inaugural Poet Laureate of Nanaimo (2013-2015) and the inaugural Honorary Ambassador for the Federation of BC Writers. She has published over 50 books, among which, her essays are in Late Bloomer-on writing later in life; Composition: notes on the written word; Bookends – a year between the covers; and A Roller-coaster ride – Thoughts on aging (all from Wolsak and Wynn), and On the Arts (Pacific-Rim Publishers), Bent Arm for a Pillow (Pacific-Rim Publishers). Here most recent books are Back and Forth (Pacific-Rim Publishers) and The Way of Tanka (Shanti Arts). Naomi is a member of The League of Canadian Poets, Haiku Canada and Tanka Canada. She lives on Gabriola Island with her husband, the sculptor, Elias Wakan.

www.naomiwakan.com

 

 

Naomi writes:

“I am delighted to announce that my trilogy is at last complete. It covers an introduction to haiku and tanka writing for beginners. The books are “The Way of Haiku,” “The Way of Tanka,” and “Poetry that Heals.” I’d like to tell you a little about each book.

The Way of Haiku is a guide for learning to write the most popular form of Japanese poetry: haiku. It is also a comprehensive examination of the form and, I hope, an eye-opening view into the way that reading and writing haiku can change the way one looks at life. Writing haiku helps you appreciate the wonder of ordinary things and ordinary days. In “The Way of Haiku” I discuss the history of haiku’s development, its important literary elements, and the differences between haiku written in Japanese and those written in English. I provide numerous examples of haiku, some written by Japanese haijin (haiku writers) and presented in translation, and some written by English-speaking writers. In this book I hope to inspire readers to write their own haiku while remaining open to the possibilities it provides for personal growth. The book is 110 pages long. It comes in paperback and also as an e-book.

The Way of Tanka is an approachable yet comprehensive examination of the Japanese form of poetry known as tanka. In it I discuss tanka’s roots in early Japanese courts where it was considered the poetry of lovers, as well as its adaptation to western culture and the characteristics that separate it from the more popular form of Japanese poetry, haiku. It is 144 pages long and comes in paperback as well as an e-book.

In Poetry That Heals, I take the reader on a journey through my long experience writing various forms of Japanese poetry, especially tanka and haiku and its related genres. I include poems from well-known historical and contemporary poets. Looking back in this book, I realize that my practice of poetry writing has moved me towards developing awareness, dispassionate interest, personal healing, as well as compassion. I have come to see that in creating poetry, I am creating myself. The book is 110 pages long and comes in paperback as well as an e-book.

In Canada you can get the books from your neighbourhood bookstore, who can order them via Ingram, or buy them directly and quicker from mail@pagesresort.com. They are $20 each, or $50 if you are getting the complete set.

For the USA and other countries the books can also be ordered through your neighbourhood bookstore, or directly from info@shantiarts.com 

Naomi Beth Wakan

The Uses of Tanka

In Heian times,
tanka were sweet confirmations
between courtier lovers
of deeds done and to be done.
And also of court rapists,
for dark chambers and
many-layers of kimono
hid identities, so seducers
were never quite sure that
they had entered the right woman.
Even in such cases of mistake,
the next morning the maiden
would receive a token tanka
speaking of her long hair perhaps,
and other matters, and it would be
attached to the prescribed branch
from say a flowering cherry.
She, in return, whether mad with anger,
sulking, or perhaps with a small smile,
would be obliged to also write a tanka,
in response, commenting on the situation,
and send it along with maybe
a late blooming plum blossom.
A few years later both women,
whether seduced, or once loved,
might be found writing more acerbic tanka
complaining of neglect, or at least
that the dwelling he had provided
was not up to par.
Tanka-writing would also be called for
when noblemen, at time of banishment,
(maybe for a political misstep, or
for the seduction of the Emperor’s favourite)
thought sadly of the Capitol
they would be leaving for say
the beaches of Suma (always a good place
for writing mournful tanka of exile).
These days, I write tanka
when my haiku get uppity
with the conceit that they have
nailed the moment to the page.
I slap them with two extra lines,
reminding them that all things pass,
particularly the “here and now”
and even if things don’t pass
as quickly as we would like,
it’s all illusory anyway.
Yes, tanka are useful for times
such as these.

Naomi Beth Wakan (C) All rights reserved by author.

World Poetry Welcomes Poet Laureate Pj Johnson!

 

 

 

 

 

Ariadne’s Notes: The World Poetry Café radio show, on April 25, 1-2 pm PST, CFRO 100.5 FM was honoured to feature the amazing Poet Laureate from the Yukon Pj  Johnson in a fascinating show of music, poetry and more!
She is a well-known poet, musician, storyteller and a wonderful animal advocate for abused sled dogs!

Poets, writers of the world! Please join her in supporting humane treatment for long distance sled dogs. Please support her at: https://www.yukonpoetlaureate.com/long-distance-sled-dog-racing/ and sign the petition.

LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE!

 

 

 

 

 

On Canada Day July 1st 1994, Pj  Johnson the daughter of a Yukon trapper was formally invested and given the title Poet Laureate of the Yukon during a ceremony in Whitehorse at which time she became the first officially-invested poet laureate in Canada.
Her new book “it’s howlin’ time!” is a veritable cornucopia of previously-unpublished creative works composed in a variety of styles and genres chronicling the life and times of a northern Canadian poet laureate.
Also known as The Yukon Raven Lady, MS. Johnson is a passionate animal advocate currently campaigning to protect northern sled dogs.
On Canada Day July 1st 2019 she will celebrate her 25th anniversary as Poet Laureate. She is the longest serving Poet Laureate in Canada.
https://www.yukonpoetlaureate.com/

Pj Johnson writes:
“I would like to speak about myself as a Yukoner and the upcoming anniversary as poet laureate and segue into the creation of the book – what it’s about and why it’s being published and also a mention about my NLD condition.
I would also like to talk a bit about myself as a Yukoner and about my and mention that I am an animal rights advocate. I would like to speak about the plight of the sled dogs as mentioned in my book and follow that with a recording of my poem “because i am a sled dog”. When the poem ends I wish to invite listeners to join me in supporting the sled dogs.

 There are two other poems I would like to read, then we can just finish with the recorded live performance of my song “Howlin’ Time”: After the song I like to answer to the question “What’s Howlin’ Time?” by reading a brief expert from the last page of my book.
In closing I wish to invite listeners to drop by my website at www.yukonpoetlaureate.com and to be sure to sign & share the petition to help the sled dogs. Also join me on Twitter  where my handle is @pjjohnsonYukon. I also administer a writer’s group on Facebook called “Poets & Scribes worldwide” and invite them to join me there as well.
The Book is available at: “it’s howlin’ time!” can be ordered online from Mac’s Fireweed in Whitehorse and also through Cole’s Bookstores across Canada. It’s also available on Amazon as an ebook & paperback.”

Sources: Pj johnson website and mail.

World Poetry Celebrated Musician Devin Gray!

 

 

 

 

 

Ariadne’s Notes: 

 

 Ariadne’s Notes: On January 10, at 1:30 PM PST  the World Poetry Café Radio Show CFRO 100.5 FM   welcomed  the talented drummer-Composer Devin Gray celebrating the  second album, Dirigo Rataplan II, with performances in Belgium, the UK and Switzerland. Featuring his all-star quartet Dirigo Rataplan with Ellery Eskelin, Michael Formanek and Dave Ballou. for more info: http://devingraymusic.com/ Also, a gentleman frim Switzerland wrote in to tell us that he attended their European concert and he really enjoyed it and was excited about Devin coming on the show! This was really exciting!

It was a fascinating show, delving into the intricacies of composing and the personal attention to detail and the need to put mind, body and soul into each composition. Also discussed was the difficulty of making a career out of it at this time when it is so hard to make a living creating and playing Jazz.   This show is a MUST Hear for composers , musicians and creators.

TO LISTEN TO THE SHOW, CLICK HERE!

 

 

 

 

There are times when music lovers can just feel a talent coming into his or her own, when that artist is someone to catch onstage or on record at every opportunity. Drummer-composer Gray has arrived at such a moment. The Brooklyn-based artist made his leader debut in 2012 with the Skirl Records release Dirigo Rataplan, which featured him fronting the eponymous band with Eskelin, Formanek and Ballou, each a master improviser renowned far and wide among fans of creative music. Cadence magazine declared that initial disc to be “fantastic,” while JazzTimes said that Gray’s debut represented “the work of a young artist who knows who he is.”

Now, after six years of intensive experience as a leader and sideman on both sides of the Atlantic, Gray has reconvened this all-star group for Dirigo Rataplan II, released on CD, vinyl, digitally and for streaming via Rataplan Records on Sept. 21, 2018. Time Out New York has praised Gray’s compositions for balancing “formal elasticity with a meticulous sense of pacing.” The new album brims with more earworm melody, richly implied harmony and a loose-limbed sense of rhythm as something physical and flowing – as blood, as breath. Fans of jazz from Ornette Coleman and Henry Threadgill to Dave Holland and Craig Taborn will dig this organic mix of composition and improvisation, structure and freedom, atmosphere and dynamism.

About the evolution of Dirigo Rataplan and his writing for the band, Gray says: “I’ve become more at ease with following my natural artistic impulses. The experiences I’ve had over the past six years have been so inspiring – in the intense, ultra-energized New York jazz scene, of course, but also in Europe, where players in improvised music are so open to different genres and have this holistic approach to art and creativity. With Dirigo Rataplan II, there is more free improvisation in the music, but I also think the melodic fluidity between the composition and the improvisation is more seamless, with one flowing into the other in a way that I really like. This music is personal for me, but I want Mike, Ellery and Dave to do what it is they do, to maximize the pieces in the way that I know they can.”

About working with Gray, Formanek says: “Devin has grown as a composer since that first quartet recording session in 2011, but most important, he has a much more evolved sense of who he is as a musician, and also of who we are in the band as improvisers. These instincts take time to develop, and it has been great to see that process unfold in both his playing and his composing. This music is free and open with a lot of room for improvisation, but the tunes also have an intrinsic rhythmic and melodic character to them, a color and energy. With the quartet having played together more now, the sessions for the new album felt even better.”

For Gray, what is most vital about Formanek “is not just that his tone and sense of time are so incredible. It’s also that he cares so much about doing whatever he can to ensure the quality of the music in front of him. He’s a composer’s improviser, in that way. I feel this total, unspoken trust with him.” About Eskelin, Gray says: “Ellery sets the bar so high for improvisation. The fluidity of his solos, the intense forward motion – that’s what New York musicians have more than anyone else.” Regarding Ballou, the drummer adds: “I’ve known Dave’s playing intimately since I was a kid. I don’t think he has ever sounded better, with that beautiful tone and wide palette of expression. He brings a strong interpretive sense to my music in that he anticipates what I’m looking for, yet via his own sensibility. Working with cats like this, you don’t have to worry about individualism – it’s in everything they do. They bring what are just notes on a page to real life.”

Reflecting further on Dirigo Rataplan II, Gray concludes: “I don’t set out to make jazz records, per se. I set out to make music, period – to capture the moment, the contemporary feel of the music, hoping that it can reflect in some small way how we live now and what we all have to deal with as human beings in the world.”

In addition to Dirigo Rataplan, Devin Gray leads the quartet Relative Resonance, featuring Chris Speed, Kris Davis and Chris Tordini. Reviewing that band’s eponymous Skirl Records album, All About Jazz said: “The vitality of Relative Resonance can’t be denied… the music here literally sparkles with wit and resourcefulness.” On record, Gray has also led his Cloudsounds trio (with Ingrid Laubrock and Corey Smythe) and his quartet Fashionable Pop Music (with Tordini, Jonathan Goldberger and Ryan Ferreira). He recently released a hard-grooving digital single fronting his quartet Meta Cache with Jeremy Viner, Elias Stemeseder and Kim Cass.

As a sideman, Gray has recorded recent albums as part of Nate Wooley’s Argonautica sextet, trumpeter Daniel Levine’s trio Knuckleball (with Marc Hannaford) and a trio led by pianist Santiago Leibson (with Drew Gress). Of late, the drummer has played with Dave Liebman and Tony Malaby, along with touring Europe at the head of a trio with Speed and Gress. Gray’s recent collaborators also include Gerald Cleaver, Uri Caine, Andrea Parkins, Satoko Fuji, Richard Bonnet, Daniel Guggenheim, Marc Ducret, Frank Gratkowski, Jacob Anderskov, Eve Risser and Susana Santos Silva.

All About Jazz gave the recording four stars and called it “a high-flying, breathtaking slice of up-to-the-minute jazz from four musicians at the top of their games.”

Source and thanks to Braitwaite and Katz.