Category Archives: Featured Poets

Poetry

World Poetry Celebrates Charles Officer Once Again!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ariadne’s Notes:  The World Poetry Café Radio Show , 100.5 FM, CFRO was honoured to feature once again the talented director and filmmaker Charles Officer (http://worldpoetry.ca/?p=12208) Charles. with his new, must see documentary, Invisible Essence:  The Little Prince now available across Canada. The film is now at the Carlton cinema in Toronto all week. 

It was so exciting to have him call in at 1:30 pm PST from Toronto! 

Of all his films, my favorite was Unarmed Verses, the story which explores youth and race-related issues in the city of Toronto in the aftermath of the shooting of Trayvon Martin in the United States through the experiences of Francine, a 12-year-old girl and poetess, living with her father and grandmother in a northeast Toronto neighbourhood facing demolition and reconstruction. Charles still keeps in touch with this courageous young woman, now 16 who is doing well and has a poetry blog .

It was exciting to hear about his recent documentary featuring the ” modern-day Little Prince – a cheerful, seven-year-old blind Pakistani-Canadian boy who encounters The Little Prince, via braille and audio-book, for the very first time, and grapples with the meanings of the story he has just read. “

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THIS SHOW! 

 Invisible Essence: Little Prince, a Must See Film available all across Canada!

Existentialism is a big word. But for 76 years, for a readership barely old enough to read, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince has conveyed the importance of asking who we are, what connects us to others, and how we should live.
It is a puzzling story, devoid of a conventional happy ending. And yet, as we see in Charles Officer’s acclaimed documentary Invisible Essence: The Little Prince, this story of a stranded aviator who encounters an elegant alien child in the Sahara, has become the most read book after the Bible – selling an average of two million copies a year in 300 languages.
Invisible Essence: The Little Prince explores the global legacy of The Little Prince 75 years after its publication. Weaving the author Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s extraordinary biography with fascinating discussions from key sections of the book, exploring ways life and art can reflect in curious ways. And in telling the author’s own story of a child who suffered the loss of a father and beloved brother, and who found “himself” as an aviator for the French air-mail company Aeropostale, flying alone over no man’s lands.

Working imaginatively with the famous line “what is essential is invisible to the eye”, the film introduces a modern-day Little Prince – a cheerful, seven-year-old blind Pakistani-Canadian boy who encounters The Little Prince, via braille and audio-book, for the very first time, and grapples with the meanings of the story he has just read.

Invisible Essence: The Little Prince tackles its subject from different angles, with footage from various film versions (live-action and stop-action animated), academic insights from scholars and archivists who’ve devoted their lives to Saint-Exupéry and his message, and – most poignantly – as it applies today, such as Mark Osborne (director of the animated film “The Little Prince”), Adam Gopnik (Staff Writer at The New Yorker), Rupi Kaur (Poet, New York Times Bestselling Author), Stacy Schiff (Pulitzer-Prize-winning biographer of St-Exupéry), and Olivier and François d’Agay (the great nephew and nephew of Antoine de Saint- Exupéry). Although a fable, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s transcendent story suggests an ethical philosophy about life in its own way, a code of respect for humanity.

“The journey of making this film was really to explore what it is about this book that resonates with so many people, that has transcended gender and culture and religion and language,” says director Charles Officer (Unarmed Verses, Nurse. Fighter. Boy).  “I believe in these times it wouldn’t hurt for us to revisit this book. It is about our connections and our relationships that matter the most.”

About Blue Ice Docs
Founded in 2014 in partnership between Robin Smith, president of KinoSmith, and Blue Ice Group co-owners, Steven Silver and Neil Tabatznik, Blue Ice Docs uses the expertise and skills of both organizations to acquire, fund and develop a wide variety of non-fiction projects from around the world. Upcoming releases include GURRUMUL, THE SILENCE OF OTHERS, OVER THE LIMIT, ALL THE WILD HORSES, THE OSLO DIARIES and THE HEAT: A KITCHEN (R)EVOLUTION.

Source: Ingrid Hamilton GAT,

Filmography :

Charles Officer: As an actor, he has appeared in stage, film and television productions, recently starring in the Theatre Calgary/Soulpepper Theatre Company co-production of A Raisin in the Sun.[
Officer’s directorial debut, When Morning Comes, premiered at the 2000 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). His other work includes the short films Short Hymn, Silent War (2002), Pop Song and Urda/Bone (2003), a music video for K’naan’s “Strugglin'” (2005) and television pilot Hotel Babylon (2005).
He is a frequent collaborator of Canadian filmmaker and actress Ingrid Veninger, having worked on numerous projects with her, including the short film Urda/Bone, which screened at the New York Film Festival in 2003. The short film was later picked up for distribution by Mongrel Media. Veninger also produced his feature film Nurse.Fighter.Boy.
The 57th Berlin International Film Festival selected his feature screenplay Nurse. Fighter. Boy for its Sparkling Tales writer’s lab in 2007. Inspired by Officer’s sister’s battle with sickle cell anemia, the film was produced while Officer was a student at the Canadian Film Centre. The film was shot over 23 days with a hand-held camera shot on location in Toronto, in areas where Officer grew up, including the back alleyways of Eastern Avenue; Woodbine and Danforth Avenue; and a boxing club in Cabbagetown where Officer had learned to fight at age 13.
Nurse . Fighter. Boy premiered at TIFF 2008 and won the Audience Award at the International Film festival Mannheim-Heidelberg and the audience award for Best in World Cinema and a jury prize for Best Cinematography at the Sarasota Film Festival. It was also released theatrically in Canada on February 2009.
In April 2009, production began on Officer’s feature documentary about Harry Jerome. The film was completed in 2010.
In 2009 Officer directed two short films for the cross-platform project City Sonic. Officer, along with six other directors, shot 20 short films about Toronto musicians and the places where their musical lives were transformed. Officer directed films starring D-Sisive and Divine Brown.
Premiering at the Vancouver International Film Festival on October 8, 2010, Mighty Jerome explores the rise, fall and redemption of Harry Jerome, Canada’s most record-setting track and field star. Archival footage, interviews and recreations are used to tell the story of what Jerome’s university coach, Bill Bowerman, called “The greatest comeback in track and field history.” Mighty Jerome is produced by the NFB’s Selwyn Jacob,
In June 2015, Officer completed principal photography in Toronto on a National Film Board of Canada documentary entitled Unarmed Verses, produced by Lea Marin, which explores youth and race-related issues in the city of Toronto in the aftermath of the shooting of Trayvon Martin in the United States through the experiences of Francine, a 12-year-old girl living with her father and grandmother in a northeast Toronto neighbourhood facing demolition and reconstruction. The film was named Best Canadian Feature at the 2017 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival.[16] In October 2017, it was named Best Canadian Documentary at the Vancouver International Film Festival.

Source : Wikipedia 

 

World Poetry Celebrates Michelle Merlindt!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ariadne’s Notes;  On March 7,  at 1:10 PM PST the World Poetry Café Radio Show had the honour to welcome the poetic historian Michelle Merlindt reciting her beautiful poem The Library of Alexandria on her CD  the Pearl of Dubai . She takes treasures from the past and brings them to life in her work. She appeared on the show a year ago and is back by popular acclaim.

We celebrated International Woman’s Day with poems from Greece and India  and  welcomed the wonderful filmmaker and Director Charles Officer with his latest film opening across Canada, The Little Prince.

 

LISTEN TO THIS GREAT SHOW RIGHT HERE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michelle Merlindt was born in a remote region of Australia and spent her childhood on a farm in the bush. Since then she has lived in eight countries. Due to her profession as a racehorse veterinarian, she spent thirteen years in Dubai where she first began to write and explore poetry. Now settled in the Gulf Islands of Canada she continues to pursue spoken word poetry in charming old-fashioned rhyme as a means of storytelling. Like a little piece of chocolate for the imagination, her poems are meant to delight the listener. Since she loves history and overlooked fragments of culture, each of her poems, set in a faraway land, is like a magical voyage to another time and place.
On her website michellemerlindt.com she writes a blog in which she discusses the inspiration behind her stories.

World Poetry Celebrates Waddada Leo Smith!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ariadne’s Notes: On March 7, The World Poetry Café, CFRO 100,5 FM  was honoured to have the talented composer and musician Wadada Leo Smith (https://wadadaleosmith.com) call in  at 1:30 pm PST for an special Black History Month with his beautiful music and his advice to the world. The oratorio to Rosa Parks was breath taking. It is so important to honour the heroines of the past because their courage helps us all to come together in appreciation.

This was our best Black History Month ever with talented and insightful guests!  In the interview with Wadada, he talked about his work and had the following advice for the world: “The planet needs to come together to accept each other’s humanity  without conditions. Follow your heart.”

Also featured was  a living heroine, Addena Sumter-Freitag,  author and poet at 1:30 pm PST who had written a poem for Rosa Parks and thanks to our radio tech, we were able to hear Rosa Parks speak from archives.

LISTEN TO THIS VERY SPECIAL SHOW HERE!

Breaking news: Courtesy of Brathwaite and Katz. The endlessly innovative composer and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith presents the Third Annual CREATE Festival in New Haven, CT, a two-day gathering to delve deeply into his multi-faceted and unclassifiable music featuring brilliant works for a diverse roster of musicians and ensembles. Taking place Saturday, April 6 and Sunday, April 7, 2019 at Firehouse 12, 45 Crown Street, New Haven, CT, the festival will include performances by four of Wadada’s own wide-ranging groups as well as unique collaborations and solo performances, alongside an exhibit of Smith’s Ankhrasmation Symbolic Language Art-Scores. Go to http://firehouse12.com/ for more information.

 

 

 

 

 

Wadada Leo Smith’s latest album Rosa Parks: Pure Love. An Oratorio of Seven Songs is out this FRIDAY, February 15, 2019 via TUM Records. The recording features another extended composition by Smith inspired by the civil rights movement in the United States. This new major work is composed for the iconic civil rights hero Rosa Parks (1913-2005) and performed by three vocalists, a double-quartet and a drummer with electronics.

The album was released in February 2019 to celebrate Rosa Parks’ birthday on February 4.

“With its haunting string arrangement and slowly accumulating harmonic energy, the movement ‘Mercy, Music for Double Quartet’ evokes the piercing tension of the moment Parks refused to give up her seat, as well as the triumphant sense of mercy and equality that was restored when, after 381 days of boycotts, the federal district court ruled that racially segregated buses were unconstitutional.” – Brian Zimmerman, 

“Rosa Parks: Pure Love…is in many ways a culmination of Smith’s multi-faceted, extensive body of work approaching the intersection of human rights, the potency of individual action in the arc of history, and spiritual expression. It also serves as a personal and political statement, acting as a reminder that the struggle for human rights and justice depends on the bravery and moral strength of individuals, but also requires grounding in history, intellectual astuteness, and hard-nosed pragmatism.” – Bobby Davis, Black Grooves

“Rosa Parks: Pure Love is an album to listen to all the way through, not to be excerpted, chopped up, or played piece by piece. There is a flow from beginning to end, a storyline writ by music and words that comes to an end all too soon….this album opens (for some, reopens) doors that one must enter to understand how we got to now, how the politics of 2019 is built upon the responses and reactions to the events of the 1950s (and before) and the misguided beliefs of certain members of society that have been ingrained since before this country became United.” – Richard Kamins, StepTempest.

Wadada Leo Smith
Rosa Parks: Pure Love. An Oratorio of Seven Songs

Featuring vocalists Karen Parks, Min Xiao-Fen Carmina Escobar, with RedKoral Quartet, BlueTrumpet Quartet, drummer Pheeroan akLaff and Hardedge (electronics)

To be released February 15, 2019 via TUM Records

Wadada Leo Smith’s latest album Rosa Parks: Pure Love. An Oratorio of Seven Songs features another extended composition by Smith inspired by the civil rights movement in the United States. This new major work is composed for the iconic civil rights hero Rosa Parks (1913-2005) and performed by three vocalists, a double-quartet and a drummer with electronics. The album is released in February 2019 to celebrate Rosa Parks’ birthday on February 4.

“The oratorio is composed for the iconic Rosa Parks, a person of exceptional courage and wisdom, who made the right move of resistance at the right time,” says Smith. “Her action generated a movement worldwide for liberty and justice for human beings.”

“Rosa Parks: Pure Love employs the song form as composition to convey a philosophical and spiritual narrative about my vision of Rosa Parks,” he continues. “The oratorio is concerned with ideas and my meditation on the Civil Rights movement, and through lighting, photographs and video images, reconnecting history in the present.”

Embedded in the oratorio are brief excerpts from early recordings by Smith, Anthony Braxton, Leroy Jenkins and Steve McCall, the four musicians who made up the legendary ensemble known as the Creative Construction Company some fifty years ago. Braxton, Jenkins and McCall are among the dedicates of this recording. “Our shared journey as creative artists was beneficial to each of us, and had a powerful impact on our friendship and artistic thinking. That ensemble impacted the world with its profound musical application and artistic integrity,” says Smith.

The first performance of Rosa Parks: Pure Love (in an earlier version) took place at the New School in New York City as part of the Festival of New Trumpet Music in September 2016. The recorded version of over 70 minutes in duration received its premiere at the REDCAT Theater in Los Angeles during the Angel City Jazz Festival in October 2018.

© Jimmy Katz

Bio:

Wadada Leo Smith (b. 1941), who was part of the first generation of musicians to come out of Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), has established himself as one of the leading composers and performers of creative contemporary music. In the late 1960s in Chicago, Smith, saxophonist Anthony Braxton and violinist Leroy Jenkins formed a trio (Braxton, Jenkins, Smith) that was expanded into a quartet when Steve McCall later joined them in Paris. Since the early 1970s, Smith has mostly led his own groups, which currently include the Golden Quartet and Quintet, the Great Lakes Quartet, Mbira and Najwa, among others. In 2012, Smith released his most extensive recording to date, Ten Freedom Summers, a four-CD collection which was one of three finalists for Pulitzer Prize in Music in 2013. In 2013, he released Occupy The World (TUM CD 037-2), a two-CD recording of six extended compositions performed by Smith with TUMO, a 22-member improvising orchestra. The Great Lakes Suites (TUM CD 041-2, a double-CD with Henry Threadgill, John Lindberg and Jack DeJohnette) was broadly hailed as one of the top albums of the year in 2014. In 2017, Smith received awards for Jazz Artist of the Year, Jazz Album of the Year (for America’s National Parks) and Trumpeter of the Year in DownBeat’s 65th Annual Critics Poll and was named Musician of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association. Most recently, Smith has release a solo trumpet recording dedicated to Thelonious Monk (Solo: Reflections and Meditations on Monk, TUM CD 053) and a recording by a group that includes four electric guitarists, electric bass, drums and percussion (Najwa, TUM CD 049).

Wadada Leo Smith.

Source for all material : Braitwaite and Katz.