I write alot of poetry, but I don’t submit my work to publishers nearly as often as I should. I chalk it up to laziness, mostly. So, when I do take the time to prepare a submission, it feels pretty damn cool when that submission gets accepted. The fine people down at the U of A’s Blood Ink Literary Journal are publishing a few of my poems in their upcoming Summer 2006 issue. It’s a great little publication. They maintain a diverse and daring publishing stance that I appreciate greatly. Poetry, prose, essays, you name it. They throw some really cool, high-quality shit out there.
The best part of all this, for me anyways, is the launch party. Here is the official skinny:
Blood Ink – Summer 2006 Benefit Show and Open Mic
August 29, 2006
Hulbert’s Coffeehouse and Bar
7601 – 115 Street, Edmonton
7:30 – 10:30
Download a PDF [125kB] Event Poster
I’m reading at this event. A short set. Two or three poems. Fifteen minute set. Five or six poems. I can’t tell you how happy I am to just show up and read my stuff. I organize alot of poetry events in this town. I’m usually the guy doing the planning, organizing, and hosting AS WELL AS reading. But not this time. I can sit back and enjoy the night, listen to some fine poetry and crush out my poems when the time comes. I’ll be joined by my esteemed colleagues Thomas Trofimuk and Mandie Lopatka. Man, I’m going to enjoy this. And you should, too. Come on down and join us, why don’t you? Hear your humble StreetRag author do his thing? Wanna?
Blood Ink Summer 2006
StreetRag is an urban weblog and podcast about the city of Edmonton, which is located in the province of Alberta, Canada. It is authored by Edmonton-based writer, web advocate, and poet Michael Gravel and is updated frequently with written urban vignettes, amateurish photographs, deuteronomous audio material, barely coherent musings and rambling ecumenical treatises. StreetRag is a love letter to a lonely prairie burg struggling with its big city ambitions and small-town feel.
The city is Edmonton. It's a subject, not a passion. E-Town is almost universally derided by outsiders as an unlivable tundra wasteland populated by oil-hungry redneck conservatives who despise the arts. All of that is true. But it's not the whole story. There is beauty here. Dusty snowfalls. Brilliant summers. A stunning river valley. A diverse arts community that flourishes. It's a place that inspires a gray relationship - not all good, not all shitty. For that reason alone it is lovable, for what is life but a grayscale?