In my opinion, haiku is the purest of all poetic forms. It’s all about distillation. You observe the world around you, take it in, then whittle all that information into a poem that is seventeen syllables or less. It’s an amazing form to my eyes and sensibility. This Wednesday, my colleague Patrick Pilarski is launching his first chapbook, entitled Five Weeks (details below). It’s 48 pages of gorgeous haiku and a smattering of haibun (prose with haiku). I will be the evening’s host (quite an honour, I must say) and Patrick will be delivering a short reading as well as signing books. There’ll be finger food and plenty of poetic inspiration. In the author’s words:
Five weeks, five petals, five different views on life. A chapbook of haiku and haibun, Five Weeks takes the reader on a journey through the raw expanse of nature and the raw expanse of the human heart. A beautiful visual examination of what it means to be.
So peel yourself away from the WoW, the bong, American Idol, your email, or whatever other indolence-inspiring activity you have planned and join me in supporting a very passionate and talented Edmonton artist. Here’s the poop:
Five Weeks – Book Launch
Haiku and Haibun by Patrick Pilarski
Wednesday, July 25, 2007 :: 8:00pm
Kasbar Lounge (under Yianni’s Taverna)
10444 – 82 Avenue, Edmonton.
Finger food will be available
Hosted by Michael Gravel.
Five Weeks Chapbook Cover
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?