Poetry around town
Poetry is alive and well in our community. Take note of the following upcoming events and attend if you like.
Michelle Elrick wraps up TransAtlantic Poetry Tour at The Reach in Abbotsford
Former resident, Michelle Elrick, returns to Abbotsford this June with her new poetry project, marking the end of a tour that has taken her to Iceland, Scotland and Austria since launching in July 2012.
Elrick, 29, left Abbotsford for Winnipeg in 2007 where she completed a poetry collection titled To Speak (Muses’ Co., 2010). The following year she received the John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer. She returns to Abbotsford on June 6 with her new project Notes from the Fort: a poetic of inhabited space, a series of performance installations that couple the play-act of fort-building with poetic documentation of place. Simply put, Elrick has been busy building forts in- and out-of-doors, in order to write a new type of poem that is both experience and experiment.
“It’s a way of approaching home,” says Elrick. “These playful structures carve out a small place that I can ‘live’ in for a few hours before packing up and moving on. It’s a caricature of the real-life event of moving from place to place, which is a resonant theme in my family.”
Coming from a long line of emigrants, homesteaders and frontiersfolk, Elrick has kept up the tradition, having lived in sixteen different postal zones since leaving home in 2001. With Notes from the Fort she is returning to a few of these places, as well as to her two ancestral homes of Rathven, Scotland and Salzburg, Austria, building forts along the way.
The project launched in July 2012 during a 5-week writing retreat Elrick made to Reykjavík, Iceland. During this time, she completed six handmade fort panels, some of which are the standard bed sheet style, others are more elaborate artistic renderings of her history, such as the “Tree Quilt,” which depicts the six generations of her Elrick lineage through a quilt of letterpress-printed squares of linen.
“Each panel is a visual representation of my personal home mythology. I aimed to reduce the essence of home to just a few basic themes, then chose the materials and images that would best depict each theme,” says Elrick.
The forts themselves are visually stunning and have been well documented by Elrick on her ongoing “Placelog,” a blog she has kept while on the road (www.notesfromthefort.com).
The reading and exhibition at The Reach in Abbotsford will be a memorable home-coming for this young artist, and a chance for her to share new poetic documents of sites in and around Abbotsford, as well as the work generated during her time in Scotland and Austria this May.
The reading and exhibition takes place on June 6 at 7:00pm at The Reach Gallery Museum and is open to the public.
Notes from the Fort: a poetic of inhabited space
poetry reading and fort exhibition by Michelle Elrick
June 6, 7:00-9:00pm
The Reach Gallery Museum – 32388 Veterans Way, Abbotsford
Michelle Elrick is available for interviews and can be reached via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or by phone (June 1-6 only) at: 604-852-3530
For more information visit: http://www.notesfromthefort.com