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For the past 27 years, The Word On The Street has been renowned for the quality and diversity of its event programming. See the lineup of incredible Canadian literary talent that appeared at our 28th festival on September 24, 2017
Whether insinuating or blunt in its message, poetry can be a wonderfully personal art. Join Michael Dennis and Shannon Bramer as they showcase their feelings about the things in life, big and small.
Bad Engine brings together newly revised versions of about 100 poems selected from Dennis’s published work, along with over twenty new poems. This volume marks a milestone in the career of a homegrown, no-bullshit, tells-it-like-he-sees-it populist bard. In these pages the reader will find a rollicking tale of drinking with racists, poignant prayers for quiet nights with lovers, raw narratives of childhood abuse, defiant anthems of a body broken by sports injuries, a mindful meditation about a stoned dragonfly, and the not-quite-resigned laughter of a man smashing away at a keyboard for four decades and becoming neither rich nor famous. These poems are Dennis’s life made into poetry: direct, curious, pissed-off and honest.
Michael Dennis is a poet from Ottawa, Ontario. He has published seven books of poetry and nearly twenty chapbooks, and has been widely published in Canadian literary magazines and journals. For the last three years Dennis has been the labour behind “Today’s book of poetry” a regular blog where Dennis talks about books of poetry he likes. Dennis has posted over 450 blogs/reviews of Canadian and American small press poetry. These days he can be found in Vanier, keeping his laneway clean.
Precious Energy by Shannon Bramer is a uniquely playful collection of vibrantly sad, peculiar, and often funny poems about domestic life, motherhood and the baffled child that remains within us all. Featuring a coterie of subjects, from fish sticks and LEGO pieces to mothers too tired to have sex and solitary swans in everyone’s basement, these poems dexterously navigate a landscape of domestic isolation, insecure attachments, and confused personal boundaries with honesty and unexpected humour.
Poet and playwright Shannon Bramer lives in Toronto. Previous collections of poetry include: suitcases and other poems (winner of the 2000 Hamilton & Region Best Book Award), scarf, and The Refrigerator Memory. She regularly conducts poetry workshops for students of all ages. An illustrated collection of poems for very young children in forthcoming from Groundwood Books in the spring of 2019. Precious Energy is her first full-length collection in over a decade.