making sh!t for your girlfriend since 2007


soon come

Craft Mart ~ Nov 8 (6pm - 11pm) & Nov 9 (11am - 7pm) ~ Hamilton Artists Inc. ~ 155 James Street North, Hamilton
Halifax Crafters Society Winter Market ~ Nov 30 & Dec 1 ~ Olympic Community Centre ~2304 Hunter Street, Halifax
City of Craft ~ Dec 14 & 15 ~ The Theatre Centre ~ 1087 & 1095 Queen Street West, Toronto

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Read&Write: Paul Vermeersch

And now the sharpened spear is ever sharper in the mind, and swifter and more beautiful.
Now, how's that for an ending?! This is the final pencil of the Pencil Project, courtesy of poet Paul Vermeersch. Paul was my first - the first person I ever worked with at my first indie bookstore, and the first published poet I had ever met. He's published several collections, including Burn, The Fat Kid, Between the Walls, and most recently, The Reinvention of the Human Hand (and the award for best book titles ever goes to...). These days Paul teaches at Sheridan College, and is also the poetry editor for Insomniac Press. Paul is one smart motherf*cker, and I have to admit I was pretty intimidated by him at first. One time I asked him what his plans were for the weekend, and he said he was very excited to see the new Spiderman movie. I didn't take him for an action-movie kinda guy and I must have looked confused, because he looked at me and shrugged and said "I can't be an artsy-fartsy poet guy all the time." And I thought that was pretty great. Paul's pencil poem is the lengthiest of all the pencil poems (and about 13 characters over the limit), but I came across it as I was reading his latest collection and knew that it had to close the show. Lucky for me, he gave me permission to use it. It was also a bit of a challenge to engrave - it was a tense moment indeed as I watched these pencils all a'quiver underneath so many passes of the laser. But they worked! And I love that when you use this pencil (if you can bring yourself to actually use it, I know I can't), the shorter it gets, it becomes more beautiful. And there you have it folks - twelve pencil poems in twelve days. They will all be on display and for sale at the Queen West Art Crawl this weekend in Toronto. And for all you out-of-towners, I'll be posting details sometime next week about how you can get your hands on 'em.

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