Nanaimo poet laureate Tina Biello’s poetry reading series resumes this month with a pair of poets reading new and unpublished work.
Nanaimo’s Leanne McIntosh and Victoria’s Daniel Scott will both appear at the Nanaimo Harbourfront Library on Sept. 15. Scott said the event will be the first public reading from his new book, Random Excess, with the title referring to its contents.
“I’m pretty eclectic and I don’t very often write to a single theme,” Scott said.
“Lots of poetry books are sort of collected around themes, so I had some fun pulling together quite a wide range of pieces, a couple of prose pieces, and then poetry that covers all kinds of topics.”
He said the book includes work both recent and a few years old. He said he has a lot a work “laying around” and it takes time to compile the best material. He’s picking his favourites for the premiere.
“I’m a performer, so there’s always nerves. But nerves are good for performance if you handle them properly,” he said, adding that he puts a lot of thought into his selections.
A first reading is also an opportunity to see which pieces really resonate with a crowd.
“The goal is always to leave them thinking about something, right?” Scott said.
“I mean, there’s so much going on in the world right now and there’s lots to think about and poetry has a way of speaking to things that not much else can.”
McIntosh said she’ll be performing published and unpublished poems, some reflecting her time caring for someone with dementia and how she came away a changed person.
“Probably the biggest thing was learning to live in the moment,” she said.
“And the second-biggest thing was to always remember that this person that is at a particular stage of life is still that person.”
She said writing poetry helped her process that difficult experience. She also turned to writing to help cope after her husband died.
“In fact, I find it quite interesting that if I’m sort of in a particularly happy phase of my life, it’s harder to write poetry. It’s easier to write out of pain than it is out of joy,” she said.
WHAT’S ON … Leanne McIntosh and Daniel Scott perform at the Nanaimo Harbourfront Library on Saturday, Sept. 15 at 1 p.m.