Random Acts of Poetry, a celebration of poetry and literacy, begins its fifth year during the week of October 1st to 5th, 2008. Random Acts of Poetry is a project of the Victoria READ Society, a non-profit literacy organization, established in 1976. Random Acts of Poetry is funded by The Canada Council for the Arts.
During the week, 25 acclaimed poets across Canada, from Victoria to Newfoundland, will commit Random Acts of Poetry in their cities and adjacent small towns. On buses and subways, in donut shops and cafes, police stations, grocery stores, shelters, curling rinks, on city streets and country lanes, poets will read poems to strangers and give them their books. Poets will also read their poems in ESL and Adult Literacy classes and, as well, will present poetry in middle school classes, and give the students a book of poetry written by middle school students, We Can Say This, published with support from of the TD Bank Financial Group.
Fredericton poet Joe Blades will read for his second year with Random Acts. Blades has published four books of poetry, hosts the weekly Ashes, Paper & Beans on CHSR 97.9 FM, is Vice President of the League of Canadian Poets, and is a member of the BlackTop MotorCycle Gang writers group.
Patrick Lane, one of Canada’s premier poets, says of Random Acts of Poetry, “There are no accidents. Nothing is random. A poem sits in a poet’s pocket and jumps out when you least expect it. It can nestle in a mechanic’s ear, a politician’s hand, a waitress’s bright eye, somewhere, anywhere. You look up from work and there’s a poem. It reads itself to you. It asks you to take a break. It says: Right here. Right now.”
“Poetry,” says Wendy Morton, founder of Random Acts of Poetry, “is the shortest distance between two hearts. I have read poems to hundreds of people, many of whom hadn’t heard a poem in thirty years, and watched their eyes fill up with tears. Some burst into laughter or laid a hand on my shoulder, hugged me, took my hand. Poetry can connect us with each other as humans as no other art form I know. Poetry is a gift that we can create from whatever life has in store for us.”
Across Canada poets will commit random acts in: Victoria, Nanaimo, Vancouver, Kelowna, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto, Pickering, Trenton, Ottawa, Port McNicoll, Windsor, Montreal, Laval, Fredericton, Edmundston, Charlottetown, Halifax, and St. John’s.
Joe Blades, T/F 506 454-5127, firstname.lastname@example.org, Fredericton, NB.
Wendy Morton, T 250-642-3542, email: email@example.com, Otter Point, BC.
Claire Rettie, Victoria READ Society, T 250-388-7225, firstname.lastname@example.org, Victoria, BC.