Broken-Winged Blackbirds: A Delicately Scripted Interview with Sandra Ridley | Book*hug Press

Broken-Winged Blackbirds: A Delicately Scripted Interview with Sandra Ridley

“From literary to slam, formal to experimental, read, spoken, and performed, the Art Bar is open to all forms of poetry.” – Art Bar

The Art Bar Poetry Series is Canada’s longest-running weekly poetry reading series. Since 1991, the Art Bar Poetry series has been showcasing both burgeoning and well-established poets from Canada and abroad. Although the Art Bar Series has had many venues, it currently is held on the second floor of The Black Swan Tavern, 154 Danforth Ave. The Art Bar Poetry series is held weekly on Tuesday nights at 8 PM. In addition to having three poets read each evening, the Art Bar Series also hosts an open stage following the scheduled readers. Participation is welcomed in all forms, whether it be as a reader or appreciator of the art of poetry.

Come on out to the Art Bar Poetry Series for more great poetry. You can always check the upcoming shows. If you can make it out on Tuesday, June 3 at 8PM, you will be able to hear Erín Moure read. You might even be able to catch some of her poetry from her recently BookThug published twin-book of poetry, Secession / Insecession. Hope to see you there! And in the mean time… for BookThug reader’s who have enjoyed Sandra Ridley’s work, we hope you take a bite into this interview below.

photo 7Sandra Ridley, the poet and writer of The Counting House, recently read at the Art Bar Poetry Series on May 13th. Having come from Ottawa to read at this event, Ridley agreed to a different approach for an interview, since an in-person session would prove to be difficult. These sharp white squares set against a constellation of gold flecks are the stark confessions captured by her camera. Against this dark backdrop, these handwritten notes on delicate bar napkins seem as shy and whispered responses floating in outer space, but they are the carvings of a strong and powerful voice. Just as when Ridley read her work out loud–and the chatter of the audience went quiet, they leaned in closer, and drank in each word to the last–so are her honest responses here, akin to her presence and poetry: that which roars in your head, long after the world has gone silent.

Jenny Sampirisi describes the language of Ridley’s poetry in the following quote: “…in language that soothes and bites word by word, The Counting House is a book that lives fiercely in the complex in-between of love and punishment, pleasure and pain, coo and cry.”


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The views expressed in this BookThug blog entry are held by the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of BookThug.

Kristen Smith received her Bachelors of Arts in English at Mount Allison University (Sackville, New Brunswick). In 2006, she was awarded the Graham Atlantic Writing Prize for her collection of poetry, Voices. Additionally, Kristen was selected as one of six poets internationally to participate in the Writing With Style program at the Banff Centre, Banff, AB (2012). In both her creative and her academic writing, Kristen explores themes of absence, nostalgia, and belonging. She currently studies at Ryerson University where she is completing a Master of Arts in Literatures of Modernity. Kristen lives in Toronto with her husband.

Puneet Dutt is a MA candidate in the Literatures of Modernity program at Ryerson University and currently works as an intern for BookThug. She has completed a marathon, and when she is not working, running, or doing coursework, she is tasting the words of great poets on her tongue. The League of Canadian Poets published her poem, “The Lonesome Lunch,” as a New Poet Selection for the 2013 National Poetry Month and her poem “Salon” was published by Canadian Literature (Summer 2013). She resides in Toronto with her husband. (Follow her on Twitter: @Puneet_Dutt.)









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