Saturday May 10 was the Grand Opening for Loft 112, a new creative and literary space in Calgary’s East Village. Loft 112 is a commercial space/loft apartment that will serve as locus for the arts and academic community, for writers of all ages, all aesthetics: “Loft 112 is a creative hive where ideas are given space to develop, a place where emerging writers, readers, artists and poets are supported, a place where unheard voices are given a platform and a place of collaboration.” Loft 112’s website reveals the mantra of the creative/literary space: “write.teach.create.collaborate.” It’s managed by the effervescent Lisa Murphy Lamb, guided by a community board of directors including the new Calgary Poet Laureate, derek beaulieu!
derek beaulieu recently was appointed as the 2014-16 Calgary Poet Laureate, and to celebrate this occasion his concrete poem “Prose of the Trans-Canada” was projected onto the Calgary Tower during the evenings of April 28 and 29, 2014. Responding to Blaise Cendrars’s monumental “Prose of the Trans-Siberian” (1913), derek beaulieu’s “Prose of the Trans-Canada” is a 16″ x 52″ visual poem that when all 150 copies are placed end-to-end the length is the same as the Calgary Tower itself.
The Grand Opening of Loft 112 was action-packed with readings and tours. The day began at 10 AM with offerings of fresh coffee, personal tours, and stimulating conversations. Many well-known writers read throughout the day: Barb Howard, Jani Krulc, Neil Scott, Dale Lee Kwong, Jenny Samparisi, Weyman Chan, Naomi Lewis, Peter Oliva, Emma Rouleau, Richard Harrison, Natalie Simpson, Paul Zits, Erín Moure, derek beaulieu, Kris Demeanor, Sarah Tilley, and Wakefield Brewster. After the readings, there was a reception at 7 PM in which people were invited to indulge in wine, great conversation, and the music of DJ Scootz. For full details and writer’s bios, click here.
BookThug author Erín Moure enthusiastically supports Loft 112, and took a detour on her way back to Edmonton from Banff to attend the Grand Opening. Moure read selections from Secession / Insecession. Secession / Insecession is a two-headed book, a homage to the acts of reading, writing and translating poetry. Erín Moure translated Chus Pato’s Secession, and in the reflection of the process of translation produced Insecession. In attempt to sum up the work of Secession, Pato explains: “Secession is a writing of the blade’s edge, the gash, and the void that any incision produces in a body previously intact and healthy, and it is the writing of the word that articulates, makes possible and sustains the tension of the before and the after, of contraries.” The creative process is an enigma, often requiring a series of reflections to appreciate its complexity. In one such reflection, Moure and Pato speak about their creative process. Take a moment to explore the intoxicating process of poetry in translation: eavesdrop on their conversation.
BookThug sends “Congratulations” to the opening of Loft 112. Let it be a mecca for writing and performance in Calgary’s East Village: an oasis for artists and a hamlet for creativity.
The views expressed in this BookThug blog entry is held by the author and does 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.