Conversation (from Treading Fast Rivers) is today’s featured poem as part of the League of Canadian Poets Poetry Pause. Migrations (from Wavelengths of Your Song) was featured on November 16. Both poems have been set to music by Emily Doolittle.
“With Poetry Pause, the League will circulate one poem a day, Monday-Friday, each month, all year. For your daily dose of poetics, you can subscribe to our Poetry Pause newsletter or find the poems on our website where they will be archived.”
Eleonore Schönmaier’s poem “Thanksgiving” is included in the recently released Another Dysfunctional Cancer Poem Anthology edited by Priscila Uppal and Meaghan Strimas and published by Mansfield Press. The anthology is included in Chatelaine Magazine’s best books of 2018 list. The book also includes work by Teva Harrison, Molly Peacock, A.F. Moritz, Pamela Mordecai, Christian Bök, Catherine Graham, Canisia Lubrin, Bardia Sinaee, Ron Charach, Adam Sol, Emily Schultz, Jónína Kirton, and Zoe Whittall, and many others.
“Their work offers us new ways of seeing, understanding, and representing this ordinary and extraordinary experience. Current statistics predict 1 in 2 people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. We need more art to understand the complexity and dimensions of what this means. This is an anthology for anyone who knows someone. This is an anthology for everyone.”
“Eleonore Schönmaier’s [third] poetry collection, Dust Blown Side of the Journey, is the work of a poet who has mastered her craft…featuring a beautifully elaborate intertwining of images…connections continue from poem to poem…akin to recurring melodies or riffs across distinct movements of a composition…poems both captivating and moving.” –Emma Skagan (read the full article in The Malahat Review)
Photo by Eleonore Schönmaier
On September 5, 6, & 7 the St Andrews New Music Ensemble performed three concerts featuring Emily Doolittle’s Conversation (based on a poem by Eleonore Schönmaier from Treading Fast Rivers).
“Conversation is a 12-minute work for soprano and chamber ensemble, based on the sounds of grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) in haul-out. Schönmaier’s poem explores what Doolittle describes as a ‘slightly uncanny sympathy between humans and grey seals’.”
Heartwood has now been published. The anthology includes my poem “Knot” and is over 300 pages which includes beautiful original photographs of trees. You can order your own copy online.
“Heartwood is a Canadian anthology of poems that celebrates trees. Published by the League of Canadian Poets, this anthology features poets from every province and territory celebrating the immeasurable value trees have for the environment and for the soul. Poets wrote about a tree they loved as a child, a park they sat in, or a forest they go to for invigoration and inspiration. The planet needs trees to survive. Poets from across Canada have written poems to ensure that the message is heard. Compiled and edited by Lesley Strutt. Foreword by Diana Beresford-Kroger. Original photographs by Chuck Willemsen.”
“Time in music is one way to organise chaos, and musical polyphony uses multilayering as a form of time travel. This is similar to the layering found in life-retrieved memory. Time for me isn’t linear but the coexistence of multiple layers and I write poetry because I want this polyphony.” Paul Hamann quotes Eleonore Schönmaier in his feature about her writing in the newly released issue of The New Quarterly .
Editor Pamela Mulloy in her introductory essay for the issue writes: In “Live-Retrieved Memory: The Poetry of Eleonore Schönmaier” Paul Hamann examines his former student’s work and delves into her theory on a “live-retrieved” memory, a conjoining that might be found with merging the past from our letters and journals together with the live memories we carry with us through the years.
Photograph by Eleonore Schönmaier
The landscape of my childhood is now a UNESCO Mixed World Heritage Site. The nearly 30,000 square kilometers in the heart of Canada’s boreal forest is designated as having “outstanding universal value to all of humanity.”
“There are few great forests left in the world. And even fewer where indigenous people have been taking care of the land for thousands of years. But such a rare place exists…In Ojibwe we call it Pimachiowin Aki (Pim–MATCH–cho–win Ahh–KEY) or “the land that gives life.” Ojibwe (Anishinaabe) Elders teach us that the land provides fresh water, healthy food and clean air for many people near and far.”
“To defend poetry means to defend a fundamental gift of human nature, that is, our capacity to experience the world’s wonder, to uncover divinity in the cosmos and in another human being, in a lizard, in chestnut leaves, to experience astonishment and to stop still in that astonishment for an extended moment or two. The human race won’t perish if this capacity withers—but it will be weaker, worse off, different from what it was throughout those millennia when every civilization placed poetry, in whatever form, at the heart of all human endeavor.”
Photograph by Eleonore Schönmaier
Postcard Image Designed by Megan Fildes
“Poem in Your Pocket Day is an annual initiative organized by the Academy of American Poets to celebrate National Poetry Month. The League of Canadian Poets is very excited to be have joined this initiative…adding some of our favourite Canadian poems and poets to the mix!”
Eleonore Schönmaier’s “Migrations” is part of this years Poem in Your Pocket brochure plus the League of Canadian Poets has created a postcard version.
Ways to Celebrate
It’s easy to carry a poem, share a poem, or start your own Poem in Your Pocket Day event. Visit the Academy’s website for a full history of the program and other materials. Here are some ideas of how you might get involved:
- Start a “poems for pockets” giveaway in your school or workplace
- Urge local businesses to offer discounts for those carrying poems
- Post pocket-sized verses in public places
- Memorize a poem
- Start a street team to pass out poems in your community
- Distribute bookmarks with your favorite lines of poetry
- Add a poem to your email footer
- Post lines from your favorite poem on your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Tumblr
- Send a poem to a friend
April is National Poetry month in Canada and the USA and the Poem in Your Pocket Day brochure is already available online and includes poems by W.S. Merwin, Louise Glück, Joy Harjo, Juan Felipe Herrera, Kim Fahner, Greg Santos, Eleonore Schönmaier, Emily Dickinson, Edna St. Vincent Millay, William Shakespeare and Walt Whitman among many others. I also love the fact that the brochure includes instructions for how to create a folded swan.
“Every April, on Poem in Your Pocket Day, people celebrate by selecting a poem, carrying it with them, and sharing it with others throughout the day at schools, bookstores, libraries, parks, workplaces, and on social media using the hashtag #pocketpoem.”
“Poem in Your Pocket Day was initiated in April 2002 by the Office of the Mayor in New York City, in partnership with the city’s Departments of Cultural Affairs and Education. In 2008, the Academy of American Poets took the initiative to all fifty United States, encouraging individuals around the country to participate. In 2016, the League of Canadian Poets extended Poem in Your Pocket Day to Canada.”