Arts Seen – week of May 1 2014

derek beaulieu named Calgary’s new poet laureate

Calgary poet derek beaulieu (pictured) has some big shoes to fill after being chosen to serve as the city’s poet laureate for the next two years. His appointment announced on April 28 makes him the second person to hold the title in this city following inaugural poet laureate Kris Demeanor who participated in hundreds of events during his term. But beaulieu should be able to keep up as he’s used to being busy — for the past 17 years he’s worked in the poetry community as a writer publisher editor and teacher. His most recent book Please No More Poetry: The Poetry of derek beaulieu was published by Wilfrid Laurier Press in 2013 and he currently teaches at the Alberta College of Art and Design. The Calgary poet laureate position was established in July 2011 and Calgary Arts Development administers the program in conjunction with a volunteer selection committee.

Another busy artist in this city is Sheri-D Wilson a well-known spoken word poet educator producer and activist with eight volumes of poetry under her belt. Wilson who is also the founder and artistic director of the annual Calgary Spoken Word Festival is celebrating the launch of her new book Open Letter: Woman Against Violence Against Women published by Frontenac House on Wednesday May 7 at 7 p.m. at Shelf Life Books. The book is described as “a recitation and a prayer of reconciliation whether expressed in radical chant filled with the optimism of healing or in the Celtic lament of a cunning passage-play.”

If creative non-fiction is more your style we’ve got that covered too. The Creative Nonfiction Collective Society a national organization for authors of literary non-fiction is holding its 10th anniversary conference in Calgary this week and some of the public events include a keynote address by acclaimed novelist Ronald Wright; a reading by Denise Chong with Lorri Neilsen Glenn at Shelf Life Books; and a literary walk of Old Calgary with George Melnyk and special guest readers Myrna Kostash Fred Stenson Chris Turner and Aritha van Herk. The conference runs May 2 to 4 .

In keeping with the literary theme Sage Theatre ’s production Michel & Ti-Jean imagines a meeting between young novelist/playwright Michel Tremblay and aging beat poet Jack Kerouac which sounds like a good conversation to listen in on . The play runs until May 10 at Vertigo Studio Theatre and you can read our story online .

Other notable shows hitting the stage this week include: Sunny Side Up a story written and directed by Val Lieske about in-vitro fertilization — and what to do with the leftovers — presented by Fire Exit Theatre ; Full Circle Theatre ’s production of Romeo and Juliet which runs until May 10 at artBox ; The Bingo Ladies a fun musical about the serious business of bingo at Lunchbox Theatre running until May 17; Monstrosities presented by Urban Curvz Theatre which you can read about in this issue; and Class Acts — A Tribute to Hollywood Musicals Alberta Ballet ’s newest production which gave today’s dancers new respect for old-timers like Fred Astaire — you can read that story online .