Week of October 18, 2009
A wunderkammer of discoveries, compiled by Comment and illuminated for our readers' edification and entertainment. We do not necessarily endorse the external content below.
Comment needs artists!
. . . Comment associate editor Alissa Wilkinson writes a touching piece on hospitality, "A Call to Care," on the blog of Comment's favourite conference, Jubilee. And, of course, hospitality makes Comment remember one of its favourite books on the topic, The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer—an old but great work.
. . . And finally, Comment poetry editor Deborah Bowen alerted us to the "After Al Purdy Poetry Contest." Poetry competitions don't usually have an enviro-conscious or altruistic literary outcome in mind, which is why Comment got interested in this one. Al Purdy was a larger-than-life figure on the Canadian literary scene; he's been called a "learned hick" and a "comedic philosopher." There is an overt blend of humour and awkwardness in his work that protects and disguises a profound sensitivity and quizzical nostalgia below the surface. There are not many poets who would write of themselves that they have been "most foolish in [their] judgments"—in "Trees at the Arctic Circle" Purdy writes, "I have been stupid in a poem / I will not alter the poem / but let the stupidity remain permanent / as the trees are / in a poem / the dwarf-trees of Baffin Island." It's worth entering the competition just to discover Purdy's poetry in the process.