2016 Colleen Thibaudeau Outstanding Contribution Award

Saturday June 18, 2016 in Toronto — The League of Canadian Poets has chosen poet Bruce Rice as the 2016 winner of the Colleen Thibaudeau Outstanding Contribution Award for his efforts in establishing the Mayor’s Poetry City Challenge. Thanks to Bruce, mayors across Canada can now bring poetry into politics by inviting a poet to read at a council meeting during National Poetry Month. Congratulations Bruce! And thank you, Penn Kemp, London Ontario’s First Poet Laureate and long-time friend of Colleen Thibaudeau, for presenting the award to Bruce — true poeticians all!

June 18, 2016 -- Poet Bruce Rice is the 2016 winner of the Colleen Thibaudeau Outstanding Contribution Award.
June 18, 2016 — Poet Bruce Rice is the 2016 winner of the Colleen Thibaudeau Outstanding Contribution Award. (Photo courtesy The League of Canadian Poets.)

Past recipients of the Colleen Thibaudeau Award for Outstanding Contribution to Poetry are Glen Sorestead (2015), Allan Briesmaster (2014), Dennis Reid (2013), and Wendy Morton (2012).

Established in memory of late poet and honorary member Colleen Thibaudeau (1925-2012), the award was created by the League of Canadian Poets and Colleen Thibaudeau’s family to honour and recognize a substantial volunteer project or series of projects that significantly nurture and support poets and poetry across Canada.

For more about the League of Canadian Poets and this year’s Canadian Writers Summit, see the League’s write-up of the event, “Lorna Crozier is double-winner at 2016 LCP book awards”.

Saturday June 18, 2016 -- Poet Lorna Crozier (far right) -- winner of the Pat Lowther Memorial Award and the Raymond Souster Award for her collection "The Wrong Cat".
Saturday June 18, 2016 — Poet Lorna Crozier (far right) — winner of the Pat Lowther Memorial Award and the Raymond Souster Award for her collection “The Wrong Cat” published by McClelland & Stewart. (Photo courtesy The League of Canadian Poets.)

Brick Books’ Celebration of Canadian Poetry

Brick Books 40th Anniversary Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qclaYEWuN3A
Brick Books 40th Anniversary Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qclaYEWuN3A

Congratulations to Brick Books on 40 years of publishing! For a closer look at Brick Books past and present, see Celebrating 40 Years of Publishing Canadian Poetry (YouTube).

Brick Books‘ year-long project “Celebration of Canadian Poetry” continues with Colleen’s poem The Glass Cupboard.

From Brisk Books' video "Celebrating 40 Years of Publishing Canadian Poetry" -- this photo of Colleen Thibaudeau appears at the 3:45 mark.
From Brick Books’ video “Celebrating 40 Years of Publishing Canadian Poetry” — this photo of Colleen Thibaudeau appears at the 3:45 mark.

Poetry Stratford celebrates Four Women for National Poetry Month 2013

On April 21, 2013, Poetry Stratford featured the four poets from the Red Kite Press anthology Four Women: Gloria Alvernaz Mulcahy, Penn Kemp,  Marianne Micros, and Colleen Thibaudeau. Gloria, Penn, and Marianne read their own work, and poet Patricia Black read the late Colleen Thibaudeau’s poems. Here is one of Colleen’s “Inwhich” poems from Four Women:

Inwhich I Decide To Look Once More at the Story of Never Meeting Pete & Doris, But Solving the Puzzle of the Valuable Little Stamp My Mother Has Pressed Into My Hand

I am once more in the street and just at that time of day
which the poets of the future will make much of.
The violet hour of the pearly exhaust fumes
(can’t you hear them chanting?) like the inside
of a fresh-water clamshell, the sky (once long-ago
their grandfather showed them where they had been).
Soon the greenish fluorescent lights of the great city
will stratify, very regular (lichen bands), very exact,
the steep, straight-up mountainsides of the great downtown.
Luminous lichen bands.  In the darkness they will hear
the small incessant torrents of electricity falling.

Colleen Thibaudeau, 1999

 

April 21, 2013: Gloria Alvernaz Mulcahy, Patricia Black, Penn Kemp, and Marianne Micros read from Four Women.

 

 

Colleening: The Poetry and Letters of Colleen Thibaudeau, March 1-9, 2013

On March 1-9, 2013, Colleening, a play by Adam Corrigan Holowitz celebrating the life and poetry of Colleen Thibaudeau, was presented by the Alvego Root Theatre Company at the Arts Project Theatre in London, Ontario. Colleening features many of Colleen Thibaudeau’s poems, some set to music and sung, as well as excerpts from letters Colleen wrote to friends and family throughout her life.

Patsy Morgan, Chris McAuley, Paul Grambo, and Donna Creighton were the wonderful performers and interpreters of Colleen’s work. Stephen Holowitz and Oliver Whitehead composed the music, adding vibrant settings for Colleen’s words.

"Colleening" by Adam Corrigan Holowitz and music by Stephen Holowitz and Oliver Whitehead, March 1-9, 2013 at the Arts Project Theatre, Lomdon, Ontario.
“Colleening” by Adam Corrigan Holowitz; music by Stephen Holowitz and Oliver Whitehead, March 1-9, 2013 at the Arts Project Theatre, London, Ontario.

For more about Colleening, see JBNBlog’s review: “Mom had often said her lines were too long to be set to music. Not so, mom, as I am sure you are hearing whether it’s Oliver or Stephen who is working with your beautiful words.”

Penn Kemp in The Beat: “The triumph of this play is that it acknowledges our own local heroes/heroines, and carries on the tradition in such a grand collaboration. Here’s celebrating our talent, both past and present, in this production of Colleening!”

Kenneth Chisholm in Theatre in London: “Watch this play and you will see a magical show of music, verse and prose like you’ve never seen before in Downtown London.”

Here are the poems and letters featured in Act I and Act II of the play,
some spoken and some set to music*:

Act I
Miniature One
Childlight Town
My Grandmother’s Sugar Shell, Ontario Baroque
Amethysts
St. Thomas
Watermelon Summer
Children in the Storm
Listening Together
Miniature Two
The Obvious Skies
The Dieppe Gardens Poems
Sociable People Wondering What I Do
Going to Winnipeg
King’s Park, Manitoba
Letter to Margaret One
What Happened to the N.Y. Sunday Times
Letter to Margaret Two
Aristide Bruant au Honey Dew
Letter to Margaret Three
Name Dropping as Skipping Stones
Letter to Margaret Four

Act II
Miniature Three
About Noon
London Observations
Last Night I Dreamed
Lullaby for the Mother
Little Anne Running
All My Nephews Have Gone to the Tar Sands
Hitchhiking
Sunday Morning
Style
Malcolm Working
A Page of Rage
Running Down to Barachois
Miniature Five
Canada Trust Tower More bird stuff
The Tomato Pickers Observed
The Brown Family
The Cooper
Looking at The Artemesia Book
Miniature Four
White Bracelets
Letter One
Rainy Day in March
Letter Ten
Alive

The play’s collage of poems, letters, and reminiscences also included extracts from other writing about Colleen Thibaudeau or about her family: Stan Dragland’s “Prologue”, Herman Gooden’s “Colleen and Jamie”, Stewart Thibaudeau’s story “The War”, and other selections from “A Biographical Sketch” from earlier interviews conducted by Stan Dragland, Peggy Dragisic, Don McKay and Jean McKay.

*About the music:

Music for the “Miniature” series poems was composed by Stephen Holowitz and Oliver Whitehead.

♦  Stephen Holowitz composed music for “Childlight Town”, “Watermelon Summer”, “The Dieppe Gardens Poems”, “Sunday Morning”, “Malcolm Working”, “The Cooper”, and “Rainy Day in March”.

Oliver Whitehead composed music for “The Obvious Skies”, “King’s Park Manitoba”, “Aristide Bruant au Honey Dew”, “Lullaby for the Mother”, “Little Anne Running”, and “White Bracelets”.

Stephen Holowitz and Oliver Whitehead are members of the London jazz group The Antler River Project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hteyhpy3gcM

 

 

Colleen Thibaudeau’s “Balloon” for National Poetry Month 2012

To honour poet Colleen Thibaudeau (1925-2012), Colleen’s poem “Balloon” was displayed on a billboard near Stanley Street and Wortley Road in London, Ontario. The billboard was a joint project of Poetry London, London Public Library, and Brick Books, in celebration of National Poetry Month.

“Balloon” was first published in Colleen Thibaudeau’s book of concrete poems, Lozenges: Poems in the Shapes of Things, by the Alphabet Press in 1965.

April 14, 2012: “Balloon” by Colleen Thibaudeau, 1925-2012
April 14, 2012: “Balloon” by Colleen Thibaudeau, 1925-2012
April 14, 2012: Celebrating National Poetry Month. Jean McKay was on hand to play her fiddle.
April 14, 2012: Celebrating National Poetry Month. Jean McKay was on hand to play her fiddle.

 

April 4, 2012: Elizabeth Reaney celebrates her grandmother’s poem
April 4, 2012: Elizabeth Reaney celebrates her grandmother’s poem “Balloon”