I've been told that the Roman Catholic Church has decided that purgatory does not exist. Catholics who had been looking forward to spending time there might want to go to law school so that they are eligible for the Law Society of Upper Canada's 5-week mandatory "Skills and Professional Responsibility Program".
Why am I telling you this when the title of this post would make you think this is about Michael Dennis?
It is because way back before I entered this energy-sapping program, I had a 1-week vacation and the high point of that vacation was an afternoon I spent at Michael Dennis' house.
He made me a sandwich. We talked. He read me a bunch of terrific new poems. We talked some more. I felt like I had won the big prize at a celebrity auction.
You may not know Michael well enough to get him to make you lunch and give you a private reading, but you can go to his public reading on Friday, May 26th, 8PM at Invisible Cinema. He will have fifty copies of his new book of poetry there. The poems will be wonderful. The books will sell out.
Michael's work will not be for you if you like flowery writing or clever phrases that don't make sense.
Michael's probably will be for you if you often don't like poetry, but sometimes do.
Here's the PR copy:
OTTAWA - May 26, 2006. An isolated coast village on Quebec’s north shore provides the setting for the latest collection of work by Ottawa poet Michael Dennis. In the harsh and rugged environment of Magpie, Quebec, a coastal village 200 km from the end of the road, Dennis intersperses his reflections on Canada’s French/English relations, and the war in Iraq with thoughts on loneliness, middle age and lovers who keep us grounded.
Written at a friend’s cottage in the summer of 2005, the poems are a surprising blend of self deprecating humour as Dennis reflects on an urban dweller’s efforts to enjoy the outdoors and the unexpected joy of whale watching out the front window.
Dennis is a journeyman poet who has published 15 books of poetry, practicing his craft in Ottawa for the past 25 years. This collection has an economy and sparse elegance, and delivers its punches with precision and grace.
Dennis reads from the new poetry collection at 8 pm on Friday, May 26 at Invisible Cinema (Bank and Lisgar).
For further information call (613) 741-5001.
[I am 100% positive that Michael didn't write that press release. It uses way more adjectives than he would use. Plus, Michael is a master poet, not a journeyman. Michael wouldn't say he's a "master" in a press release, because of modesty or something, but he also wouldn't use the wrong term.]
- Here's an old poem of Michael's that gives a good flavour of his writing: royal canadian regiment 1956
- Here's what I said after Michael's last book launch.
And a Michael Dennis Poem:
Another Poetry Reading was at another poetry reading where the audience was mostly poetic made up of poets, poet-want-to-be’s poet tasters, poet haters it was the same old shit everyone wanting to be famous then the poetry started it was a kind of non poetry not by intention but by talent there wasn’t any afterwards there was the usual back slapping to be followed by back stabbing there was drinking of course the social lubricant that wine provides being the only saving grace poor cheap red wine from a twist top bottle its slightly subtle flavour the only subtlety of the night