People’s Poetry Festival
For the first time in its 13-year history, the People’s Poetry Festival will be celebrated in the Guelph area. The main venue will be at the Boathouse on Gordon Street (beside the river) on November 6, 8 p.m., and will feature poetry readings by Gregory Klages, Sherry Thompson, Sheila O’Hearn, Joshua Willoughby, Scott Wicken and Judy Fong Bates, as well as musical performances by classical guitarist Murray Roe and singer/songwriter Deanna Knight. Other area venues include Chapters Bookstore in Guelph on November 9, and the Take a Break Cafe in Fergus on November 12. Among those appearing at the latter location are poets Walt Peterson, Joan McGuire, Jeff Seffinga, Elizabeth MacMillan, and D.C. Reid.

The Acorn-Livesay People’s Poetry Festival honours the lives and traditions of two icons of Canadian poetry, Milton Acorn and Dorothy Livesay. Known as the “People’s Poets,” Acorn and Livesay launched a style of writing that was quite separate from the academic traditions that had dominated Canadian poetry. Their “people’s poetry” spoke to and was written for ordinary, working-class people in the language of their daily lives.

Still overseen by its originator, Hamilton-based poet and publisher James Deahl, this year’s Acorn-Livesay Festival will be marked by 21 events featuring 80 to 90 poets in locations throughout southern Ontario, including Toronto, Brantford, Hamilton, St. Catharines, Sarnia, Guelph, Fergus, Cambridge and Waterloo. Admission to Festival events
is free.

For more information about the Acorn-Livesay People’s Poetry Festival in the Guelph area, contact Elizabeth MacMillan at (519) 323-3428.