June 24, 2011
Last night we arrived in Whitehorse for the Poetry Festival which kicks off this evening at 7:30 with a Poetry Bash at the Yukon Arts Centre. John will join his fellow poets Liz Bachinsky, bill bissett, Miranda Pearson, Clea Roberts, David Seymour, Karen Solie, and Rhea Tregebov for a weekend of readings, panel discussions, book signings, etc. Eleanor Wachtel will introduce many of the events as well as conducting on-stage conversations with the poets.
Whitehorse is beautiful. It’s warm here, the air soft and redolent of spruce and wild river. This morning John and I walked the 5 km. millennium trail before eating fabulous scones and croissants at Baked, a funky bakery-cafe which generously donated vouchers for the poets (and their grateful partners). A little while ago, we enjoyed beer courtesy of Yukon Brewery who contributed sampler packs to the swag bags waiting in the hotel room when we checked in last night. (There were also chocolates, courtesy of The Chocolate Claim, toiletries from Aroma Borealis, local fudge, maps, a blooming miniature rose, a pound of locally roasted Bean North coffee — a special blend to help support conservation efforts in aid of the Porcupine Caribou herd — and other nifty items.)
I’ll post again in a day or two. What an amazing place this is, with its midnight sun and friendly inhabitants.
And now back at the hotel after a FABULOUS event, all of the poets reading so beautifully and so gracefully that I was proud of all of them. The audience loved the event, I think, clapping and cheering and staying afterwards to talk and buy books. We gathered at the Tippler Pub for drinks and then walked back to a sky suffused with pink and orange — a sunset, however brief, at 12:30 am. Magical, to be north of 60 just after the solstice.