G'morning, folks, from the Bibliomanse, where it's a nippy 10 degrees and there's malarky in the air. Okay, fine: Malarky in the air, and maybe (sigh) a touch of influenza. There're just 6 measly days till AK's launch at the People's Co-op in Vancouver! It's Sunday afternoon between 3 and 6. That's April 1st, for those of you too congested to count, and it's after noon, which means all Fool's Day hijinks will be over and done with. Ain't nobody putting saran wrap on the toilets of the People's Co-op while AK's in the house. No sir. Really. No pranks. We promise.
April 1st also means we'll be (oh bliss!) kicking off National Poetry Month. I thought I'd set the stage with a little vignette that ran Saturday in the Kingston Whig Standard, and which features our own David Helwig in its listing of local literati. Be warned: it's not an anecdote for the faint-of-heart. Or the pregnant. Or anyone who dislikes loud noises. Helwig, the article notes, was hired at Queen's by George Whalley, who was (apart from a poet) a secret intelligence agent; prior to Whalley Kingston's poetic eccentric-par-excellence was Wallace Havelock Robb. And Robb? Well ...
Robb dressed in robes and struck a ceremonial bell on his property on Abbey Dawn Road when a poet or a pregnant woman came to visit. A visiting Montreal poet died within minutes of striking the bell.
Al Purdy also stopped by but (it seems) was not so easily felled.
A lesson for the ages, folks. Be careful when the trumpets sound. And keep an eye out for David Helwig's translations of Chekhov, which (appropriately enough for spring) are called About Love, and on whose illustrations Seth is now hard at work. It'll be a beaut!