Posted: Wednesday April 22, 2015
Phyllis Webb reads from Peacock Blue, April 15, 2015. Photo by Lorraine Gane
On Wednesday evening last week, April 15, Saltspring Island locals Phyllis Webb and Brian Brett read poetry together for the first time in more than ten years at the Salt Spring Island Public Library in British Columbia. Today, we share the photos!
Both poets read from their collected works, Webb from her recently published collection, Peacock Blue: The Collected Poems, choosing the poems “Spots of Blood” and “The Metaphysics of Spring.” Diana Hayes read the opening poems from Webb’s book, Wilson’s Bowl (which is collected in Peacock Blue), as well as the poem “The Birds.” Local poet Lorraine Gane read Webb’s poem “In This Place.”
Webb received a standing ovation from a packed house – more than 60 people attended this small event. Everyone, including Phyllis, enjoyed the event, and every copy of Peacock Blue available was sold out before all who wanted one had the chance to buy one!
Phyllis Webb, treasure of Canadian literature, reads from Peacock Blue. Photo by Lorraine Gane
Blogger J. Rowlandson expressed the joy and lyricism of the event in fine words (read them here), writing that
The strength of [Webb’s] voice lifts us out of our chairs and onto a beach. Webb … is intimately familiar with the eccentric and predictable comings and goings of this little community. They share the stage with her.
“Four swans in Fulford Harbour …” In a miracle of movement her words locate a creative, resilient space between wind and wing that resists being named as either. “Uprush of inspiration brush past the broken shell of my ear.” Indeed.
Phyllis Webb signs copies of Peacock Blue for attendees. Photo by Lorraine Gane
This reading was one of many events in a campaign called Read Local BC, a project to celebrate the extraordinary depth of BC publishing. Running from April 1–22, the campaign features publishers, authors, bookstores, and libraries from across the province.
Peacock Blue is available in hardcover for $45. The paperback edition will be available in Fall 2015.
Finally, a poem. Lorraine Gane has written one in honour of Webb. In Gane’s words, “As Phyllis said in Hanging Fire, ‘The proper response to a poem is another poem,’ so this is what came in response to the event last week.” We thank Gane for sharing the poem with us – and with you.
for Phyllis Webb
A tattoo of lights lifts our eyes
to the black door of night
then you say O the stars,
as we step slowly to the car.
Earlier, your poems
held rapt a roomful of
listeners with spirits chittering
at fog-flyers up on Mt. Maxwell,
the silent beauty of a bowl
not a loving cup you drink from,
the space between brushing wings
of four swans in Fulford Harbour—
this night yours under
the infinite crossings of stars
Recent news Articles
- Kim Senklip Harvey on the enriching work of translating the n̓səl̓xcin̓ parts of Kamloopa
- Laiwan: WANDER: Toward a Lightness of Being, in Vancouver
- Our Spiritual Lives: A Christmas-y tale from M.A.C. Farrant
- Michel Tremblay's Desrosiers Diaspora series
- Rite of Passage journeys to Talon
- I Saw Three Ships: A Best BC Book of 2019!
- Kamloopa Is Here!
- I Saw Three Ships #1 in Paperback Fiction at McNally Robinson
- Congratulations to Stephen Collis, the 2019 recipient of the Latner Writers’ Trust Poetry Prize
- Governor General's Literary Award Nominees now 30% Off!
- Eight Track Is in the Building!
- People Live Here Lives Here Now!
- Governor General's Literary Award Nominations!
- Spot Pots at a Bookstore Near You!
- No White Picket Fence Arrives In-House
- Just Like We Like It
- Caught Red-Handed with Our Favourite Crime
- I Saw Three Ships Sets Sail
- Flow's Softcover Edition Has Arrived!
- Rita Wong's Public Sentencing Statement
- Happy Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day!
- A poem from Wanda John-Kehewin's Seven Sacred Truths
- Celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day
- Christine Stewart in conversation with Erina Harris for CWILA
- TISH poets read from their Talon books in North Van
- Redpatch: in house and on the stage!
- Colleen Wagner's moving play, The Living, arrives in-house
- beholden shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize!
- Save the date: Talonbooks Spring Launch!
- "more horse statues": a poem from Nikki Reimer's new book, My Heart Is a Rose Manhattan
- Our Great Happiness: M.A.C. Farrant's new book has arrived!
- A Bouquet of Delights: My Heart Is a Rose Manhattan has arrived!
- It's a Big Deal! arrives to mammoth fanfare
- A PEЯFACT way to start your day: poetry from Nicole Raziya Fong!
- Christian Guay Poliquin’s Governor General Award–winning The Weight of Snow Is Here!
- Newly published! Essential early work by the award-winning Carmen Aguirre.
- All Synapses Firing!
- Our first Spring book – Cottagers and Indians – has arrived!
- Roy Miki interviewed by Shelagh Rogers on CBC's The Next Chapter
- "Happy New Year": A Story from M.A.C. Farrant's forthcoming book, The Great Happiness
- Flow flowing out to a bookstore near you!
- A new addition to our library: He Speaks Volumes
- Fall Launch a Resounding Success!
- Talonbooks Fall Poetry Launch is Tonight!
- Stephen Collis launches Almost Islands in Vancouver!
- beholden arrives on Talon's shores
- The Mystery Play in the Wild!
- Fall Drama Has Arrived: 1 Hour Photo and Thanks for Giving!
- The Heart Laid Bare gets a Bookmark on the CanLit Trail
- Cecily Nicholson's Wayside Sang Wins a GG!
- Statement on incident at Vancouver Writer's Festival
- Seven Sacred Truths has arrived!
- Mercedes Eng's Mercenary English has arrived in-house!
- Drew Hayden Taylor Unearths Sir John A's Legacy
- Deni Ellis Béchard's new novel has arrived!
- Finding Mr. Wong Launches in Vancouver Tomorrow!
- All signs point to Treaty 6 Deixis
- Talonbooks Fall Poetry Launch in Vancouver
- Reprints Rolling In!
- The first of our Fall list: Almost Islands and Around Her
- M.A.C. Farrant – three stories at Geist
- The Eyelash and the Monochrome – now IRL and in full colour!
- Talonbooks authors win Jessie Awards
- Pride Month Reading!
- Happy National Indigenous Peoples Day!
- Find Finding Mr. Wong on a shelf near you!
- New Plays in Town: Talker’s Town and The Girl Who Swam Forever
- David McFadden (1940–2018)
- King Arthur’s Night and Peter Panties has arrived!
- Prison Industrial Complex Explodes wins the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize!
- Check it out: Checking In!
- Byrne’s Duets grace us during Poetry Month
- Gracie has arrived!
- Same Diff is a finalist for the Griffin!
- Four Talon titles nominated for ReLit Awards!
- Give another cheer for Indigiqueer!
- “This play is dangerously cool.”
- Dead by lightning? We have the cure!
- Montreal Gothic in the house
- [Updated] Job opportunity: Talonbooks needs a Production Editor
- Kuei, My Friend has arrived!
- [Updated] Give a cheer for Indigiqueer!
- Kirton and Eng short-listed for BC Book Prizes!
- Poetry readings across Canada this week
- Poetry on the mountain this Thursday
- Talon plays on stage now in Sudbury, Halifax, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Belleville, New York state, Ottawa, Richmond, and Pennsylvania state!
- Oana Avasilichioaei performs in Vancouver on January 24
- Morse’s ideas of North
- Holiday greetings!
- Daphne Marlatt’s collected earlier poems have come ashore
- Join us for the launch of Daphne Marlatt’s Collected Earlier Poems
- Here’s to fifty more years of Talonbooks!
- Marcus Youssef wins the Siminovitch Prize!
- New poetry in the house!
- Marcus Youssef wins City of Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award!
- A GG nomination for In Search of New Babylon!
- Marcus Youssef nominated for Siminovitch Prize!
- The Days is a finalist for the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize!
- Talonbooks needs a copy editor/proofreader! Perhaps it’s you?
- Fall fiction is in the house! New novels by Wajdi Mouawad and Philippe Arseneault