& occasionally about other things, too...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Michael Fraser


You can’t but like a poet who says women are like books without pages.

Poetry touches Michael Fraser with warm hands. He not only writes exquisite poetry, he also encourages other poets to read their works once a month at The Central at Mirvish Village.

I got to know of the Plasticine Poetry Series quite by accident. Michael and I happen to be co-mentees at Diaspora Dialogues’ mentoring program this year.

Of course, Michael is an award-winning poet. I’m unpublished.

I met him at Helen Walsh’s home in Spadina at the get together of the mentors and the mentees of this year’s program.

Michael, warm and effusive, came and greeted me. He said he wanted MG Vassanji to be his mentor. Vassanji was my mentor.

Michael said he organises poetry reading at The Central at Markham Street (Mirvish Village) every month, and would I be interested in attending?

Sure, I said. I’d certainly be interested. I write such bad poetry that listening to other poets may probably improve my poetry or rid me of the desire to write poetry.

I thought Michael was a media professional, perhaps a public relations guy. He turned out to be a schoolteacher.

My interest in poetry is recent. I’ve personally known two poets whose works have interested me. One was my father. The other shall remain unidentified.

I’m never going to able to write poetry that’ll match their poems. That, however, won’t prevent me from trying.

One gets shameless when one gets old.

For the last three months, every third Sunday evening, I’ve been going to The Central and have a glass of beer and listen to great poetry.

I can’t claim to understand everything that I hear or for that matter like everything that is read, but for sure, it’s all so much better than what I write under the mistaken belief that it’s poetry.

I’ve enjoyed the experience, met new writers and discovered a cosy, warm place where I can lose myself in the crowd; sit back and listen to some great stuff.

If you’re interested in knowing more about Plasticine Poetry Series, come to The Central. It’s at 603 Markham Street 1 Block W. Of Bathurst subway (www.thecentral.ca). The next reading is November 22 at 6:00 PM.

You may also contact Michael on e-mail: sambahead@yahoo.com.

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