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ART CLASSES. Take an art class with Anne Gallant. Learn many painting te....

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Confed Centre Library Programs

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Girl Guides Registration

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ACT Calls for Plays in a Day

ACT (a community theatre) will produce Plays in a Day on November 8 at T....

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Art In The Open Survey

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Arthritis Awareness Month

September is Arthritis Awareness Month, and The Arthritis Society has se....

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Register Your Culture Days Activity

Culture Days (Sept 26–28) is a national volunteer celebration of arts ....

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A Course in Miracles

Every Friday evening at 7 pm a group meets for an in depth study and discus....

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Fibre Art Workshops

Fibre Art Workshops takes place September 20 (1:30–4:30 pm) and 21 (1:....

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Animate This

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Albert & Crown Needs New Owner

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Island A Cappella

A series of 4 free singing lessons will be offered by Island A Cappella ....

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Climate Research Lab needs you

UPEI’s Climate Research Lab needs your help to boost one of its projec....

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Acadian Genealogy

Acadian genealogy and archives at Acadian Museum of P.E.I. available to ....

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Bibliothèque J-Henri-Blanchard

Bibliothèque J.-Henri-Blanchard offers activities in French. The comic ....

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Kindred Spirits Quilt Guild

The Kindred Spirits Quilt Guild will meet on Wednesdays, September 17, O....

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FREE Family Law Course

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Chopra Centre Beginners Meditation Class

Developed by Deepak Chopra, MD and David Simon, MD, Co-founders of the C....

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MacNaught History Centre and Archives

Located in the former home of the Honourable J. Watson MacNaught, a cabi....

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Fall Art Classes at Confed Centre

Confederation Centre Art Gallery is accepting registration for its fall ....

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Cinderella Performers Needed

This Christmas, Adam Brazier will give Cinderella an Island twist. The c....

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Summerside Chamber forum at Slemon Park

The Greater Summerside Chamber of Commerce will present its September 17....

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PEI Road Runners: from Couch to 5K

Representatives of the PEI Road Runners Club will be at the Confederation C....

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Submit to Farm Centre Exhibit

The Farm Centre and City of Charlottetown is inviting kids under 18 to s....

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Bennett Fall Birding Classic

Each autumn, Island Nature Trust and Nature PEI join forces in a team event....

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Alberton Museum Genealogy

The Eileen Oulton Genealogy Centre is open to researchers. And come view....

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Bluefield Christmas Craft Fair

Bluefield High School will holding its annual Christmas Craft Fair on No....

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Call for Directors/Stage Managers

ACT (a community theatre) will produce Plays in a Day on November 8 at T....

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Friends of the Library Fall Book Sale

The Friends of the Library are having their Fall Book Sale September 26�....

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Hook with the Shady Ladies

Closet Hookers come Hook with the Shady Ladies. Bring a brown bag lunch ....

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Home | Articles | Columnists | Mi to Ro | Pottie, Lee Ellen | Poetry is Discovery
January 2000
Poetry is Discovery

by Lee Ellen Pottie

Reports of a new book of poetry being published never make the headlines of the six o'clock news, and hardly ever make a wave outside the small literary circle of poet aficionado/as. But I swear this time is different: Signal Poetry Editions of Vèhicule Press in Montrèal is publishing Wind and Root by Prince Edward Island poet, Brent MacLaine-his first book.

In our long-distance chat, Brent said that he tries to make his poetry "something more natural, spontaneous" and he tries not to repeat either himself or other poets. His poetry shows the many sides to his character and experience in that he uses the academic, rural, and personal within his poetry. He considers himself to be a formal poet working with the tension between formality-line-length, rhythm, and meter-and spontaneity-a "Ginsberg-like," telling of the way it is.

In "Making the Middle Be," the narrator recalls the Island "way of hanging back"; the aversion Islanders have of "making spectacles" of themselves. Reading this poem, most Islanders (or Maritimers for that matter) would recognize the wisdom in and contentment of "arriving late" and "standing up shoulder to the door jamb-/of the back door, the side door,/ the kitchen door-any door, in fact,/ but the front door."

However, don't get the impression that Brent's poetry is "folksy," based solely on the Island rural life. "A Lecture to Time" (quite appropriate for the beginning of the new millennium) is a rant laced with acerbity and irony. The narrator berates "Time" for besmirching children's "shine, the way you smudge/up smiles and darken moods./ In fact, everything you touch goes stale."

Brent MacLaine was born on PEI, and grew up on the family farm in Rice Point. He started off in Commercial Design at Holland College, but moved to the Education Faculty at UPEI, majoring in English Literature. After completing his degree, he went to Australia for a job and a change. Then with the assistance of a Rotary International Scholarship, he obtained a Master of Arts from a university in Norwich, England. From there, Brent went to the University of British Columbia for his PhD. After teaching in Asia, he returned to Prince Edward Island and UPEI where he is now a popular Canadian and Contemporary Literature professor. In 1997-98, he won a faculty teaching award, and in 1999 the student teaching award.

So what does writing mean to Brent now that his first poetry manuscript is about to be published? Writing now means that he does not have to worry about longer projects. As a matter of fact, he has enough poems already written for two manuscripts. But that solves his problem of trying to force himself to write. As he said, sometimes "poetry can't be pushed, and you can't wait for it. Writing is discovery."

Brent has published work in the Fiddlehead, Antigonish Review, Blue Shift, and Matrix. In 1999, he won third prize in the Annual League of Canadian Poets National Poetry Contest. Presently on sabbatical from the UPEI Department of English, Brent is working on an academic book and the final form for Wind and Root, due out in February or March 2000. He lives in Rice Point with his family.

Lee Ellen is working on her Masters in English and Creative Writing (with Alistair MacLeod) at the University of Windsor.

Some of What's Going On

Grand Ruisseau Song Festival

Sept 25–28
Mont-Carmel Parish Centre The Coopérative de développement culturel et patrimonial de ...

Time Travelling Trombone

Five centuries of music with Dale Sorensen Sept 28
Steel Recital Hall The Time Travelling Trombone ...

Hillsborough River Gospel Brunch

Sun - until September
Trailside Café Hillsborough River Gospel Brunch starts June 1 at the Trailsid ...

Guild Gone Wild Variety Show

Oct 1
The Guild Following what they say is their most active and fun summer ever seen, staff at The ...

at Souris Show Hall

Musical and theatrical performances continue through September Sept 12, 14, 20, 27 The Rising Star ...

Some of What's New

UPEI Alumni Awards

The UPEI community honoured three graduates recently with the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award and th ...

Proof of Life

Coyote Charlottetown-based pop rock band Coyote is releasing a new album on September 9 called Proo ...

Jon MacInnis Named Doug Riley Artist

To play with Charlottetown Jazz Ensemble at PEI Jazz and Blues Festival The TD PEI Jazz and Blues F ...

Starling

Emma Doucette Emma Doucette will launch her debut CD, Starling, in August at the Pourhouse in Charl ...

Military Maneuvers

Lt.-Col Dennis O’Hanley takes on a big task in the Pacific You can say Charlottetown-native Lt.-C ...