The Blasted Tree's first foray into the publication of spoken word recordings, Verbal Vol. 1, is complete! Each of the eight tracks can be listened to and read on our website, plus now you can download the entire anthology from our Bandcamp. Thanks for listening, and thanks especially to the poets, musicians, and recording experts who contributed to putting this thing together: Audrey Lane Cockett, Anthony J. Gavin, Ilona Martonfi, Laine Pineo, Prairie Chola Ayatollah, Ian San Agustin, Adrien Smart, Michael Smilovitch, Alec Panikian, SHIGETO, and Josh Cunningham.
̶c̶o̶u̶p̶ is a collection of visual poems made from the destruction of a vintage book, The Famous Men and Great Events of the 19th Century (1899). Using a variety of techniques and materials, Toronto-based author Kate Siklosi dismantles and reconstructs the narratives propping up the 'great man' theory and European patriarchal ascendancy, documenting each experiment in historical revisionism with colour photographs. The Blasted Tree has produced a limited edition of 40 hand-bound chapbooks incorporating the materials used in the making of ̶c̶o̶u̶p̶ : torn up maps, pages from a book, red string, and transparent tape. ̶c̶o̶u̶p̶ can be viewed online, and copies of the chapbook, each one unique, can be purchased from The Blasted Tree Store.
The eighth and final entry in Verbal Vol. 1 was written and performed by poet, musician, and scientist, Michael Smilovitch. Chased by Bears Across Marshmallow Bluffs, which previously appeared in Smilovitch's chapbook obscuritysquared, has now been expanded upon and set to music by Alec Panikian. The poem is one hell of a romp, and Smilovitch makes full use of the vocal talents he's developed singing for the progressive metal band Bird Problems. Chased by Bears Across Marshmallow Bluffs can be heard (and read) on The Blasted Tree, and you can download all of Verbal Vol. 1 as it becomes available, one track per week throughout spring, on Bandcamp.
The penultimate track in Verbal Vol. 1, our digital spoken word anthology, is a seriously moving poem about surviving domestic abuse. "They don't want you to talk about it" comes to us from Laine Pineo, a Calgary-based poet, aromatherapist, and wonder-mom, who has lit up stages all around town with her empowering words. This poem challenges us to believe and support victims of abuse, to discuss these issue more open and honestly. "They don't want you to talk about it" can be heard (and read) on The Blasted Tree, and you can download all of Verbal Vol. 1 as it becomes available, one track per week throughout spring, on Bandcamp.
Today we unveil the sixth track in Verbal Vol. 1, our ongoing digital spoken word anthology! hello hollow sunrise was written and recorded by poet, academic, and repeat Blasted Tree contributor Anthony J. Gavin. In turns political screed, rant against the daily grind, and reminder for self care, hello hollow sunrise is a roller coaster of a performance. Anthony's poem can be heard (and read) on The Blasted Tree, and you can download all of Verbal Vol. 1 as it becomes available, one track per week throughout spring, on Bandcamp.
Encoded within unique and structurally challenging forms lie mwpm's "cryptopoems," puzzle-like arrangements of letters concealing lines of poetic meaning that unfold to careful readers. These poems function like a riddle or a joke, comical little brain-teasers which require you to read in unfamiliar ways, to use memory and pattern recognition in deciphering the message, but which reward those who get it. Surveying a variety of mwpm's signature forms, each built on a simple set of constraints, CRYPTOPOEMS can by read online, and a limited edition of hand-bound chapbooks are available from The Blasted Tree Store.
Verbal Vol. 1 continues with a spoken word track by Prairie Chola Ayatollah, Calgary's own third-eye word clown and performance artist. As with many of her poems, CHILLY CHILLY employs looping pedals to build sonic emphasis, variation, and intensity. This comic and creative spoken word poem can be heard (and read) on The Blasted Tree, and you can download all of Verbal Vol. 1 as it becomes available, one track per week throughout spring, on Bandcamp.
This week's addition to The Blasted Tree's spoken word anthology Verbal Vol. 1 is performed by Calgary-based poet and sneaker freak, Ian San Agustin. Ian has performed at many open mics and poetry readings around Calgary, and his laid-back delivery of #myfavouritepersonintheworld, an ode to chill times in the best of company, is soothing to listen to. #myfavouritepersonintheworld can be heard (and read) on The Blasted Tree, and you can download all of Verbal Vol. 1 as it becomes available, one track per week throughout spring, on Bandcamp.
-19° 54’ · 12h 53m, a new visual poem by Blasted Tree editor Kyle Flemmer, uses randomly generated celestial coordinates to form a composite view of the night sky. Each poem is made from grid spaces excerpted from star charts enclosing the set of 14 coordinates, substituting lines of text for sightlines in the sonnet. A limited edition of fifty 4.25" x 9" folded leaflets have been produced on metallic silver paper, get yours today from The Blasted Tree's Store.
-19° 54’ · 12h 53m is The Blasted Tree's 50th print publication in just under four years of operation! Thank you to our readers and contributors for all the love and support so far, we look forward to publishing more boundary-pushing Canadian content in the coming years. For a comprehensive list of our publications in print, please see our Publication History.
This week in Verbal Vol. 1 we're featuring a spoken word poem by repeat Blasted Tree contributor Ilona Martonfi, an author, performer, and literary event organizer. Ilona has written three books of poetry, and she is the founder and producer of The Yellow Door reading series in Montreal. Her poem "Dandelion Snow," addressed to the unseen Daughter, asks how mental illness and poverty contribute to the erasure of intimacy. Ilona's poem can be heard (and read) on The Blasted Tree, and you can download all of Verbal Vol. 1 as it becomes available, one track per week throughout spring, on Bandcamp.
If this is your first listen to Verbal Vol. 1, be sure to read the Forward by Blasted Tree editor Kyle Flemmer for a quick introduction to spoken word and the challenge of "publishing" literary audio.