Vancouver Amphitheatre Project’s public prose #2: the Sea

Monday, August 22, 2011, 7-10pm

Granville Island (the terraced grassy steps on the south eastern tip of the island), Vancouver, BC

The second en plein air poetry reading as part of the Vancouver Amphitheatre Project.

Come to read or come to listen. Bring a blanket, a passionate ear, and a sea-themed poem. 

Any and all poets accepted, from TS Eliot to T-Pain.

Organized by Kiki Falconer

Photos from the first event of the Vancouver Amphitheatre Project, a poetry reading of Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” in Victory Square Park at Cambie and Hastings in Vancouver’s Gastown neighbourhood.

"This is the press of a bashful hand … . this is the float and odor of hair,This is the touch of my lips to yours … . this is the murmur of yearning, This is the far-off depth and height reflecting my own face,This is the thoughtful merge of myself and the outlet again.” - Song of Myself, Walt Whitman

Join us as we read aloud from Leaves of Grass, vol 1, this evening at 7pm in Victory Square Park, near Cambie and Hastings.
- Hilary

"This is the press of a bashful hand … . this is the float and odor of hair,
This is the touch of my lips to yours … . this is the murmur of yearning,
This is the far-off depth and height reflecting my own face,
This is the thoughtful merge of myself and the outlet again.”
- Song of Myself, Walt Whitman

Join us as we read aloud from Leaves of Grass, vol 1, this evening at 7pm in Victory Square Park, near Cambie and Hastings.

- Hilary

Host your own event!

El Djem Roman Amphitheatre (Flickr / felinebird)

To hold your own Vancouver Amphitheatre Project event:

  1. Decide what you want to do with the space: a poetry reading, a comedy show, a play, a ukelele jam session, a yoga or stich ‘n bitch meetup, a national anthem contest, whatever!
  2. Post your idea on the blog here. To do this, the user email is vancouver.henegarATgmail com; the password is happyfuntimes
  3. Choose a venue. It has been recommended we create a map plotting all the amphitheatres in Vancouver. Great idea. Want to do it? Go ahead. Until that gets made, walk your neighbourhood to find parks offering a public stage. (When you find one, feel free to tweet the location to #VancouverAmphitheatreProject and/or @VancouverPal, who will add this to a map.)
  4. Get the word out. On Twitter, use the hashtag #VancouverAmphitheatreProject. On Facebook, create an event page. In real life, tell your friends, make signs, write a note on a bathroom stall at the Cambie, etc. 
  5. Let guests know that the event will be in a public space so to expect noise, hecklers, randoms and other happy surprises.
  6. Be sure to empower performers and guests with information about their rights. Send around the City of Vancouver’s current Noise Bylaws [pdf], which have been condensed by the Safe Amplification Society here.
  7. Arrive at the space at least 30-60 minutes before the event is set to begin to secure the amphitheatre for your event. 
  8. What to bring: depending on the event and the venue, recommend people bring something to sit on, a beverage (open containers of alcohol are not permitted in public spaces; use your discretion) and, with full understanding of the noise bylaws, perhaps something to amplify voices; a rolled up piece of cardboard is likely the best option.
  9. Documentation. Take photos, video, draw sketches, sculpt clay - whatever method you’d like, but be sure to document the event somehow so it can be shared with those who attended as well as those interested in possibly hosting their own event.
  10. Post your pics/video/etc to the VancouverAmphitheatreProject blog (this one right here).

I’ve probably forgotten something, so feel free to send suggestions for changes/additions via email (vancouver.henegarATgmail com) or Twitter (@VancouverPal).

Now go have fun out there!

- Hilary

Proposal: Walt Whitman poetry reading en plein air
When I was a sophomore at NYU, a favourite professor - a Ms. Myriam Frank - assigned Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass.
I did the readings before class, thinking, hmm yeah very nice, but wasn’t terribly moved or impressed. In class, however, Prof. Frank introduced us to the poet, prefacing the lesson with a bit of personal history and a disclaimer: Whitman is meant to be read aloud.
Which changed everything.
I felt silly at first but very quickly understood what she meant. Pronouncing his words forces his cadence, allowing the words to bloom on the tongue and travel through the temporal lobe to find its permanent home in the hearth stone of my psyche. Like music but better.
Whitman’s words in poems such as ‘Song of Myself’ and ‘I Sing the Body Electric’ are now etched deep within me; they are part of me, that first out-loud reading having a profound effect on how I view the world and all it contains.
Indeed, Leaves of Grass, volume 1 (the volume is important) tapped into something deep within me, allowing me the grace to acknowledge myself as a spiritual being.
I would love to host a Walt Whitman poetry reading at one of Vancouver’s amphitheatres. Will post details when I decide on a date and location.
- Hilary Henegar, @vancouverpal

Proposal: Walt Whitman poetry reading en plein air

When I was a sophomore at NYU, a favourite professor - a Ms. Myriam Frank - assigned Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass.

I did the readings before class, thinking, hmm yeah very nice, but wasn’t terribly moved or impressed. In class, however, Prof. Frank introduced us to the poet, prefacing the lesson with a bit of personal history and a disclaimer: Whitman is meant to be read aloud.

Which changed everything.

I felt silly at first but very quickly understood what she meant. Pronouncing his words forces his cadence, allowing the words to bloom on the tongue and travel through the temporal lobe to find its permanent home in the hearth stone of my psyche. Like music but better.

Whitman’s words in poems such as ‘Song of Myself’ and ‘I Sing the Body Electric’ are now etched deep within me; they are part of me, that first out-loud reading having a profound effect on how I view the world and all it contains.

Indeed, Leaves of Grass, volume 1 (the volume is important) tapped into something deep within me, allowing me the grace to acknowledge myself as a spiritual being.

I would love to host a Walt Whitman poetry reading at one of Vancouver’s amphitheatres. Will post details when I decide on a date and location.

- Hilary Henegar, @vancouverpal

About the Vancouver Amphitheatre Project

It started with a tweet:

Which got RT’d. And improvised on:

Agreed. Hence the shiny new Tumblr blog.

Here, we’ll collect locations, ideas, inspiration and documentation for the #VancouverAmphitheatreProject. This project can include one-off events at single amphitheatre locations, recurring performances at multiple amphitheatres, can be widely publicized or circulated amongst friends only.

No one owns this project, just as no one owns public space. The point is only to raise awareness of these outdoor community stages and generate ideas for how we can utilize them.

If you want to become an admin, email or tweet Hilary Henegar, who will give you the keys to the blog so you can add to, participate in or take on leadership of the project.

My only request is that if you post on the blog, you leave your name - and if you’d like, a way to get in touch with you via phone, text, email, Twitter, Facebook, your website, whatever.

Looking forward to something magic!

Hilary

hilaryhenegar.com

Twitter: @vancouverpal (and @myloverarlo)

An exercise in exercising public space.

In particular, Vancouver's many under-utilized outdoor public amphitheatres.

Twitter hashtag: #VancouverAmphitheatreProject

twitter.com/vancouverpal

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