ONLINE: Electric Mermaid: Live Reads

Date: 

Friday, April 16, 2021 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Venue: 

Char's Landing

4815 Argyle Street, Port Alberni

Contact: 

ElectricMermaidReads@gmail.com
ONLINE: Electric Mermaid: Live Reads via ZOOM !  
Click this automatic ZOOM link below:
 
Electric Mermaid: Live Reads from Char's Landing
Emcee: Derek Hanebury  Moderator: Karl Korven  Artistic Director:  Jacqueline Carmichael  
Photographer: Micah Gardener  ZOOM Producer: Charlene Patterson
Spoken Word Open Mic via ZOOM, 3rd Friday of each month, virtual doors open 5:30pm Pacific Time
 
Port Alberni venue Char’s Landing now plays host to the Zoomed Electric Mermaid
“Since being on Zoom allows us to pull in an audience from anywhere in the world, we’ve been very fortunate to hear from a wider diversity of regions—the island, the mainland and internationally as well.  going global!”     http://www.charslanding.com
 
 
April 16th FEATURE READERS
 
Michelle Butler Hallett  St John's,   15min
 
Francine Merasty Saskatoon Saskatchewan 15min
 
My book Iskotew Iskwew: Poetry of a Northern Rez Girl will be released this spring and can be preordered at Amazon.ca
 
Merasty is the author of Iskotew Iskwew: Poetry of a Northern Rez Girl. She is a Nehithaw Iskwew from Opawikoschikanek ochi, a reserve in Northern Saskatchewan. She is a member of the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation and a fluent Cree speaker.
After she graduated from high school, Francine Merasty went to university to get a BA in psychology. She went to work for a First Nations organization working with health, education and welfare, and returned to university to earn a law degree and become an attorney.

Merasty’s work found its voice when she took her first job out of law school, working for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls as a Statement Taker and Legal Counsel.

“That work was so devastating,” she said.  

As a Statement Taker, she spent time sitting in hotel rooms, interviewing the family members of murdered or missing women.

“There was no script – they could tell you anything,” she recalled.

“The first statement I took was four hours long. When it was done, I couldn’t breathe – there was something stuck right here. I went to walk it off. I had to debrief later that night – everyone was feeling that way, everyone in that group,” Merasty said.

“I did this work for six to eight months – it was really working on me. I tried to get into therapy, about the stuff I was hearing, to help me cope – I was busy traveling, so I started writing poetry, just started writing. I think my body was responding in a positive way, rather than going through this horrific stuff, I’d be writing. When you’re writing poetry, you engage all the senses. You go deep into memories, thoughts and words – it takes you away,” she said.

She’s since had poems published in The Polyglot (Indigenous Languages Issue), Alaska Quarterly Review, and Briarpatch. She’s been honoured by the Indigenous Voices Awards, and as a speaker at the Empowering Indigenous Women Conference in Saskatchewan. Her poetry was chosen by former US poet laureate Tracey K Smith to be included in this years edition of The Best American Poetry 2021.

Her book of poetry,  Poetry of a Northern Rez Girl (Bookland Press) is due out this spring with

Bookland Press, and a version in Cree is expected this winter.

Merasty is a three-generation survivor of Canada’s residential school system: her grandmother and her father were also taken into the residential school system.

As a child, Merasty spoke Cree exclusively. She noticed that her grandmother (now 93) was smart and funny and likeable, but had difficulty showing affection.

Her parents had 11 children, so their three-bedroom home was overcrowded, and in the 1980s, she was sent to Prince Albert Indian Residential School, where she attended for grades three and four.

Living in a bunk-bed dorm, with uniforms and a mess hall, with 20 girls ages 7 to 9, one attendant for all of them. The workers were Indigenous; the teachers were white. The lessons were all in her second language, English. There was a lot of loneliness for a little girl from a big family. 

“There was nobody to give you a hug or kiss there,” she said, noting the experience had a lasting impact on her life.  

“It affected my life mentally, with depression and anxiety. I’m not comfortable in a lot of situations.

“I have a totally negative view of residential schools … For anybody that went to residential school, it was a negative impact. It still has an emotional impact,” she said.

Francine Merasty currently works for the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations in Saskatchewan. She lives in Saskatoon.

Electric Mermaid artistic director Jacqueline Carmichael said she’s grateful Merasty will share her voice with the Electric Mermaid audience.

“Francine’s poetry is very powerful, and her story remarkable. We’re very grateful she’s going to be with us. So many Indigenous women and men were impacted by the residential school system, it’s important that we listen with respect to those who are able and willing to share their words,” Carmichael said.

Feature reader Michelle Butler Hallett will read from her latest book, Constant Nobody (Goose Lane Editions March 2021)

 

Butler Hallett is the author of the novels Constant Nobody, This Marlowe, deluded your sailors, Sky Waves, and Double-blind, and the story collection The shadow side of grace. Her short stories are widely anthologized: The Vagrant Revue of New Fiction, Hard Ol’ Spot, Running the Whale’s Back, Everything Is So Political, and Best American Mystery Stories 2014.

For fans of Hilary Mantel’s The Mirror and the Light comes an historical espionage novel with a contemporary edge.

The time is 1937. The place: the Basque Country, embroiled in the Spanish Civil War.

Writing about violence with an unusual grace, Michelle Butler Hallett tells a story of complicity, love, tyranny, and identity. Constant Nobody is a thrilling novel that asks how far an individual will go to protect another — whether out of love or fear.

Butler Hallett’s work, at once striking, memorable and difficult to categorize, was praised by Books in Canada for “economy and power,” while The Globe and Mail noted that “demons are at work.” Of Butler Hallett’s first novel, Double-blind, the 2008 Sunburst Award Jury said: “Sanity, madness, torture in the name of science — Double-blind is wonderfully original while chillingly based in history. … The writing is incredibly layered, with metaphor and symbol perfectly balanced against the hard neutrality of scientific language.” 

Michelle Butler Hallett lives in St John’s, Newfoundland.

“Butler Hallett’s wonderful writing has been widely recognized, and we are so glad she’ll be on the Electric Mermaid stage at Char’s Landing via Zoom,” said Jacqueline Carmichael.

 
 
 
April 16TH OPEN MIC READERS
READER 01 Kamal Parmar 10 min                 
READER 00  Derek Hanebury
READER 02 
READER 03 
READER 04 
READER 05  
READER 06 
READER 07
READER 08 
READER 09 
READER 10
READER 11 
READER 12  
READER 13
READER 14 
READER 15 
 
 
 
ONLINE: Electric Mermaid: Live Reads via ZOOM !  
Click this automatic ZOOM link below:
 
We encourage our guests to ZOOM in early and keep video on to enjoy the virtual social gathering.
Please engage the CHAT window for comments to the artists or to ask Karl to be added to the open mic list.
 
DONATIONS to help Char's Landing support the live arts are gratefully accepted with our thanks.
Bank online to eTransfer@charslanding.com please include the event date and your email address
PayPal to https://www.paypal.me/CharsLanding please include the event date and your email address
OR call 250-730-1636 to charge by phone.
OR stop by Char’s Landing to pay by cash/cheque/interac
 
PRE-REGISTER and sign up for a 5-minute spot at the open mic at ElectricMermaidReads@gmail.com
SUBSCRIBE to Char's YouTube video list to see past events https://www.youtube.com/user/CharsLanding/videos
 
 
UPCOMING FEATURES:  2021
April 16th Features Francine Merasty Saskatoon Saskatchewan 15min  +  Michelle Butler Hallett  St John's,   15min
April 16th event details => https://alberni.ca/events/35580
 
May 21st Features  Jacquelyn Mitchard 15 min +   Joseph Anthony "Tony" Dandurand Kwantlen First Nation 15min
May 21st event details => https://alberni.ca/events/35581
 
June 18th Features TBA
June 18th event details => https://alberni.ca/events/35582
 
 
PAST FEATURES: 2020 - 2021
March 19th Features Vicki McLeod  Nanaimo BC,  15min  + David Aston Toronto, Ontario 15 min
March 19th event details => https://alberni.ca/events/35579   YouTube => https://youtu.be/C3KEUzJ4xfY
 
February 19th Sylvia McNicoll  Burlinton, Ontario.15min   Sharon McInnes Cumberland, 15min
February 19th event details => https://alberni.ca/events/35578   YouTube => https://youtu.be/g_5s7lgqapI
 
January  15th Theresa Shea (Edmonton)  15+q&a        OLD BONES & BATTERED BOOKENDS edited by Ian Cognito Pat Smekal 40+q&a
January 15th event details => https://alberni.ca/events/35551    YouTube => https://youtu.be/b3sCsJoilqY
 
December 18th Craig Copland ( Vernon BC ) 15  Marjorie Simmins ( Nova Scotia )20
December 18th event details => https://alberni.ca/events/35548    YouTube => https://youtu.be/Uvj8zWumia0
 
November 20th  Bruce Hornidge ( Alberni  Valley )    Janet V. Miller   (Comox Valley)
https://www.albernivalleynews.com/entertainment/new-literary-event-makes-virtual-debut-in-port-alberni/
November 20th event details => https://alberni.ca/events/35525    YouTube => https://youtu.be/QUnN36oUKyI
 
 
Char’s Landing 19+ (accompanied kids welcome) 4815 Argyle @5th Port Alberni, Vancouver Island, CANADA V9Y 1V9 Tel: 778-421-2427 www.charslanding.com
Char's gratefully acknowledges Creative BC and the Province of British Columbia @creativebcs and #amplifybc