Grace Hols (left), Peter Haines and Dorothy Giesbrecht performed at the Smithers Public Library coffeehouse and open mic event, held on April 5 to kick off Poetry Month. (Karissa Gall/Smithers Interior News)

VIDEO: Smithers Public Library kicks off Poetry Month

Dorothy Giesbrecht, Grace Hols and Peter Haines performed poetry and song

The Smithers Public Library kicked off Poetry Month with a night of rousing lyricism on April 5.

The coffeehouse and open mic event began at 7 p.m. on Friday with performances by Dorothy Giesbrecht, Grace Hols and Peter Haines.

Giesbrecht, who has spent the past 43 years living in Driftwood, set poems on nature and days gone by between classical string music.

Hols, who worked as a reporter for many years and has also published short stories and poems, performed several spoken pieces.

Her poem Economics 101 humoured the crowd, with it’s protestations against “Calvinist thrift.”

“I grew up in a very conservative, small-town environment. We had a lot of rules and we were taught about the importance of moderation in everything,” Hols said, introducing the poem. “This is my protest to the moderation.”

Haines’ guitar and singing performance, accompanied by Giesbrecht, had a more sober tone, with heavy topic matter that touched on nature and also natural disasters.

“River, wise and strong, keep singing your ancient song,” he sang as part of an anthem for rivers.

Haines said he was inspired to write the anthem by recent protests, though he added the song wasn’t “anti anything.”

His lyrics also touched on the devastation that natural disasters can cause, with a song written years ago for victims of flooding in Mozambique.

With the recent cyclone activity in Africa and the Southern Hemisphere, Haines relented, the song, titled Joshua, was unfortunately timely once again.

READ MORE: Tens of thousands in southern Africa need help after cyclone

Having grown up in Australia before moving to Northern B.C. about 20 years ago, Haines also sang a ballad about an Indigenous Australian man who had his child taken away from him, then found his son’s footprint in the sand and covered it with a can to save it as long as possible.

He compared the subject matter of the song to Canada’s history with residential schools and warned it would be a tear-jerker. Several tissues appeared in the hands of audience members before the final chord.

Library staff person Melissa Sawatsky, who also performed at the event, had introduced Haines saying that “wherever possible he tries to leave the listener with a positive message and a sense of hope for the future of our world and humanity.”

He did indeed, finishing with some toe-tapping sung poetry about beautiful children.

Sawatsky told Interior News that following Haines’ performance and a break, the open mic portion of the event “continued to be moving and inspiring.”

READ MORE: Concept design for new $15.87-million library/art gallery



karissa.gall@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Town council votes to reclassify LB Warner lot for residential use

Smithers just got one step closer to more affordable housing, but there are still many to go

Nisga’a leader named UNBC chancellor

Dr. Joseph Arthur Gosnell is the first Indigenous leader to assume the role

A medical first saved Ryan Jones’ life

The 25-year-old Smithers man is almost fully recovered after being effectively dead.

Steelheads recruiting event shows promise

A small but enthusiastic group of organizers is hoping to put a Smithers team back in the CIHL

Fletcher disregards facts on climate action

Letter writer Macrae says inaction jeopardizes jobs

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at B.C. car dealership turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

Canfor curtailing operations across B.C.

Low lumber prices and the high cost of fibre are the cause of curtailment

B.C. woman, 76, challenges alcohol-screening laws after failing to give breath sample

Norma McLeod was unable to provide a sample because of her medical conditions

New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with B.C. First Nations

Tsilhqot’in National Government documents 2017 disaster and lists 33 calls to action

B.C. youth coach banned amid sexual harassment, bullying scandal: Water Polo Canada

Justin Mitchell can’t take part in Water Polo Canada events or clubs

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Haida youth travels to New York for UN forum on Indigenous issues

Haana Edensaw presented her speech in Xaad Kil, Masset dialect of the Haida language

Female real estate agents warned of suspicious man in Metro Vancouver

The man requests to see homes alone with the female agent, police say

Most Read