Wednesday, June 12, 2024
June 12, 2024

George Sipos featured guest at Poetry Open Mic

The first Poetry Open Mic evening of 2024 at the Salt Spring Public Library on Thursday, Jan. 4 features the island’s own George Sipos. 

Locals may know Sipos from the days when he was executive director of ArtSpring prior to his retirement nine years ago. 

Before moving to Salt Spring he had owned a bookstore in Prince George for some 17 years, through which he brought many Canadian poets to read, and hosted other literary activities such as short residencies.

During those years he became a poet himself, owing to the encouragement and friendship of such poets as Don McKay, Jan Zwicky, Patrick Friesen, Roo Borson and Sue Sinclair.

After a residence at the Banff Writing Studio in 2001, Sipos published two collections of poems with Goose Lane Editions, and a bit later a non-fiction work with Gaspereau Press. The first poetry collection, Anything But the Moon, was shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Prize at the BC Book Awards. The non-fiction title, The Geography of Arrival, was a finalist in 2011 for the Charles Taylor Prize. Sipos said a third poetry collection, with the working title Rehearsals of Rescue, is currently “marinating.”

At Thursday’s event at the library, Sipos will read one poem from his first book, about the Perseid meteor shower, written about 20 years ago, and then a more recent poem about the same meteor shower written not that long ago. 

“They should make a nice contrast between images of living in the North and a different world view that’s recognizably Salt Spring,” he said. 

Poems from the new manuscript will fill out his time at the mic.

Open Poetry Mic evenings begin in the library’s Community Program Room at 7 p.m. with poems read by anyone who signs up beforehand, beginning at 6:45 p.m. (Only one poem per reader is allowed.) The featured poet follows at about 7:30 p.m.

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