Creekers collaborate on poetry

Jan DeGrass/Arts and Entertainment Writer / Staff writer
March 28, 2014 01:00 AM

Laurie Verchomin, Baeleay Callister, Jane Covernton and Laurie O'Byrne are excited about their first Poetry Festival this Sunday, March 30 in Roberts Creek.

Poetry, music and art, all in one new venue - it's the kind of collaboration that attracts artists of all types.

Writer and poet Jane Covernton has organized a Poetry Festival this Sunday, March 30, from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Creek Gallery, tucked behind the Gumboot Restaurant in Roberts Creek.

It's a new, event-based gallery hosted by an enthusiastic Laurie Ver-chomin who has been organizing smaller gatherings there. So far she's held the always-fun Creative in the Creek, a story-telling workshop and a Tom Waits tribute. Now it's poetry's turn.

Covernton launches her latest book of poems, Wheresoever You Turn (Calendula Farms Publishing), and she's invited other poets on stage with her, as she has done in the past.

"It's good to have their energy and share their poetry," Covernton said.

She also plans to have the swing band Esto play, which includes her brother Tom Covernton, who will accompany her on bass as she reads - kind of a throwback to beatnik years.

The theme of her book is the sacred in everything, and it is the poetry that emerges during a walk in the woods and that must be written down in the middle of the night.

Her previous books include A Body of Poems, novels (The Modern Age) and a book about herbal medicine. Though the subjects of Covernton's books are often serious, she wants the launch party to be fun.

Other local poets will also read: Apryl Leaf's collection of poems is titled Grass Widow. Micheal D. Mann will read accompanied by Randeesh's music. Jools Andres will read, and so will George Payerle. "We call him the poet laureate of Roberts Creek," Covernton said.

These are the confirmed readers, but anything can happen.

The art on show at the Creek Gallery is eclectic.

"It's an organic process," Verchomin said. "People approach me and work is chosen from a bed of treasures."

Baeleay Callister shows a painting that she originally made for the United Nations depicting symbols, flower signatures, generated through automatic writing.

She has also encouraged and taught a Tibetan family, one of the new arrivals on the Coast, to create stained glass panels, and these finished pieces sparkle in every window of the gallery.

Laurie O'Byrne will show her Buddha statue collage, a striking piece shown for her first time in a gallery show. These pieces will stay up until June, along with other artwork on the walls.

Verchomin is excited about the use of what she regards as a community space for the neighbourhood.

"Artists in residence, wow!" she said. "It's a supercharge for Roberts Creek."

Admission to the Poetry Festival is by donation. Refreshments will be available.

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