Calgary poetry fest to feature local poet
Canmore poet Dave Eso is bringing his summer tour home this week when death by pedestrian, featuring Eso and Montreal poet Chris Masson, is returned to their home and native land, leaving the U.S. portion of their tour behind.
Eso and Masson will be at the People’s Poetry Festival in the Kensington neighbourhood of Calgary Aug. 17-19, sharing what Eso described in his death by pedestrian persona as “neo-vaudeville performance sensibilities jostling past political parody, at the corner of art avenue and comedy crescent” as they tackle topics like masculinity, consumerism, Bill 78 and Canadian-American ‘rapport’.”
They’ve done seven shows so far, including in Montreal, Massachusetts, Washington D.C. and New York, with shows in Calgary and Vancouver, and more to come, as Eso said the invitations keeping coming.
“Audiences have been very warm, our hosts very kind, and all border crossings generously lubricated,” Eso wrote in an email to the Outlook.
“We (Eso and Masson) admire each other’s work so palpably that we create a shared psychic dream space wherein we are able to lucidly create surrealities at unbelievable discount prices. One afternoon, the angel of death appeared in his black robes and neon mesh safety vest, admonishing us for dragging our flip-flops, entreating us to get off our heels and stomp on the toes of a 4 x 4 war machine idling in the Timmy’s parking lot,” Eso wrote.
They work from a memorized script, allowing them to share the words and give themselves space to perform, rather than a straight reading.
“The show has lots of flexibility and room for improv, so every night feels different,” Eso said.
The duo is looking at continuing their death by pedestrian tour next spring with more shows in Western Canada and in the U.S.
“Pedestrianism is our causa prima. Death is just what happens, as Bill Bissett says. The name resonates with a grass roots mentality, a slowing down of the culture. Seeing the massive demonstrations in Quebec this spring/summer inspired the name, the tour, and the title of our book, Province of Emergency.
For more information go to www. peoplespoetryfestival.com or www.deathbypedestrian.com
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