books on the radio


“There’s Nothing Precious About [Poetry]”: Heather Haley

Heather Haley & the 45s Back in the Day. Photo: Bev Davies.

I recently sat down with the semi-reformed punk rock vocalist, trailblazing poet, self-proclaimed anarchist and creative technophile, Heather Haley to discuss her new book, Three Blocks West of Wonderland.

It was a blazing afternoon in June and we sought relative relief in a Thai restaurant on Commercial Drive.

Click here to listen to our informal chat.

It’s kind of like a studio demo. Loose and meandering and rough around the edges.

We start off riffing about the possibilities for poetry on the iPad and then move into Heather’s influential work in video poetry, her years rocking Cascadia in punk rock bands and a million other things.

Heather was a part of the ‘Night of the Poets & Other Writers‘ at W2 Real Vancouver Writers’ Series during the Olympics this year at the W2 Culture and Media House.

She’s launching her most recent book of poetry, Three Blocks West of Wonderland, at the new W2 Storyeum space on Saturday June 17th at 7PM.

We’ll be there and will probably record the show for future BOTR episodes.

Here’s the launch details:

Emcee Kedrick James: featuring Shannon Rayne, Peter Trower, Videopoem Screening-“Bushwhack”, Jenn Farrell.

Intermission

Music by Chris Coon, Videopoem screening-“How To Remain”, Heather Haley.

Saturday July 17 at 7PM – W2 @ Storyeum 151 W. Cordova Vancouver, BC

After the interview Heather and I walked down Commercial Drive toward her car and talked about our mutual history of self-directed reading and some of the authors and books that we came across by fluke or reco over the years and how that process of seemingly random discovery has influenced us creatively.

Here’s a great list of writers that Heather sent me that was inspired by our conversation:

Andre Breton, Gustave Flaubert, Jean Cocteau, George Bernard Shaw, Thomas Pynchon, Rimbaud, Oscar Wilde, John Steinbeck, Octavio Paz, Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sarte, ee cummings, Kenneth Patchen, Dostoyevsky, Joseph Campbell, Carl Jung, J.D. Salinger, Hemmingway, Melville, bp nichol, Earle Birney, bill bisset, Susan Musgrave, Alice Munro, George Bowering, Nathanial Hawthorne, Germaine Greer, DH Lawrence, William Burroughs, William Faulkner, Kafka, Doris Lessing, Barry Lopez, James Dickey, William Carlos Williams, Walt Whitman, Kafka, Robertson Davies, Philip K Dick, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Marshall McLuhan, Anais Nin, Robert Stone, Darcey Steinke, Anne Sexton, Martin Amis, Wanda Coleman and the two Margarets, Lawrence and Atwood. Sylvia Plath, Lorna Crozier, Germaine Greer, Richard Brautigan, Emily Dickinson, Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Other creative influences: Art Bergmann and the Young Canadians, John Waters, Leonard Cohen, Patti Smith, Elvis Costello, the Dishrags, DOA, the Clash, Luis Buñuel, Lincoln Clarkes, Lenny Bruce, , Lydia Lunch, Frida Kahlo, Diane Arbus

In LA, Merilene M. Murphy, the Electronic Café, Beyond Baroque’s poetry workshop, Wanda Coleman, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Los Lobos, Run DMC, Harvey Kubernick, Excene Cervenka and X, the Woman’s Building, performance artists Cheri Gaulke, Joanna Whent, John Fleck, Rachel Rosenthal, painter Jeff Isaak, video artists Yonemotos, Mose Allison, Johnette Neapolitano of Concrete Blonde, Keith Levene, Chet Baker, Victor Noel, High Performance magazine, Mark and Bob Mothersbaugh, Laura London, Diane Gamboa, Daniel J. Martinez, Black Flag, Zero One Gallery, neo-surrealists Malocchio, L7, Pam Ward, Penelope Spheeris.

Post Edgewise and Internet… Kurt Heintz, Western Front, Alexandra Oliver, Sheri-D Wilson, Michael Turner, Raquel Alvaro, Ian Ferrier, Catherine Kidd, Jill Battson, Geoff Inverarity, Adeena Karasick, Jim Andrews, Andrea Thompson, Kedrick James, Miranda Pearson, Bob Holman, Neil Campbell, Hank Bull. Montrealers Catherine Kidd, Victoria Stanton, Corey Frost, Ian Ferrier…etc etc

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