|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Weird and wonderful poetry
By Jill Sutherley
What do you get when you combine a first-rate Canadian author prepared to read his newest poetry, with a colourful modern painting exhibit, a celestial-sounding live band, a diverse art-loving crowd and, of course, lots of burning candles? London this week.
All of the above are superb examples of the type of events that help to make the city's cultural scene so unique and beginning last Friday evening, the Forest City Gallery of London celebrated its 25th anniversary by kicking off a reading series designed to explore the diversity of Canadian writing. Friday's event started off with the mellow melodies of the Mosquitoes, a three person band, equipped with a synthesizer, bongo drum, triangle and xylophone. The group's music provided a relaxing, casual atmosphere for the highlighted poetry reading which followed.
Born in Hamilton, Ontario, David McFadden first read at the Forest City Gallery in 1975 as a young writer and has since become a productive author of many books of both poetry and prose. During Friday's event, McFadden casually read from his latest book of poetry titled There'll Be Another, which included many quirky poems written while he was visiting Havana, recovering from a bout with food poisoning. A writer of observation and witty humour, McFadden tried not to crack a smile as he read from his collection of poems, but remarked at one point, "this is a really weird one... remember, I was sick at the time!"
The small crowd listened intently to McFadden, enjoying the light-heartedness with which he read, but obviously appreciative of the polished literary skill which he also possessed. McFadden has many other books to his credit including; The Great Canadian Sonnet, An Innocent In Ireland, Anonymity Suite, Gypsy Guitar, A Trip Around Lake Ontario and A Trip Around Lake Huron.
The event closed a raffle of 25 original paintings done by various artists from around the London community, which had been on display at the gallery up until that evening. Other upcoming events at the Forest City Gallery which are included in the anniversary reading series involve author Austin Clarke who reads Feb. 4 at 8 p.m. and a student reading and awards ceremony on Feb. 20 at 8 p.m.. Admission is free to experience a taste of London's cultural side.