Issue 4 Reviews

In our town, it’s the impresarios that assure the continued survival of poetry as a performance medium. They are the tireless workers who find the venues, who publicize the events, who flatter (or rebuild) the overbearing egos of the poets and who cajole, seduce and beg a reluctant public to show up to the events.
In Montreal there have been some greats; the legendary Jake Brown who sat in the front row of every show bobbing his shaved head to the ragged beats, the dapper Todd Swift who went on to become a poet of renown across the pond, Lee Gotham with his handlebar mustache and his choppers, Mitsiko Miller who brought the French and English scenes together, and the late Janou St. Denis who kept the flame alive in church basements, community centres, and deserted cafes throughout the long dark winters of the 70s and 80s.
Ivy, aka Ivan Bielinski, is one of these fervent evangelicals, a current mainstay of the Quebec slam scene. Each week, he brings the message of slam to the denizens of the Plateau and half-a-dozen other communities in Quebec. His latest album, his third, Hors des sentiers battus (loosely translated as Off the beaten tracks) has just come out on the Productions de l’onde label.