On Wednesday June 18 poets and gourmets and listeners and musicians from Kelowna, Vernon, Lake Country, Armstrong, Salmon Arm, Nelson and Calgary converged. The Woodhaven forest sprouted an outdoor banquet hall, and the Eco Culture Centre house a poetry stage glossy as a peacock’s tail. Beat Salad!
If a tree falls in the forest, yes ali and clay and julia hear it.
– a review of Beat Salad by Megan Hunter
An evening of 100 mile-ish feastings,
potlucked beneath the forest canopy,
sprinkled with delicate rain and falling
trees looming in on us; we moved the
feast in case of further trees crashing.
To the upper deck all decked out we
became seated upon the outdoor
awesome living room styling with
lamps, rugs, comfy pillows, throws for
warmth and hidden libations of mint
tea and other warming things. With a
backdrop of peacocks local poets read
their lines and those of Ginsberg,
Burroughs, Whitman, Snyder and
Sakaki. Woodhaven resident artist
Ali Riley reads the ‘fur as metaphor
for love’ series from her third book
of poems, 33 Million Solitudes
(Frontenac House, 2012).
The creek sings on in the sidelines,
as Rhoneil makes music to the woods,
a perfect backdrop for her ethereal
musings. Trees dance in the wind; a
rainbow fades in the distance. Yes, we
will read Ginsberg and di Prima, we
will play Simone and Baker, we will
dance in the forest, we will build
something special out of the remains.
We played at life as beatniks, all of us
too young to remember the real thing,
but not too old to play at it. The
reliving of an alternative culture:
celebrating literary freedom, feasts,
stripes and other things. And garlic
scapes. Lots and lotsa garlic scapes.
“To hole up and practice your art
(particularly jazz), exclusive to
* All those who traveled from far and near, with words and tunes and umbrellas
* Everyone who shared their wholesome delicious food
* Marilyn, representing Okanagan Garlic, for the very generous and yummy donation (with my apologies: none of my garlic photos turned out very well)
* Karen Donaldson Shepherd for the sound system and technical expertise
* UBCO Facilities for the use and delivery of tables and chairs
* Jessica Bonney, for the early Beat reading conversations that ultimately led to this
* Julia Prudhomme and Clayton McCann, for organizing, sign-painting, innovating, MCing, website- and poster-creating, networking, thrift-store shopping and decorating . . .
* And anyone else who helped out, who I may have forgotten here
Unfortunately not every performer could be featured in these photos; please see the Beat Salad website for more images of the evening.