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Showing posts from August, 2011

Power Failure?

Nova Scotia author, journalist and broadcaster Richard Starr has drilled deep into his reserves of experience as a public servant, political staffer and policy advisor to produce a complete, yet completely digestible portrait of futility and frustration in his latest book Power Failure? Recently Arts East spoke with him about the work.

AE: What inspired you to write Power Failure?
RS: I had several reasons for writing this book. First, I've always been interested in non-fiction stories about politics and economics in the Maritimes. In thinking and reading about those topics I was struck by the role that energy has played both in creating our economic problems and in offering unrealistic, politically-inspired solutions to them. My experience as a journalist and political researcher put me in touch with energy issues like the privatization of Nova Scotia Power, the offshore, the Westray disaster, renewable energy. These events created lots of headlines - and in the case of Westray se…

Lisa Fraser!

"My paintings are about light and shadow as much as the person or object portrayed. As a realist painter I try to create not only a likeness, but also to capture a mood in the way light touches a model and the space around her. I was introduced to painting by decorative and fine artist Judith Luke. Her influence is reflected on every canvas I paint." - Lisa Fraser, NS -

Buck 65 and the Art of Innovation

It is a cloudy Sunday afternoon in Halifax and Rich Terfry (a.k.a. Buck 65) couldn’t be sunnier.

The 39 year-old Canadian Hip-Hop artist is in his element, surrounded by both old friends and new acquaintances, including a cast of creative characters.

Terfry and a crew of two-dozen are on site at a school in the city’s trendy North End district, shooting a video for Zombie Delight, the first single from his latest release 20 Odd Years.

“It is so good to be home,” he says out loud to no one in particular. “Halifax still has that awesome energy for me – I can still feel it, even after all of this time.”

Indeed, it has been a long - and sometimes strange - trip for the Mt. Uniacke, Nova Scotia native. After almost two decades of making music, including both independent and major label releases, and a myriad of pseudonyms and aliases, Terfry is still going strong, keeping his finely-tuned eyes and ears firmly focused on the future and its fresh frontiers.

Certainly, 20 Odd Years is a sure …

Mary Carr-Chaisson!

Mary Carr-Chaisson is a visual artist and a pinhole photographer. She has been working with pinhole cameras since the early '90's, and uses two wooden box cameras. Pinhole cameras are constructed from materials such as boxes or cans, which are made light-tight. A piece of brass or pie plate serves as the camera lens. The aperture is created by inserting a stick pin directly through the material. Mary uses film in the pinhole camera, develops it, and then creates prints by hand in her darkroom. She has an eye for old buildings, landscapes, floral and fauna and likes to explore textures, reflections, shapes, and tone in her subject

Lavender (for Gabi) by Beth E. Janzen

Oh darling
you are always lavender
the white and the purple
the open beaded blooms

I come to your home and you are watering the lavender
It grows in a row, along your picket fence
The sun is shining—my bright friend—
and you are the most beautiful one

Once we bought geraniums
and I was astonished
you stuck yours in your window box at once
no fuss—the practical thing with grace—then inside for a glass of wine
while I always gardened with a text
a master plan, building something for centuries to come
not potting blooms for one warm summer

Your body lasted only one warm summer

But I see you now with a book
you turn you head, perceive my tears
pause in your reading and look down your glasses
as you so often did, with a mock frown

Go on with it you say
There is only one
Water the lavender

- Beth E. Janzen is the author of Night Vanishes (Saturday Morning Chapbooks, 2004) and The Enchanted House (Acorn, 2006). She is currently revising two manuscripts: How It Is (fiction) and Resea…

Poetry Goes Guerilla!

It’s poignant, colourful, and may contain a poem by your neighbour. “Open Heart Forgery”, a monthly homemade poetry journal, has earned its place on the literary countertops of HRM cafes and bookshops over the past year. Creator Donal Power opens up to Arts East.

AE: Where did the initial concept for “Open Heart Forgery” come from?
DP: I’ve always been a fan of ‘leafleteering’… Trotsky was pretty good at it and I was a big fan of Trotsky. I always liked that idea of ‘getting the word out’, and even though presentation is good, I thought it was more important to get the word out in an easily reproducible form so that people could be heard and so that people who didn’t read poetry could get exposed to it.

AE: OHF claims to “energize Halifax writers from the grass roots up”. How is the journal is accomplishing this?
DP: I think it is starting to energize people and giving people a venue to be heard. It’s discouraging to write and not have any place to get published and often people will …

Angelina Coccimiglio

Angelina Coccimiglio, originally from Saskatchewan, is a portrait photographer in Halifax. She studies photography at the Nova Scotia Community College.

Cleaning House with Joel Plaskett

Nova Scotia’s Joel Plaskett is back in action this summer, playing select shows around the region and across the country in support of his latest release, emergency’s, false alarms, shipwrecks, castaways, fragile creatures, special features, demons and demonstrations; 1999-2010 – an eclectic collection of b-sides, outtakes and rarities. Recently AE spoke with the multi-award winning singer-songwriter about the new compilation.

AE: What motivated you to release this recording now?
JP: After Three came out (2009), I toured that record a lot and was pretty tired when it was all said and done. I need some time to recharge my batteries and start writing songs for the next Emergency record which will be out this fall.

AE: How did you go about choosing the material for this collection?
JP: There is always a lot of spillover material when I make a record – stuff that doesn’t quite cut it or suit the sound or vibe of that particular collection of songs at that point. In some cases these were track…

All in a Night's Work for Randall Maggs!

Randall Maggs’ poetry has appeared in numerous reviews and anthologies. His most recent collection, Night Work: The Sawchuk Poems (2008) was included in the Globe and Mail’s list of “Top 100 Books” for that year. In 2009, Night Work won the Winterset Award and the Newfoundland Book Awards’ E.J. Pratt Poetry Prize, and in 2010, it won the Kobzar Literary Award. As well, he has been a long-time participant in Newfoundland’s March Hare Festival of words and music and Artistic Director of the Festival since 2002. He lives on the west coast of Newfoundland.

“The greatest save I ever saw
in hockey,” says Plante, waving pages of notes
in his trapper hand, the black suit too tight and the tie
too narrow, emphasizing an angular face and a startling
inelegant sprawl as he tries in his chair to show Ward Cornell
just how Sawchuk, flat on his back in a pileup
in front, puts a pad high in the air
to save the game,

as Terry himself turns up. He’s come
straight from the ice in his gear for a rare interview,
Arts East ~ Summer 2011 issue now available for direct download: CLICK