Thursday, March 11, 2010

moving on down the road

On Sunday, I finished my term as President of Vancouver Poetry House, and resigned from the Board of Directors. I have been a director since we formed our society in 2003. During this time, Poetry House has organized the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word and the Individual World Poetry Slam in Vancouver. These 2 large events drew poets and audience from all over North America and built up participation in spoken word art in our city. We created WordPlay, a poetry in schools program that employs poets to run workshops for students, started a youth poetry slam, and organized workshops and special performances. We got 2 Canada Council grants which we used to bring poets to Vancouver to share their art. We also launched a very cool website.

I love Poetry House. I love the friends with whom I have worked - board members and volunteers. I have learned a lot about poetry, running an organization, and how people work together. The experience has been exciting, challenging, triumphant and absurd at various times. Mostly it has been excellent to work with people who share a passion and get energized by making wonderful things happen.

I'm sad to leave now, but know for sure that the timing is right. We have just one short year left as a family of four living all in one house. Fiona will be going away to university after she finishes high school next year. Alex will likely stay for a while longer, but will be beginning his career. Andy and I are making the transition from parents of children to parents of adults, and thinking more about house projects, travel, and the shape our life together will take for the next 25 years. It's possible I may return to my regular job at the end of this year, after 3 years acting in another. At church I continue to be involved in outreach activities, mostly around issues of homelessness in our community. If I was an octopus, with a brain and a heart in each arm, I'd keep Poetry House. Being a person, with one head and one heart, I'm pulling in a bit to have energy and focus for the things that are closest to home.

I'll still come out to the poetry slam, and will try to help with events and projects when I can. In the meantime, Poetry House is going places. It has a board of directors that is skilled, dynamic, and poised to advance our programs to the next level of wonderfulness. It's working in a time of financial restraint, but artistic abundance. The opportunities now for engaging people in art are as great as they have ever been.

I'm grateful for the opportunity to have been involved in PoHouse. I'm sad to say good-bye now, but confident that it's the best choice all around. I look forward to seeing where PoHouse goes. I will remain a member, and an admiring fan.

question: what have you set down?

mompoet - picking up my feet and walking on down the road

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