Past President of League of Canadian Poets to Read in Cobourg
Poets Reading at 66 King East - Thursday Nov. 19, 2009

"My poetry speaks in words that reach out to others," Betsy Struthers states, "Words that talk in highly charged but plain language about life experiences - love, birth, death, aging, travel, dogs, gardens, the whole shebang."

Ms. Struthers will read her poetry at "Meet at 66 King East" in Cobourg on Thursday, November 19. The Cobourg Poetry Workshop hosts the series of Readings regularly at this location on the 3rd Thursday of each month. Readings start at 7:30 p.m. but the doors open at 7 p.m.

Betsy Struthers has published eight books of poetry and is a past president of the League of Canadian Poets. Collections of her poems have been issued by some of Canada's most respected literary presses, such as Wolsak & Wynn and Black Moss. Her books have met with significant acclaim. Still, won the 2004 Pat Lowther Memorial Award for the best book of poetry by a Canadian woman. The next year Writing Down the Moon,was shortlisted for the 2005 CBC Literary Awards. Betsy lives in Peterborough, Ontario, where she works as a freelance editor.

Although she has also had 3 murder mystery novels published, Ms. Struthers declares, "I much prefer poetry, because it is always new -- the challenge of combining sound and sense, form and content, music and idea, emotion and discipline."

Marta Cooper Burt and Grahame Woods of Cobourg will also read their poetry on November 19. "The essence of oral poetry is rhythmic language," notes Ms Cooper Burt. "I grew up in Cobourg in a family of amateur musicians and professional word-smiths -- be they English teachers, lawyers, journalists"

Mr. Woods adds, "What I enjoy about the challenge of writing poetry is seeing an idea, a thought, materialize and take shape, be re-worked."

With a little added reflection, he concludes, "And, of course, it's very elusive. My guess is it's never truly captured."

Asked about the November 19 reading, Marta explains, "I am not a spoken word artist - memorizing several pages of poetry is not something my brain can do - but I do write my poetry for a listening audience. I draw on my background in classical music and pay attention to pace, volume, tone."

"Eric Winter encouraged me to join the workshop and I finally took the plunge," Mr. Woods states. Eric is a key member of the local Poetry Workshop and was officially Poet Laureate of Cobourg for the past 12 years. Grahame was in the habit of joining the audience at the 3rd Thursday Poetry Readings and several times now he himself has been one of the poets performing a reading, "It's been a big learning curve. When I started, of course, I had no idea how it would work out. Following the times I've read at 66 King I've consciously tried to move in a different direction for my next reading, to explore other ideas. They don't always work, but I like to challenge and push myself."

Betsy Struthers has the perspective of someone more experienced, "Even if I read some poems I've read in public before, every audience reaction is different and so makes me hear my own poems in a different way -- which is always exciting."