AMP ( is CANCELLED – indefinately.

We regret to inform everyone that AMP is cancelled.

This includes JUNE AMP.

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“How did it get so late so soon? Its night before its afternoon. December is here before its June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?” Dr. Seuss.

So take this theme and interpret as you may with words or art or lyrics or anything interesting! Just so you know, this is an option for those who want it, everything is accepted.

Last AMP was so successful as you can see from the post below of all the videos of our readers and performers. So take the plunge, come on out and try a new thing.

For all of you, as you know we have to put out $20.00 for each reading to the Urban Nature Center to support our space and their cause so bring some loonie and toonies out to chip in. If you can, we also accept donations of food and drink. Just write us a note or bring it by the night of. Can never have enough food!

Hope to see everyone there. Don’t forget to invite a friend!

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AMP MAY (was a stunning success regardless of the darn rain.)

Last night we had AMP MAY 2011 at the Urban Nature Center. There was a variety of readers and performances including video poetry, music and even recitation of poetry!

It was a wonderful evening with a lot of great readers and listeners coming out to support.

We, as writers, all mused on the idea of what does it take to get others to come out? What about all those closet writers who are too scared to read or feel too intimidated. Well I came up with a solution to this without even telling my fellow readers, so hopefully it will come as a lovely surprise. I actually filmed several of the readers reading a poem of theirs or performing so that you can see that there is nothing to fuss about. We are not scary people! We love literature, we are cool cats, we are writers and artists coming together and having a little fun every 3rd wednesday.

our host with the most, jerard hutchinson.

jerard hutchinson at AMP MAY
John Drage at AMP MAY pt. 1
John Drage at AMP MAY pt. 2
Lois Nantais at AMP MAY
Michael Stoesser pt. 1 at AMP MAY
Michael Stoesser pt AMP MAY
Ryan Gibbs at AMP MAY
Norma Linder at AMP MAY
Peggy Fletcher at AMP MAY
Chris Long at AMP May
George Stoesser at AMP MAY
Debbie Okun Hill at AMP MAY

Don’t forget to come out to the next AMP on JUNE 15. Poster and theme will be up soon!

copyright. all photos/videos melissa upfold/calculated colour co. 2011

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writing community news: sarnia launch of international anthology/ dante club /may 15th

In Sarnia we have quite a well established writing community now. Two nights of poetry a month, book releases throughout the year by our ever active writers and an writing/editing/feedback group WIT
Working together to launch two books this May 15 at the Dante Club are some of the most distinguished within our community. If you get a chance, stop by, it’s free. Let’s face it, when was the last time you had a chance to listen to some amazing writers read their  work. So get out and get to this! Support our community.

Also, I am just assuming, but I am certain these books will be made available afterwards if you do not get a chance to get there. Most likely at the WIT table at the Lawrence House on First Fridays and at Artwalk. But I’ll ask. More details to come. Check out the media release below.

cover of the soon to be launched Sweet Lemons 2

Media Release Sarnia
Launch of International Anthology

      Sweet Lemons 2: International Writings with a Sicilian Accent will be launched on May 15, 2011, 2:00-4:00 p.m. the Dante Club, 1330 London Road, Sarnia, Ontario. Free Admission.

Sweet Lemons 2 is a 400-page anthology, edited in southwestern Ontario, with contributions from close to 90 authors. Published by Legas of New York, but edited in Canada by Bright’s Grove residents Delia De Santis and Venera Fazio, the anthology celebrates Sicilian writers, culture, and immigrant experiences and includes the work of a number of award-winning writers.

“Encouraged by the success of the first Sweet Lemons anthology published in 2004, co-editor Delia De Santis and I decided a second volume might be equally rewarding,” says Fazio. “The first volume sold out. It featured American and Canadian writers, was included on the Best of Sicily web site and was chosen by the magazine Italian America as one of their best picks for summer reading, 2006. For this second volume, the first of its kind, we took advantage of global networking and included not only North American writers but also authors of Sicilian heritage from other English speaking countries such as the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. A few of Sicily’s renowned authors, such as Andrea Camilleri, Elio Vittorini and Maria Messina (Medal of Gold,

award winner) appear in English translation.”

Roughly one-third of the contributors are Canadian and include Sarnia writers Joseph Farina and Carmen Ziolkowski and from London (ON), Jim Zucchero.  “Delia and I are also pleased to include the work of two American Book Award winners, Maria Mazziotti Gillan and Daniela Gioseffi as well as a contribution by Inge Israel, who was named Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France),” adds Fazio.

“As in the first book, this second volume explores the complexities of a Sicilian heritage. We know, for example, that Sicilians are often painted with a broad Mafiosi brush and that’s one of the common myths about Sicilians that both books dispel. Like the first book, we believe this second one will also strike a cord with readers wanting to connect to their Sicilian heritage. For readers not familiar with Sicily, they will discover a unique island with a complex culture and a potent hold over her off springs wherever they may live.”

The May 15th launch will include readings by the Sarnia and London contributors as well as the two editors. It will be hosted by Caroline Di Cocco with special thanks to The Dante Club, The Italo-Canadian Cultural Club – Laziali di Sarnia and the Association of Italian Canadian Writers. The afternoon will also include the launch of Another Trail of Comet Dust: Poems Pulled from Earth, a 24-page poetry chapbook by Lambton County Writer Debbie Okun Hill.

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Hello there. In case you have not heard, we have decided to include an optional theme on which writers/artists/musicians can respond. For this month we are turning towards the concept of rebellion, of raising your voice against the majority.

“A riot is the language of the unheard.”
martin luther king jr.

So let your voices be heard!

You do not have to follow this theme but we are keeping it open for intepretation for anyone who wants to follow it.


Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night
Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on that sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.




In other news we got this invitation from Debbbie Okun Hill from the Spoken Word Group at the Lawrence House:

If you’re looking for something “literary” to attend on Sunday, May 15 from 2 to 4 p.m., we’d love you to join us in launching two books at the Dante Club, small hall, 1330 London Road in Sarnia, Ontario. The afternoon will feature readings from several local and out-of-town contributors* as well as entertainment and light refreshments. Admission is free and is open to the public.
Featured books include:
SWEET LEMONS 2: International Writings With a Sicilian Accent, an anthology edited by Bright’s Grove writers/editors Venera Fazio & Delia De Santis
ANOTHER TRAIL OF COMET DUST: Poems Pulled from Earth, the second poetry chapbook by Lambton County poet Debbie Okun Hill
The event is being presented by The Dante Club, The Italo-Canadian Cultural Club – Laziali di Sarnia & The Association of Italian Canadian Writers.
Hope to see you there.


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Map to the Urban Nature Center at 184 Christina st. North.

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AMP APRIL (the new (fresher)) face of AMP

Although we had a small and intimate group last night at AMP, we determined that instead of giving up, we will work harder to expose people to poetry and to create a movement within our city.  The topic was open for discussion with many people suggesting: more involvement of Art and Music, Postering the town to attract attention, using innovative approaches to poetry such as combining video with poetry, art presentation etc, having readings outside when possible and in the introduction of  challenges.


1.THEMES These will be abstract themes to challenge people to write or perform about a particular topic. This will be proposed as a question, a piece of poetry ( or excerpt), or random action to be applied to the poem itself. The theme will be posted as soon as possible up on this blog.

2. BRING ONE PERSON TO THE EVERY AMP! We challenge you to bring one friend, introduce one coworker to AMP.

3. BLOG:  Every month we challenge you to submit something to the blog. Be it your favourite poem, one you have written yourself or by a poet you find interesting, a song, a video, an interview, an essay, etc. etc.

This is an attempt to add more and more content to this blog.

In order to make things easier we will have a map up on the blog for people who do not know where the Urban Nature Center  is located, also on facebook.

We will also make small handouts with this blog address on it for you to hand out to your friends.

One thing we all decided is that we want an AMP that’s progressive, one that’s committed to looking forward and one that is relaxed and open and willing to try new things. We want to grow with our group and make it challenging as well as fun. We want to encourage those who have never been and celebrate a community that we have created.  We want to publish more, be more present in the artistic scene in our community and introduce many people to the poetry and art we love.

So here are some photos from last night. Thanks to everyone for coming out last night and to those who couldn’t make it, we hope to see you next time.

jerard, the host with the most.

the crowd of enthusiastic poets.

George Stoesser reading some classics

Elena Feick

everyone loves cupcakes and urban nature center sculptures

Also, in a spontaneous act of poetry George and Jerard read sections of poems back and forth. Jerard read two originals and George read The Cry of the Dreamer by John Boyle O’Reilly

I happen to tape most of this exchange as both men chose sides of the room to read their selections from.
Here is a link to that video:






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