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Vallum’s most recent Café/Culture reading was held at the Divan Orange on August 15th.  Most of the readers at this event are featured in Vallum‘s latest issue, “Renegades,” on newsstands now. If you weren’t able to attend, here’s what you missed! A good-sized group turned up for a rainy Sunday evening, the best time for reading! The Divan Orange offered a quiet, peaceful setting for listening to poetry.

Larissa Andrusyshyn captured the crowd with readings from her book Mammoth (DC Books, 2010). Full of insightful comments and factoids, from science and Paleontology to the humorous and imaginative. The way the words lingered on her tongue was captivating, as was her content, particularly the personification of kidneys in wool sweaters, unemployed, doing crosswords in Starbucks.

Nelly Roffe’s poem, delivered first in French then read in English for the first time, was a treat. Painting a vivid scene of Santa Maria, complete with church bells and the connotative emotions associated with religion.

 Illona Martonfi’s poetic childhood tales were moving, particularly the depiction of her grandmother’s life in Hungary in the 19th century. Her first collection of poems is Blue Poppy (Coracle Press, 2009).

 Our surprise reader, Jeffrey Mackie, offered poems on memory and comments on consumerism. His performance was entertaining and humourous, touching on pop culture and ‘cultural A.D.D.’

The final poet of the evening, Harold Hoefle, engaged the audience with brief yet complex portraits of characters and truly captured the sense and feeling surrounding bar encounters . His short poems conveyed impressively full worlds. Favourite line was “he was a ‘no,’ you were the ‘brainer’.

The evening ended with Patrick Hutchison on guitar and John Kerkhoven on harmonica and vocals. The tales they told in song and rhyme were a success. The audience stomped along to their lively folk music, ranging from Scottish, fisherman to pub songs.

 Thank you to everyone who came out; readers and supporters alike, for making this event a success!