Okay, so back to the work and big fun of blogging about cool arts, culture and entertainment stuff around Toronto.
Yesterday, I had a date with one of my ladies – the lovely and talented Lizzie Violet – to go hear Brandon Pitts read at Art of the Danforth. Toronto was having another heat wave day – hot, but not too sticky – and we were very happy to find a spot in the shade at the outdoor venue adjacent to the TCHC apartment building on the south side of Danforth, just east of Greenwood. We got there a bit early, so had the added pleasure of catching some music and song from Voces Poeticas: Music and Poetry in Motion. Thanks to Lizzie for the pics!
I’ve seen Brandon Pitts read once before – at The Beautiful and the Damned at Zelda’s a couple of months ago – and it was so good to have the opportunity to hear him do a solo read, with a longer set, on the closing day of Art on the Danforth. He read mostly from Pressure to Sing, a collection of his poems that got published last year, and treated us to some new pieces as well. And when I say “read,” it wasn’t so much reading as performing – often by memory – his voice and body moving and shifting along with the rhythms of his words.
Pitts’ work is visceral, political, irreverent, historical, biblical, romantic, vulgar and lyrical. And you really need to hear those words and rhythms, so I’m going to shut up now and leave you with this YouTube vid of one of my favourite Brandon Pitts poems – “Lot” which appears in Pressure to Sing:
What words move you?