|Brian Johnson captures Katherine's arrival at the A-frame|
Katherine Leyton has become a name in the news this summer, as the first writer in residence at the newly restored A-frame of Al and Eurithe Purdy, on Roblin Lake in Ameliasburgh.
|Purdy picnic 2014|
But Katherine has been very active for some years, as founder of an innovative poetry website How Pedestrian which has been "bringing poetry to random places since 2010."
The HowPedestrian Manifesto explains the idea - it's about bringing poetry out of living rooms (and classrooms I'm thinking) and into taxis and pubs, invading everyday spaces with verse, making it a part of everyday life. "We wondered, if we literally take poetry to the street, can we figuratively make it more 'pedestrian'?" Three principles are at the basis of the project: "No-one should be afraid of poetry, there's a poet for everyone and poetry doesn't have to be serious." Love it. Do visit. Spend a lot of time...there are even a few Purdy poems there. And by September, there will be even more.
This summer, Katherine has used some of her time at the A-frame to create the Al Purdy chapter of the HowPedestrian project. She has been filming people around Prince Edward County reading Al's poetry. She has interviewed poets who knew Al talking about his influence on their writing and what he meant to them personally. Katherine has filmed Steven Heighton, Phil Hall, Robert Priest, Paul Vermeersch in the A-frame and on location around the county.
|Katherine and Michele at the Al Purdy library|
She has also stopped people on the streets and roads and asked them to read for her. The summer's HowPedestrian readers include Rednersville's much-lovedvReverend Morris McLeod, Norman Hardie in his vineyard, Gesa at the Al Purdy library, David Sweet at Books&Company, several Ameliasburgh residents, and folks at Campbell's Orchards, Lola's Perogies and Hawthorne Motors in Carrying Place.
This coming Saturday afternoon, Katherine will be sharing the video she has produced this summer. Another reason to attend the APAFA fund-raiser at Active Arts Studio. Here's the link for information and booking. See you there!