August 05, 2013

Ex-Winnipeg Poet Shows Promise

By Steve Locke

Despite what the title of his latest book of poetry might imply, telling Jon Paul Fiorentino that his work needs improvement would be like suggesting to Jonathan Toews to try skating lessons. Well established in Canadian literature, Fiorentino has published numerous works, is the current editor of Matrix Magazine, and teaches at Concordia University. He certainly knows how to keep his stick on the ice, if you catch my drift.

Fiorentino will be carrying the cup home at Thin Air's Poetry Bash! on Wednesday, September 25 - a celebrated homecoming for the ex-pat Winnipegger who now lives in Montreal. Despite the distance, our fair city remains alive in his work from the fragments of Transcona in his first collection, to the aching memories of "In Perfect Winnipeg" from his latest, Needs Improvement.

This week, we'll be exploring the theme of the living, breathing city that exists within the lines of Fiorentino's work, and how you can take the poet out of Winnipeg, but...(you know how the rest goes)

First off is a video poem of "In Perfect Winnipeg," set to haunting music and images that bed well with the lyrics, and lifts the poem from the page into collective imagination.

Also visit Fiorentino's Soundcloud page for audio versions of some of his poems, and be sure to stay tuned this week for a word from the returning hero himself.

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