Like ice cream — without the brain freeze

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Justin Crann
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Sask's poet laureate reads at festival luncheon

For Judith Krause, Saskatchewan's fifth poet laureate, poetry is a bit like ice cream.

Saskatchewan's poet laureate Judith Krause following her reading at the Saskatchewan Festival of Words' luncheon on Friday. Krause read a series of poems — both her original work and some collected from other Saskatchewan poets — all focused on food.

"I have many, many favourite poets. I have a new favourite every day," she told the Times-Herald. "It would be impossible for me to even pick one school of poetry. It's a bit like food — even though there are a few things I wouldn't eat."

Food was an apropos topic which Krause focused heavily on during her reading as part of the Saskatchewan Festival of Words' luncheon on Friday. 

Every reading — including several from other Saskatchewan poets — focused on it.

"As a poet, any time you're asked to read one of the things you do is think about who the audience will be, what the event is, and if there is anything you can tie your reading into. I thought, 'What a perfect occasion,'" she explained. "It's a luncheon with the poet laureate. I better find some poetry about food."

Krause noted that putting the focus on contemporary poetry about subjects a modern audience can connect with is essential to promote the craft as a whole — especially for an audience composed, at least in part, of people who aren't necessarily poetry lovers.

"This was a very appreciative audience. They laughed, and seemed to be listening. But I know there were a lot of people here who would never choose to go to a poetry reading, this just came with lunch," she said. 

"But you hope when you write poems that speak to you and share them with an audience, some piece of them will resonate."

When Krause read a Gary Hyland poem about food and how each item you eat is visibly connected to the area of the body it strengthens or impacts, she very clearly resonated with the audience — many of whom were in stitches as Hyland's poem connected tomatoes to the heart, citrus fruit to the breasts, and olives to ovaries.

She drew the heartiest laughs with the poem's punchline: "But never mind the banana."

Krause will next appear at 10:10 a.m. Saturday in the Moose Jaw Public Library's reading room.

Find Justin Crann on Twitter.

Organizations: Times-Herald, Moose Jaw Public Library

Geographic location: Saskatchewan

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