Our Suparna Ghosh week

It started with a Japanese lunch enjoyed by writers John and Ruth Colombo, poet/painter Suparna Ghosh, Danica and me. After dessert, we went for a look at Suparna’s condo “cottage”, a few steps down the block from her big home, a house-sized apartment across from Maple Leaf Gardens.

Above is the 39th floor vista from her Blueview “cottage”. The air was hazy (forest fire smoke?) but you can see all the way to the Toronto Islands. Someday, developers will fix that, but for now the tower-walls are incomplete.

Looking down, I saw the building that housed the first ad agency to employ me. An otherwise unpopular ad exec attracted visits to his office by sharing binoculars he kept on his window sill. Women were known to sunbathe in the nude on the rooftop of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. See arrow.

Yesterday evening, I went to hear Suparna read her poetry at the Art Bar, a small room in the back of the Free Times Café that has been hosting poets for 25 years.

The room had just the right ambience for a poetry reading, but it was ill-suited for multimedia presentations.

The sketch artist used his wine glass (foreground) to add washes with his finger.

Below is video content intended to accompany Suparna’s reading. You can see it better here than on the improvised screen at the Art Bar, but full marks to Shayona for trying audio-video under almost impossible circumstances.

Historical note: Suparna informed us that the Art Bar was originally called the Art Bed. MC John Oughton wondered aloud what that says about the direction the art scene has taken.

From Wikipedia: The ghazal originated in Arabia in the 7th century and later spread throughout the Middle East and South Asia. A ghazal may be understood as a poetic expression of both the pain of loss or separation and the beauty of love in spite of that pain.

9 thoughts on “Our Suparna Ghosh week”

  1. Your photos beautifully capture the rich ambience and Suparna’s charged presence on the stage. It smelled like summer that night and the words and music of her poetry suited the sultry magic in the air.

  2. One colourful blog led to another and I spent the afternoon experiencing through Bill and Danica’s eyes the streets, the neighborhoods, the festivals and the myriad of events in Toronto. I walked with you the zigzagging underbelly known simply as the PATH, which is far from simple to navigate. So many landmarks have gone down, so many mindless structures have come up. But you for reminded me through your word installations that this is still the Toronto I love.

  3. Well, thank you very much, Suparna, for your extensive visit. You’re right that Toronto is changing rapidly and sometimes destructively. I think of the city as in its adolescence, nearly adult, but not yet. Good judgement and maturity are still many years away, but this formative stage has plenty of excitements, amusements and potentials to enjoy.

  4. Lovely recreation of the evening. I guess it is too late to look out for sunbathers. Probably gone the way of the Art Bed. Oh well. Reminds me of the words of a lovely ghazal – Main hameshan der kur deta huun (damn, I am always too late).

  5. I saw Ruth and John, who mentioned that “Suparna week” saw an uptick in the visit to your blog and wondered why. (I had the secret pleasure of having already read that in your blog)

    One reason was probably that I happily informed a few of my friends about my surprise appearance in your blog, and I also shared it on my Facebook page, which I visit on occasion. Another reason was likely that I sent your link to Terry Trowbride, who emceed the open mic on my Art Bar reading night. He is a phd student at York U, and he posted your blog with the following comments:

    A Toronto blog reviewed Suparna Ghosh’s multimedia poetry reading at The Art Bar! 👩‍🎤The blogger didn’t seem to realize how much Art Bar needed a poet to update their stagecraft. Suparna is a founding member of Art Bar from 30 years ago. Her performances have kept pace with the cutting edge, so Art Bar has no excuse for its technical difficulties.🤫🤖All’s well that ends well, though.🤭
    Our Suparna Ghosh week – Bill Andersen

    It is heartening that we are relevant to the new generation! Terry wrote to me that he, like you and Danica, walks around Toronto and takes photos, particularly of walls which are canvases for graffiti artists.

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