WINNIPEG, by Nicholas Ruddock


Portage and Main,

never thought I’d see that intersection again,

last time through, at twenty-three,

you, your baby on your knee,

Polaris shifted, Cassiopeia low

we’re in love but who’s to know

and who’s to care and who says need

but Brandon, the wind and the tumbleweed.

At The Red and the Assiniboine, at the confluence of rivers and cultures: the English, the French, Métis, the numerous First Nations—Winnipeg, a centre of both calm and controversy, justice and injustice, the memory of Louis Riel across the river in St. Boniface, the recent memory of Miss Rinelle Harper, Winnipeg a winter city which has, since its inception, been at the centre of Canadian conscience and consciousness, a home for artists, musicians, writers, dancers, idealists, imperfectionists too. Home of the friendliest bus drivers we’ve ever met. Home also to this great Literary Festival, Thin Air. Run by those who know and love books, it’s well-attended, well-publicized, well-organized, and brings both established writers and newcomers (in particular I mention the poet Jordan Abel last year) to critical and laudatory attention.

Nicholas Ruddock