City of Kitchener meets Poetry City Challenge

The City of Kitchener is rising to a challenge from the City of Regina Mayor, and I have been asked to read a poem during the City Council meeting on Monday April 23, at 7pm.

I will be reading a poem from my Grand River: Grand Conversations series that I created as part of my 2010 City of Kitchener Artist In Residence project.

Here is an overview of the challenge as issued by Regina Mayor Pat Fiacco:
The Mayor’s Poetry City Challenge project encourages municipal councils across Canada to take a few minutes in their Council meetings in March or April 2012 to recognize the poets in their communities, the contribution of poetry to the arts in Canada, the enormous contribution small publishers to the history and cultural development of Canada. Poetry City will be coordinated with programs to promote reading, writing and study activities in schools, universities and community venues during National Poetry Month. The Poetry City project is led by the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild (SWG) in partnership with the League of Canadian Poets.

According to Regina’s Mayor Pat Fiacco, the Mayor’s Poetry City Challenge “will be a world-first in recognizing the enormous contribution of our poets, other writers, and publishers to the cultural history and identity of our communities and our nation.”

Plan to attend to find out which poem I will read at the Kitchener City Council meeting and to show support for poetry during National Poetry Month; the first person at the meeting to tell me, “I’m here to support Canadian Poetry by a living poet!” will win a copy of my Grand River: Grand Conversations exhibition catalogue (a photo and poetry book).

Please come to the City of Kitchener Council Chamber on Monday April 23, 2012, at 7:00 pm!

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Hello world! A revamped Grand River: Grand Conversations site

Welcome to the new Grand River: Grand Conversations site on This is a brief posting to let you know that the site has been relocated to  There will be new and updated content coming soon.

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Publication – Grand River: Grand Conversations catalogue

Grand River: Grand Conversations catalogue
The catalogue documenting the exhibition Grand River: Grand Conversations is now available on the web!
If you’ve seen the exhibition at Kitchener City Hall’s Rotunda Gallery, you can re-read the poems at your leisure.
View all sixteen images and poems on the web in an Adobe Acrobat PDF form, or choose to print it for your personal use.
The file is large (14.5Mb) but gives a sense of the exhibition, in a 6"x10" book form.
Images in the catalogue are approximately 3"x8", much smaller than the original 8"x20" photographs in the exhibition; this is one reason to visit the exhibition, running until the end of Sunday, January 2nd, 2011.
Click on the link to go to the Public documents page to view or download the file: Grand River: Grand Conversations exhibition catalogue.
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Exhibition – Grand River: Grand Conversations

Grand River: Grand Conversations exhibition/opening reception
Stop by the Rotunda Gallery in December for some grand conversations
Stefan Rose’s year as Kitchener’s Artist in Residence culminates with his exhibition, Grand River: Grand Conversations

Meet Stefan and celebrate his achievement: Thursday, December 9, 5-7 pm  

A year’s worth of work by the City of Kitchener’s artist-in-residence, Stefan Rose, will be on exhibit at the Rotunda Gallery at Kitchener City Hall for the month of December.

The exhibition, called Grand River: Grand Conversations, examines Kitchener’s geography and history, residents’ sense of place, and the environment using photographs and poems. Throughout his residency, Rose exhibited his work on Grand River Transit buses, and ran public workshops on photography.

A Waterloo artist and poet, Rose is interested in creative and documentary art forms, using photography, videography, and poetry. He uses a large-format banquet camera, among others, for his creative work.

Born in Leeds, England, he immigrated to Canada in 1977. He has exhibited his photographs in numerous solo and group exhibitions, and has collaborated with other artists across many media.

Rose’s collaborative works include Townsend Retraced, 2004 (with Laura Cunningham and Hilary Martin); Death by Chocolate, 2008 (with photographer Andrew Wright), and several video works commissioned by the Penderecki String Quartet, to accompany their performances across Canada and internationally.

In 2008 his poetry chapbook, The House That Stands, was published by Anchorage Press, and was awarded first place in the poetry category of the 2008 Alcuin Society Book Design Awards (designer: Andrew Steeves); earlier this year it represented Canada in competition at the World Book Design Awards in Leipzig, Germany.

There are currenty five image/poem combinations from Grand River: Grand Conversations displayed inside Grand River Transit buses as interior advertising panels, to provide access to these artworks as a surprise for the riders. The panels are randomly distributed among the GRT fleet, on buses numbered 2413, 2426, 2705, 2707 and 8021, and may be assigned to any of the bus routes daily.

In mid-December, check back at this space for a free downloadable online publication with the photographs and poems of Grand River: Grand Conversations.

The artist-in-residence for 2011 is Sean Puckett, a Kitchener photographer.

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Public Talk – The Word On The Street

Reading from Grand River: Grand Conversations, poems in progress
Kitchener Radio Group Tent, Victoria Park, Kitchener
Sunday, September 26, 12:15pm – 1:15pm
On Sunday September 26th, I will be reading poems-in-progress from my Grand River: Grand Conversations project, as well as works from previous poetry sequences that relate to landscape and identity.  I will have examples of some of my images and poems that were turned into bus advertising panels.
I’m thankful for the opportunity to have a full hour to read poems from this Artist In Residence project, and will also be interested in talking to more Kitchener residents about what the Grand River means to them and their sense of community.

 On another bright note, five new panels will be going inside buses for the month of October, overlapping with the annual Oktoberfest celebrations. More information will follow soon about which buses will contain the poetry.  Here is an example of one of the bus panels.


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Public Talk – Grand River/River Grand: Chronicles and Conversations


Grand River / River Grand: Chronicles and Conversations

Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, 101 Queen Street North, Kitchener, ON

Tuesday June 29, 2010, 7:00pm

What part does the Grand River play in the imagination of today’s residents of Kitchener, and how can sense of place translate into artwork?  Join photographer Stefan Rose for an evening talk about his creative process, and how conversations with residents and engagement with the landscape can reveal grander artistic insights, using large-format photographs and poems.  Rose will describe how temporality, psychogeography, seriality, and beauty coincide in his artwork, in relation to his ongoing project Grand River: Grand Conversations, and in context with the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery’s ongoing series River Grand Chronicles, this year featuring the art of Gwen McGregor.  This is the second in a series of public talks by City of Kitchener’s 2010 Artist-In-Residence, Stefan Rose.
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Earth Day art installed on city buses – update

Here’s a update regarding the bus interior art panels; they are in buses numbered 8019, 2612, 2323, 2605, and 2311, and could be on any route in the Kitchener-Waterloo area on any given day (GRT has over 150 buses in their fleet, so the five buses could be anywhere)!  The panels will be inside the buses until May 15, 2010.  If anyone actually sees all five, please send me the names of the five poems and drop me an e-mail to let me know which is your favourite panel.
Here’s a quick note regarding the five panels, which are 11 x 35 inches in size.  Several poems have quotes from random residents of Kitchener (printed in italics), and the poems also refer to some aspect of the history of the area and my own responses to the landscape when I’m making the photographs.  The original images were made using a 1927-vintage large format view camera, that takes 8 inch x 20 inch (20cm x 50cm) film.  Below is an example of one of the panels.
Happy travels on a more environmental way to commute!
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