Field Notes

Lord galvanized Moses! Kerri Breen lets you know what’s on the go.

Paint the walls
The Rotary Paradise Youth Centre wants to turn its new indoor skate park from drab, industrial bleakness to urban, artsy sweetness.

“All the walls in our building are 100 per cent white,” says the centre’s Youth Co-ordinator, Allan Bearns. “We literally want every inch of our side of the building graffitied.”

The centre is putting out a call for expressions of interest from artists to do graffiti and mural work in the new park, set to open at the end of June. Bearns says a paint job on this scale can’t happen overnight.

“We have 50-foot ceilings and even with skate ramps going as far as 10 feet—there is more than enough surface area. We are hoping for a large pool of submissions so we can pick and get as many artists as possible.”

The Paradise skate park, yet to be formally named, will have free walls where people can tag and paint freely. Every so often they will be whitewashed so the space can be reused.

On May 9, the centre is holding an all-ages hip-hop show as a fundraiser for the paint and supplies. For more info about the show or the graffiti call 782- 2297 or e-mail theroboticwrench@yahoo.ca. Check out the show’s line up at www.tiny.cc/paintthewalls

The auk faces off
The winner of CBC’s Poetry Face-off never liked poetry until quite recently. MUN student Randy Drover says it wasn’t until he joined Mary Dalton’s poetry class last fall that he started enjoying the form as a reader and writer.

“I wasn’t really inclined to write poetry,” he says. “Then I started reading Newfoundland writers and more modern writers and enjoyed it. I found out that I could write poetry in the style that I write fiction.”

Drover won the contest despite his inexperience and some very fierce competition from across the country − including Saskatchewan’s poet laureate. Each region held its own contest and the recordings from the local winners were posted on the contest’s website. The overall winner was decided by popular vote.

This year’s theme was flight. Drover pursued the idea through a witty piece about a flightless bird, the extinct great auk.

“That idea kind of stuck. I just ran with it, I guess. Tried to have a little fun with it.”

His poem will go on a CD with the other regional winners.

“It’s a weird feeling because you never think anyone from Newfoundland could even have hopes to win a national competition,” Drover says, adding that he’d like to thank everyone who supported him.

Cherishing swearing
A friend’s response to Danielle Dawe’s incessant requests for creative curses says it all: “Lord dancin’ Jesus candlestick jumpin’ bakeapple fuck, Danielle, wouldja gividdup already!?”

She and Don Maher are compiling the best of our province’s potty-mouthed works of art in a book tentatively titled A String of Oaths: Creative Cursing in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The point is to embrace the (lord dyin’) uniqueness of our culture and the prominent place inspired swearing occupies within it.

“Since the inception of this project, we have learned that a favourite pastime of Newfoundlanders was to outdo each other’s creative curses, which would help explain the amount and diversity available,” says Dawe. “In a similar fashion of freestyle rap battles, Newfoundlanders would have creative cursing competitions, and we feel that it is important to preserve and share this part of our heritage.”

The idea was inspired by Maher’s upbringing on the Southern Shore, where he heard his share of ferocious gems. As far as he knows, there are no other dictionary-type books that deal with Newfoundland swearing exclusively.

Three publishers have expressed interest in the project, and a website is on the way. Dawe and Maher hope to travel to smaller Newfoundland communities this summer to collect more creative curses.

To submit, check out www.tiny.cc/creativecurse

Up to something field noteworthy? E-mail kerri@thescope.ca