March , 23 2007
Martin releases first book
By Jody Sanderson – Oakville Today
It’s hard to pin point exactly, the elusive ingredient that makes CJ’s Cafe in Bronte rise above most other coffee bistros. Definitely the unique art hanging on the walls serves notice that you’re not in Timmy’s anymore. The coffees, the food, the friendly atmosphere all meet the corner coffee shop requirements. But it’s not those either.
Perhaps it’s the programs CJ offers. Programs for poets, for authors, for painters and other artists, including the songwriters’ series she’s featuring this spring.
No, the heart of CJ’s is CJ herself. If there were such a thing as a Renaissance woman, it would be the owner of this exciting art venue. She is a poet, writer, visual artist and community organizer. Her love of the arts in Oakville is palpable. A member of the board of directors of the Oakville Arts Council, CJ walks the talk.
On the eve of Oakville’s inaugural celebration of National Poetry Month, CJ is launching her first published book of poetry, But Tonight. It is a collection of a variety of poems, including free verse, haikus, sonnets, even an epic or two.
“I have saved all my writings, all my journals since I was a kid,” says CJ. “These are poems I have written throughout my life and if my prolific pace continues, I probably won’t complete my next book until I’m sixty!”
CJ had been working with a friend, Catherine Mondragon who is a visual arts teacher at Sheridan College, on a recording of her poetry accompanied by music.
In a business that’s all about relationships, CJ ran the idea past a friend at Mosaic Press who eventually decided to publish the book there. Using material CJ edited two years ago, the result is But Tonight.
Due the end of March, CJ will launch the book with a book reading and signing on Sunday, April 1, at – where else? – CJ’s Cafe in Bronte. More good news, is that $1.00 from every book sold will go to support the development of local poets and poetry projects, through the Oakville Arts Council.
The business of running a cafe – marketing, ordering food, supplies, managing staff – uses a different part of the brain than writing poetry, at least for CJ.
“I’d say in the last year, I have written five haiku poems. I need to take a long drive and re-engage my brain to create that kind of art.” She is also sketching with ink to keep her creative juices flowing.
Reading with CJ on April 1 will be poets Angie Belcastro and Josie Di Sciascio Andrews. From 2 pm – 4 pm, you can enjoy great eats and the opportunity to participate in one of the world’s oldest and most treasured art experiences.
CJ’s will also be hosting two other events during poetry month. On Sunday, April 15, beginning at noon, will be a discussion about the future of poetry and poetry in the future, called Future In(tense). Two weeks later, on Sunday, April 29, at noon, will be a tribute to the work of poet Donna Penrice. To learn more about these events, please contact CJ at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 905-465-0411.