In the winter of 2021, I was tucked away in a cozy little island villa with my husband, enjoying some time away and working on some writing. A couple of months before, I submitted some poems to Event Magazine, a literary magazine I had been reading for years – and then, as I always do, I forgot about it and moved on to other things.
On a cold snowy day while I was preparing a video read for an online event, I received the wonderful email informing me that one of my poems had been accepted for publication – and I was overjoyed. Not just because my poem would be published in this beautiful magazine, but because the poem was based on the life of my great-grandmother, and as a stage actress myself, it felt like a perfect way to honour her memory and the heritage she passed on.
In the last several months I have returned to writing poetry and have been enjoying experimenting with different methods to create. My favourite method has been to write an essay, paragraph, or even a story about a random topic, or a chosen one, and then go back and highlight the sentences, paragraphs, and words that evoke the images that are the most vibrant and lyrical. I find it fun to do this, to treat it as an exercise without the pressure of trying to produce, and then see what I can discover within my own work – hence my poem The Curtain Rises was born.
I am pleased to say it is now available in Event Magazine’s Issue 51/1 alongside other amazing writers and their words. Event Magazine is produced from one of our local institutions, Douglas College. My poem, The Curtain Rises is about my great-grandmother and her life on the stage in the early 1900’s. I studied theatre at Douglas College after high school, so this poem in this magazine feels like the perfect match.
You might even call it destiny.
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J.G. Chayko is a writer, actress, and international arthritis advocate who’s been involved in theatre for more than 30 years and has published poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction.
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