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A musical twist on the spoken word

There is certainly a place for “literary snobs” and there is “something to be said for double, triple and quadruple meanings in verse,” but it's not all-encompassing of poetry. It's not at all what Daniel Aubin is aiming for in his work.
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Greater Sudbury poet laureate Daniel Aubin is launching his second book, Néologirouettes, Dec. 12. The community welcome to listen to musical interpretations of his work at the VIA rail station on Elgin Street. Supplied photo.

There is certainly a place for “literary snobs” and there is “something to be said for double, triple and quadruple meanings in verse,” but it's not all-encompassing of poetry. It's not at all what Daniel Aubin is aiming for in his work.

Sudbury's poet laureate said he wants his work to be “immediately interesting” to anyone listening or reading — no matter what their experience is with poetry.

To help make his work more accessible, Aubin is launching his latest collection of work with help from drummer and guitarist Antoine Tremblay-Beaulieu and keyboard player Michel Laforge. The author, who is launching his second book, thinks his work is best presented when it's read out loud.

“It's like spoken word with musical accompaniment,” Aubin said. “It has definitely got an edge to it. Maybe punk poetry.

“I wanted to make it more like a party,” he said. “The show is trying to attract a larger audience than your typical fans of literature and spoken word.”

Aubin said the collection, which was published by Éditions Prise de parole, is about 150 pages long. It contains work from the past 10 years, on a variety of topics. Aubin said he has been writing for most of his life, becoming seriously interested in poetry art as a teenager.

He spent many nights in his early teens at Tim Hortons, writing and talking poetry until the wee hours of the morning, breaking only to go outside and smoke cigarettes. With the endless love poems and rebellious verses on social justice out of his system, Aubin has moved on to more complex topics.

“I got to express every clichéd sentiment,” he said. “Now I have to move onto something more original.”

His more recent work is often influenced by his surroundings — as a lifelong Sudburian, he is wowed by the setting of his hometown.

“There is lots of inspiration to be mined from this landscape,” he said. 


Other hot topics in his work include the art of writing and language. Being bilingual, he finds himself swirling between languages more often than not.

“We have two languages and two cultures,” he said. “I should be able to switch without feeling any recourse.”

About 85 per cent of his work is French, with snippets of English intertwined. Often, a French poem will have an English verse, because that's how Aubin speaks.

To hear poems from his collection, or to pick up a copy of Néologirouettes, stop by the VIA Rail Station, located at 233 Elgin St., at 7 p.m. Dec. 12. Wine, beer and cheese will be served.



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