moisture of desire
lubricates hard boiled sugar shell
crystals gradually dispense
opening the lace work of shell
inside gooey softness
shiny red lozenge waiting to ooze
molten orbing of emotion
released by strong suction of tongue
on roof of mouth
– excerpt from Hard Candy by Jill Battson
Jill Battson is an internationally published poet and poetry activist who is Poet Laureate Emeritus of Cobourg, Ontario. She was responsible for creating and running the successful poetry reading series The Poets’ Refuge and has initiated and produced many poetry events including The Poetry Express – a BYOV at Toronto’s Fringe Festival; Liminal Sisters – a language poetry event; The Festival of the Spoken Word – a five day spoken word festival; Fightin’ Words – poets in a boxing ring; The Poetburo Slams and the hyper- successful Word Up – a series of interstitial poetry spots airing on MuchMusic and Bravo! which spawned a CD with Virgin Records and an anthology with Key Porter. She was the poetry editor for Insomniac Press from 1999 to 2001.
Widely published across North America and the UK Jill’s first book, Hard Candy, was received to great acclaim and nominated for the Gerald Lampert Award. She has written several plays and solo works, including How I learned to live with obsession as well as Ecce Homo and Hard Candy – enhanced monologues for dance and voice. Jill has written the libretti for two short operas, Netsuke and Ashlike on the Cradle of the Wind, produced by Tapestry New Opera Works, and produced an electro acoustic sound art project, LinguaElastic, as part of the Canadian Music Centre’s New Music in New Places series. Dark Star Requiem, for which she wrote the libretto, premiered at Toronto’s Luminato Festival in June 2010. Her new project, Sleeptalker, will soon appear on stage. Jill’s third book of poems, Dark Star Requiem, was recently published by Folded & Gathered Press. Her new book, The Ecstatic Torture of Gratitude, has just been published by Guernica Editions.