“Sometimes, an idea percolates. I wanted to teach a new poetry class at Alexandra Writers’ Centre in Calgary’s cSpace. This time, from January 16th to March 5th 2020, why not get into what could be considered more ‘intermediate’ concepts, including the exploration of different genres of poetry, performance, grant writing, publishing, and chapbook making? Since I facilitated a prompts workshop called Poetry Café every Sunday, I’d call it Espresso Poetry to tie them together.

In the door of the Helvetica classroom walked eight women, some of whom had met at Poetry Café. We connected like long-lost cousins, playing with words instead of dolls and cherishing moments that verified: poetry is real for me, it’s real for you, our life experiences deserve to be honoured, and sometimes—in rare, sparkling, serendipitous circumstances—you get to acknowledge this together, create together, gain confidence together, and support one another.

Soon, piles of polished poems suggested their presence like the fresh nose of a darkly-roasted shot. First, I offered to make a chapbook. But as work came in, I realized there was potential for more than simply an example of micropress ephemera, called so for its tendency to blow away over time. Strong poems deserve a sturdy spine. The idea of a full book was raised, and to my delight, it was taken up with gusto by the other Espressos.

We hope you enjoy reading these poems as much as we enjoyed writing and sharing them with one another. No matter the subject, every one pairs well with a steamy mug of microfoam-cloud-crowned heaven.”

With gratitude, Laurie Anne Fuhr

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