AlleyJaunt, 2007, Toronto
Electric Eclectics festival, 2008, Meaford, On.
Now Magazine, by Sheila Gnostic
In a Volkswagen camper van I find the Poetry Caravanserai. If the red curtain is tied back, one or two may enter the lovely lair created by Simla Civelek, who is reclining on pillows dressed in a spangly belly dancing costume.
She offers a scrolled menu from which one can choose up to three poems, from "amuse-bouches" through entrees and dessert. I select an entree of Eyes Of Ashes Woman and a dessert that asks What Happened To My Patience? Civelek doesn't read, but recites her poems by heart. The first is the tale of her relationship to another woman of course I mean The Other Woman. After, I accept a piece of Turkish delight from a silvery salver.
Children's Choice Awards, by Darren O'Donnell
The over-all winner surprised me. They chose Simla Civelek, a friend of mine, who had set herself up as a sort of itinerant gypsy poet in the back of a small camper van. She lay there looking like a belly dancer on rich colored blankets and offered the kids a menu with different poems. She began the performance by washing the children’s hands – something I remember the long-haul bus drivers doing when I visited Turkey. Then to finish she gave them a piece of Turkish Delight – the real stuff. The kids loved it, especially the poem about abortion.