John K. Samson

John K. Samson

John K. Samson - Winnipeg Art Ambassador (Music)

Winnipeg, MB

John K. Samson is the singer and songwriter for The Weakerthans, whose five albums have been universally praised by fans and critics alike, and whose extensive touring in Europe and North America over the last dozen years have won them a devoted following.

Their most recent release, Reunion Tour, was nominated for several awards and garnered excellent reviews in publications such as Spin Magazine and The New York Times, where Samson’s writing was lauded as, “precise and melancholy…full of characters and tunes that stick.”

John’s poetry and prose has appeared in Matrix Magazine, Geist, The Believer, and Post-Prairie—an Anthology of New Poetry. He has guest-lectured at the Universities of Manitoba, Winnipeg, British Columbia, and Kwantlen College, and led writing workshops at the Sanibel Island Writer’s Conference and the Winnipeg and Calgary Folk Festivals.

John lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the inspiration for much of his work, where he’s also the managing editor and co-founder of a small publishing house, Arbeiter Ring Publishing.  He also sits on the boards of the Association of Manitoba Book Publishers and the Literary Press Group of Canada, and is a curatorial committee member and production manager of the annual Nuna(now) festival of Icelandic and Canadian arts.

Why My City's Still Breathing?

Left and Leaving by John K. Samson

My city's still breathing (but barely it's true) through buildings gone missing like teeth. The sidewalks are watching me think about you, all sparkled with broken glass. I'm back with scars to show. Back with the streets I know. They never take me anywhere but here. Those stains in the carpet, this drink in my hand, these strangers whose faces I know. We meet here for our dress-rehearsal to say " I wanted it this way" and wait for the year to drown. Spring forward, fall back down. I'm trying not to wonder where you are. All this time lingers, undefined. Someone choose who's left and who's leaving. Memory will rust and erode into lists of all that you gave me: some matches, a blanket, this pain in my chest, the best parts of Lonely, duct-tape and soldered wires, new words for old desires, and every birthday card I threw away. I wait in 4/4 time. Count yellow highway lines that you're relying on to lead you home

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