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Island poet adds some magic to his words in show to premier on Vashon
Island magician and poet Thomas H. Pruiksma will present a performance dubbed “The Poet’s Magic” at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 21, at Vashon Bookshop.
This new show combines poetry with the art of illusion to explore, as he puts it, “not only the magic of words, but the wonders we can discover if we see the world as a poem.” This will be the first time he has shared this show on the Island.
“The Poet’s Magic” has roots on Vashon. Pruiksma has been a magician since he was 5 years old, but the main focus of his attention over the past decade has been the arts of poetry and writing. An invitation from Island storyteller Merna Hecht, however, allowed him to combine these two parts of his life in an entirely new way.
“Merna was teaching poetry to fifth-graders in Seattle last winter,” he said. “One of her students was a budding magician, and she thought it would be fun to have me do some magic for them. What she didn’t know was that for years I’d been thinking about finding a way to combine my longstanding interest in magic and illusion with my work as a poet, translator and teacher.
“Her invitation proved to be the perfect opportunity to see what might be possible. That’s how ‘The Poet’s Magic’ was born,” he said.
Pruiksma has since been performing for school groups, museum goers and private functions in Washington and British Columbia. His show at the Campbell River Museum on Vancouver Island was given a featurette on Shaw TV and prompted an interview on CBC Radio One.
“What gratifies me the most,” Pruiksma said, “is when people come up afterwards and tell me how inspiring they found the show to be. The aim of my presentations is not so much to trick the audience — to get them to ask, ‘How did he do that?’ — but rather to use magic as a metaphor for the real magic that can happen when we discover a poem or a story that opens our hearts.”
This show won’t be the only way that Pruiksma shares his love of poetry and magic on the Island. He is also offering a class through Vashon Allied Arts to explore the magic of words and the workings of magic. It meets at the Blue Heron for four weeks beginning Jan. 29 and culminates in a class celebration on Feb. 19, also at the Vashon Bookshop.
“I’m particularly excited about offering the class because it gives me a chance to work with people who are around the same age I was when I began performing magic and sharing my poems with others.”
Friday’s performance is free for children age 12 and under and $7 at the door for adults. For more information about Pruiksma or to hear his CBC interview, visit www.thepoetsmagic.com.