I begin with small archaeologies.

Small archaeology, lesser gods.

In a parking lot downtown I saw bird

tracks frozen in ice.  I heard bird song.

I watched perfect tiny dancing.

The archaeology of the small and real.

Ice can sign and stone can speak, if we listen.

Small archaeology.  Lesser gods.  Pursuing

these I will rescue memory.  Other things

will be lost but not this.  I am trying to

rescue memory.  I listen to ice and stone.

This is the future.  Everything is beginning.



Image description

Excerpt from the poem, 

"The Long Distace" 

written by Murdoch Burnett



Murdoch  Burnett was honoured at the Calgary International Spoken Word Festival "Home on Earth" in 2007 with the first ever Golden Beret Award for his lifelong contribution to the arts community, mastery of his art and performances and dedication to his community. 

Image description







Murdoch has performed extensively in NorthAmerica but some highlights come to mind. 

For instance, he remembers very fondly his years as a regular performer at the historic venues of Ten Foot Henry's and Marty's Cafe in Calgary.


He is proud of the work he and musician / composer Scott Willing did, composing music for the poems: We Are Not Romans, Technologically Native, Power and Glory, A Choice of Futures, The Long Distance, The Homecoming and The Centre of the World.  The Centre of the World: A Plains Journey, received a favourable review from Hugh Dempsey and the book launch was held at the Glenbow Museum in Calgary. 


Murdoch performed at several High Performance Rodeos produced by One Yellow Rabbit Theatre Company in Calgary and, in 1988, he was invited to perform at the Calgary Olympic Arts Festival with writers from 27 countries amongst whom were Lawrenc Ferlinghetti and Ryszard Kapuscinski. 


In 1996, Murdoch was invited to attend the first ever "Wordfest:  Banff Calgary International Writers Festival"featuring 50 writers over four days. The other writers included Margaret Atwood, Roch Carrier, Wayson Choy, Thomson Highway, Paul Quarrington and Sheri-D Wilson. 


As we gather recordings of Murdoch's performances we will add them to the Performance Archives page [LINK] on this site.