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Saturday, April 29, 2006

April is the Bootiest Month

Clearly, Oni is heading in the right direction with her talent and voice. Whether this sojourn into the erotic realm of song and poetry is a fixed course for her or not, it was a delight to all the senses just to bask in the extravagant pleasure of her presence at the Black Sheep Inn Friday evening.

The show was rated "R" in "risque, refreshing, revolutionary and real". I would like to add that it was a straight up 'righteous' performance done in English, French and in the language...of...l-o-v-e. Woo Hoo! Anyone who has seen or heard Oni live in Ottawa knows that she is a shining light, full of love and zeal, that certainly reaches out far beyond the Capital.

Oni is launching the Bedside Bootie Book at Venus Envy on June 7th. She tells me that "all of the props will be there". The Bedside Bootie Book will be launched at Rasputin's on June 1st, with music. [7:30pm]

Oni the Haitian Sensation live at The Black Sheep Inn

Me So Oni

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Book Thugs Disturbing the Peace

Okay, so the diplomatic corp didn't show up last night. There was no red carpet, just red wine. But Ottawa's finest did show up - at least for part of Gustave Morin's reading in the park just across the street of Richard Fitzpatrick's Books. I don't know if it was the large, assembled crowd standing together ominously in the middle of the night, the vociferously shouted poetry, or it just may have been the fireworks set off on the sidewalk. It's events like this that urge me to be a Book Thug Dead Head and follow this troupe to their Kingston show this evening, but like the responsible adult that I am, I have to do my taxes tonight. I'm just a wuss that way.

I am sure that rob mclennan and Amanda Earl will have a few comments about Jay MillAr's roving band of poets. Looking forward to reading them. Also, I will post some photos (surprise) from the event. Hope they turn out alright.

I picked up some awesome publications last night: DfB handed out the latest delicious issue of fhole number 8 which I have a couple of photos from the bill bissett reading at jwcurry's place. jwcurry, who also performed a david uu piece, sold copies of his latest Industrial Sabotage #62. Incidentally contains a piece by Krafty Karnal aka david uu. In a bit of poetic excess I also picked up three separate editions of david uu's Before the Golden Dawn: The Weed/Flower Press signed edition; Daniel f. Bradley's re-issue care of jwcurry's curvd h&z imprint, and also the hard covered, numbered and signed limited ed. A nice set.

Morin's copy of sun kissed oranges caught my eye on the book shelf, too. He produced this note pad style book with Sergio Forest back in 1995. I noticed that his 'derail' piece is in there, which also makes an appearance in Shift & Switch (poetry anthology launched last winter). Like some of the pieces that appear in the anthology, it's better reproduced in the original work. Forest's accompanying text is:

laugh track
train track

Finally, I received up my hand-delivered subscription package of Jay MillAr's lastest Book Thug publications. They are beautiful productions and aesthetically very pleasing to the eye.
And I now get the reference to Gustave Morin's white pins that he gave out last night... teb as in The Etcetera Barbeque which has the punctuation images of ". / / ." dot slash slash dot. It's Gus's latest publication and has Homage Volker Nix on the page following the full title page. You can view some more of Volker Nix's visual pieces on D. Ross Priddle's bentspoon weblog. According to one post found on the net, 'Volker Nix' is a pseudonym of Gus Morin...

Gregory Betts' Haikube also a Book Thug publication is particularly pleasing to the eye. It's an interesting production derived from a cubed haiku block. I particularly like:

these voices fill
poems like tongues
in open mouth

but... you really have to see the image on the printed page.

Book Thugs milling about

Gustave Morin disturbs the piece/peace.

Gustave Morin's fireworks

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Connolly's Plenty

Kevin Connolly

In the OIWF's first poetry cabaret Kevin read a new poem entitled Plenty which will appear in an upcoming issue of Taddle Creek Magazine. He is the author of Happyland (2002), and Drift (2005).

Cancovispo at Richard Fitzpatrick Books

Celebrities include:

Rob Read, Gregory Betts, Daniel f. Bradley, gustave morin and Jay MillAr

Wednesday, 26 April 2006, 8pm

1098 Somerstreet Street West (corner of Spadina)

This event* should be a key date in 2006 where all of Ottawa's diplomatic corp should be in attendance to schmooze alongside Canada's celebrity Cancovispo writers.

How do I participate? Easy. Show up; bring legal tender and take home bound paper with words and images therein. Don't be embarrassed the next day when everyone's talking about how the Book Thugs Stormed Parliament Hill and you've nothing to say.

*limousine / valet parking extra

Event photos here.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Festival Wrap Up

Time flies when you're having fun. Be sure to check out some notes from the writer in residence, rob mclennan, of the spring edition of the Ottawa International Writers Festival.

rob mclennan in a poetic duet with Nicole Brossard.

Also don't forget to read Amanda Earl's detailed take on the the poetry cabarets on

Poetry Cabaret #3

George Elliott Clarke

Paul Muldoon, Stephen Brockwell (right)

A.J. Levin

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Middle Owl

Max Middle performs at Sasquatch.
Dusty Owl celebrates 10th anniversary.
John watches Beckett and snaps snaps.

(In the meantime - reading John Lavery's Very Good Butter)

OIWF Spring Edition

People ask you why you live in Ottawa and you say it is because you like it. Ernest Hemingway started off with a similar sentence fifty-seven years ago in one of his dispatches, but the city instead was Cuba. There is no need to tell these people that the weather here is somewhat moderate and the spring season is as lovely as any place in the world.

You do not necessarily tell them about the hundreds of varieties of tulips that are planted annually in vast and wide-ranging plots around the city, the early appearance of crocus blooms, the emerging yellow daffodils along the Rideau Canal’s foot and bike paths. This is a decorative part of what makes Ottawa a distinctly appealing city to live in and visit.

You could tell them about how the opportunities for work are interesting within the government, the high-tech industry, or within its academic and medical institutions.

“There are many other things you do not tell them”, Hemingway continues. However, I propose that you can tell them about the many festivals that make up this city. One of them dear to me : The Ottawa International Writers Festival. In its tenth year, it is such an event to tell those people why you live in Ottawa.

Considering that the festival is not-for-profit event run by Oneness-World Communications, the organizers have set a high standard of quality over the past decade by presenting a stellar group of authors on par with any similar event internationally. In a recent radio interview with Nigel Beale, the director of the Ottawa International Writers Festival, Neil Wilson simply explains why festivals are so good, “they bring people together”. The festival model works well and is only one of the many reasons why they have been attracting top-notch writers.

Chances are if you’re reading this column you want to know what you’re in for this spring. Because this is National Poetry Month in Canada, the festival does not disappoint in this regard. The opener and closer of the events are certainly not to be missed. This simple statement holds some weight when one considers that George Elliott Clarke will cut his Tahiti vacation short just to appear at the festival to meet with another top international poet, Paul Muldoon whom Clarke will sit alongside with fellow writer A.J. Levin.

Opening night features of what promises to be an engaging evening with three outstanding Canadian award winning poets: Nicole Brossard, Kevin Connolly and Ken Babstock. And if you choose to arrive for the earlier 7pm show which features a reading by Tom Harpur where he will explore ‘modern faith and the historical Jesus”.

Indeed, there are many elements that make up this spring edition. Poetry is but one. There is the spiritual dimension to this festival with readings along with Harpur’s, such as Tim Ward, Anne Hines and Paul William Roberts.

The environment is up for discussion too. Earth Day gets a nod at this festival in a big way with a number of related readings devoted to naturalistic themes with authors Tim Flannery, Karsten Heuer, and Fred Pearce, among others.

You may consider attending this Tuesday when Scott Griffin flies into town…literally. He’s arriving at the Rockcliffe Airport in CF-WMJ, his Cessna 180 the morning of his reading. If his name sounds familiar it’s because you may recognize that Mr. Griffin is the namesake of The Griffin Trust which, founded in 2000, was created to serve and encourage excellence in poetry written in English anywhere in the world. He will be discussing his first book My Heart is Africa: A Flying Adventure of which the royalties from the sale of this book will be donated to the AMREF Flying Doctors Service.

Additionally, the organizers have chosen to celebrate what would have been the 100th birthday of Samuel Beckett. To that end there will be a mix of live performance, films and discussion of everything Beckettt. As part of the BECKETT 100 series, a new ensemble who call themselves Deasil & Widdershins will present excerpts of Samuel Beckett's short prose from throughout his writing life in BECKETT ALL! The group consists of Ottawa’s John Lavery, Max Middle and Carmel Purkis. This should prove to be an entertaining event.

So, when people ask you why you live in Ottawa you now can say more than “because you like it”. The 2006 Spring Edition runs from April 17th to the 23rd, held at the Library & Archives Canada. The full schedule can be viewed online at

John W. MacDonald works and buys books in Ottawa and you can read his weblog at
this column appeared in the Ottawa Citizen in a modified form 16 April 2006.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

O! A Watt or Watt in Ottawa

Paul Muldoon
I know how he feels; my head was about to burst after that Watt Now lecture.
Wow. Was that intense or what?

Funny, no one in the audience mentioned the anagram "Watt" in Ottawa.
I understood most of the words he used tonight but confess that I found the linkages of them somewhat taxing. He could see knott as pot, or that a 'what' is a 'hat' that wears a 'w', or a what can be a twat or a watt, and other interesting allusory literary anagrams of watt or some such inferences. That Bekett with two tees--what a card.

Padraig Findlay's Beckett Primer

Padraig Findlay

Following Mr. Findlay's reading, I watched the Beckett film, Happy Days. Man, that's one odd film. My digested review of the film: "She just would not shut the hell up."

Similarly, my synopsis of the other Beckett film taken in at the festival, End Game: "He just would not shut the hell up."

When The Rivers Run Dry...

...there's going to be a fight over those bottles of water that sit between Neil Wilson and Fred Pearce.

Climate Change or We're all gonna get real thirsty soon

Tim Flannery of The Water Makers.

New Tradition...

...poets do their best Axl Rose dance during post-reading conversation.

Poet John McDonald (standing/dancing) on stage with Gary Barwin, Angela Rawlings, and host, rob mclennan. One day I will compile an animated gif. Let me know if you actually want to see this.

Take me down
To the paradise city
Where the grass is green
And the girls are pretty
Take me home

-Guns N' Roses
With two more days left of the spring edtions, the poetry cabaret #2 was a fine way to finish off a week of readings. Angela Rawlings' performance was breathtaking - literally. She read from her new book Wide Slumber for Lepidopterists, published by Coach House Books. Sweet Jesus! Her "a hoosh a ha" poem was thrilling to say the least. Gary Barwin read from, among other works, his latest, frogments from the frag pool: haiku after basho. Worth a read, it's a trip. He wrote this book with Derek Beaulieu and it's published by The Mercury Press. John McDonald's 2004 book, The Glass Lodge, is published by Kegedonce Press. He's not as shy on stage as you would think.

Today's set is huge to say the least. Starting at noon, the festival runs all day till late evening with seven (7) reading sets including a Beckett film. As it is also Earth Day, you may want to check out the associated events which include readings by authors Tim Flannery, Karsten Heuer, Fred Pearce, Wayne Grady, Terry Glavin, and Elizabeth May. Chances are likely that large crowds are expected to attend Paul Muldoon's 6pm reading. Get there early.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Writing Life #2

Martha Baillie, Susan Glickman (right)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Writing Life #1

Ami McKay and Anar Ali (right)

Madeleine Thien

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Stay sexy!

Oni the Haitian Sensation Media Release
For Immediate Release April 17, 2006 –Please circulate widely!

Bedside Bootie Book
Limited Edition- CD launch of the Bedside Bootie Book
as well as a live a recording of erotic poetry at the Black Sheep Inn on Friday April 28th 2006 at 9pm

Oni the Haitian Sensation, “Queen of Slam Poetry”, often imitated but cannot be duplicated, is proud to present her first CD of Spoken Word Poetry, the Bedside Bootie Book, with a presentation of live erotic spoken word poetry alongside Ottawa’s finest musicians.

The cast of musicians joining Oni the Sexy Haitian Sensation includes Dave Draves, “Internationally acclaimed producer”, on accordion, and on keyboards. Antizario, “Ottawa’s dynamite jazz ensemble”. Mathieu Dubé, “the artistic virtuoso” on didgeridoo and on percussion, and JOKKO “World beats bursting with an international flavour! “

Join us for the launch of the greatly anticipated Bedside Bootie Book, to highlight the sensual side of performance poetry. Bring your crew of friends to this show! Please note that admission for the show is for people aged 18 and over. THIS IS NOT A KIDS SHOW!

The Limited Edition of the Bedside Bootie Book will be on sale during this delightful evening at the Black Sheep Inn. Showtime is at 9pm. Tickets are 7$ in advance, and at the door. They can be purchased at:

The Black Sheep Inn- 420 Riverside Drive in Wakefield 819-459-3228
The Ottawa Folklore Centre- 1111Bank Street in Ottawa 730-2887

About the Producers:

The Bedside Bootie Book is produced by Lieann Koivukoski and by Richard Naster. This is an event that you will not want to miss! Take part, be sexy, get involved, practice moaning and grunting in the meantime, and... we will see you in Wakefield on Friday April 28th 2006 at 9pm at the Black Sheep Inn. Stay sexy!

Media Contact Info:
Oni the Haitian Sensation
613. 247.9285

poetry face off winner

So, Ottawa's DJ Morales didn't win after all. Michelle Muir of Toronto did, and took home the ultimate crown for CBC's fifth annual poetry face off. Read all about it here.

Hosting at its finest

Heather Eaton, an apparent last minute choice of hosts for the Big Idea #1 series, was delightfully brilliant. It did help to have some equally talented guests on stage: Tim Ward, Tom Harpur, and Anne Hines. They all were faced with the (simple?) question Is God a Man? Their answers varied and there were some disagreements but the concensus was that the concept of assigning gender was too limiting. It was an interesting reading that I initially feared would be too esoteric for enjoyment but found Eaton's insightful questions and deft remarks engaging.
You can catch Tim Ward tonight at 7pm. The first Writing Life, tonight, presents Madeleine Thien, Anar Ali and Ami McKay @ 8:30pm.

The evening started, however, with the suave Scott Griffin making his debut at the Ottawa International Writers Festival as an author. You would think it was a politician in a media scrum with the cameras and lights tightly following him as he shook hands in the audience. I had seen him earlier in the day at the media photo op at the Rockcliffe Airport in his Cessna 180. I was this close to getting a ride in the plane with him but due to time constraints it was a no-go. It was a pleasure making his acquaintance of his wife, Krystyne who signed my book, "from the co-pilot...who flies by her man!"

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Scott Griffin, Africa to Ottawa and beyond

Scott Griffin

Octopus Books Reading

This Friday, Octopus Books is hosting a reading by Colin Vincent and Jennifer Whiteford in celebration of Independents' Day*.

Jennifer be reading from her recently-published novel, Grrrl, and Colin will be reading from his large selection of poems about sex, drugs and heavy metal .

7:00 PM

Octopus Books
116 Third Ave

*Independents' Day is a day to celebrate the incredible independent bookstores that offer an alternative to the generic big-box bookstores.

poetry workshops

If anyone is interested, rob mclennan's putting together a new series of poetry workshops for spring/summer (as soon as the writers festival is over) on mostly Mondays & then a Tuesday: May 8, 15, 29; June 12, 19, 26 & July 4. The workshops will take place at Collected Works Bookstore, Wellington & Holland, Ottawa, happening Wednesday nights

All information can be found here.

$200 for 8 weeks. 7pm to 9pm. for information, contact rob mclennan at or 613 239 0337 for more information on collected works,

an eight week poetry workshop, the course will start with a focus on workshopping the writing of the participants, as well as reading various works by contemporary writers, both Canadian & American. the end-goal of the course will be a collective chapbook publication. participants should be prepared to have a handful of work completed before the beginning of the first class, to be workshopped.

Tom Harpur, Living Waters

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Hey Malarek!

Shortly before we bumped into Amanda and Charles in the Market, Stephen and I, walking on Wellington, ran into Victor Malarek. He's in town for a visit. Malarek is one of my heros. (okay, that's enough name dropping for one day.)
Can you take it? It's a heavy dose of books in the Citizen's arts & books section today: opens with piece on CBC's Canada Reads; James MacGowan has some words and praise for author Kenneth J. Harvey's new novel, Inside; a review of Timothy Taylor's 2nd novel, Story House; some brief notes on several books in Hot Type section; and just in time for the Easter holidays, four books on mathematics you might consider giving to your kids to read over the long weekend...not. Oh yes, one more name drop...the Blog About Town column features several suggested events during the upcoming Writers Festival. (Oh, and I figure an Ernest Hemingway reference or two couldn't hurt.)
Ottawa poet rob mclennan called my Bonanza photo mash-up (seen below) 'smarmy'. I completely agree. Smarmy fits. Last week, by the way, he sold me a copy of name , an errant his latest book of poetry all the way from the UK. It's published by Stride. You don't really have to wait for it to arrive from the mother country, just ask rob for a copy when you see him at the fest. I like the one called Ottawa. Here's the first section complete with jwcurry reference:

where I live in a (former) brothel

give it, all___________ you cant

each city a chinatown, each chinatown
a small borough
________________curry above
& rice below, a sometimes
sleepy bed

______________& asphalt back

puts a cigarette out in the ground

__(light bulbs the garden)
okay, one last name dropping tidbit:
Broadcaster and book lover Nigel Beale (aka Ben Cartwright) is a hit with Richard Charkin of Mr. Charkin is the Chief Executive at Macmillan's UK office, and two of Mr. Beale's interviews are featured on Charkin's latest book blog entry.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Writers Fest Bonanza

Nouveau-blogger, Nigel Beale thought it was humorous to allude to cult 70s Western TV show Bonanza on his website. Here's a more accurate depiction of 'Hoss', Ben, & "Little Joe' as Beale anticipates an "Audio Visual Bonanza".

Who's Afraid of Mark Tushingham?

At first read, it seems absurd. On a second read it's seems like a great marketing gimmick. From G&M:

"Environment Minister Rona Ambrose has stopped an Environment Canada scientist from speaking publicly about his own novel."

It's a science fiction novel after all, isn't it? Personally, I don't believe it's a freedom of speech issue but rather freedom of stupidity. Get his book, Hotter Than Hell, here if you want.

PWAC Writers' (R)Evolution

2006 National Conference of the Professional Writers Association of Canada - Public Writing Workshops

On Saturday, May 13, 2006 as part of its national conference being held in Ottawa, PWAC is holding a special series of writing workshops, which are open to the public. Please show up early, if possible, to pick up kits and browse the conference trade show.

Workshops will cost $40.00 for the afternoon, with several sessions to choose from:

The 6-figure Freelancer: Find, price and manage corporate writing opportunities
Presented by Paul Lima - 2:00 to 3:30 p.m.

Blogging for Writers 101
Presented by David Akin - 2:00 to 3:30 p.m.

The Writing Fairy(TM) Way to Make Money Being Funny
Presented by Dorothea Helms - 3:45 to 5:15 p.m.

Working the Web
Presented by Emru Townsend - 3:45 to 5:15 p.m.

Understanding the Wonderful World of Book Publishing
(Double session - you may choose Part 1 and/or Part 2)
Part 1 - Breaking into Traditional Publishing - 2:00 to 3:30 p.m.
Part 2 - Becoming the Publisher - 3:45 to 5:15 p.m.
Presented by Julie V. Watson and Elle Andra-Warner

Writing for Pleasure and for Profit
(Double session)
Presented by Sandra Phinney - 2:00 to 5:15 p.m.

WHERE: Delta Hotel Ottawa, 361 Queen Street, Ottawa, Ontario
WHEN: Saturday, May 13, 2006, starting at 2:00 p.m.
COST: $40 for the public. Please send a cheque made out to PWAC to PWAC's head office. VISA is also accepted (by phone).
CONTACT: PWAC Head Office, 215 Spadina Ave., Suite 123, Toronto, ON M5T 2C7. Tel: (416) 504-1645 Fax: (416) 913-2327. Also, you may contact Tanya Gulliver, National Conference Chair, at .

This advertisement is brought to you by

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Deasil and Widdershins

Deasil & Widdershins are Carmel Purkis, John Lavery (center) and Max Middle.

The following definition excerpted from wikipedia:

Before clocks were commonplace, the terms 'sunwise' and deiseil
(from the Scottish Gaelic from the same root as the Latin dexter, "right". The
word is also used for "ready") were used for clockwise. (Of course, deasil
(righthandwards) is only sunwise in the Northern Hemisphere.) 'Widdershins' or
'withershins' (from Middle Low German weddersinnes, "opposite course") was used
for counterclockwise.
Just how these rotational terms apply to performance of readings from Samuel Beckett's just have to see for yourself at the upcoming Ottawa International Writers Festival next week.
Poet, publisher and Ottawa blogger rob mclennan will be the writer in residence among his other duties. He appears to be doing his homework (as usual) as illustrated in his latest post on Nicole Brossard's current work. An excellent primer. Additionally, Nigel Beale will be posting his engaging author interviews on his website throughout the week. All the bases are covered I think. See you there.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Ottawa Poetry Podcast

Thanks to Transpoetry, Ottawa now has 12 local author’s poems on over 800 buses. It is estimated that 170,000 transit riders will have the opportunity to read poems every day. Over 600 poems were submitted for consideration – a staggering amount. But what of the remaining 588 poems not chosen? The whole scenario reminded me of the memorable dialogue that Dustin Hoffman’s character had in the 1967 movie, The Graduate. Substitute ‘podcasting’ for ‘plastics’.

I want to say one word to you. Just one word.
Yes, sir.
Are you listening?
Yes, I am.

The next evolution of poetry is online via podcasting. Podcasting is the distribution of audio files over the internet using either RSS (Really Simple Syndication) or Atom syndication for listening on mobile devices (i.e. the ubiquitous iPod) and on computers. Anyone with internet access can subscribe to the content of that feed. According to’s definition, “Podcasters' websites also may offer direct download of their files, but the subscription feed of automatically delivered new content is what distinguishes a podcast from a simple download or real-time streaming.”

Podcasting's essence is about creating content for an audience that wants to listen when they want, where they want, and how they want. The benefits are tangible. There is the ablility to hear what the poet sounds like, how the poem originally was envisioned by the author, and the opportunity for individuals to provide feedback like they currently do in the blogosphere.

Normally, I would not place technology and poetry in the same sentence. However, there is always room for exploring new uses of technology. I have often heard that poetry is best read aloud, not just read silently. Podcasting is a perfect medium that allows the public to hear the poet's own voice, their cadence and rhythms.

Really, there is nothing new to the concept of listening to poetry online in one form or another. Perhaps the origin of the podcast model can be traced to John Giorno’s hugely successful Dial-A-Poem project in New York. A search on reveals that “starting in January 1969 with 10 telephone lines it ran for five months, during which time 1,112,337 calls were received.” That was then. Consider the potential figures when taking into account the global online audience.

Before last month, I knew next to nothing of podcasting. So I teamed up with someone who does. Enter Charles Hodgson of Currently he has helped support the Ottawa International Writers Festival organize their own podcast at Hearing of this promotional site, I pitched Charles the idea of having an online presence for Ottawa’s poets. Willing to help out, he immediately created “The Ottawa Poetry Podcast: Poems Read by the Poets of Canada’s Capital” on

Charles Hodgeson’s increasingly successful website, has 2500 listeners and counting. Charles combined his talent of finding a medium for delivering his recorded stories about chosen words and delivering the content in such a way that it can be downloaded and listened to in a number of ways. The best news is that it is currently costing him only $5(US) a month to do so. This option currently gives 100mb of storage per month with unmetered bandwidth usage.

The next step was to get a couple of poets willing to get their poems heard. First up on this new podcast is Stephen Rowntree, a local blogger. He sees podcasting as beneficial in that it allows the podcaster subscriber to simulaneously to put a voice to his words. “It makes the poetry reading a more intimate interaction with the poet’s words and voice,” he says. Rowntree finds the whole podcasting idea intriguing in that this technology - a medium by nature places a distance between people’s interaction – can also bring people closer together, since the origin of poetry is rooted in the oral tradition.

The online world can additionally listen to Max Middle, an emerging poet experimenting with visual and sound poetry with fascinating results. Are there other poets interested in being heard? No doubt. Ottawa-area poets should send an email to for details on getting their poems podcasted. Are you listening?
This column appeared in a modified form in the Ottawa Citizen March 26, 2006.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Vancouver to Scotland

This beautiful Sunday was a poetry double header in Ottawa this afternoon. I don't regret not raking the rest of my lawn to catch these two compelling poets live.

Vancouverite Meredith Quartermain was invited by rob mclennan to appeared at Mother Tongue Books. As announced last month, Meredith is shortlisted this year for the Dorothy Livesay prize for her book, Vancouver Walking (NeWest Press). The Dorothy Livesay prize is sponsored by the BC Teachers’ Federation and is one of eight BC Book Prizes given annually to recognize excellence in British Columbia literature.

Robin Robertson, the Scot, easily charmed the audience as read from his books of poetry at the Manx Pub today. Robin's third collection of poems, Swithering, has been nominated for the 2006 T. S. Eliot Prize. His appearance today brought out many of Ottawa's own poets and artistic community. Kudos to Plan 99 Reading Series for bringing him to Ottawa.

To Jim on your 54th

I visited Richard Fitzpatrick's new used bookstore yesterday and spotted Jean Chretien's seminal 1985 Key Porter Book for sale (Straight from the Heart). Well, actually, I don't know any "Jim" who's turning 54 this year. My brother-in-law is only turning 51 so this really doesn't count and I don't think I can hold on to the book for a few years. For $45 you can pick up a signed book by Chretien with the inscription 'to Jim on your 54th birthday'. The good news -- if a signed Chretien is not good news already (tongue in cheek)-- is that you can get the book for half this price till April 17th. Rick's new location is on 1098 Somerset St. West, corner of Spadina. The hours are 12-8pm daily. This book is located somewhere near the cash register in case you're looking to buy it.

However, I picked up a whack of other photo-related books at Rick's: a couple of Bill Owens books - Suburia (signed), and Documentary Photography; a book of interviews with master photographers; Karsh's NFB book; and some stock photo related ones, too. Also picked up The Art of Rapid Reading. You always see speed-typing books at used bookstores but never 'speed reading' ones, so I thought this would be interesting to read slowly so I can read quicker. We'll see how that works out.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

getten' all blurby

Just got this neat book in my mits today. It's Jennifer Whiteford's novel, Grrrl. It's got some high praise on the rear cover... from me: "The novel is full of pain, laughter, music, and life."
Neato. I know what I'm giving for presents this year.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

poet vote

Time to vote for your favourite poet from the 14 winners of the 5th annual CBC poetry face off. (Hint: DJ Morales.) The ultimate winner is to be announced on 17th of April on Sounds Like Canada.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Spring Authors

The spring edition Ottawa International Writers Festival is just around the corner.
Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington Street
EARLY BIRD PASSES: $40 until April 10
PASSES: $60 / $40 Festival Members
Beckett 100 Pass: $20 / EARTH DAY Pass: $20

Full schedule