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Friday, June 30, 2006

Stars Sound Check

The 'Stars' are one of the musical acts set to perform on Canada Day at Parliament Hill. Here they are perfecting their sound and light show on Friday evening. This was my first time hearing them and from what I heard tonight, I am sure they will be a hit tomorrow. Other musical headliners include Colin James and my personal Montreal favourite, Michel Pagliaro. Cool.
Got my media pass today so I am all set to get some more photos on the Hill.

Baby Shower Indeed

By all accounts Julie had a great day at the office today. Her co-workers showered her with a generous amount of gifts for the baby. Mothers are so lucky. Dads, well, we're loved in other ways I suppose.

I bet the bear skin hats are heavy in the rain

But the sun came out in the late afternoon. Party in Canada tomorrow, especially in Ottawa.

The "Canada Day Parking Lot Party" sounds like fun and I think I will dropping by...
When: Saturday, July 1, 2006
Location: 75 Albert at Elgin (Between Elgin, Albert, Slater and Metcalf)
Time: 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 a.m.

Happy Birthday Loonie!

The Canadian loonie coin turns 19 years old today! (The life expectancy of a typical coin is 20 years...)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Lauren Carter at Tree Reading Series

7:30 pm. The second and fourth tuesday , Royal Oak II, 161 Laurier Ave. East
More information on her website and view her publisher's website about her book, Lichen Bright: Poems by Lauren Carter.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Librarian of Congress Appoints Donald Hall Poet Laureate

Bad Wolf BBQ

Bad Wolf Barbecue's enormous plastic mascot waves 'bye-bye' as he's stuffed into the trailer destined to re-appear at another town in the near future. The Ottawa rib fest ended late yesterday evening on Sparks Street Mall. Yes, they were delicious.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Fabrizio's Podcast

Mark Frutkin has had a podcast recorded at the Hart House Library in Toronto from this past February. See

Friday, June 23, 2006

BiC First Novel Award 2006

The finalists, announced by and Books in Canada magazine are:

The City Man by Howard Akler;
Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden;
Gotta Find Me an Angel by Brenda Brooks;
The Sad Truth About Happiness by Anne Giardini;
The Nettle Spinner by Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer; and
The Rent Collector by B. Glen Rotchin.

Winners take home a prize of $7,500...which after taxes, is a warm handshake and pat on the back. Congratulations. Of course, everyone knows who the winner's going to be. It's certain to go to -- huh? What's that, Julie? Dinner's ready? Okay, be right there.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The quicker they come?

I don't usually make a habit of picking up political biographies, historical or current. The ideas and subject matter are generally obsolete the moment they hit bookstore shelves. I believe my time is better spent in other genres.
But the other day I was intrigued when I picked up one such book at Richard Fitzpatrick's bookstore. It was The Chief: A Political Biography of Maurice Duplessis. Duplessis was a controversial Quebec politician in his day and probably remains so. The author's grandson, who shares the same name, is Leslie Roberts of Global News.
Anyway, there was one of those 'Signed' bookmarks sticking out of the book and I opened it up to the title page. It had an authorial inscription the likes I have not read before... and I laughed my head off. Though I probably shouldn't have.

For Audrey, of whom one can say
that good women come from Cornwall
and the better they are, the quicker
they come. With love
Leslie Roberts - Nov 12/63

A cursory seach on google dot com reveals a similar quote, this one in reference to journalist John Bartlow Martin:

"On 31 July 1946 the Indianapolis Times informed its readers that one of its former reporters, Martin, was "scrambling all over Indianapolis and the state, digging up material for ... a regional study of Hoosierland." While writing what became the book Indiana: An Interpretation, Martin, who had assumed he would hate Indiana because of his rocky childhood, instead was surprised to discover "a certain affection suffusing parts of the book; and when I quoted the old saw 'Many good men come from Indiana, and the better they are the quicker they come,' it was more in jest than in bitterness." "

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Richard Fitzpatrick Books

Another chapter comes to a close for Ottawa bookseller, Richard Fitzpatrick. After seventeen years in the business, he is closing his (recently re-opened) bookstore for good. Well, there's always hope of him opening up for business again, but he says he will be taking a little break for the time being. He wants to close out the store ASAP (end of June) He also tells me that if you bring in a liquor store cardboard box he will give away a free paperback for each one. Currently the sale is 50% off all books.

As ususal, I was able to pick up / rescue some more choice books today and came across some early NASA books he had in his window. I will put these up for sale on eBay (link coming soon) and the proceeds will go to Richard Fitzpatrick.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Ottawa Launch of Widdershins

Charles de Lint's 60th book. 7:30 p.m. at Patty's Pub, 1186 Bank St. (at Ossington)

Breakfast Authors

  • Weetabix Potter
  • Joyce Carol Oatmeal
  • Raisin Bran Stoker
  • Edgar Rice Krispy Burroughs
  • Golden Grahams Greene
  • Robert Frosted Flakes

Friday, June 16, 2006

Broadsides Appeal

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Morley Callaghan Letter

Little things like this excite me. I have just acquired a signed letter by Morley Callaghan dated June 24, 1961.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Hi Lo Trons

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Where did the time go?

Westboro’s increasingly popular WESTfest wraps up today. Ann-Marie MacDonald appeared yesterday as part of the two day Festival of Music, Art & Life along with a panel of authors which included Ottawa’s Mark Frutkin (Fabrizio’s Return) and Anita Lahey who recently launched her first book of poetry Out to Dry in Cape Breton. I admit I still have plenty to learn about Anita’s fascination with clothes lines. Zoe Whittall, author of The Best 10 Minutes of Your Life is launching her second collection of poetry The Emily Valentine Poems in August of 2006. Bottle Rocket Hearts, a novella and stories, will be out in 2007 with Cormorant Books.

Recently the Ottawa Book Award and Prix du livre d'Ottawa recognized several books of literary excellence. The award ceremony was a no-frills, no-nonsense event with many winners and honourable mentions too numerous to list in this column in all of the 11 categories that were recognized. The major winners included, for English non-fiction, Heather Menzies for her NO TIME: Stress and the Crisis of Modern Life. The English fiction award was presented as a tie to John-James Ford, Bonk on the Head, and John Geddes, The Sundog Season. The French non-fiction award went to Réjean Robidoux for his D’éloge et de critique. Gilles Lacombe, Trafiquante de lumière, took home the French fiction prize.

A couple of literary trios recently came to Ottawa. But judging by the sparse audience attendance you may have missed their appearances this time around. But there’s always an opportunity to purchase their books at a bookstore near you. Nairne Holtz, Harold Hoefle, and Barry Webster recently entertained an intimate gathering at Venus Envy. They each read from the tantalizingly-titled anthology, Lust for Life: Tales of Sex & Love published by Véhicule Press in my home town of Montreal. Most amusing of the lot was Barry Webster’s sinisterly written story of Santa called ‘Jingle Balls’. It begins not-so-innocently, “I’ve always had a Santa Claus fetish.” This story alone is worth the price of the book.

The second trio dubbed ‘The 5pt Tour’, wrapped there cross-Canada tour in Ottawa May 21st , included Elizabeth Bachinsky, author of Home of Sudden Service, along with Michael V. Smith (What You Can't Have) and Jennica Harper (The Octopus and Other Poems) at Ottawa's Collected Works Bookstore. In Jennica's book, she penned a quick note to me, "Clearly a kindred sprit". I couldn't agree more with her sentiment.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Emm Gryner at WESTfest

Ann-Marie MacDonald at WESTfest

Ann-Marie MacDonald signing books with her daughter at WESTfest.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

18 years goes by so fast

For Donald Baas, whom I'll never get to photograph.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Plunderverse, plundered

See Greg Betts' essay on 'plunderverse' here. See also rob mclennan's recent plunderverse example here. My above version of "Loon" or "Lo On", if you wish, is plunderded from Betts' "Love On", which he plundered in turn from bpNichol's "Love Song 6".

According to Dr. Betts, "Plunderverse is a compositional method of producing poems from other texts. The process amounts to an extreme edit of a source text, striking out the vast majority of words. The product is a stand-alone poem – built from the (acknowledged) source text, but functionally stand-alone."

Check out Greg Betts' plunderverse call for submission.

Capital Slam Championship Finals 2006

Thursday, June 8 at the Velvet Room

Greg Frankson a.k.a. Ritallin reports that it will be his last show as Slammaster. Alan Neal will host the evening and John Akpata will be the sacrificial poet. As they did last year, the show will be recorded by MudsharkAudio so that the CPC can produce Live at Capital Slam 2006, the second installment of what they hope will be an annual compilation of live recordings from Ottawa's local slam community.

$10 at the door

The Factory Reading Series

Thursday, June 8th, 7pm
from mm email:

"Since the League of Canadian Poets is holding their annual AGM in Ottawa this year on June 9-11, the newly-designed Factory Reading Series re-opens in its new location at The Ottawa Art Gallery as a "League warmup" with three startlingly good Canadian poets: Leanne Averbach (Vancouver/New York) bill bissett (Toronto/Vancouver) Max Middle (Ottawa) "

free; The Ottawa Art Gallery, main floor, the Arts Court Building, 2Daly (at Nicholas).

Leanne Averbach shares a word with Terry Ann Carter

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Help Me Make Cancer History

Want to be part of a community that takes up the fight? Help me support the fight against cancer by pledging me for my participation in the Canadian Cancer Society Relay For Life. It starts Friday June 9th, so you still have a couple of days left to help me reach my fundraising goal.

The Canadian Cancer Society Relay For Life is an overnight non-competitive relay that celebrates cancer survivors and pays tribute to the lives of loved ones. It involves teams of 10 people who take turns walking, running or strolling around a track to raise money to support the work of the Canadian Cancer Society. It's a night of fun, friendship and fundraising to beat cancer.

Funds raised through Relay For Life make a difference. They help the Canadian Cancer Society fund the most promising research projects in the country, provide information services and support programs in the community and advocate for public policies that prevent cancer and help those living with it. Help me support the fight against cancer by pledging me for my participation in the Canadian Cancer Society Relay For Life. It's easier than ever - just click the secure link at the bottom of this message.

John MacDonald

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Jennifer Whiteford at the Manx

Book launch today at the Manx Pub for her first novel, Grrrl. Free @ 5pm.

Friday, June 02, 2006

book arts fair

17 June 2006, 10.30 a.m. - 4.30 p.m.
Free to the Public
Library and Archives Canada
395 Wellington St., Room A
Ottawa, Ontario

Come b(u)y and see

On Saturday, June 17, 2006, the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild
will present a Book Arts Fair at Library and Archives Canada, 395
Wellington St., Room A, Ottawa, Ontario.

The fair is open to the public and admission is free.

This unique event will present a wide variety of work, including unique
artist books, letter-pressed broadsides and publications, livres d'artiste,
binding supplies - both for exhibit and for sale. Exhibitors include
Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild members, such as book artists
Lise Melhorn-Boe, North Bay, Ontario; Jacques Fournier, Montreal, Quebec;
Norma Frolander , Pembroke Ontario; Peter Sramek, Toronto, Ontario;
bookbinders Terry Rutherford, Port Moody, British Columbia; Janet Jancar,
Ottawa, Ontario; papermaker Audrey Hollinger, Waterloo Ontario; paper
marbler Lucie Lapierre, Chateauguay, Quebec; fine printers: Grace Notes
, Burlington, Ontario; the Ottawa Press Gang: Rick Coxford, Holly Dean
and Larry Thompson, Susan Globensky, April Flanders, Roberta Huebener,
Britt Quinlan and Grant Wilkins. As well, Firefly author and artist George
A. Walker
will be at the Fair, showing new work and signing his book The
Woodcut Artist's Handbook

Library and Archives Canada will exhibit a sampling of its collection of
fine press books and livres d'artiste during the CBBAG Book Arts Fair. This
exhibition, located in the lobby of Library and Archives Canada, will
include a selection of recent acquisitions by book artists and fine presses
from across the country. In addition, the exhibition will feature CBBAG's
newest collective work, A Book Arts Mosaic.

The Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild is a not-for-profit,
charitable, volunteer-run organization which organizes exhibitions,
workshops, a bindery and open studio, public lectures, a quarterly
newsletter, a biennial suppliers list, an audio-visual lending library, and
many other activities. Visit the CBBAG website at for further
details or email the Guild at

For more information contact:
Randall Ware,
Public Programs Officer
Library and Archives Canada
Telephone: (613) 992-0057