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Friday, March 09, 2007

Define Poetry

Ottawa writer, Noel Taylor, in an op-ed letter in the Citizen today, contends that what bus riders should read on their commute is "a more popular category of light verse" comparable to the Ottawa Valley Writer's Guild annual contest "The Joker is Wild". Taylor's article, of course, refers to OC Transpo's on and off again competition to display the poetry of several winners where ad space is usually placed on the city's buses. I posted an entry about this event last year.

In the above photo, Sheila Forsyth of the Valley Writers' Guild hands out the "The Joker is Wild Award for Humor" on 25 May 2006 at the Library & Archives at the Ottawa Book Awards event. Frankly, her 'comedic' presentation preamble was delivered in such a way that I just had to take a photo.

If Noel Taylor believes that the masses just don't get 'contemporary poetry' then I for one thought her skit at the awards ceremony was some sort of attempt at post-modern-anti-humor that I failed to grasp entirely. Yeah, that's it. But at least Mr. Taylor's heart, (and Citizen letter) is a step in the right direction. Transit riders are entitled to have some daily literary interaction beyond viewing the omnipresent advertising which bombard us at every turn.

You may also want to read Amanda Earl's take on Taylor's column in her weblog post today. Who am I to define what is and what is not poetry? Unfortunately, I do not ride the OC Transpo buses as there is no bus service offered in my part of the city where I live -- but that's another topic altogether. Your thoughts may vary depending on your poetic tastes.


Blogger Stephen Rowntree said...

...were T.S. Eliot alive today he wouldn't step foot in Canada's 'cultural Wasteland'. Ottawa has a lot of growing up to do, something, maturity, it sorely lacks.

Friday, March 09, 2007 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger Amanda Earl said...

that's the isn't a cultural wasteland here in ottawa. ottawa has a thriving artistic community, it's just that the media keeps downplaying it.

(thanks for mentioning my entry, john!)

Saturday, March 10, 2007 2:17:00 PM  

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