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Sunday, April 27, 2008

a new low

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Jaspreet Singh

Jaspreet Singh, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Winner of the 2004 QWF McAuslan First Book Award, Jaspreet Singh, flew in from Calgary today to read from 'Chef: A Novel'. It is his second book with Véhicule Press. Jaspreet Singh stands just outside the Manx Pub on Elgin Street in Ottawa just prior to his reading. He was later introduced to the pub crowd by Esplanade Books editor, Andrew Steinmetz.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Andrea MacPherson

Andrea MacPherson, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Andrea MacPherson poses for a photo while she was in Ottawa as the featured guest at the Tree Reading Series, 22 April 2008. She read from her new book 'Away: Poems'.

From Andrea MacPherson's website:

"Andrea is the author of four books: two novels, When She Was Electric (Raincoast, 2003) and Beyond the Blue (Random House, 2007) and two poetry collections, Natural Disasters (Palimpsest Press, 2007) and Away (Signature Editions, 2008). When She Was Electric was listed No. 6 on CBC Canada Reads: People’s Choice."

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Charlie Rose by Samuel Beckett

"'Charlie Rose' by Samuel Beckett"

Andrew Filippone Jr. writes in the video's description, "Something has happened to PBS favorite "Charlie Rose." The erudite conversations and sober intellectualism have been replaced by an absurd world where illogic, inane dialogues, and open hostility rule. The one-on-one interview between Charlie and his guest begins as usual but quickly goes awry, so much so that Charlie is warned that, somewhere, a man named "Steve" is "not happy." Though this seemingly random statement might confuse us, Charlie understands it for what it is -- a threat. But who is "Steve" and why is he angry? And why does the mere mention of his name stop Charlie cold? Using appropriated footage from a single episode of "Charlie Rose," filmmaker Andrew Filippone Jr. creates something both disturbing and farcical in "'Charlie Rose' by Samuel Beckett."

Monday, April 21, 2008

Please Don't Feed Steven Zytveld

"Please Don't Feed the Animals"
(like i should talk)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Gillian Deacon

Gillian Deacon is a television personality who has a new book out called "Green for Life: 200 Simple Eco Ideas for Every Day". It was a pleasure meeting her and her book cover says it all, "Only $13.50 to make a better world." Check it out. Every little bit helps for the environment.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Youssef Ali Ismail, Stateless

Youssef Ali Ismail, the Palestinian. Country of Citizenship: Stateless. Born in West Bank - Qalqilya in 1958. Current residence, 497 Cumberland Street, Ottawa. 613-786-1277.

For more information regarding official Canadian policy on key issues in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict see:

Nathaniel G. Moore

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Carl Honoré

Carl Honoré, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Carl Honoré, the bestselling author of "In Praise of Slow", makes a point about the state of education of children in current societies around the world. Finland, apparently is a model society when it comes to the education of the young. Honoré spoke to a filled room of interested readers as part of the Ottawa International Writers Festival.

Quill & Quire says, "Under Pressure can be viewed as a wake-up call to parents and educators, as well as a solid summary of how children are being raised in the 21st century. Honoré covers a lot of territory, investigating academic testing and homework issues, extracurricular activities and sports, consumerism, and safety issues. . . . This is not a parenting book or a how-to manual, but rather a comprehensive look at the state of the childhood nation."

Monday, April 14, 2008

Order of Canada April 2008

OTTAWA—Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, will preside over the 102nd Order of Canada investiture ceremony at Rideau Hall, on Friday, April 11, 2008, at 10:30 a.m.

The Order of Canada, our country’s highest civilian honour, was created in 1967, during Canada’s centennial year, to recognize a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to community and service to the nation. Over the last 40 years, more than 5 000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order.

The Governor General, who is Chancellor and Principal Companion of the Order, will bestow the honour on two companions, 11 officers and 30 members.

Messagio Galore Take V

Messagio Galore Take V, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

jwcurry's Messagio Galore Take V at Ottawa International Writers Festival 14 April 2008.
left to right: Carmel Purkis, Rob Read, Nicholas Power, Maria Erskine, jwcurry, John Lavery.

More photos here

Friday, April 11, 2008

Alistair MacLeod, O.C.

Alistair MacLeod, O.C., originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Earlier in the morning before the investiture ceremony started I had asked permission to photograph Alistair MacLeod outside in the natural daylight instead of inside Rideau, Hall which is entirely lit with incandescent bulbs all around.

However, when we got outside of the front door we were met with freezing rain and ice pellets! Not to be deterred by our great northern climate, I had him to pose just under the roof shelter of the front door for a few shots. He was game for it, thankfully, and it gave us a chance to cool off a bit before he went inside to celebrate with his family and peers.

Alistair MacLeod, O.C.

Alistair MacLeod, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Official citation:
"Alistair MacLeod has been called “Cape Breton’s ambassador of fiction”. A retired professor at the University of Windsor, he grew up in Nova Scotia, and the landscape of his fiction, as he calls it, is the province and its proud and spirited people. These come alive in his celebrated short stories and in his novel, No Great Mischief, which, among many other awards, earned the richest prize in fiction, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

Deeply committed to Canadian literature, he volunteered for decades as the fiction editor of the Windsor Review and is renowned for his generosity and for his influence on other writers."

Jim Vallance, C.M.

Jim Vallance, C.M., originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Official citation:
"Jim Vallance is one of Canada’s most prolific and successful songwriters. For the past four decades, he has collaborated with many prominent musicians, producing some of the most famous and iconic songs in Canada’s popular music profile.

In addition, he has helped to foster the talents of emerging performers and has been an active contributor to many charitable endeavours. Dedicated to the cause of famine relief in Africa, he co-wrote the unforgettable anthem, “Tears Are Not Enough”, which helped raise considerable funds worldwide."

Leon Rooke, C.M.

Leon Rooke, C.M., originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Hailed as one of Canada’s most important literary figures, Leon Rooke has had an influence far beyond his craft. A writer with seven novels, 16 short-story collections as well as plays and poems to his credit, he is known for originality and integrity.

This winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award and W.O. Mitchell Prize is also known as one of the most generous mentors in his field. Founding artistic director of the Eden Mills Literary Festival, he has given countless hours to emerging writers, and his protégés include some of the most prominent authors in Canadian fiction.

Tom Cochrane, O.C.

Tom Cochrane, O.C., originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Official citation:
"Tom Cochrane is a Canadian rock icon and a compassionate humanitarian. As a member of Red Rider and as a solo artist, he has connected with his fans through songs that recount stories and dreams that are unabashedly Canadian. He also touched on the universal values of hope and perseverance in his international hit, “Life is a Highway”.

Highly regarded for his social engagement, he has raised awareness of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa, and raised funds for disaster relief in Asia. A Canadian spokesperson for World Vision and the Make Poverty History Campaign, he continues his crusade to improve the lives of those in need around the world."

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The making of a Pulitzer

"Reuters Bangkok senior photographer Adrees Latif tells how he took the pictures which won him a Pulitzer Prize in The making of a Pulitzer. The pictures were taken in Myanmar during the protests in September last year and include the photo of Japanese video journalist Kenji Nagai being shot."

Pearl Infinity I

Pearl Infinity I, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Poet, Pearl Pirie stands in a room with opposing mirrors. Pearl frequently writes on her blog She is the author of a recent chapbook of poems, 'Oath in the Boathouse' by above/ground press. 300 copies. $4 each.

Writers Honoured

OTTAWA—Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, will preside over the 102nd Order of Canada investiture ceremony at Rideau Hall, on Friday, April 11, 2008, at 10:30 a.m. Here are some of the writers and authors who made the list:

Alistair MacLeod, O.C. “Cape Breton’s ambassador of fiction”
Tom Cochrane, O.C. “Life is a Highway”
Chrystine Brouillet, C.M. "One of Quebec’s most renowned novelists"
Leon Rooke, C.M. "Founding artistic director of the Eden Mills Literary Festival"
Jim Vallance, C.M. "co-wrote 'Tears Are Not Enough'"
Muriel Gold, C.M. "author of several books on drama and theatre"
Charlotte Gray, C.M. "historical biographer"
Tony Aspler, C.M. "columnist and author"
Hélène-Andrée Bizier, C.M. "historian and essayist "

Samuel Beckett

Samuel Beckett, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Sunday, April 06, 2008


jwcurry, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

A B Series #8

A B Series #8 featuring H. Masud Taj, Lindsay Foran and Jamie Bradley
Saturday, April 5, 2008, 7:00pm - 8:30pm
University of Ottawa - Room # 509 Arts Building, 70 Laurier Ave East Ottawa, ON

Friday, April 04, 2008

just got an email from rob mclennan via Lori Emerson re. new bpNichol website. Thought I would quote it at length.

Dear all,

After years of planning we are pleased to launch, an
online public archive of the works of bpNichol and his collaborators.
Here ( you will find audio, digitized print
materials, photographs, links and eventually video, critical articles
and curated exhibitions - all of which we expect to be tremendously
useful for research and teaching.

The site was developed by the Artmob project in collaboration with
Ellie Nichol, and is designed as a not-for-profit community

It is intended as the start of a process, and we encourage everyone to
read our submission guidelines if you have material you would like to
contribute or an idea for an exhibition of bp's work.

Artmob is a York University-based research project dedicated to
building accessible public archives of Canadian art. Over the coming
years Artmob will add tools to improve the browsing and cataloguing.
It will also provide novel approaches to intellectual property,
encouraging contributors to identify themselves and set the terms of
use for their works. Artmob hopes that a spirit of fair dealing will
assist in getting artistic materials out of shoeboxes and filing
cabinets and into the world where they belong. is Artmob's
pilot project.

Once again, if you or your students (undergraduate or graduate) would
like to contribute to the site, please get in touch with us. Here are
our submission guidelines:

Please explore and enjoy!

best, Lori Emerson

Needless to say of course, this web site should not be a substitute for the obtaining the original documents. To get the real deal, i.e. books and mags and other poetic ephemera, contact or write to Ottawa poet & bookseller jwcurry:

ROOM 302 Books
#302 – 880 Somerset Street West
Ottawa, ON Canada
K1R 6R7
(613) 233 0417


Smoke, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Stephen Brockwell

Stephen Brockwell, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

This previously unpublished photo Stephen Brockwell is on the rear cover of his latest book of poetry, "The Real Made Up" (ECW Press, 2007).

The photo was originally taken in 2005 at rob mclennan's Peter F. Yacht Club Reading at the Carleton Tavern. See my blog post with other photos:

Stephen approached me for a photo for his book back in August 2007. There was one catch: he absolutely did not want to pose for a new photo. What to do? I searched my photo archives. Luckily, I had about a dozen different photos of this handsome silver-haired lad. I quickly assembled them and showed him a contact sheet from which to choose. The above photo is a crop from a full-length pose and it appears in a slightly even tighter crop on the book's cover.

On a similar note, Charles Earl has a close-up photo of Stephen (and the book) when Brockwell launched the book in Ottawa last month: