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Friday, October 31, 2008

Matthew Looks

Matthew Looks, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Megan Catherine MacDonald

Megan Catherine MacDonald, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Megan came home tonight!

Her twin sister, Kelly Louise, is still vacationing on the 4th floor of the Civic Campus of the Ottawa Hospital and is due home any day. Here's a pic to tide you over.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pico Iyer in Yoga Plus magazine

I have a photo of Pico Iyer in Yoga + Joyful Living magazine September-December 2008 issue.

It's a cropped version of this photo from his earlier appearance in Ottawa this year.
Pico Iyer

James Traub

James Traub, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

James "The Collar" Traub speaking to an audience at the Ottawa International Writers Festival.

Eric S. Margolis

Eric S. Margolis, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Eric S. Margolis speaking at the Ottawa International Writers Festival.

Zachariah Wells

Zachariah Wells, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

from the Ottawa International Writers Festival blurb:
"Poet and critic Zachariah Wells figured it was high time for an update on that dusty tome. In Jailbreaks, Wells has gathered 99 of his favourite sonnets written by Canadians, from the 19th century to the present day."

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Damon Galgut

Damon Galgut, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Damon Galgut on stage at the Ottawa International Writers Festival. It feels like you're listening to a 19th century author. Not that I've listened to an actual 19th century author. But I hope you get what I mean. A classic voice to listen to. Smooooth.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Glenn Nuotio, Kyrie Kristmanson & Justin Rutledge

I thought this would be a nice photo to end my photographic coverage of the Ottawa International Writers Festival this year.

I will probably post several more photos in the coming days and weeks, however.

I love the tender gaze of Glen Nuotio and (especially) that of Justin Rutledge towards Kyrie Kristmanson. They all played a lovely informal musical set which ended the literary festival on a perfect musical note.

I wish to say a big Thank You to the folks at the Ottawa International Writers Festival for allowing me to (hopefully gently) intrude into the writing life once again to make some photographic memories. Cheers!

ReLit 2008 Winners

Relit 2008 Winners, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Relit 2008 Winners: Roberta Rees, Gillian Wigmore and Gil Adamson Hosted by Kenneth J. Harvey. Photo taken at the 2008 ReLit Awards ceremony and readings.

This year’s winner for Short Fiction is Long After Fathers by Roberta Rees (Coteau). The Poetry Award goes to Soft Geography by Gillian Wigmore (Caitlin), the Novel Award to The Outlander by Gil Adamson (Anansi).
Ottawa International Writers Festival

Wassup Eight Years Later

Neil Wilson, Joseph Boyden & Fan

I particularly like this photo or rather the context in which it was taken. It shows Ottawa International Writers Festival director, Neil Wilson (center) flanked by author Joseph Boyden signing a book for a fan after the reading. I say context because the look on Wilson's face says alot of this moment.

Seconds after the reading finishes and applause dies down throngs of well-wishers crowd the stage attempting to get their personal moment with the author and to get their books signed. It's Wilson's role to try to intercede (for lack of a better word) and escort the guest to a waiting table outside the venue for a formal book signing. Most times it's too late and people unwittingly pen the author in and he politely signs as many books in the interim.

Wilson, at this point, uses his discretion and patiently waits to cue the author to step outside to be greeted by the other hundeds of equally eager guests. It's potentially an awkward moment but Wilson deftly does this dance with aplomb as all he can do is wait. This is that moment.

Joseph Boyden

Joseph Boyden, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Not since John McDonald's 2006 impromptu Axl Rose (Guns N' Roses) dance electrified an Ottawa audience until Joseph Boyden made his moose calls on stage. A man of many talents. One day I'll put the audio online and we'll see if any moose in the area are influenced to come out of hiding.

Henighan, Fallis, Gaston, & Dearing

Stephen Henighan, Terry Fallis and Bill Gaston with Ottawa International Writers Fest host Sarah Dearing.

Pictured here is Fallis (Leacock Prize winner) showing us all how to position the hands in order to look like an intellectual while answering questions. Funny guy.

Amitav Ghosh

Amitav Ghosh, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Winner of the Prix Medici Étranger, Sahitya Akademi Award and the Pushcart Prize, Amitav Ghosh makes his Ottawa International Writers Festival debut with the Booker Prize nominated Sea Of Poppies.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Mark Frutkin

Mark Frutkin, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Mark Frutkin discusses his latest book, Erratic North: A Vietnam Draft Resister’s Life in the Canadian Bush at the Ottawa International Writers Festival.

Ed note. The foyer is lit with some crazy colourful gels making the subjects look like they're straight from the pages of a comic book.

Bill Gaston

Bill Gaston, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Bill Gaston, winner of the Timothy Findley Prize and the ReLit Award, reads aloud from his latest novel, The Order of Good Cheer.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Rawi Hage

Rawi Hage, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Rawi Hage Rawi Hage, winner of the Prix des libraires du Québec and the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, graciously took a minute to pose for me after his Ottawa appearance along with fellow writers Bill Gaston and David Bergen.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Austin Clarke

Austin Clarke, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.
Austin Clarke, winner of the Giller Prize, the Commonwealth Prize, and the Trillium Prize, returns to the Ottawa International Writers Festival with his acclaimed new novel, More.

Ottawa International Writers Festival 2008

A reminder: Events are on all week. More info here -

Haven't been able to attend many events as of yet due to some early deliveries. But that's to be expected. Hope to get out to see some more writers and poets soon, however. Such a great line up again this year.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Nino Ricci

Nino Ricci, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Governor General’s Award winner Nino Ricci on stage reading from his latest book, The Origin of Species at the Ottawa International Writers Festival.

James Laxer

James Laxer, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

James Laxer reads from the stage of the Ottawa International Writers Festival from his latest book, Oil.

Andrew Nikiforuk

Andrew Nikiforuk, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Andrew Nikiforuk, winner of seven National Magazine Awards, read from his latest book, Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent at the Ottawa International Writers Festival.

Maggie Helwig

Maggie Helwig, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Maggie Helwig on stage at the Ottawa International Writers Festival read from her novel, Girls Fall Down.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

El Grito

Carlos Aguilar, a BFA student at Western New Mexico University, contacted me this July after seeing my Mariachi of the Mexican Navy photo on He wanted to create a linocut print from the photo and I granted him permission to use it. After a few months wait a complimentary copy of the print arrived in the mail yesterday! The 12"x16" print looks amazing!

El Grito

Kelly Louise MacDonald

Kelly Louise MacDonald, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Kelly Louise MacDonald came into the world at 4:37pm 16 October 2008.

Megan Catherine MacDonald

Megan Catherine MacDonald, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Megan Catherine MacDonald came into the world at 4:38pm 16 October 2008.

Friday, October 17, 2008


Thursday, October 16, 2008


Julie and I are expecting some new arrivals pretty soon. Twins!
Will keep you informed how things go as the days progress.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Zachariah Wells - VIA Rail

My photo of Zachariah Wells is promintently featured in the recent edition of VIA Rail's magazine, destinations. I took the candid photo of Zach in January 2006 when he came to Ottawa to launch his book of poems, Unsettled.

Here's the link to the pdf file:

Heather Mallick - Maclean's 13 October 2008

MacLean's magazine ran my photo of Heather Mallick in the 13 October 2008 edition. It is my debut photo in this magazine. Ms. Mallick's words got her in some hot water recently with some people south of the border (and the CBC) with her choice words describing VP candidate, Sarah Palin. The rest of the details is in the caption.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Terence Byrnes - Closer to Home

Just saw in my RSS feed that the Literary Photographer, Don Denton, has posted an interview with fellow photographer Terence Byrnes. Byrnes has his own book of author portraits coming out this month.

"Closer to Home: The Author and the Author Portrait (Véhicule Press) fixes its gaze on writers as we seldom see them. These photographs, and the stories that accompany them, were captured where the writers live, work, or play. The result is a series of portraits that take us inside writers’ lives and inside the process of making portraits—all served with a touch of refined literary gossip. " (VP)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Happy Anniversary To Us

Today is our 10th wedding Anniversary. According to common traditions the gift is something made of tin. The modern version, however, of this quaint tradition of this year's gift is aluminum. Here's the kicker: the alternate in lieu of tin or aluminum is diamonds. Please send diamonds...

Most of My Web Traffic is From the USA

Thursday, October 09, 2008

We Can Be Heroes

I, I will be king
And you, you will be queen
Though nothing
Will drive them away
We can be Heroes
Just for one day
We can be us. Just for one day

- David Bowie

'Vocab' aka DJ Morales was de-throned from CBC's annual slam poetry all-star face off. CBC Radio's Alan Neal relishes in the moment while wresting the crown from Vocab, the 2006 winner.

I always wanted to set this moment to music. Took me awhile, however. It's from the CBC Poetry Face Off from 2007. I did post select photos from the event here.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Monday, October 06, 2008

Eye Candy

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Bring Omar Khadr Home

Bring Omar Khadr Home, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Water Gun Fun

Water Gun Fun, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

I Dig The Fair

I Dig The Fair, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Metcalfe Fair

(fair warning: fairly annoying fair music when you click the above link... sorry for the puns.)

Friday, October 03, 2008

Drivers Wanted!

Looking to volunteer with the Ottawa International Writers Festival? I received this email from the OIWF today:

One on one time with your favorite author AND you get to help out the Writers Festival!

If you have a car, and some free time during the day between October 18th and 27th, we need you! We're always looking for volunteers willing to pick up and drop off Festival guests at the train station, airport, and hotels. This is a great chance to talk to an author in person and private - ever wanted to chat with a Pulitzer Prize winner? A famous scientist? a Poet Laureate?

And our volunteers get free admittance to the Festival, too. If you're interested, contact Leslie
at or call 613-562-1243.

And thanks for your support!

The Festival Team

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Sean Miller

Free - a hat will be passed
Thursday, October 2nd, 2008
7:30pm doors open / reading at 8pm

Ottawa City Hall Art Gallery
Main Floor
110 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

waiting for the ultrasound

waiting for the ultrasound, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

a photo post for

Matthew's Crib

Matthew's Crib, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.