The reading went fabulously last night. Andrea Simms Karp was amazing and everyone loved her. The readers were all terrific, things went off smoothly and we finished on time. Here's the blog entry I posted on it: http://www.ottawapoetry.blogspot.com/ and Charles' photo of the winner: http://www.charlesearl.com/index.php?id=158
I have to say that Bywords is the best and most interesting challenge I've ever taken on. I learn so much about poetry thru reading so many poems all the time, I get a lot of valuable publishing experience and I meet fabulous people, many of whom have become dear friends.
If you ever have the chance to volunteer to do something you love, I recommend jumping in with both feet. I've never had so much fun.
Our next reading is at Chapters on Rideau St on October 15 (my birthday). I've got it all organized and just now booked the music, Mike Yates, who is an exceptionally talented musician (he plays guitar and cello) and singer-songwriter.
It's also so fun and enriching to be able to do all this with Charles. He has visionary ideas and is always calm, even in the face of impending disaster or the stress of having too much to do. We work so well together.
This time of year is a whirlwind for Bywords activity with the publishing of two chapbooks: our fall BQJ and the chapbook of the Newlove winner, plus two readings and the regular activity of updating the site with events, calls for submissions, monthly poetry, going to the small press fair here and hopefully the one in Toronto, and the list goes on. I love it and I love all of the enthusiasm and kind support given by the literary community.
I think one of the reasons why Bywords is so special is that it is a part of this community rather than a separate entity. We really do want to promote writers and publishers large and small in Ottawa. I think this is an exciting time for writing and publishing here. Everything is coming together-events are well-attended, new presses are starting up, our writers are winning awards, and long standing groups and organizations are thriving. It's a great time to be part of this community. I'm blessed.