the night cleared up and it was a beautiful evening to be out for a reading. a few readers didn’t show because of bad weather and flu, which was too bad, but we still had a fine turn out of five readers plus musicians.
i was asked to read first, being a veteran reader (aka likely the oldest in the room). after me came daniel bosworth, newly published and reading newbie chelsea edgell, chris jennings and good pal marcus mccann.
i’m sorry to say i wasn’t paying as much attention to the reading as i should have been; instead i was quietly chatting with some of these people (nicholas lea, genevieve, marcus, crysta (hands in front of face to avoid charles' camera!)l, haley and jeremy diaz (hidden) glenn nuotio and erin quibell(next table). [here's a scoop-glenn might be performing at a bywords reading some time in the future...stay tuned! i am crossing my fingers and excited at the possibility...aside from being a fantastic musician and new ottawa resident, the man is a moleskine rebel who actually rips out pages from the sacred journal; gosh, that can't help but make me a fan (she gushes).
i also nodded hello to shane rhodes, who seems to be at many of the same readings as me of late.
i didn’t catch the names of the opening musicians: a boy who played guitar, another who played fiddle/violin. john kelly played and sang too. always great to hear him and chat. i was happy to hear a steve earle tune.
the design of the first issue of the ottawa arts review is quite lovely. i like the cover image by jessica st. amour. and i wasn’t expecting a perfect bound publication. very nice. the o.a.r. team (splendidly talented poet andrew falkner, bywordian kelly clarke, reading hostess marley davidson (wonder if she rides a harley) and the others who you can find out about by going to the site of the ottawa arts review) have done a fine job.
lovely to read poems by other friends in there too: rob mclennan, melissa upfold, jesse ferguson, sean moreland.
i liked this poem by kenneth pobo:
Elegy for A Manhattan Gay Bar
One Potato, gone. What happened
to the cat that strolled among diners?
We walk toward the Hudson. Fish
don’t ask directions, seek no subway. Night,
about to be poured.
i would have liked to have read the bios of the contributors. that to me is essential in a publication. I was a tad disappointed that this year’s group changed the journal’s name from yawp, but each new group has to do its own thing.
originally they went with Heat and i must confess i was looking forward to going around and saying “I’m in Heat.”
you can send your submissions of poetry, prose and visual art to the ottawa arts review. soon copies of o.a.r. will be available for sale on the bywords on line store (got a lot of cover scanning to do)
let’s wish it a long and healthy journey.