to my friend and literary mentor, rob mclennan.
i’ve known of rob since i first became involved in ottawa’s literary community in 2000/2001. i don’t think it was really until i started taking his workshops in 2006 that we became friends.
i got to know how dedicated rob is to promoting the strong and original poetry, especially by those who don’t seem to get a lot of notice in the mainstream. he is a discoverer and a hard worker.
i know rob isn’t going for good. he’d better not be! but in the meantime, i can’t help thinking that there will be something missing, an energy, a vibrancy to this community while he’s gone.
it’s up to us to fill that in. how do we do that?
promote great writers through reviews, blog entries, essays of our own
attend and organize readings
start our own micropresses to publish ourselves and others
attend the small press fair and writers festival
get together and talk about poetry and writing as often as we can
visit rob in Edmonton! (something i’m unlikely to do myself, but maybe YOU can)
before i get complaints, i’m not saying that no one else in the community does this kind of thing. but we’re not leaving and he is.
i expect that by the time rob returns, the Edmonton scene will be even more vibrant than it is now, Ottawans and Edmontonions will have closer ties through the sharing of our writing. i think it is a fantastic thing for Edmonton and for rob that he is off to be the U of Alberta Writer in Residence. i know that his creativity, vigor and initiative will result in wonderful things for him and for all of us too. but in the meantime, he will be missed. most especially by me.
have a safe flight and happy landings in Edmonton, rob.