amongst books

amongst books

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

6 ways to mark National Poetry Month

1. Go to the library and take out Canadian poetry books, better yet, books by local Ottawa poets. I’ve been told by Ann Archer, the Co-Ordinator of Adult Acquisitions, that poetry has a circulation which is lower than other books. I imagine that it would be hard to justify purchases if the books weren’t being taken out, so ....take out your local

2. Buy a copy of your very favourite book of poems by a living poet, especially if it’s buy someone local or published here in Ottawa and give it to a friend who is ripe for poetry.

3. Attend at least one reading this month.

4. Conduct interviews, write reviews or articles about living poets.

5. Write a response poem to the work of a living poet.

6. Treat your favourite local poet to a coffee or a beer or several beers.

If I emphasize living poets throughout all of this, it’s not because I don’t have respect for the dead (i'll be there soon enough), but rather because I believe that contemporary poets need our support now and that when the media talks about poetry at all, it’s almost always about the classics. I want to see contemporary poetry get some exposure. If I dwell upon local writers it’s not because I am not interested in the works of poets outside of Ottawa, au contraire. But part of my interest during National Poetry Month is to let people know that Ottawa is a vibrant cultural centre. We get a bad rap in the media too often and by others who repeat it ad nauseum without having experienced the bounty the literary community here has to offer.

ps: Check out Pearl's reports on the Ottawa Poetry newsletter blog about the Writers Festival!

1 comment:

Carol said...

Hi, Amanda! Great list!

I missed out on last night's reading by Domanski, Pick and Simpson :(

but I did write an interview for the April HUMM about Claudia Coutu Radmore, a local artist and poet who participated in the first event of the Canal Mug series.

And I bought two books by living Canadian poets

and participated in a Poets' Circle meeting

and so far have written one or two poems a day for April. But I like your #5 and think I will make an attempt at that.

Great blog Amanda!

Carol Stephen