celebrated spring yesterday at Chapters with a reading that still leaves me feeling euphoric thanks to
Marie-Josée Houle’s both sad and uplifting life affirming live for today music, the talented and versatile readers, the supremely well-organized Chapters staff, who had our venue set up long before we arrived, the engaged and enthusiastic audience.
Given the beauty of the day, I wasn’t expecting a huge turn-out but there was a sizeable group and many Chapters customers stopped in to listen to both the music and the poetry. Usually after our readings at Chapters, we get a signficant increase in submissions. We also sold copies of the BQJ and gave away calendars. People were quite pleased to see how active the literary community is here and I know a number of people said to me that they would be attending more events and submitting their work to some of Ottawa’s other literary publications in the future.
Once again there were poets who had never read their work to an audience before; there were those who had never been paid for their work before or seen their poetry in print. It makes for an amazing feeling to be able to bring all this about. I am lucky to be part of an excellent team of literary enthusiasts, from those who submit their work to Bywords, to the editors who select it, to the supporters of our existence and to the literary community at large.
And speaking of the lit community in Ottawa, another joy for me is to see how supportive members of the literary community are for one another. In particular, one of yesterday’s featured readers was Peter Gibbon, a member of the Carleton University team of In/Words. And as always, the In/Words gang showed up. I love the energy of friends who support one another and work together. They showed up with a pile of new and exciting publications,which many audience members took home. There’s nothing you can’t accomplish when you have the support of a group to count on.
Most of all the reading, and post reading socializing reminded me how beautiful life is, how lucky I am to be involved in Bywords and most importantly to live in the moment, to celebrate today because life is too short not to grab hold of every moment and savour it.
I can’t wait for the next reading in July. I’ve already started planning and promise you it will be a celebration you won’t want to miss.