amongst books

amongst books

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Drop everything and attend these must sees this weekend

starting this evening with the A B Series # 9, On the Eve of Re:Reading the Postmodern featuring Monty Reid, Sandra Ridley, Roland Prevost, Chris Turnbull, Nicholas Lea, rob mclennan, Shane Rhodes, Marcus McCann & John Lavery with special St. Catharines guest Gregory Betts at the Mercury Lounge, doors open at 7:30 pm with readings starting at 8. $7.00 at the door (free to those on low income).

Friday, May 9: Fred Wah at the Avant Garde, 135 Besserer St. 8pm, free

Saturday May 10: Robert Kroetsch, Frank Davey, Christian Bök, Dennis Cooley, Christine Stewart, Stephen Cain, Gregory Betts, Louis Cabri, Andy Weaver, and The Max Middle Sound Project, 8:30 pm. The Atomic Rooster, 303 Bank St, free.

Note that the occasion for these readings is the University of Ottawa’s Canadian Literature Symposium “Re: Reading the Postmodern” which begins Friday morning and goes until Sunday afternoon. Keynote addresses are also free to the public on Friday and Saturday afternoons:

Friday, May 9: The Glories of Hindsight, Linda Hutcheon
University of Ottawa, Faculty of Arts Building, 70 Laurier, Arts 257, 5:00 pm.

Saturday, May 10: Why Postmodernism Now? Or, What Recent Experimental Poetries Are On About Instead, Pauline Butling and Susan Rudy
University of Ottawa, Faculty of Arts Building, 70 Laurier, Arts 257, 4:45 pm.

I’m registered for the conference, so will be attending all weekend. I’ll blog about it, likely.

I’m excited but also slightly off kilter at the thought of being surrounded by writers who I consider to be my writing mentors, based on my having really connected with their writing these past few years: Robert Kroetsch, Dennis Cooley, and Fred Wah. I will probably just gawk at them open-mouthed like a rubber-necker at an accident, alas.

on a slight tangent, but not really...this afternoon I will have the fortunate opportunity to speak and listen to a class of secondary students taking a University of Ottawa workshop on creative writing. Thanks to the amazing Faith Seltzer and Nancy Burgoyne of the City of Ottawa Arts and Culture Department, I am armed with a slew of information about writing and publishing opportunities for young people in Ottawa.

I have to say that I haven’t uncovered that many poetry-related activities that directly involve youth and this concerns me. As someone who wasn’t exposed to poetry in high school except as a historical relic, I am always on the look-out for ways to demonstrate the vitality of poetry today and to raise awareness about Ottawa’s vibrant poetry scene and the poets who are alive, well and working at pushing their limits in poetry today. If young people don’t know that poetry is an act of creation involving the living, the chances of them being interested in it are remote. More on this...later...

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