amongst books

amongst books

Monday, December 01, 2008

The Ottawa Citizen's lack of poetry interest

while i urge everyone to join me today at City Hall for the draft presentation of the budget to Concil at 10am and the ensuing rally somehow in the freezing rain, i have to interput our current program to discuss the Citizen yet again.

this past Sunday, in the Books Section a delightful feature entitled Holiday Gift Guide was published; it contained many an interesting volume from a biography on V.S. Naipal to Edeet Ravel's wonderful new novel "Your Sad Eyes and Unforgettable Mouth" but what was missing was poetry. Not one collection mentioned. Not one. You can find descriptions of such titles as "The Modern Dog, A Joyful Exploration of How We Live with Dogs Today" or Nino Ricci's latest Governor General's Award winner and many other books, but poetry? nope. i always have to read these things a few times, believing that surely i must be mistaken and they have indeed somewhere included poetry or that they will at some point later, but it doesn't happen.

i wrote a letter to the Citizen today and hope you do the same; here's mine:

re: Books-Holiday Gift Guide, Sunday, November 30, 2008

I was pleased to see the holiday gift guide in the Citizen Books Section until I noticed the omission of poetry. I can’t understand why the Citizen continues to leave poetry off its lists of recommended books, both in the autumn when it presents coverage of the publishing season and here in the holiday gift guide.

I am a big fan of the Ottawa Citizen; I read it every day, and I was pleased to see the recent inclusion of a Sunday Books section; however, this lack of coverage of poetry is not in keeping with the general mandate of the Citizen to support and promote literacy and to provide its readers with comprehensive content that both informs and entertains.

There have been many excellent poetry collections published across Canada and throughout the world in 2008 and more upcoming in 2009. The Citizen does its readers a disservice by not alerting them to the possibility of poetry. Poetry is the ideal gift for enthusiasts of playful language, imaginative content and mesmerizing rhythms and is an antidote to the dreary climates of both politics and winter we shall face this holiday season.

Amanda Earl

stay tuned for a special round up Q&A with local poets on their poetry book recommendations for the holidays sometime later this week in the Ottawa Poetry Newsletter.

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