Friday, November 12, 2010
praising rob mclennan
rob’s recent win of the Ottawa Xpress’s (Best of Fiction, Non Fiction,) Poetry category for his poetry collection Wild Horses (University of Alberta Press, 2010) is an opportune time for me to offer a word of appreciation for all rob does for this city in terms of publishing and promotion, and for contemporary literature in general.
you’d think a man who spends his days as a working writer wouldn’t have time to do all rob does, but somehow he
publishes a daily blog in which he offers a plethora of literary reviews of writers who tend to be missed by the mainstream media.
runs above/ground press and publishes chapbooks with a subsequent unnamed fairly regular reading series at the Carleton Tavern.
& thru above/ground press started the ottawa small press book fair. & subsequently a blog that promotes book fairs across Canada.
started Ottawater.com, an annual PDF magazine of local and former local writers.
started Poetics.com with Stephen Brockwell, which later led to 17 seconds with Roland Prevost, an online journal with interviews, reviews and writers’ statements.
runs Chaudiere Books with Jennifer Mulligan, publishing poetry and fiction so far.
runs an excellent 8-week poetry workshop at Collected Works, two or three times a year.
promotes Ottawa, particuarly with his book Ottawa, the Unknown City (Arsenal Pulp Press)
& likely a bunch of other things that i'm forgetting.
not only me, but a number of other emerging writers i know in Ottawa attribute rob’s activities to their literary education and training. rob is the lynchpin in Ottawa’s literary community.
there are other hard-working and involved members of this community: organizers of reading series, workshop facilitators, small press publishers, juries for awards and grants...and i commend them for all they do, but i think rob’s efforts are above and beyond. and i tip my little red toque to him.
he gets a lot of flack here in Ottawa and elsewhere but nobody could deny that the man is a tireless dynamo when it comes to promoting, nurturing and sustaining emerging writers here in Ottawa and elsewhere.
thank you, mr. mclennan!
[photo by Charles Earl]