amongst books

amongst books

Friday, December 24, 2010

To Peter Simpson of the Ottawa Citizen: Poetry readings in Ottawa are not funereal

Dear Mr. Simpson,

In your December 24, 2010 Big Beat column you list slam poetry as hot and other poetry readings as not hot because you claim other readings are funereal.
I doubt very much you've been to many poetry readings recently. I’ve never seen you at any myself. There are some dull ones, but there are some great ones too. I advise you to go to some of the city's fabulous readings. Here are some of the lively events you clearly missed:

the A B Series’ multimedia performance of Nobuo Kubota in October;

the Tree Reading Series feature of Phil Hall in May with his lively language play and imaginative poetry and confession to being somewhat of a wingnut; how else would you hear about the Nihilist Spasm Band and hear the sound of one of their instruments played by Phil?

the Dusty Owl Reading Series’ launch of Pearl Pirie’s first poetry collection: been shed bore, including the use of a catapult to launch goodies into the audience; the rare and brilliant reading of jwcurry.

Readings by locals and out-of-towners at the Carleton Tavern hosted by rob mclennan, including a captivating and entertaining performance by Gary Barwin from his latest book the Porcupinity of the Stars;

Christine McNair’s two mesmerizing readings this past year as part of the very cool and yes, hot House Band Reading Series at Raw Sugar and the Tree Reading Series;

Rob Winger’s stirring performance to a packed crowd at the Manx Pub as part of the Plan 99 reading series in November.

Not only does Ottawa have a great bunch of local and talented poets but we also attract poets from all over because we have wonderful reading series and bookstores that host the readings.

2011 will be another exciting year for poetry in Ottawa with sound poets coming from Japan, Russia and the Netherlands as part of the A B Series, a week long festival of poetry in March, fundraising readings for community programs such as the Cornerstone Women’s Shelter by Bywords in February, the Ottawa International Writers Festival in the spring and fall and a host of other readings.

And I guarantee you, although poets wear black at times, these readings will be full of life and there will be no coffin in sight.

Amanda Earl

home of poetry and a jam packed calendar of literary events


Anonymous said...

Well said, Amanada. There is something to be enjoyed at all the poetry series in Ottawa. We're lucky to have such a diverse scene.

Ritallin said...

Without doubt, Ottawa is a poetry hotbed. And the bed is hot whether you're a "page", "stage", sound, concrete or whatever else kind of poet you want to be in this town. Let's make 2011 the year the capital's citizens learn that truth ... through our local media, especially the Citizen!