amongst books

amongst books

Saturday, June 25, 2011

won't you come to the fair?

today is the ottawa small press book fair & i’m excited. i have written often of this fare, but i will do so again because i want to convey the wonder of it, the essentialness of it. hell, this is an entreaty. i urge you to attend.

you have a whole pile of things to do today.
the weather has been inconducive to leaving your comfortable abode.
it’s hard to find a place to park your car.
you have very little money to spend.

if you write, if you read, if you are tired of the conventional nonsense that comes from large cookie cutter operations, you must come to the fair.
if you enjoy poetry by rule breakers, if you like raw talent, if you are a fan of ragged edges, you must come to the fair.
if you love the book in all its forms & appreciate the handmade beauty of small books, you must come to the fair.
if you want to find out more about some of the small press publishers in Ottawa and beyond, you must come to the fair.
if you want to find books & chapbooks you will never see in any big box bookstore, you must come to the fair.
if you have very little money, you can find chapbooks and broadsides for free, so you must come to the fair.
if you are a supporter & lover of independent ideas, rebels and those that kick against the pricks, you must come to the fair.

Bywords will have a small gift for those who come to the table, while quantities last.
AngelHousePress will hitch its halo to the Bywords table and shall offer wee treasures by some of Ottawa’s most delectable writers.

pooka press is here all the way from Vancouver and has a wonderful selection of chapbooks from the well known and lesser known poets of this era. also the pooka will be selling books by Catherine Owen & her work is beautiful & resonates.

what else can i tell you?

Apt. 9 Press will have chapbooks of beauty and substance, including the newly published Exit Interviews by Jim Smith, who gave a fabulous reading last night.

Chaudiere Books has a new book by Joe Blades that is worth the price of admission to the fair, even though the fair is free. There are always more chapbooks to discover by above/ground press in various colours and styles, i’m sure there will be some you can try on and buy for a mere $4 a chapbook.

I’m hoping local publisher Buschek Books will be there with its array of fine titles. Last spring, Toronto’s renegade BookThug was there, including the amazingly talented Phil Hall. it was an honour to get him to sign the Little Seamstress, my favourite book of poems of 2010.

and speaking of Pedlar Press, i hear that Beth Follett will be at the fair. you don’t want to miss Pedlar Press, whose books are beautiful & splendid. & at prices lower than you find in stores.

Adam Thomlison with his 40 Watt Spotlight will be shining at the fair, with zany & comical fiction that will make you think twice, but that’s alright.

I hope Colin White will be there with his colourful graphic comics.

jwcurry of 1cent will be there. small works of significance & beauty that are off any path you have ever taken. you don’t want to miss him.

Sometimes there is music. One year Punchy Writers/DC Books from Montreal showed up & it was a pleasure to see David McGimpsey & Jason Camlot at the fair. I believe someone even played guitar.

& afterwards, drinks & good company at a local tavern where we wrap up, count our farthings and talk about stuff & nonsense…

i expect to see you there, Ottawans. don’t disappoint me.

the Ottawa Small Press Book Fair takes place today from noon to 5pm at the Jack Purcell Community Centre, Rm 203.

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