been a while since I've done one of these, but I never claimed to be reliable.
Tonight the A B Series marks the new year with poetry readings by dear pal, poet, publisher, fictioneer etc rob mclennan & Torontonian Beatriz Hausner at the Ottawa Art Gallery.
Speaking of the A B Series, I'm very excited to see that the great & dangerous evalyn parry will be paired up with the great & equally dangerous Luna Allison to perform at Raw Sugar in February.
so far the rest of the month is pretty quiet for me for literary events, but I'm glad to take it easy. January was packed with great events, including the Bywords Cornerstone Fundraiser with six poets & musician Jill Zmud. See Pearl Pirie's wonderful report & photos on the event. I'm thrilled to say we ended up raising $636 for Cornerstone. Ottawans, your generosity is amazing. I suggest to other reading series who aren't yet doing so to take up community outreach as part of their mandate. See my earlier post on Community Outreach.
Erín Moure recently read at the Tree Reading Series & knocked everyone's socks off. Speaking of Erín, she has kindly made available her entire series on translation entitled "Translation's Homeopathic Gestures" published over the past few months at Jacket2. I've dipped in now & again, but it's going to be fantastic to read the whole thing thru. poets are translators, all humans are. we spend our days trying to make sense of things or place them in some meaningful framework. Erín's thoughtful work is a helpful guide to listening.
Matrix Magazine mailed me not just one but two new issues. I haven't had a chance to go thru both of them yet, but I'm enjoying #94, New Winnipeg Writing. I've always maintained that Manitoba is a wonderful place for creative folk. It seems to incite them to grand schemes & originality. Think of Guy Madden. In the New Winnipeg Writing Issue I've been enjoying Jonathan Ball's "What Rappers Are Saying" & discovering poets Christoff Engbrecht, Clarise Foster, who I only knew of from her role as an editor with CV2, Chandra Mayor, Catherine Hunter & others.
Speaking of Matrix, today's the last day to submit your poetry manuscripts for the Robert Kroetsch Innovative Poetry Award if you'd had two or fewer books. it's an award i find hard not to submit to because it pays homage to one of my favourite poets, the late great Robert Kroetsch, who has been & continues to be a major influence on my writing & the writing of numerous others.
There's a new invitation only chapbook publisher out of Windsor, Ontario, Wrinkle Press run by poets Nicole Markotic & Louis Cabri. Nice to see chapbooks the primary focus of a press as they are for three A-list Ottawa presses (above/ground, Apt. 9 & AngelHousePress).
speaking of Cameron Anstee, lots of former In/wordians have been blogging of late, which is good to see. Being part of In/Words seems to have instilled in them a sustained sense of literary community.
Check out the blogs of Cameron Anstee, Jeff Blackman, Peter Gibbon (Conduit Canada, his new press), Ben Ladouceur. There are also a number of current In/Words editors with Tumblr accounts, but I'll leave you to find those on your own.
Bywords' 2005 John Newlove Poetry Award Winner, Melissa Upfold has begun a new zine, Nickel95, to follow up on her handbuilt & unique "Variations".
Any day now, VERSeFest 2013 will announce its lineup. from what I understand there will be a variety of poets from all over the world & some repeats from previous year's festivals.
above/ground press is celebrating its 20th year this year with a plethora of new chapbooks & readings planned, possibly even another anthology. the first, GROUNDSWELL, the best of above/ground press 1993-2003 was epic.
In Lemonhound this month, as part of "On Beauty" a series of interviews with poets on their thoughts about beauty, Steven Price adds his own thoughts to the topic: "I take ‘beauty’ to mean a kind of contrary goodness, an impurity of goodness, one which acknowledges the flaws in the world, and that reflects those flaws. I haven’t much interest in the idealized world, and don’t find myself responding to it in poetry, or in any other sphere."
& finally, on Shawna Lemay's Canadian Poetries site, K.I Press offers a few whimsical & imaginative poems.
Witches flying on their broomsticks to attend orgies were experiencing astral
journeys in which their repressed sexuality came vividly to life.
[from 21 VENTOSE: MANDRAGORE ]