VERSeFest is Ottawa's annual poetry festival & will include, to name a few, Elizabeth Bachinsky, David McFadden, Tim Bowling, Souvankham Thammavongsa, local poets Marilyn Irwin & Selina Boan, American poet Mary Ruefle & …me!
I'm excited to appear at my first festival as a feature, not a host, not a part of a long list, but just as me, as part of the VERSeOttawa Hall of Honour ceremony in which spoken word poet & initiator of good things, Danielle Gregoire & I are inducted as recipients of the honour. To say I am chuffed is an understatement.
With my first poetry book coming out with Chaudiere Books this year & this honour, I feel ridiculously fortunate.
Every success that happens to me in my literary career has meaning to me. I am always somewhat uncomfortable with praise, but overall I am happy when good things happen. Yeah, I'll say it…failures don't mean shit. Actually I don't consider rejections failure. So I haven't really felt that I've failed other than I've tried a few things that haven't worked…yet…
Reading at a festival, receiving an award…that's pretty heady stuff. The first ever feeling I had that what I was doing, this writing poetry thing, was somehow real was a few years ago when I was doing a reading in Toronto for Book Thug to launch my chapbook, Welcome To Earth: poem for alien(s). In Toronto's Now Magazine, a free paper I've always picked up & read, even as a teen, I saw my name listed as part of the launch in the events section. I said to myself, "baby, you have arrived." I'm easy to please. I like my ego stroked a little bit. So right now, I'm enjoying the stroking.
To view the festival schedule, go here. Soon tickets will be on sale. I'm reading & accepting my award on the last day, Sunday, March 30 at 7pm. Hope to see you there. I did a lot of readings last year, but it's such a rare thing normally for me to be on stage as something other than the host of a reading. So yeah…I'm pretty jazzed.
It's also fun to say things like "I'm meeting with my publisher." Makes me feel all giggly. I do feel like an imposter. Like Lily Tomlin as Edith Ann, a little girl in the big over-sized rocking chair on Laugh In. "And that's the truth."