amongst books

amongst books

Monday, December 31, 2007

A Call for Ottawa Laureates

In his column today, Phil Jenkins talks about the need to promote Ottawa arts and culture. He believes that Ottawa should have representatives to do so. I couldn’t agree more. Specifically he talks about a poet laureate, which is something the city used to have, but stopped ages ago, and adds that we should also have laureates for art, dance, music and other cultural activities.

It’s lovely to see an article from the Citizen advocating promotion of the arts. Jenkins makes the point that showing Canadians and the world our vibrant cultural scene may help to improve our tarnished reputation. This year especially when the city has been tainted by allegations of corruption and by broken promises from its leadership, while at the same time the less fortunate have been likened to pigeons in the street by our mayor, we have a lot of work to make outsiders and fellow residents understand that this is a great city, that its citizens are not lacking in imagination, vision and compassion despite the current regime. Promoting our excellent arts and cultural scenes is certainly a way of doing so.

Thank you for your vision, Mr. Jenkins! Let 2008 be the year we tell the world what a great city this is.

Send your nominations in for Ottawa arts laureates in the various categories to

Here’s what I sent to the Citizen today:

A Call for Ottawa Laureates, December 31, 2007

I nominate rob mclennan for poet laureate. Mr. McLennan is an excellent promoter of Ottawa arts and culture, not just in Ottawa but to Canadians and to the world at large. As publisher of Chaudiere Books and above / ground press, author of numerous books of poetry, manager and instigator of the website, upcoming author of a book of Ottawa’s best kept secrets: Ottawa, the Unknown City (Arsenal Pulp Press), creator of the Ottawa Small Press Fair and numerous reading series that bring writers to Ottawa and promote local writers in Ottawa, novelist, essayist, and reviewer, McLennan is well-known in Canada and in the literary communities throughout the world. McLennan would be a marvellous choice for poet laureate.

Thank you, Mr. Jenkins, for your vision. We need more advocates and promoters of the arts and culture in Ottawa.


Amanda Earl


Anonymous said...

I nominated Ronnie R. Brown, a fine and well-known poet who would do an excellent job.

Amanda Earl said...

send that to the Citizen :)

Anonymous said...

Many excellent possibilities for this role - mclennan being the most excellent. Sent my choice thru to the Citizen, thanks for the heads up Amanda!

Victoria said...

I like the suggestion of Ronnie too, for a variety of important reasons.

- Victoria Vernell

Anonymous said...

I nominate two poets: Sylvia Adams and Elisabeth Harvor. I place Sylvia Adams first, because she is a poet only, and not a novelist or short story writer, whereas Elisabeth Harvor writes in all fields.
Each of them has very good poetry, and each is at a stage in life, in which their wisdom shows eloquently.
Diane Stevenson Schmolka

rob mclennan said...

actually, diane, that sylvia adams published a novel a few years ago;