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Toronto Launch - You Were Here (1)

Categories: PSA, Poetry.

Winter KaDo

Hard to chair a meeting, host, record minutes and take snapshots. But totally doable. Pics from the meeting today of Winter KaDo here.

Categories: Poetry reading write-up.

Book in Context

Kilby Smith-McGregor‘s Kids in Triage happened to be in my bag to read, just in case whatever delay, when mom ended up getting reassessed at the e/r. 4 hours waiting and for her to get antibiotic i.v.

(Among it all, I got as far as p.10 in the first visit of 4)


First do no harm.

I only just wanted so awfully to see.






from “Anomalies of Water, from p. 61

High-spirited, hard-living. High heat of sublimation. Water forgets water. Water refuses water. Water wants wine, transubstantiation. Highlight, high life, high-flying entropy of, heat of vapourization. The eventaul condensation of, repatriation of rain.



from page 64, [2] Tricks with Eggs,

the difference between hard-boiled and raw one spins better

Categories: Currently reading.

Toronto Readings

Toronto Launch - You Were Here

Categories: Uncategorized.

Written vs Spoken

Can I peg a poet as written or spoken from a headshot?

The performance with body on stage poet is more apt to get studio lighting, performance capture with expressive face and microphone. There’s more dynamic angles.

The written poet disproportionally is outside, with grass, trees. Written poets are more likely to conceal their face or use an instagram filter.

Intuitively I think females smile more in author photos. Looking 132 author photos on past years VERSeFest sites 31 males, and 36 females had neutral face or frown or performance. 17 males smiled for the camera, but 38 females smiled.

Categories: Uncategorized.

VERSeFest Volunteering

Calling all past and prospective VERSeFest volunteers!

To honour our incredible volunteers of poetry past and future, VERSeFest invites you to come out for a night of poetry, complimentary drinks, fabulous raffle prizes, and karaoke at Bar Robo on February 13, 7pm.

Featuring readings by:


Followed by Karaoke Performances by YOU!


– Get a free drink chit if you volunteered at our 2016 edition, or if you sign up to volunteer this year!

– Raffle draws throughout the night! Earn ONE raffle ticket at the door, and ONE raffle ticket for every event you sign up to volunteer for! Prizes will be announced via leading up to the event.

– Sign up to volunteer for two events and get a free FESTIVAL PASS!

– Get first dibs on event sign-up!

VERSeFest (March 21 – 26) is looking for volunteers to work as:

– Ticket desk attendants
– Merch desk attendants
– SmartServ Certified bartenders
– Ushers
– Drivers


Visit to for regular updates about our raffle prizes!

Categories: PSA, Poetry.

Current English Ottawa Poets


Adams, Sylvia
Akinlolu, Segun
Akpata, John
Alcofribas Nasier II
Alexander Heinis, Shery
Aljied, Roua aka ‘Philosi-Fire’
Allison, Luna
Andrews, Dana Carly
Anstee, Cameron
Apollo the Child aka Khaleefa Hamdan
Araa, Barâa
Armstrong, Allison
Artelle, Stephen
Atkinson, Susan J.
Auclair, Marie-Andrée


Baker, Jennifer
Bandukwala, Manahil
Beissel, Henry
Ben-Shalom, Shai
Berkhout, Nina
Blackman, Jeff
Blaikie, David
Blouin, Mike
Boyle, Frances
Bourque, Jacqueline
Bradley, Jamie
Bragg, MaryLee
Brockwell, Stephen
Brown, Ronnie R
Bruchhaeuser, Candice
Brunet, Catherine
Buckthought, Mike
Burke, Liam


Caesar, Mike
Calvo, Elena
Charlebois, Éric
Chetcuti, Vincent (r.i.p.)
Christie, Jason
Citron, Murray
Collins, David
Cook, Bryan
Cumming, Alicia
Cummings, Beverly
currie, brock
Currie, David
Dabydeen, Cyril
Dako, Pete
de Paul, Stephen
Debarats, Michelle
Deen, Faizal
Dennis, Michael
Díaz, Luciano
Dolman, Anita
Douglas, Rhonda
Droll, Randy
Dumais, Douglas
drystek, nina jane



Earl, Amanda
Ede, Amatoritsero
El-Mohtar, Amal
Emery, David
Etcheverry, Jorge
Farina, Laura
Farley, Claire
Fejzić, Sanita
Fiszer, Doris
Foss, Gill
Fotheringham, Avonlea
Furesz, Eva (Eva Boros-Furesz)
Fragiskatos, Artemysia
Fralic, Mike
Frenken, Sjef
Frutkin, Mark
gagno, jesslyn
Gerken, Klaus
Groleau Landry, Daniel
Groulx, David
Guth, Gwendolyn



Hanna, Natalie
Harvor, Elisabeth
Haysom, Jenny
He, Bing
Hill, Sylvie
Hogg, Robert
Hunt, Kathryn
‘Hyfidelik’ aka Sergio Guerra
Iliza, Amy
Irwin, Marilyn
Jarvis, Jenna
Jennings, Chris
Johnson, Chris
Jones, Matt
JustJamaal aka Jamaal Jackson Rogers



Katherine Leyton
Keteku, Ian
King Kimbit
Kirby, Patricia
Kletke, Glenn
Klostermann, Janna
Kohler, Miche
kozak, a.m.
Krausz, Rosemarie
Ladouceur, Ben
Lam, Justin
LaPierre, Margo
Larwill, Alastair
Latta, Ruth
Le Dressay, Anne
Leifso, Brenda
Leyton, Katherine
Loeffelholz, Joycelyn
Lyons, Christine


MacDonald, Heather
Macdonald, Robin
MacDonell, Sarah
Madhavan-Reese, Sneha
Mallet, Heather
Marchand, Blaine
Martin, Ian
Massey, Karen
Matthews, Kevin
McGee, Elizabeth
McInnis, Nadine
McLachlen, Robin
mclennan, rob
McMaster, Susan
McNair, Christine
McPherson, Christian
Middle, Max
Miller, Ceilidhe
Montreuil, Mike
Moran, James K.
Morden, Brad
Morgan, Mia
Morton, Colin
Musa, Sarah
Mustafa, Aruba
Myers, Barbara



Nicholls, Sandra
Noble, Catina
Nykyforak, Cassandra
O’Meara, David
Olafimihan, Komi
Oni the Haitian Sensation
OpenSecret’ Onyegbula, Ikenna
Pederson, Jennifer
Pederson, Rod
Pirie, Pearl
Poile, Craig
Power, Willow-Marie
Prevost, Roland
Priske, Rusty
Pulles, Kirsten



Racek, Jakub
Radmore, Claudia Coutu
Rainville, Nathalie
Raycroft, Brent
Reid, Monty
Rhodes, Shane
Richardson, Peter
Ridley, Sandra
Rochefort, LM
Roy, Ian
Russell, Gavin
Ruszala, Sarah



Saghir, Omar
Saikaley, Sonia
Savage, Grant
Seatter, Ronald
Shaffran, Rona
Simpson, Rachael
Simser, Guy
Stacey, Robert
Steadman, Dean
Steiner, Dawn
Stephen, Carol A
Stewart, Corey
Struthers, Betsy
Strutt, Lesley
Stymeist, D.S.
Sulzenko, JC
Suse, Luminita



Taj, H. Masud
Taylor, Bruce
Thomas, Rob
Thomson, Sharon
Thumm, Alex Jürgen
Tokar, Janice
Trafford, Mary
Tunney, Deborah-Anne
Turnbull, Chris
Tyler, Paul
Van Loon, Jean
Vavassis, Vivian
Vuelta, Nina



Wabegijig, Vera
Wallace, Gillian
Warrington-Kearsley, Betty P.
Way, Mike
Weerasinghe, Asoka
Whistle, Ian
Wilkins, Grant
Wright, Catriona
Young, Deanna
Zielinski, Margaret


From,, VERSeFest, Bywords, Sawdust, Wikipedia,, Ottawa Citizen, Ottawater, In/words, googling, and seeing people about.

Categories: Poetry history.

2017 Books Read

1. Silence by Nora Parker Cox, illus., Anna Bongiovanni (Hucklenut Press, 2016) – breathtaking. It has a refrain of “This is a biography in silence.” It doesn’t grow redundant but forceful of pushback. Cowed into, gaslighted into, correctness cornered into the silence which will not, does not stand. It feels like a coming of (feminist) age from childhood to adulthood, but is neither raw nor expected and processed into a velouté creamy palatableness of regret. It is a setting self apart from the messed up family and patriarchal obligations to blame, second-guessing self’s (“our girl’s”) motivation. It walks thru and on. “The accusation,/which I still fear will come,/the court order,/which I spend every moment braced fro,/doesn’t have to kill me.//My voice reminds me of this/as I try to feel again”

2. Never Mind: poems by Katherine Lawrence (Turnstone Press, 2016) liked the epigraphs but not my cuppa gauzy poems.

Structured as ekphrastic response to paintings, which are never shown. A parallel text of their name, an epigraph and a response are a good portion of the book, except for the baffling 11 page existential conversation and jokes between oxen. Sketch quotes of Pocketbook Memorandum, I liked, such as p. 73: “Said our goodbyes, gathered the last brown egg. Moving west of not knowing.” The response seems duller. I could see some people digging it.

This has a concreteness and elegance: p. 45 “Garden plot responds to spring’s weak light but my jar of yellow ochre is empty spent”. It is responded to with the less catchy, “Faint line tender-sprung beaded romaine blushed oak iceberg line green green bibb deep burgundy frilly French butterhead veined with nerves.”, ending with a bottom of the page note on painting: Salad Days//Watercolour on Note Page.

3. Portraits of Canadian Writers by Bruce Meyer (,/Porcupine’s Quill 2016)—  tremendous fascinating book. A CanLit staple. Recommended for the photos, some decades ago, some contemporary. They have no unformity to them but capture some ephemeral moment of a poet in sumptuous lighting.

It doesn’t cover everyone, and how could it, but who it covers it does so with an intimate touch, a conversational sharing about a writer, shared times, how the photo or contact came about. It’s like a memoir that shares, hey, look at this great person, and this person too. It is idiosyncratic rather than “objective” and dry.

On Erin Mouré he says “Her passion for language is almost like that of a coroner for forensic detail. SHe is always attempting to determine causality.” (p. 144)

On (Daniel) Jones he wrote “He published one book of poetry in his lifetime (although I suspect that his output was more prodigious than a single volume), The Brave Never Write Poetry.” He did do more than one volume. I have his Unfinished Monument Press chapbook of 30 pages Jack and Jill in Toronto (1983). It was published 3 years before his photo in Portraits. Guess he means full collection tho.

Another portrait is of Richard Harrison in 1981 (p. 94-95) along with the anecdote from near Saratoga Springs pool room with Meyer, Harrison, Ross Leckie and Lawrence Hopperton. “Everything fell silent when a gang of bikers walked in. The bikers had been there before and trashed the place because the locals were outnumbered. The locals lined up with the 4 Canadian poets, and we stared down the bikers, who who beat a quick retreat. We didn’t have to buy beer for the remainder of our weeklong stay.”

4. Thirty-seven Small Songs & Thirteen Silences by Jan Zwicky (Gaspereau Press, 2005) — slow unfolding of a beautiful soul, breathing. Such elegance and space in the poems, and wilful kindliness and trust towards the world.And we won’t mention the entirely beautiful binding with the titles in spot colour to match the cover, will we? p. 30.  how does she get away with personifying the sea and it feeling okay? With saying instead of showing so much and yet it working? If you are that good, you can bend and break the rules you understand.

Small song on being lost

The sea is lonely today.
Here is is, weeping in the streets again,
as if that could help.

I’ll go visit– out along the old pier
where the fishboats used to dock.

how to call the self in
off the wet streets, how not to worry
if it can’t be found.

Books unread keep piling. No chosen order.

currently reading
Books I have started, some I read on and off for months or years, being bumped from queue whenever a library book comes in.

Categories: Currently reading.

New Short Forms Workshops Coming In April

April 3-May 8, 2017, weekly on Mondays for 6 weeks.
Haiku and other short forms: Haiku, senryu, short lyric, tanka, minimalism, one word poems, erasure poetry.

Online, and in-person thru Studio Nouveau in Ottawa if there’s 6 people in person.

The best of participant poems go into a phafours press chapbook.

$200 for 12 hours.

I have 3 trade collections, over a dozen chapbooks, a small press, a few broadsheets and publishing credits in over 3 dozen magazines and anthologies. I co-direct the Tree Reading Series and am president of KaDo Ottawa, a Eastern form group for Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec.

Categories: PSA, Poetry, Uncategorized, Workshops.

Books and Chapbooks read in 2016, part 3 Statistics

16% of the completed books or chapbooks were chapbooks. All averaged to 139 pages, a total of 23,800 pages. 64% was poetry. Of the 30% not poetry, the largest categories were novels, memoirs, then science and essays.

43% male, 44% female, 13% multiple authors or non-binary. Non-binary-authored:4 out of 5, male-authored I ranked 35 out of 5 on average, female-authored 3.1, multiple: 3.0.

67% Canadian so I didn’t read internationally as much I’d hoped.

13% were by known GLBTQ2+ people, but some I may not be aware of.

A full 53% were published in 2015 or 2016 so far more than I expected of reach back. 15% were between 2004-2014.  27% were published over a decade ago and 2% were written over a century ago.

The top source of books was the public library, followed by direct from author. Third was the little free library then a used book store. #5 spot was a review copy then a small press fair or festival table. #7 was new from a bookstore. Borrowed from a friend, got from a thrift store or a gift were a low percentage.

21 books I’d call 5 star. 10 I finished but I’d give 0-1 stars to. 61 titles I gave a 4 out 5 star to.


Categories: Currently reading.