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Moritz in Ottawa

AF Mortitz A.F. Moritz was the feature at Tree on Tuesday. He took an unconventional tack reading not only from his work but some of his favorite pieces by writers who influenced him. He also read from The Sentinel (Anansi, 2009) [3 audio poem samples at that link].

A room of about 40 people trouped over on a dark drizzly day to see the reading by the winner of the 2009 Griffin Prize.

I wish I’d taken careful note of the poem of his that I liked best that he said riffed off (what). [Paper is superior to undertrained memory.] It was about a bus ride and from the point of view of a woman accidentally falling asleep on purpose on her attractive incidental seatmate and seeing on the sly if she could get any sort of rise out of him as the countryside passed. It doesn’t seem to be in The Sentinel. Which one of his previous dozen or so books? He brought a few. Still, not knowing that chance at re-reading, I still gained. I could see what people talk about of his gentle sense of humour and sharp eye for detail.

Introducing a Tree

Moritz also rolled like the consummate professional he is when the venue changed, and the sound system squealed. He and the others projected without a mic. When the bartender shook a martini shaker thing, Mortiz made a maracas gesture and played with whatever came. An Elvis song coming over someone’s cell phone not turned off and being searched for for a few bars? No problem. What a pleasure to see such grace. What a nice man.

The tribute to poets gone before, was to Pat Lowther. TA Carter did a workshop around Gary Snyder, Cold Mountain and John Brandi.

The the room was friendly and cozy and people, authors and audience were good humoured about this life things. Readings are always a nice excuse to see people you know.

Things may not be what you expect, but that doesn’t preclude them from being good.

The next reading will be back the Arts Court June 27th with Olive Senior who won a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for her fiction collection, Summer Lightning, and who was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for her poetry collection Over the Roofs of the World. The next two pre-Tree workshops will be by Guy Simser starting at 6:45.

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