I’ve been neglecting this blog for the last month. I’m in the process of reading toward my first comprehensive exam in Canadian Literature as well as completing the final credit of the course work portion of my PhD. Blog, I apologize. I have plans for you though! Your state will not always be so neglected!
Today there are some upcoming Ottawa events to discuss and attend.
This coming Sunday (July 15) I will be giving a very brief reading in support of the In/Words Fundraiser for VerseFest. The featured readers will be Peter Gibbon, returning briefly from his long-exile in the far East with his long-awaited and wonderful little mag Conduit, and Shai Ben-Shalom who will be reading from his first chapbook, Martians Among Us, published by In/Words last month. The other support readers comprise a phenomenal list of young, exciting, worth-following poets in Ottawa: Jeff Blackman, Rachael Simpson, Bardia Sinaee, Jesslyn Delia Smith, Jenna Jarvis, and, if rumours are to be trusted, we may see one more Ottawa-and-In/Words ex-pat return from Toronto for one night only. Though not entirely representative, this lineup feels to me as though it distills much of the most exciting activity of the previous six or seven years over at Carleton University and In/Words. It is worth attending, despite the horrifying claim that “historically significant In/Words Magazine items will be raffled off through out the night.” Moreover, VerseFest is an enterprise deserving of our support. Dave Currie has done a great job organizing the reading on virtually no notice. Please be there.
The House Band Reading Series, brain-child of Brendan McNally, returns on July 21 with Bardia Sinaee, Don Fex, and DJ Komsomol, 9:00pm at the unparalleled Raw Sugar. I was lucky enough to read in the House Band in December and it was a excellent experience. Bardia, as you will know if you read the above paragraph, is someone to watch. I was privileged to publish a broadside by Bardia recently with Apt. 9 Press and I plan to be onhand with copies.
I’ll be giving another reading in August, the details of which are still coming together. rob mclennan’s above/ground press is being generous enough to publish a new chapbook of mine and the reading will be a launch that also celebrates the 19th anniversary of above/ground (nineteen years! wow!). It appears as though the reading will take place August 9 at the Mercury Lounge. I’ll post details of the full lineup as they come together.
There are other things you should attend: The new Bywords Quarterly Journal launches this Sunday; rob mclennan and Christine McNair are reading at Dusty Owl the same Sunday; on July 24 at TREE Jacob McArthur Mooney is in town, along with Stuart Ross leading a free workshop beforehand based on the “late and magnificent” Joe Brainard; all other events you need to know about are listed at the comprehensive Bywords page.
That’s it for today. I’ve got a proper post coming along, I swear! My reading hasn’t been only nineteenth century novels and endless theory, there is contemporary poetry, book design, and book history to be considered. Until then I’ll leave you with this enjoyable, if slightly sad, documentary about print, design, and bookshops in Toronto–Epilogue: The Future of Print.