Sunday, November 25, 2007


Kurt Schwitters collected fragments of discarded objects, the first almost a century ago, some made into make what we'd call installation art projects today. He also assembled sound and language fragments – coughs, sneezes, stutters, syllables – into poetry.

Froehlich as Schwitters Froehlich as Schwitters Froehlich as Schwitters
Peter Froehlich's one-man-show is a collage of MERZ poems meshed into a context of the anecdotes and legends of this artist. The show ended at Nov 16 at the Cube Gallery

The first part of the show was biographical, a history lesson done in broad black comedy style of grief and repurposing props even so the fishbowl, the watery grave of his beautiful loyal fish, become water to nonchalantly drink, then later the glass becomes wine at the cafe table at a banquet of Hitler. What we think is a coughing fit from drinking the water and him groping forward to the music stand for support, is transformed to him tuning to the next page of notes and that the coughing is sound controlled. Everything expected is turned on its head.

The play with reversals became a subject almost as much as any subject, such as beautiful Anna, "the same from the front as from the back" (A-n-n-a, or a-n-n-A). Anna is so unlike Hannover itself, which in false etymology becomes the forward of what it is in reverse "re von nah" re –back, von – from, nah– near. Therefore it reads and means forwards Hannover – "forward to far". His stepping out into the meta was explicitly explained as well. "I play off sense against nonsense. I prefer nonsense but it doesn't matter. It's a matter of taste."

Timing, pause, variance in rate and tone of voice independant from meaningful words all had an perceptible reality in teased out in isolation. Imposing meaning or letting sound become meaning or meaning disperse from conventional meaning is the core of Metz. It deals with the same sort of reducing sound until it loses meaning and starts to mean again rose occasionally in his syllables as The Four Horseman Project.

How to express the sounds to text is a bit tricky. The whole show is poorly captured in piece or page, being so auditory and interwoven. Does it give any idea of the play with sound expectations of lo la, la lo, lo, la, la lo...da da, da da, and the French alphabet letters in paired sets so that BéDe, BéC BéBé Béah. The refrains of building sound made a sort of narrative arc of coming to expect a pattern of vowels to repeat. They became like chapters of certain vowels, then a page turn and a new set.

He was playing with the expectations of linear narrative of relating a story, losing his place, becoming confused, and starting way back in the story, tangenting, where was I? oh yes and restarting way back in the story again. The audience laughed harder each time yet each time he told it, he pivoted the focus. When he got most of the way thru the story of the crowd gathering to look at a "man who was just standing there", he wrote out one character but left in the discontinuity, saying, this is where the police came for him, except that can't happen now because he no longer exists.

This looped back in the second half when the music stand of pages he was conducting himself from diligently progressing forward for half the notes, he started messing with direction, going backwards thru pages instead of forward or flipping to (seemingly?) random pages forward and back thru the score. This made peals of laughter and started the couple people on their giggle fits again.

An Ottawa Citizen report by Patrick Langston. No one left as Langston related for the performance he saw, but people did ragdoll over with laughter, 4 people in rows ahead were wiping tears from their eyes laughing. The head bobbling he remarked on of people moving in rhythm thru the sounds was there too. Which isn't to say it was non-stop comedy. The build of tension, the play of Nazi movements against the life of the artist were there, the neutral palette of sounds and the dramatic stories against the deliberate tossed in nonsense all kept the tone alive.

As soon as the performance ended a portion of the crowd rushed the stage to get a personal look at those notes that scored the sound. How did he do that. People were flipping thru and peering over and around each other.

You can hear the original recording of Schwitters doing Ursonate at UBU. In the original, he was more playing with notes and musicality it seems. This interpretation used more monotone with sudden leaps up the scale as yelps that broke the pattern in what seemed like falsetto by comparison. You can hear another version of the script at Ubu by Jaap Blonk.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

12 or 20 questions: with Amanda Earl

Amanda Earl’s poetry will appear in upcoming issues of Rampike and the New Chief Tongue Review. Her second chapbook, Eleanor was released this summer by above/ground press. Her poems have appeared most recently in, Holy Beep, launched during Calgary’s bpNichol benefit show with jwcurry,, the Ottawa Arts Review and

Her visual poetry has appeared in the Peter F. Yacht Club, and Her work also appears in the gallery at

Amanda is the managing editor of the Ottawa-based literary site, and the Bywords Quarterly Journal, a journal for poetry by writers with an Ottawa connection.

Amanda also writes fiction. Her stories appear most recently in Lies with Occasional Truth (, Front&Centre Magazine (Black Bile Press), The Puritan and various anthologies published by Alyson Books, Cleis Press, Thunder’s Mouth Press, and Carroll and Graf.

When she blogs, she blogs:

1 - How did your first chapbook change your life?

that was Blood Orange (Friday Circle, 2003); it made me afraid of seeing my words in print because right away i wanted to change some things. i hadn't had much poetry published. it also made me want to get more stuff published and inspired me to want to publish chapbooks. i was weirded out when people asked me to sign it. i felt like an imposter. this still happens.

2 - How long have you lived in Ottawa, and how does geography, if at all, impact on your writing? Does race or gender make any impact on your work?

i've lived in Ottawa for 20 or 21 years depending on whether you use the new math or the old. geography and place inspire my writing. i wrote a poem series called "November" last year that was set in various parts of downtown Ottawa; it was just me walking around and treating myself to an exquisite lunch complete with beer or wine. even my second chapbook, Eleanor (above/ground press, 2007), about Eleanor of Aquitaine, who lived in France and England in the Middle Ages, manages to have bits of Ottawa in it. if i'm in different cities, the place also influences my writing.

race has no affect on my writing so far.

with gender, i'd like the voices i write to reflect whatever gender they are, including no gender if gender isn't relevant; but i want to be blank and not inflict my gender on my writing. i sometimes wish i'd chosen a gender neutral pen name instead of my own and maybe i'll do that sometime.

3 - Where does a poem usually begin for you? Are you an author of short pieces that end up combining into a larger project, or are you working on a "book" from the very beginning?

a poem begins with a moment, an image, something in freeze frame or a pique of interest about some person. for the first five years of writing poetry with any serious intent to publish, i just wrote small individual poems, but for the past two years i've been writing long poem series and i'm trying to write a book length manuscript right now. i'm on page two. this could take a while.

4 - Are public readings part of or counter to your creative process?

very much part of. i like to try out new work at open mics here in Ottawa, particularly the Tree Reading Series and the Dusty Owl. the closer i get to my time at the mic, the more i revise my work.

5 - Do you have any theoretical concerns behind your writing? What kinds of questions are you trying to answer with your work? What do you even think the current questions are?

i was happy to discover Steve McCaffery through one of your workshops, rob. in a Philly Talk between him and Lisa Robertson in 2003 and in an interview, he said that poetry was about playfulness and risk-taking. that loosened me up considerably. i've always thought, and i don't know where i got this idea, that you were supposed to aim for perfection and come at poetry from some kind of lofty place, whereas all i do is stumble and most of the time i fail to translate what's in my head into the equivalent on the page or in the air. i was very frustrated by this until i began to read poetry that played and took risks. i love the idea too that literal meaning can be sacrificed for other meanings, including the musicality of sound. that's another thing that McCaffery said.

Fred Wah has influenced my writing also; i loved what he said in side/lines: A New Canadian Poetics (Insomniac Press, 2002) somewhere that poetry is a kind of drunken tai chi, which i guess means it's a collaboration between instinct and mastery. at a certain point, you have to listen to your body: ""body's recollection, the memory behind the fingers which allows an unearthing of the estranged rhythms and improvisational potential within language." (FW from Music at the Heart of Thinking/as quoted by Rob Budde in Sidelines p. 39.)

when i read Dennis Cooley's the Bentleys (University of Alberta Press, 2006) last December, i became very excited by the line and the breath that can be part of the line. I heard Steven Ross Smith read from his fluttertongue collection at Plan 99 at the Manx Pub last year and was so excited by the way he left space in his reading, space for breath and for thinking. I just read Charles Olson's "Projective Verse" and was excited to see some similar ideas reflected there. I like the idea that a poem can have energy and that this energy can come from the line and the way the line is broken.

i'm not really trying to answer any broad theoretical questions with my work but i do get into that sometimes for individual projects. overall i'm just stumbling along and listening to what's around me and trying to turn it into something that awakens me and maybe connects with others on some level.

i do love to explore though and for particular projects i've had a theoretical concern in mind. with a chapbook i put together and self-published, 8 planets speaking in tongues (AngelHousePress, 2007), i wanted to see how sounds and invented language could work with other languages to create a specific tone or atmosphere without being necessarily comprehensible to the reader, that idea of shifting the pattern of meaning from literal meaning to sound. sometimes i like to play around with various constraints and see how that inspires my writing.

i see some polarization in poetic theory these days (probably was always there, but i'm a neophyte) with various groups dissing one another's styles or attempts and i'm not for that. i try to play with a little bit of everything. there may be narrative elements to my poetry, there may be language play going on, there may be some lyrical stuff too. i like to make use of everything in a palette and hope i don't end up with brown.

the current questions are whatever anyone wants them to be. main thing is not to stop questioning and exploring, no matter what anyone tells you.

6 - Do you find the process of working with an outside editor difficult or essential (or both)?

i haven't had much experience with that. i had fun when i was working on my first chapbook, Blood Orange with my editors. they made great suggestions and i mostly just did what they said. after the fact, there were some changes i regretted a bit, but overall, it was a better piece of writing because of their input and i learned a lot about editing. i have to be the main editor for Bywords when we publish the John Newlove Poetry Award Chapbook Series, and i find that to be a very instructive and rewarding experience. I love working with writers on their work and trying to positively affect their creativity. it's a brainstorming process. when writers get excited about their writing and my input has in some way contributed to this excitement, i feel very happy.

7 - When was the last time you ate a pear?

"a pair of what?" she asks. um....this summer, i remember it was red, and i began at the top, removing the stem and gently biting the tip, letting the juice run down my chin.

8 - What is the best piece of advice you've heard (not necessarily given to you directly)?

"The worst piece of advice ever is to write what you know. Write about what you don't know instead." (Shane Rhodes-side/lines, p. 180)

9 - How easy has it been for you to move between genres (poetry to reviews)? What do you see as the appeal?

i go from poetry to fiction to blog entries, to songs and reviews. sometimes my rhythms are right for prose and other times for poetry or other stuff. i can't write my own stuff when i'm working on a review, because i tend to want to read all of a person's published books in order to gain a deeper insight into the poetry. it takes a lot of work and energy and i tend to be focused exclusively on that when i do a review. sometimes reading a good novel will inspire me to write a poem. it's like i scratch my head and a leg lifts. i have no idea how my wires are crossed up there.

the appeal is that when i get stuck on a poem series, i can move on to a blog entry or a song or even a letter to the editor. my belief is that as long as i'm writing something every day, my creativity is still in motion.

10 - What kind of writing routine do you tend to keep, or do you even have one? How does a typical day (for you) begin?

i start at about 7:00 am and i write until about 1pm. i eat lunch and nap in the afternoons. if i'm working on a particular poetry project that requires research, like my current one, i'll spend some of the afternoon reading and researching and writing bits and pieces which i'll turn into poems in subsequent mornings.

11 - When your writing gets stalled, where do you turn or return for (for lack of a better word) inspiration?

when my words aren't coming, i go for walks, hang out with friends, make love...all that.

12 - How does your most recent book compare to your previous work? How does it feel different?

Eleanor, my recent chapbook, is four years after my first one, Blood Orange. it reflects a change in the type of poetry i've been reading; four years ago i had never even heard of Nathalie Stephens, who is my favourite writer right now, or many of the other contemporary writers i've mentioned here. the first chapbook was more imagistic and some said it was haiku-like. this one plays more with long lines and dream like states, interruptions in narrative and chronology.

13 - David W. McFadden once said that books come from books, but are there any other forms that influence your work, whether nature, music, science or visual art?

music is a huge influence on my work, as are nature, particularly weather, also food, alcohol and sex. i can't listen to music while i'm writing usually, except sometimes with fiction; i once had a character who demanded opera and sushi.

14 - What other writers or writings are important for your work, or simply your life outside of your work?

i've mentioned a few already, also you, rob mclennan, who i've learned so much from in the last two years in your workshops. others include the Surrealists like Antonin Artaud, Andre Breton, Apollinaire, Paul Eluard; playrights such as Ionesco; 19th century French novelists: Victor Hugo, Balzac, Flaubert, Stendhal; 20th Century French writers: Jean-Paul Sartre, Marguerite Duras, Albert Camus; the French Symbolism movement with Rimbaud, Baudelaire, Verlaine; Gwendolyn MacEwen, Sylvia Plath, Lisa Robertson, bpNichol, John Newlove, Nicole Brossard, Daphne Marlatt, Margaret Christakos, a. rawlings, Nathalie Stephens (her name is worth saying again because she's so fantastic). Tish and the New York School of Poetry are just starting to become an interest of mine. I have a lot to read and learn. I should really be just reading and not writing anything.

15 - What would you like to do that you haven't yet done?

i'd like to have a poetry book published; i'd like to publish someone undiscovered whose poems are exceptional; i'd like to taste something new, have a fling with a musician, have an on-going love affair with a unilingual francophone; have songs of mine recorded by someone who can play guitar and sing better than me.

16 - If you could pick any other occupation to attempt, what would it be? Or, alternately, what do you think you would have ended up doing had you not been a writer?

song writer lounge singer in a hotel lobby bar in Sarasota, Florida, working for rum.

17 - What made you write, as opposed to doing something else?

i've done a lot of other things, mostly working with French and English as a translator, revisor, editor, lexicographer, and co-owning a business, helping with the administrative and financial ends. i'm hoping i will be able to concentrate on writing for the foreseeable future.

18 - What was the last great book you read? What was the last great film?

19 - What are you currently working on?

i'm working on a series of poems about Kiki of Montparnasse who lived from 1901-1953 in France; i'm focussing particularly on the 1920s in Montparnasse where she had lovers, associated with artists and writers such as Ernest Hemingway and Jean Cocteau, posed for Man Ray and other photographers and painters. if all goes well, i would like to end up with a book length manuscript.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


TDR (The Danforth Review) is now asking publishers, authors, publicists andvideographers to send mpegs (2-3 min clips) of author interviews, rants,vignettes, promo spots, book signings, etc. to be posted at their site in 2008 starting mid-January. So if any author fans out there in the wild worldof CanLit are screening author readings at family functions and not gettingthe response they were hoping for, please send them our way...(not your family the videos.) For specific formatting rules and regulations please emailfeatures editor Mr. Nathaniel G. Moore at

Sunday, November 11, 2007

DC Books at Sasquatch

Sasquatch was a reading featuring DC Books authors.

DC Books, out of Quebec, was founded by Louis Dudek, and for the past several years has been led by Steve Luxton, formerly of Matrix. The press has its 20th anniversary launch at Blue Metropolis this spring.

Since I arrived partway, I missed some. I presume Peter Dubé had read from the "queer in all the best senses of the word" novel he released this fall, At the Bottom of the Sky.

Luxton read from new work, poems with a political, satirical sort of slant, which caused some appreciative chuckles around the room. He also read pieces in consideration of it being Remembrance Day such as one on Eva Braun, as well as ones from his Luna Moth and Other Poems work.

I was there in time for Newfoundlander Angela Hibbs to read from her first book of poetry, Passport. (It's got a review at TDR.)

She also did poems with a nod to Remembrance Day, being from a military family. So far as the angle she approaches from, she mentioned that in taking a workshop from Richard Harrison almost a decade ago, he advised her to not reach so deep for profoundness. She feels it is sound advice still. She says she tries to eschew phrasings in poems that wouldn't come off the tongue normally in speech but that isn't to say she is unread or making her domain the plain-speech or raw-discord or chatty poem.

Much of the book, as sampled by choices of reading, is a walking thru childhood, and teen years. For example, p. 10, Hydrology
I thought I should be allowed inside everyone's homes,
to look at their photos & clippings.
I still do. In dreams
strangers walls are upright streams.

What a fantastic image. I like her use of pause and the thought and line lengths suggesting the very unsteady river that is memory and the uneven nature of us retaining for a while, a dam breaking and much washed away and then a catching sticks in a place again.

In the series of linked poems Hydrology she contemplates a family with the trait of fear of water, how one averts the eyes from the tough veteran uncle whose soldier's hands shake at needing to bathe, using a sponge over sink for fear of water, how this thread pops up thru various people in the family, something which struck home since it runs thru a branch in my family too.

She also did some less linear literal explorations with space on the page and with dream memories such as p. 70, Vision III
music pours into the living room
alters the blank white tiles

First rule of reading: keep cash on hand to pick up books that you'd like to look thru at greater length. First rule of not putting myself in the poorhouse: don't carry cash when books are around.

Monday, November 05, 2007

12 or 20 questions: with Mark Frutkin

Mark Frutkin, an Ottawa writer, editor and journalist, has published seven books of fiction and three books of poetry. His work has appeared in Canada, the US, England, Russia, Poland, Holland, South Korea, Spain and India. In 2007, his novel, Fabrizio’s Return, won the Trillium Prize for Best Book and the Sunburst Award, and was nominated for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book (Canada/Caribbean region). In 1988, his novel, Atmospheres Apollinaire, was short-listed for the Governor General's Award for fiction and was also short-listed for the Trillium Award, as well as the Ottawa/Carleton Book Award.

As a journalist and critic he has written articles and reviews for The Globe & Mail, Harper's, the Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette, and other publications. His poetry and fiction have been published in numerous Canadian and foreign journals including Descant, Canadian Fiction Magazine, Prism International and many others. He has received five major writing grants from the Canada Council and numerous grants from the Ontario Arts Council.

He has also worked as a speechwriter for a Member of Parliament and for various federal ministers and has taught creative writing at all levels. He was formerly the editor of ArtAction Magazine and co-editor of ARC Magazine, a poetry journal. He has taught creative writing at the University of Ottawa, the University of New Brunswick, University of Western Ontario and Naropa Institute in Halifax.

He currently lives with his wife and son in Ottawa.

1 - How did your first book change your life?

It changed my life in the doing of it -- proof that I actually could write a book.

2 - How long have you lived in Ottawa, and how does geography, if at all, impact on your writing? Does race or gender make any impact on your work?

Race and gender, none. I've lived in the Ottawa area since 1970. To steal a phrase and book title from Guy Davenport, I'm most interested in the Geography of the Imagination. I think I could write my books just as easily from southern France or northern Italy. I don't know why I haven't...

3 - Where does a poem or piece of fiction usually begin for you? Are you an author of short pieces that end up combining into a larger project, or are you working on a "book" from the very beginning?

I've done both. The beginning is always a flash of insight and inspiration. Could be from any source: something I've read, seen, heard, etc. Sometimes, I write a series of poems on a subject that later get turned into a novel, but not always.

4 - Are public readings part of or counter to your creative process?

They aren't integral but they are part of an effort to get the word out (literally!)

5 - Do you have any theoretical concerns behind your writing? What kinds of questions are you trying to answer with your work? What do you even think the current questions are?

There are as many questions as there are writers. I don't write to a theory (I don't think many good writers do). The story is paramount. Of course, one's interests (political, social, artistic) are always interwoven with the language and the tale.

6 - Do you find the process of working with an outside editor difficult or essential (or both)?

It can be difficult. My last novel practically ruined my right shoulder from all the mouse work I had to do. But it can also be enlightening and extremely helpful, as in the case of Fabrizio's Return, which was edited by Diane Martin at Knopf, a very astute editor.

7 - After having published more than a couple of titles over the years, do you find the process of book-making harder or easier?

It's always the most intriguing mix of hard and delightful.

8 - When was the last time you ate a pear?

I've been waiting years for someone to ask me that question. I once saw a line of pears on a tree branch just above a stone wall at Monet's gardens in Giverny -- it was one of most beautiful things I've ever seen. I've always had a thing for pears -- a glass pear rests on my kitchen windowsill. Something about their suggestion of fecundity. Over the years, I guess (like many others I know), I've actually come to resemble the shape of a pear. I don't know -- a couple weeks ago maybe.

9 - What is the best piece of advice you've heard (not necessarily given to you directly)?

1) Change your attitude and relax as it is.

2) You can't always get what you want but if you try sometimes you can get what you need.

3) The love you take is equal to the love you make.

10 - How easy has it been for you to move between genres (poetry to fiction)? What do you see as the appeal?

Very easy. The appeal? Of moving between genres? Or the appeal of each genre? The appeal of poetry is that it's short. The appeal of fiction is that it's long.

11 - What kind of writing routine do you tend to keep, or do you even have one? How does a typical day (for you) begin?

No routine, although lately I tend to write a lot in the late afternoon, I don't know why. The day begins with a tumbler of bourbon and a cigar (not really!)

12 - When your writing gets stalled, where do you turn or return for (for lack of a better word) inspiration?

What's wrong with the word 'inspiration'? A lovely word, a respectable word, a word that works for a living, and so on. Language itself is always a big inspiration. I don't get stalled (knock wood).

13 - How does your most recent book compare to your previous work? How does it feel different?

My most recent book is exactly 118 pages longer than my previous work and it's on a completely different subject! It feels heavier because it has more pages.

14 - David W. McFadden once said that books come from books, but are there any other forms that influence your work, whether nature, music, science or visual art?

That's a ridiculous comment. Maybe for McFadden books come from books, but they come from lots of other places too -- people you meet, places you've been, art you've viewed, life you've experienced.

15 - What other writers or writings are important for your work, or simply your life outside of your work?

I read for work and enjoyment. Best novel I've read in the last five years: Seven Lies by James Lasdun. I love the classics (Homer, Dante, Shakespeare, Cervantes, etc. -- btw, did you know that Shakespeare and Cervantes died on the same day same year?)

Also, on my #1 bookshelf are: Joyce, Beckett, Conrad, Marquez, which basically means I've read almost everything by them.

Also, fond of Melville, Rushdie, George Steiner, Julian Barnes, William Boyd, some McEwan (just Black Dogs, really), Nabokov, Durrell, early Ondaatje, travel books, Kapuscinski, the Russians, Japanese novels, etc, etc.

In poetry: Tang and Sung Chinese poets, Japanese poetry, Apollinaire (of course), Eliot, Don McKay, some Beats, many many others.

16 - What would you like to do that you haven't yet done?

Finish the book I'm presently working on and start the next one.

17 - If you could pick any other occupation to attempt, what would it be? Or, alternately, what do you think you would have ended up doing had you not been a writer?

I'd love to paint or draw but simply cannot. I'd love to be able to play the piano but can't. I'd love to be one of those long-distance runners from Kenya (one with the wind and all that) but my legs are too short.

18 - What made you write, as opposed to doing something else?

An inner compulsion; the need for the creative to burst out like that scene in Alien.

19 - What was the last great book you read? What was the last great film?

Kapucinski's Travels with Herodotus. Film: enjoyed Avenue Montaigne; not a great film, but delightful. There are only a handful of great films and mountains of trash.

20 - What are you currently working on?

A novel set in present day Toronto, concerning a curator of Chinese art at the ROM, and also set in Sung Dynasty China (1200s).

Saturday, November 03, 2007

A B Series

November 1st the poetry and poetic prose of the NeWest tour triumvirate came to Ottawa as part of their cross-Canada reading. Last in Montreal, next in Toronto, ryan fitzpatrick, Natalie Zina Walschots, and William Neil Scott gathered a crowd in Ottawa at the Ottawa City Hall.

Their readings were the launch of the newest series in town, Max Middle's A B Series.

The #2 in the series was to be held Saturday but has been postponed due to illness of the reader. The #3 reading will be queued up to November 14th's at the Avant-Garde Bar at 135 1/2 Besserer Street. It will be an Ottawa launch for Booty: Hurricane Jane and Typhoon Mary published by the Mercury Press with readings by authors Brea Burton and Jill Hartman.

The readings November 1st stocked up a variety of styles that people enjoyed even if there wasn't heckling in proper Calgary style. Perhaps call a friend?

ryan fitzpatrick, previously of filling station was reading from his newest book Fake Math from Snare books with lines like 2 children are a form of pastorialism or in new poem a series of pivots remarking on our societal ADD obession with newness and change, unequal or unbalanced pairs, such as I could eat some words, or a cinnamon donut which worked some laughter out.

William Neil Scott
Neil Scott was reading from Wonderfull, which was.

Entrancing carry you away...stories such as the narrator's father riffed, the discovery of the new world by a chartered captain and the paying man who end up shipwrecked on a nameless beach at each other's throats, held at bay by an endless game of dominoes. The winner would get the peace of being the last man to use a pistol.

Natalie Zina Walschots
Natalie Zina Walschots was reading from Thumbscrews which has playful poems. What struck me most in their control of sound, reinforcing subject and mood and how sound choice moved from short i sounds and unvoiced consonants to harsher gutterals and voiced plosives. Another overview of the event is here and with excerpts of her work and more.

Some of the readers and hearers moved on to after bits including these folks.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Arc Poetry Magazine Honours Poets of the National Capital Region

Arc Poetry Magazine is pleased to announce the winners of two important competitions that recognize the accomplishments of poets living in the National Capital Region: the Lampman-Scott Award, which recognizes an outstanding book of English-language poetry, and the Diana Brebner prize, which recognizes the work of an emerging poet.

In 2007, the Lampman-Scott Award was inaugurated with the merger of the Archibald Lampman Award and the Duncan Campbell Scott Foundation. This new award honours the poetry and friendship of two great confederation poets--Archibald Lampman and Duncan Campbell Scott. The merger has also allowed Arc to increase the award from $1,000 to $1,500.

This year, 10 titles by local poets contended for the award. The winner of the 2007 award is Monty Reid for his book Disappointment Island (Chaudiere Books). Reid has won the Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry three times and is also a three-time Governor General's Award nominee. He spent nearly 20 years working at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Drumheller, Alberta, in the heart of the Alberta badlands, before moving to the Ottawa area in 1999 to work at the Canadian Museum of Nature.

Jurors Sue Sinclair, Steve Guppy and Tonja Gunvaldsen Klaassen praised Reid for his "arresting metaphoric insights, which he often delivers in a disarmingly casual voice, the effect being that of an everyday world primed for the unexpected." They characterized his poems as "tinged with an appealing lyric sadness--they are 'drawn to the erotic murmur of material things' but simultaneously concede the ineluctable mystery of the various landscapes into which they travel."

The honourable mention for the Lampman-Scott Award for Poetry goes to Sylvia Adams, for her book Sleeping on the Moon (Hagios Press). Adams is a past winner of Arc Poetry Magazine's Diana Brebner Prize for Poetry.

The 2007 winner of the $500 Diana Brebner prize is Guy Simser for his poem "Withdrawal". Judge Stephen Brockwell writes that "'Withdrawal' proves animportant point about good poetry: much can be said with a few simple words." Brockwell adds that there is "nothing ostentatious or showy about 'Withdrawal'; there's no attempt to draw attention to form or content. The poem confidently speaks for itself having lost all trace of its author. 'Withdrawal' is sparse, careful, political and quietly aware of the presence of the past."

Honourable mention for the 2007 Diana Brebner prize goes to L.M. Rochefort for her poem "(W)hole". Of this work Brockwell writes "'(W)hole' is unapologetically--and pleasantly--ostentatious and showy. It revels in play with negation and affirmation."

Arc wishes to congratulate all winners, judges, and to thank everyone who took part in these competitions. Diana Brebner Prize winning poems will be published in Arc Poetry Magazine Issue #59, Winter 2007, which will be released in December 2007.

For more information:

Diana Brebner Prize

Lampman-Scott Award

Arc Poetry Magazine
P.O. Box 81060
Ottawa, Ontario,
Canada, K1P 1B1