Tuesday, October 21, 2008

the 2008 Bywords John Newlove Poetry Award

for poems published on bywords.ca between September, 2007 and August, 2008.
Judge for the 2008 Award was George Bowering who said this about the winning poem:

"It is witty and thoughtful, mysterious and competent. It does not sacrifice
prosody and notation to affect. It shows confidence and practised skill
on the part of its author."

Winner: Rob Friday, Manatee, August 2008
Honourable Mention: Joe Hickey, A Billion Billion, February, 2008
Honourable Mention: Ben Ladouceur, new house, November, 2007

Lupercalia, the chapbook of last year's winner, Sean Moreland, is available right now by contacting editor@bywords.ca and soon through the Bywords.ca online store.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Arc's Lampman Scott-Award for Poetry

from the Arc site: "Established in 1986, the Archibald Lampman Award for Poetry was inspired by Archibald Lampman, Canada’s finest 19th century poet." and ...

"Duncan Campbell Scott was born in Ottawa in 1862 and died here in 1947. He had a 53-year career in the civil service and was a tireless contributor to the cultural life of the national capital. With Ottawa’s Archibald Lampman and Fredericton’s Charles G.D. Roberts and Bliss Carman, Scott was a leader of the influential group of “Confederation Poets” who comprised the first full flowering of Canadian literature, especially poetry, in the late nineteenth century."

the award was given at the Ottawa International Writers Festival opening night last night along with the City of Ottawa Book Awards.

and the winner is...

Shane Rhodes for The Bindery (NeWest Press, 2007).

Citing Duncan Campell Scott's role as the Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs in charge of some of the worst policies regarding Aboriginals, Shane said that he is donating half of the money to the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health. The prize is $1,500. As I said last night, Shane has beauty, brains and heart.

the long list of folks whose poetry was considered for the award:

Michael Blouin for I’m not going to lie to you
Stephen Brockwell for The Real Made Up
Anne Le Dressay for Old Winter
Nicholas Lea for Everything is Movies
Luis Lama for Alien Land
Nadine McInnis for Two Hemispheres
rob mclennan for The Ottawa City Project
Colin Morton for The Cabbage of Paradise
Shane Rhodes for The Bindery
Ian Roy for Red Bird
Asoka Weerasinghe for Mayan Love Songs

The Short List

Michael Blouin for I’m not going to lie to you
Nadine McInnis for Two Hemispheres
Shane Rhodes for The Bindery

more info on the award is here.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ottawa poetry's local, Mother Tongue, escapes fire

Readers of OPN probably know that Mother Tongue Books, just south of the Rideau Canal on Bank Street, is one of poetry's homes in Ottawa, one of its living rooms, where local writers and readers frequently meet to talk books and, more than occasionally, to listen to poetry readings.

When my book of poems The Local Cluster was published this fall -- poems mostly about my yard, my neighborhood, and my community, Old Ottawa South -- I felt strongly that the book's Ottawa launch should be at my local. Mother Tongue's proprietors, Laura and Evelyn, were as welcoming as ever, and we sent out notices about a Sunday afternoon launch on October 5.

So I was alarmed, a week before launch Sunday, to see that fire had gutted the Mud Oven, the store next to Mother Tongue, and that firefighters had smashed windows in both stores in putting out the blaze. Thanks to their efforts, the flames didn't spread to Mother Tongue's books, but smoke poured out of the ventilation system, causing a lot of damage to the stock of books and gifts. Once the carpet and ceiling tiles are replaced, and the whole store given a cleaning in an ozone tent, the store will be back with its new stock for seasonal sales.

Of course, with the ventilation shut off, there was no possibility of going ahead with the launch of my book. But I still wanted my book to make its official appearance at Mother Tongue. So we postponed the date, but still intend to celebrate
The Local Cluster along with the reopening of the renovated store, sometime in November. Watch for the announcement.