Monday, November 17, 2008

City of Ottawa Arts Cuts

Many local poets, reading series, and publications will be seriously messed up by these cuts as will the city itself, which will lose its artists and its soul.
Imagine a city without poetry, fiction, music, art, theatre, dance. Imagine a ghost town.

Here's what you can do:

Attend the City of Ottawa Arts Funding Cut Press Conference on November 18:
10:00am - 11:00am; Ottawa City Hall Andrew Haydon Hall (Council Chambers), 110 Laurier st.

Attend the meeting on November 19th, 7:00 pm, Club SAW (67 Nicholas Street)
CARFAC will host a meeting that is open to Ottawa artists of all disciplines and those who support them. We will discuss the impact those cuts will have for individual artists and what can be done to stop them.

Contact your Councillor

Attend the Draft Budget Public Consultations

Book your time to speak to the Committee

Come to the Council Chambers on December 1st at 10 am as the first delegations present to City Council List of cuts

More information and how you can help:

Friday, November 07, 2008

Grant Writing Workshop

The first of the Dusty Owl monthly workshops will be Saturday November 8th. Tickets are available for the last day at Octopus Books, 116 Third Ave in the Glebe. This one will be on Grant Writing and Publishing. Some tickets might be still available at door of Heartwood House, 153 Chapel Street. Reps from the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council and St John Publicity and Marketing will speak and do a Q&A.

Summary Notes from it here.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Poetry Cabaret, Writers Fest

Zachariah Wells did a festival overview at his blog. I mentioned some things from the Writers Fest's writers voice at Humanyms.

In addition to that there are a few other tidbits to mention from the poetry cabaret with Monty Reid, Dannabang Kuwabong, Meredith Quartermain, moderated by Rhonda Douglas...

On the question of writing as catharsis and healing, Monty Reid said, yes and no. It can be, in the process of writing, but ironically enough to publish and perform the poems means reliving. He also said of the writing process that poetry projects fail with more regularity than individual poems and he thinks that has to do with intentionality. For a project you have an intention pushing poems rather than letting the unconscious drive. The rest of the panel nodded agreement.

Dannabang Kuwabong said the why of a poem is a dangerous question for any poet. It's an attempt to answer. He is interested in the how not why of poetry. So far as writing cathartically it is not an act of erasing, forgetting but acknowledging and overcoming, to laugh off the bad things and add joy to pain, an attitude also espoused by Junot Díaz in his talk.

For Kuwabong poetry descends from oral. The oral informs the page and poetry is alive when spoken. God is a poet. He spoke a word and created life. Some of his poetry comes out of the dirge traditions of his culture. He found it interesting that as he did genealogical research, he found himself in Jamaica and recognized things from Ghana.

On the subject of inspiration Reid said that poetry is promiscuous. It comes from almost anywhere. It comes from the interplay of what's outward and inwards. There is no temple of muses that sends inspiration to a narrow selection of the chosen. It's everywhere available to any mind that will have it.

Meredith Quartmain (see Alterran Poetry Assemblage interview) meditates on Matter. She described the process of writing as a genesis. Expository writing is recording what's past and dead. A new experience has to happen on the page in the writing and in the reading to spark.

Her reading had lots of provoking turns of phrase: the gurge of word laughs typhoons and names are the instruments of thought...not vehicles of but wings for flight. The idea of biology and categories mixed with the thesaurus and how the biologist who created Roget's Thesaurus was grouping ideas into families of thought.