Library and Archives Canada, 2pm. The graceful Carmel Purkis took a break from setting up the Ottawa International Writer's Festival book table to tell me I was early for the George Johnston tribute (featuring Robyn Sarah, John Metcalf, Mark Abley, Robert Hogg, Bill Hawkins and Stephen Brockwell). Uh, 24 hours early. I can be such a dufus sometimes.
I'm not sure I'll make it out to the fest tomorrow (Sunday). I'm probably working because this particular production cycle has been punctured by the Ontario election, the Capital Xtra HERO Awards and the upcoming Transgress reading. I'll try. Here are the deets from the website:
Celebrate the life and work of George Johnston with recitals of his most memorable poems, reminiscences and a panel discussion. George Johnston is regarded by many as one of Canada's pre-eminent poets. Educated at the University of Toronto, George Johnston became an RCAF reconnaissance pilot in Africa during the Second World War. After returning to the University of Toronto to complete his graduate studies, Johnston taught briefly at Mt. Allison University, and joined the faculty of Carleton University where he taught until his retirement in 1979. The publication of The Essential George Johnston will bring Johnston's work to a new audience who will appreciate both the formal perfection of his verse and the verbal energy of his poetry as spoken word. A free event. Donations in support of our free literacy programs welcomed.
Anyway, a super week ahead with OIWF. I love that they tend to put writers in threes. For example, last year I was introduced to the work of Erin Knight when she read with Erin Mouré (this spring), the work of Paul Glennon when I went to see Daphne Marlatt (last fall)... and the list goes on. This year's triple bills are just as promising.
Most excited for? Thursday: David McGimpsey, 6pm, followed by the launch of Brockwell's new book (is it the launch, officially?) with John Pass and Rob Winger. So. Pumped.
And I'm anxious to see what Amanda Earl and Pearl Pirie have in store for us, review-wise, as per Amanda's note.