Sunday, October 21, 2007

Parties at the bare bone of listening. The end of the Ottawa International Writer's Festival is today. Or tonight, I guess. Everything always happens at once so I can't be there for the final blowout, but it's been a wonderful program yet again. Not to mention that I'm still recovering from Trangress on Friday, which rocked. At every turn, Sean and Neil Wilson prove themselves to be among Ottawa's treasures. I know there are a lot of people who will be sleeping very soundly this week, including K8, Steve, Leslie, Robert, Carmel...

Okay, that just went a little bit Romper Room. OIWF will be back in the spring (April 12-19), and in the meantime, they've got a great one-off fall schedule which includes Warren Kinsella and Yann Martel.

For me, the end of the Fest is always partly elegiac... a big wonderful thing is over again for six months, you know?

96 rochester street

a portrait of our findings; phone lines break the manes
of horses wild; like a hardy boy blue leans cautious
& a smugglers cove; homemade wild basement bucket wine
& longshore fears that beat the current hooks & tides
beyond the angular cells, beyond the clumsy signs,
the drunken birthdays, parties at the bare bone of listening
; a history of narration; when we sleep, we sleep inside,
quietly disbanding; a kitchen counter note of passage,
quick cautious halo sips; rain obeys gravity and grace;
my fingers lose practice, communal lip of cauterized trees
the backyard planted; dark watered deck at night
of your foreboding; or if like antlers,
the berkshire horse was all we left, a paper trail, a stone
encased in ice; each year a year, a starved gaunt
twisted & eaten, drifted over; who wrote our own way
into immortality

-rob mclennan, from The Ottawa City Project (Chaudiere Books, 2007) and the address book (erasure) (above/ground press, 2006)

In the meantime, the Ottawa Small Press Book Fair is next Saturday (Oct 27, noon to 5pm). As usual, it's on the second floor of the Jack Purcell Community Centre... a great mix of ephemera, chapbooks and small press titles, with work selling for between $2 and $20, mostly, and a smattering of other funky crafts. Poetry, short fiction, novels. There's usually a generous helping of free stuff too. The folks who run most of the city's small presses will be there with tables.

...and you can buy my little chaps there too. At the spring fair, Nicholas Lea, Andrew Faulkner and I launched Basement Tapes ($5), a homolinguistic experiment consisting of 3 original pieces and 15 translations of them. Sort of. Anyway, we sold out of it that day, but the second edition is now out. There will be a few copies floating around, probably. As well, if you're hankering for a copy of Heteroskeptical ($4), my chap with above/ground press, it'll be there (nestled in among dozens of fuckin amazing chaps at the above/ground table). No kidding. You should come.

Was that a bad segue?

Also don't forget about the return of a queer film festival to Ottawa. It starts Thursday night and runs for four days (Oct 25-28). You can read more here.