VERSeFest, ongoing

So, have you been out to VERSeFest yet? It’s been exciting to see the vocal, enthusiastic crowds, as well as the sheer variety of readers. Opening night was wonderful, likely covering more ground (stylistically) in the space of a few hours than has ever been covered by a single poetry event in recent memory in our city.

Here are Apt. 9 we continue to be thrilled that some poets we’ve been lucky enough to publish have been represented. So, here is a brief, early, and incomplete media round up of some of the pre- and post- responses to these poets.

First, VERSeFest has been careful to document the festival comprehensively in video. So, in case you missed it, the first night of videos is up. See Michael Dennis reading here (including his indisputable classic, “hockey night in Canada,” to close out proceedings). Ben Ladouceur can be listened to here.

Next,  a wonderful video of reactions by the audience members leaving after the first night of the festival (with comments on Ben Ladouceur and Michael Dennis):

Charles Earl has been ever-present (a presence we’re lucky to have in Ottawa) documenting each reader each night:  Michael Dennis, Ben Ladouceur, Justin Million, Sandra Ridley (with Christine McNair).

Pearl Pirie, recent Robert Kroestch Award Winner, posted some further great photos and thoughts here.

Before the festival, Ben and Michael were interviewed at The Wig. Brendan McNally spoke to just about everybody involved at Ottawa Tonite. Michael Dennis and Ian Keteku were interviewed at Your Ottawa Region.

The Ottawa Citizen also acknowledged the festival before it began last weekend. See this extended video interview.

The festival has also re-opened the debate about whether Ottawa needs a poet laureate. rob mclennan gave the history a few years ago here, Peter Simpson wrote about it at length in the Ottawa Citizen here. Write to Jim Watson if you feel strongly about this!

Kudos to whoever is responsible for making the media aware of the festival, a staggering amount of press has been received for poetry over the last week or so.

Get out tonight to listen to Monty Reid and Marcus McCann give lectures in the Factory Reading Series portion of the week. As well, Claudia Coutu Radmore has organized a family-friendly event aimed at helping kids start to tell stories and make books on Saturday afternoon. Hope to see everyone out.

In other news, look for an event announcement shortly, as well as proper details on books by Monty Reid and Claudia Coutu Radmore. We’re excited! As well, the broadsides we produced for VERSeFest will be up in the etsy shop shortly, just as soon as the festival closes out.

Published by Cameron Anstee

Cameron Anstee lives and writes in Ottawa ON where he runs Apt. 9 Press and is pursuing a PhD in English Literature at the University of Ottawa.

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