So, are we all sufficiently recovered from VERSeFest to be able to think about further readings?
Apt. 9 is just delighted to be able to announce a launch for our next three titles. Site Conditions from Monty Reid, Accidentalsfrom Claudia Coutu Radmore, and The Delicious Fields from Jeremy Hanson-Finger will be officially released on the afternoon of Saturday 16 April 2011. You’ve got a month yet to catch your breath and gather your strength, but we do hope to see every one out to support these three fantastic writers. We’ll be at the always excellent Raw Sugar Cafe, readings at 4:00pm, no cover.
In other news, the two VERSeFest broadsides are available in the etsy shop now.
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):
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.
It’s been a busy week, but here we are with some completed projects.
First up, The Delicious Fields by Jeremy Hanson-Finger. Jeremy is an former Ottawa resident. He was a fixture in the In/Words community (who published his serial novella If I Make My Bed In Sheol that you can read here) as well as a founding editor at The Moose & Pussy. More recently, he is getting ready to launch a new little mag, Dragnet. Jeremy is an excellent writer. His ambition and work ethic show in every word he writes. The book is stitched and finished now. Look for a launch on the horizon! In the meantime, you can buy the book here, or email us.
Second, we have a pair of broadsides. In March, Ottawa will host it’s first annual poetry festival (of many we hope): VERSefest. This is an exciting initiative that is forging new relationships between the different poetry communities in our city. On the opening night, March 8, In/Words and The Moose & Pussy will host Michael Dennis and Ben Ladouceur. Apt. 9 has been lucky enough to get to work with both of these fine poets again in the production of a broadside from each to mark the reading. From Michael, we have there was a man who loved to murder. From Ben, TUKTOYUKTUK. We’re psyched, these are our first broadsides and we’re thrilled that Michael and Ben were generous enough to share their work. Do be there on the 8th, both are fantastic readers.
Be sure to look at the entire VERSefest lineup, among the other readers are Monty Reid and Sandra Ridley. We’ll be there, and hope to see you out.
Apt. 9 is finally making the move into the world of online currency. Sure, we handmake books, and sure, we love that to date we’ve sold each book by hand (or at least by letter), but we decided that it was time to make a smoother online method available to anyone interested.
So, here we are at ETSY. We’ll help you through paypal if you’re so inclined, or anachronistically take a cheque through the mail (did you know that for 57 cents a whole network of people and vehicles will carry your small slip of paper to our front door?! Just ridiculous! This could really catch on).
Up in the “shop” right now are books from Leigh Nash, Peter Gibbon, William Hawkins, and the Wm Hawkins Folio. But hey, if this online shopping thing leaves you a bit cold, we’d be thrilled to meet in person – or look for us at at readings and small press book fairs on the horizon.
(and please bear with us while we try to make the “shop” a bit easier on the eyes…)
The seventh installment of the always-excellent rob mclennan edited online .pdf journal ottawater has just gone live today. ottawater is “an anthology focusing on Ottawa poets and poetics, its first issue appeared in January 2005, 150 years after old Bytown became the City of Ottawa.” Very possibly because Apt. 9 performs its work from within the Ottawa city limits, quite a few poets Apt. 9 has been lucky enough to work with are represented. You’ll find new work from Monty Reid, William Hawkins, Ben Ladcouceur, a conversation between Michael Blouin and Sandra Ridley, and a conversation between Ben Ladouceur and myself. Beyond these excellent folks, there is a real depth of quality and variety across the contributors. Read it, closely, and then go back and read the earlier issues.
We’ve been quietly lining up a list of great new titles, and wanted to share some of that progress. See cover designs below for Jeremy Hanson-Finger, Monty Reid, Claudia Coutu Radmore, and Jim Smith. As dates and launches are organized we’ll let you know. Eyes peeled for a further new title coming along in the form of a collaborative project with In/Words and the Moose & Pussy. Details to follow.
Did you see the last issue of In/Words? On the cover you’ll notice Justin Million reading at the Apt. 9 launch back in August 2009. The photo (which you can see in its full, original glory here) was taken by Charles Earl. I only have good things to say about In/Words. I think that this issue (10.1) has been among the best in recent memory. Why not pick up a copy at the monthly In/Words reading and open-mic? January’s feature is Apt. 9 alum, and Ottawa favourite, Ben Ladouceur.
You can read the Broken Pencil “Sharpener” on Apt. 9 and Frog Hollow Press here – but hey, do buy the print mag as well!
It’s a bit cold out there right now, in Ottawa at least – do stay warm. We’ll see you soon.
I recently had the opportunity to write a piece on William Hawkins for Ottawa’s Guerilla Magazine. The article discusses Bill’s place in Ottawa’s (and Canada’s) literary history, and my own experience of discovering, reading and publishing Bill’s work. As well, two of the poster poems (“King Kong Goes to Rotterdam” and “A Song of Flowers”) are reproduced alongside an original poster from 1962 advertising a reading by Bill at the infamous Le Hibou Cafe.
The online edition is up now. Read the article here, and be sure to read the rest of the issue. Guerilla is a consistently excellent publication that cares about the arts in all their manifestations in this city.
The print edition should be available next week around Ottawa. As well, the new issue launches tomorrow night (Saturday 11 December 2010) at the Mercury Lounge. Full details here.
Thanks to Guerilla editor Tony Martins for the opportunity to contribute to such an exciting project.
Last week’s book launch reading was an overwhelming success. Those in attendance heard excellent sets from Peter Gibbon and Leigh Nash. Unfortunately, William Hawkins was absent as a result of an injury sustained at the hands of Ottawa’s seasonal freezing rain. Thankfully, Bill is very much on the mend. In his absence, members of the audience signed up and read some favourite poems by Bill and successfully turned part of the night into a celebration of Bill’s accomplished work. The room also joined voices to sing Happy Birthday to Apt. 9 writer Ben Ladouceur. Thanks to everyone who came out and supported some great writers, and thanks once again to Raw Sugar for hosting us so graciously.
As it turns out, I’m useless with a camera in my hand, and have no clean photos to show of Peter, Leigh, or the audience. If you’ve got one or two, please send them in! [email@example.com]
In the days leading up to the reading, Allison Smith of the relatively new online Ottawa arts magazine The Wig was kind enough to write a piece on Apt. 9. Read it in full here. Thanks, Allison!
Apt. 9 will be taking a break during December, but will be back and busy in the new year with titles forthcoming from Jeremy Hanson-Finger and Monty Reid (with further books being confirmed and announced shortly). Monty is a familiar face at Apt. 9, and we are thrilled as ever to have the privilege to present his work to you. By all accounts the next few months will see a flurry of publishing from Monty and we can’t wait to be a part of it.
Jeremy is a good friend of the press and a fantastic writer to boot. He is a founding editor at the Moose & Pussy, a longtime presence at Ottawa readings (though recently departed, regrettably), and more recently founded Dragnet Magazine, an online ebook/literary journal. If you write short fiction, send them your best!
Details on these and more to come. Stay warm out there.
Apt. 9 is thrilled to announce that Leigh Nash will be our third reader on the 25th at Raw Sugar.
We will be privileged to play host to the Ottawa release of Leigh’s first trade collection, Goodbye, Ukulele (Mansfield). Leigh was kind enough to publish a chapbook, Landforms, with Apt. 9 in the spring, and we’re thrilled that she’ll be able to make the trip from Toronto to read for us all.
Leigh Nash is a Toronto-based writer, editor, and administrator. A graduate of the University of Guelph’s MFA in Creative Writing Program, she is a partner in the editing firm Re:word Communications, a co-founder of The Emergency Response Unit, and an executive member of the Scream Literary Festival. Her work has appeared in various print and online literary journals. Goodbye, Ukulele (Mansfield 2010) is her first trade collection of poetry.