17 August 2007

Ottawa Folk Festival: me and Buffy

Been a productive stay in Ottawa, but mainly doing editing work. Have made some progress on my novel, though. I think it's just about done. Great evening visit with Sean, Kira and their son Aidan early in the week. And last night hung out with rob mclennan, Stephen Brockwell, jwcurry (with whom I haven't really communicated for a couple years), and cameo appearances by Amanda Earl and Charles Earl.

Wednesday night's Boot Camp, with a group of five eager poets, was a blast. I hope to work with them again on a future visit.

And now I'm off to the Ottawa Folk Festival, which takes place way over in Britannia Park in the west end. Here's my schedule:

This is my first time at this excellent festival.
Here's what I'm up to:

August 18, 1:30 pm, at Ottawa Folklore Centre Point:
Rhythm & Shoes
featuring musicians Pepe Danza and Juliana, plus me

August 18, 4 pm, at Loeb Glebe Hill:
Spoken World
featuring Michelle Debarats, Kelly Kellough, Sheila M. Ross,
plus me … and host Sean Wilson

August 19, 4 pm, at Ottawa Folklore Centre Point:
Matters of the Heart
featuring musicians Lindsay Jane and Nathan, plus me

Kris Kristofferson and Buffy Ste. Marie (!!!) are the headliners. But I'm also really looking forward to seeing the Arrogant Worms on Sunday night. I'm sure I'll discover all sorts of other good music over the weekend too.

Full info about the festival is easily Googleable.

Over and out.

14 August 2007

Ottawa & Co.

Been in Ottawa since last Thursday, on a stay leading up to this weekend's Ottawa Folk Festival, where I'm doing a few events. Did a short Boot Camp on Sunday night with a dozen local poets, which was a lot of fun. Got some good writing done myself there. Another short Boot Camp happens tomorrow night with a different half-dozen poets. And doing a few MS evaluations along the way.

Visited with Michael Dennis and his wife, Kirsty, last week, and Michael and I knocked off three collaborations. Met with Montreal poet and swell guy Jason Camlot on Friday, and we cooked up a project to work on that I'm very excited about. In the evening, I hit the Manx Pub and drank some cream ales while chatting with David O'Meara and Andy Farrell. Always nice to visit the Manx.

The last few days I did the first edit of Lillian Necakov's poetry book The Bone Broker, which I'm seeing through Mansfield Press this fall. I think it's Lill's best book. Now I move on to Steve Venright's Floors of Enduring Beauty, which in many ways is a departure from Steve's previous works.

An afternoon pint and veggie burger with Sean and Kira from the Writers Festival yesterday. Haven't seen them in ages, it seems. These people gettin' all busy when they have a baby. In the evening, John Lavery and I had a posh dinner out on a patio on a very quiet street in Hull. Always great to visit with him and his quirky worldvision. Go buy his books of short stories if you haven't done so yet.

Meanwhile, making some progress on my novel. Wherever it winds up by the time I head back to Toronto, that's where it stops. I've come to accept that there's no perfect shape to that book: it's really arbitrary. Could go a million ways and a dozen lengths.

Been house-sitting in a condo overlooking the Vanier Parkway. A frequent companion over the past few days has been a fantastic CD that Sam Andreyev made for me of his recent compositions, performed by various musicians. Sam's back in Toronto for the summer from Paris, and we got together the other week. Which is invariably inspiring. His CD contains works for violin and piano; two vibraphones; solo clarinet; and more. The stuff really surprised me: not that it's great, but just all the different things he's exploring.

Time for a Triscuit.

Over and out.