13 November 2014

Ottawa Small Press Fair & all the stuff I bought there

The Ottawa Small Press Fair has been organized for the past two decades by the ubiquitous rob mclennan. For the 20th edition of the fair, he asked me to read at the eve-of-fair reading. He said he invited me because the Ottawa fair was inspired by the Toronto fair, which I co-founded with Nick Power in 1987. And also because my Proper Tales Press is 35 years old this year. Imagine that.

rob and I have had a roller-coastery relationship over the years, alternately dominated by admiration and irritation. But we're entering a pretty good phase. We've exchanged cordial emails over the past year, which is something. So he invited me and I accepted. It was a good night of readings, with strong, emphatic work by Frances Boyle, a moving poetic tribute to dear departed John Lavery by Anita Dolman, a fine, bold reading by a young writer named Jennifer Baker, and a crazed roof-raiser by Dave Currie, who thanked me because he first became interested in poetry as a high school student taking a workshop with me during the Ottawa International Writers Festival over a decade ago. The room upstairs at the divey Carleton Tavern was packed with poetry fans of all ages.

The next day was the book fair in a community centre off Elgin Street. As usual, attendance was middling, but sales were pretty good. It's a tough thing to promote an event that's been going on for 20 years. More signage leading to the venue might help, and maybe providing participating presses with electronic flyers they can email to all their local contacts. But I always have a good time: I meet a handful of cool new people and see lots of old friends. And I did come back with way more stuff than I'd planned to accumulate. Some of it bought, some of it nabbed from the freebie table, some of it foisted upon me.

Here's my score:


Jade Alyssa & Terry Trowbridge, Smiling Drunk Pufferfish (Grey Borders, 2014)
Cameron Anstee, Jeff Blackman, Justin Million, Rachael Simpson, jesslyn delia smith, Five (Apt. 9 Press, 2014)
Arc Poetry Magazine 75 (2014)
Jennifer Baker, Abject Lessons (above/ground press, 2014)
Eric Baus, The Rain of the Ice (above/ground press, 2013)
Catherine Brunet, Change in Their Pockets (phafours, 2014)
Michael e. Casteels, 3 chapters toward an epic (phafours, 2014)
Dave Currie, Bird Facts (Apt. 9 Press, 2014)
jwcurry, BeRzeRker hyPeRgRaPheR (Canadian Small Change Association, 2014)
jwcurry & Rachel Zavitz, tchts (CURVD H&Z, 2014)
Czandra, This Side Up (sitting duck & broken rules presses, 2011)
Amy Dennis, The Complement and Antagonist of Black (or, The Definition of All Visible Wavelengths) (above/ground press, 2013)
Anita Dolman, jwcurry's Map Drawers (above/ground press broadside, 2014)
John C. Goodman, Dark Age (Grey Borders, 2014)
Sanita Fejzic, The Union of 6 & 7 (phafours, 2014)
JM Francheteau, Tiger Shark (In/Words Broadsides, 2014)
Noah Eli Gordon (images by Sommer Browning), Fifteen Problems (above/ground press, no date)
Phil Hall, Eigner (Phafours, 2014)
inwords 13.1 (2014)
Marilyn Irwin, tiny (In/Words Press, 2014)
Marilyn Irwin, vagabonds (CURVD H&Z, 2013)
Nina Jane, Autumn Requiem (In/Words Broadsides, 2014)
Jennifer Kronovet, Semantic Analysis: Ways (above/ground press broadside, no date)
Sneha Madhavan-Reese, Some Things with Certainty (phafours, 2014)
rob mclennan, Acceptance Speech (phafours, 2014)
rob mclennan, The Un Certainty Principle (Chaudiere Books, 2014)
James Millhaven, As Well (Grey Borders, 2014)
bpNichol, Ballads of the Restless Are (CURVD H&Z, 2006)
Ikenna Onyegbula, If You Want to Love Me (In/Words Broadsides, 2014)
Rod Pederson, Obviously Obviously Not What It Seems (phafours, 2014)
Pearl Pirie, from the diaries of Semicolon (phafours, 2014)
Roland Prevost, Singular Plurals (Chaudiere Books, 2014)
Kate Schapira, The Motions (above/ground press, 2014)
Jessica Smith, Cicada Radio (phafours, 2014)
jesslyn delia smith, for ottawa. (In/Words Broadsides, 2014)
Touch the Donkey #1 (2014)
Touch the Donkey #3 (2014)

Over and out.

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