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Pearl Pirie’s book lists, interviews, event write-ups, poems and more.

VerseFest Today

4 days: VERSeFest, Ottawa’s International Poetry Festival, returns for its fourteenth year.

Poets/performers will have copies of their books/chapbooks/cds on hand to sell. Please support them directly!


Thursday, March 21, 2024: Avant-Garde Bar, 135 Besserer Street, 7pmAnita Lahey, Monty Reid, Marjorie Silverman, & Laila Malik    hosted by Jennifer Baker / Arc Poetry Magazine,Daniel Groleau Londry, nina jane drystek, MayaSpoken    hosted by Allison Armstrong


Friday, March 22, 2024 : Happy Goat, 35 Laurel Street, 8pm

Amanda Earl, DS Stymiest, IAN MARTIN, Mary Lee Bragg    hosted by Stephen Brockwell

Susan McMaster, Sneha Madhaven-Reese, Shane Rhodes    hosted by rob mclennan

Saturday, March 23, 2024 : Redbird, 1165 Bank Street, 8pm$12 for the evening: available via: https://www.simpletix.com/e/third-night-session-1-and-2-tickets-163041

Jaclyn Pudiuk, Chris Turnbull, Mark Goldstein, Derek Webster    hosted by rob mclennan

Sandra Ridley, David O’Meara, & Madeleine Stratford    hosted by Zishad Lak


Sunday, March 24, 2024: Spark Beer, 702 Somerset Street West, 8pm

AJ Dolman, Myriam Legault-Beauregard, & Otiono,    hosted by Madeleine Stratford

Jason Christie & Klara du Plessis/Khashayar “Kess” Mohammadi    hosted by rob mclennan

Love was the theme at Poetea

Co-host Gillie Griffin (in kick ass boots) welcomes people to the poetry for a snowstormy night.
I read from 3 chapbooks of love and sex: Adding Up to This  (Catkin Press, 2023), A Couple Sumerians  (Turret House Press 2023) and  Sex in Sevens (above/ground, 2016)
Mary Lou van Schaik, who with Ilse Turnsen, is part of the local lovers and reciters of poetry, shared a few favourites.

Oddly by chance three of the open mic people chose different poems by e.e. cummings. Who knew he was such a hands-down winner at love poetry?

There was a fantastic open mic, even if it took a little coaxing to break the shell of shyness off.

I missed getting a shot of Ilse Turnsen but got most of the rest of the open mic, including co-host and actor Julie Le Gal who read some poems by others and one by herself.
Tamsyn Farr read a fabulous poem of her creation in the lovely community space of the library.

Behind, you can see the gift bags of cookies I made up, some gluten free, some gluten-rich each with a poem from Adding Up to This attached. I made 60 or cookies (gingerbread, freezer cookies and thumbprint cookies), some of which made it so far as the event. 30 bags and I took no pictures.

Some book sales were made and donations, which is sweet and encouraging.

I test read a couple poems from a new manuscript which went over well. And one of Gertrude Stein because never pass up on a Stein.

Gillie read from her collection, Warm Bodies, Foreign Parts (Loxwood Stoneleigh, 1996)

All in all, a good night. There were two sessions last summer but this is a new iteration.

Save the dates for the next sessions: March 21st, April 18, May 16, and June 20 at 7pm @ Wakefield library, 38 ch de la Vallée-de-Wakefield, Wakefield, Québec J0X 3G0