pesbo since 2005.

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

Pre-press fair reading

Ten Toes Coffee, Somerset St, was the venue for this spring’s pre-press fair reading. Apparently it’s been open a few months. What a sweet little spot for coffee, tea, snacks, or laundry in the back apparently. A green and orange and stained glass and retro glass decor. Next time I’ll have to try the matcha latte. Their bathroom has a wooden sink, which is fun. But do I digress or bury the lede?

The reading. Yes, the reading. It was super fun and super full, probably over 2 dozen, some familiar faces, some faces new to me. (Although they have all owned their faces for decades obviously.). I haven’t been to many reading over the last 5 years since concussion then Covid-era starting. I was glad to see some masks in the room.

Some nice conversations had, catch ups and getting to hear aloud a chapbook I loved reading, Fossils you can Swallow by Vera Hadzic (Proper Tales Press, 2023). You can get your copy at Stuart Ross’ table on Saturday.

The audience was beautifully open and attentive to all. Option of zoom is lovely but there’s something to be said for live energy in a room.

Vera Hadzic in the introduction

Always interesting to meet the person who made the poems you already enjoyed. Looking forward to what Vera makes next. Nimble passionate mind.

Also on tap: a co-reading Dave Currie and Jennifer Baker from their new Apt 9 Press chapbook, Memento Mishka, following Poems for the Mishka (Shrieking Violet Press 2015), this new one of grief of loss, and learnings from living with companion animals. Even people who are “not pet people” got choked up.

Jennifer Baker and David Currie

Coincidentally on The Well, Branon was talking about a movie where the beat exactly stood equally on humour and horror. Their poem of the follow up options after a death of perks you can buy, hair clipping, paw print, upgraded urn, etc. Bingo.

thank for Dave for leg work to set up the venue.

rob mclennan read a bit from his latest chapbook which didn’t get a launch before, The Alta Vista Improvements by rob mclennan (above/ground, 2023) which I read a while back, and from a forthcoming chapbook, edgeless : letters, which riffs off the Kroetsch poems of a month apart from his parter, except in this case, rob being 2 weeks apart as Christine was at a writing retreat. What is connection over a distance. Twitter news, texting, aware of rhythm at home while not there.

One of his chapbooks had something about mountains not needing our metaphors. That has me mulling.

I read from three things, my fall chapbook of haiku, This Small Singing (phafours press, 2022), my just released Adding Up to This (Catkin Press, 2023), [$10 at the fair], and my forthcoming Turret House chapbook, A Couple Sumarians, which are love poems, (not bitter break-up or after death of person, not sad poems like most love poems seem to be). People seemed to enjoy the humour.

Thanks to Christine Sung for a photo of me reading.

All the chapbook from last night will be for sale at the Jack Purcell community centre, Ottawa, noon to 5pm on the 17th, then not again until November.

I was glad to see all the Writebulb bookmarks got picked up, with a few free prompts on each. More coming on Saturday, and cloth bags, and back list chapbooks. I want to see what everyone made…

I got a surprise at the end as rob presented me with a festschrift, Report from the Pirie Society. How cool is that? (The 13th festschrift he’s done I believe. Cameron Anstee, Monty Reid, and Amanda Earl among them.) What a sweet thing to have people share reviews of my poems, and poems to me collected up. I’ve been reading it on and off today.

Pirie society.

I’m terrible at selfies but there you go. I’d post a picture of the inside but my computer is simply not having it. No more transfer between laptop and phone. Ah well, details are here.

Public Appearances

I’m coming out of the deep woods, twice in a week. How’s about that huh?

First this Wednesday for a pre-press fair reading (often held on Friday night but a changed up time slot and venue this year.) and then again on Satuday afternoon at the Jack Purcell community centre where I’ll have a table, or more exactly, a half table. Come and chat. Come and trade or buy, or bring me snacks.

Wednesday the 14th, I’ll be reading from 2 or 3 new chapbooks. I’ll be reading with writers I enjoy which will be a particular delight. Dave Currie, Jennifer Baker, Vera Hadzic and rob mclennan. I am something of a completist getting all the writings of these people.

Wednesday, June 14, 2023
As a precursor to Saturday’s spring edition of the ottawa small press book fair
at Jack Purcell Community Centre
Doors 7pm / Reading 730pm
Ten Toes Coffee House and Laundry
837 Somerset Street West (at Rochester Street

Who’s that?

Jennifer Baker is a poet and Adjunct Professor of English Literature at the University of Ottawa. She is the author of three chapbooks: Abject Lessons (above/ground press, 2014), Groundling (Trainwreck Press, 2021, reissued by above/ground press, 2023), and Memento Mishka (with David Currie, Apt.9 Press, 2023). Her poetry, reviews, and articles can be found in OttawaterDusieCanthiusThe Bull CalfCanadian LiteratureThe Journal of Canadian Poetry, and Robert Kroetsch: Essayist, Novelist, Poet (University of Ottawa Press, 2020), among others, and she is the 2022 honourable mention recipient of Arc Poetry Magazine’s Diana Brebner Prize.

David Currie is a writer in Ottawa.  He is the author of five chapbooks and no book books. His chapbooks include Bird Facts (Apt 9 Press, 2014), Mystery Waffles (In/Words Press 2014), Poems for the Mishka (Shrieking Violet Press 2015), The Planets that Block our Light (In/Words 2015), and now Memento Mishka (Apt. 9, 2023) in collaboration with Jennifer Baker.  His poems have appeared in magazines across Canada most recently in Plants, Animals, and Humans (Apartment 613, 2023).  He currently works as a political organizer – a job which brings him to exotic locations across Canada most recently the resplendent former municipality of Kanata.

Vera Hadzic is a writer from Ottawa, Ontario, currently studying English and history at the University of Ottawa. Her work has appeared in Minola Reviewflo., and elsewhere. Her first chapbook, Fossils You Can Swallow, is from Proper Tales Press.

The author of more than thirty trade books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, rob mclennan’s most recent titles include the poetry collections the book of smaller (University of Calgary Press, 2022) and World’s End, (ARP Books, 2023), the chapbook The Alta Vista Improvements (above/ground press, 2023), and a suite of pandemic essays, essays in the face of uncertainties (Mansfield Press, 2022). He spent the 2007-8 academic year in Edmonton as writer-in-residence at the University of Alberta, and regularly posts reviews, essays, interviews and other notices at

Adding Up to This (Catkin Press, 2023) is Pearl Pirie’s newest chapbook. Her next upcoming chapbook is A Couple Sumerians (Turret House Press, 2023). rain’s small gestures (Apt 9 Press, 2021) won the Nelson Ball Prize 2022. footlights (Radiant Press, 2020). Support her at Patreon for the price of a coffee or less where there are author updates and poem drafts. Or at Substack where she writes in-depth essays.

Receiving Adding Up to This

We took a little road trip to my publisher, Claudia Coutu Radmore to pick up the fresh off the press chapbooks of my latest haiku. I’m delighted for this collection to enter the world and grateful to Catkin Press for making it happen.

Let me share with you the unboxing….

The back cover featured poem is

after our bath
combing the petals
from your drying hair

Adding up to This, (Catkin Press, 2023)

The 20-page chapbook is not exclusively love poems but many are such as, p. 7

air horn—
your arm hair
brushing mine

You can get copies directly from me for $10 plus shipping or no shipping at the Ottawa small press fair, the afternoon of June 17 at the Jack Purcell Arena.

Inaugural Poetry Series in Wakefield

For those outside of Ottawa, poetry live can be pretty scant. But bookstores deliver. And there’s zoom.

But coming soon at le greenroom (The activity spaces that used to be the music venue of the Black Sheep Inn) in Wakefield, 753 Chem. Riverside at 7pm-9pm this coming Wednesday, May 31 is a new poetry series: Poetea/Poésie.

There will be a featured reader Névé Dumas, followed by an open mic, in the 2-for-1 style!

If Wakefield is too far, there’s events in Ottawa as always, check

see details.

For you who love poetry, consider getting a package or a love package for above/ground‘s year 30. One package, Ottawa poet bundle two, includes one of my chapbooks.

New chapbook!

Three years pass quickly.

I’m delighted that a press has seen fit to publish a chapbook of my love haiku. Unlike the last chapbook of haiku, Not Quite Dawn (Éditions des petits nuages, March, 2020) which was more a round-up of my published haiku, Adding Up to This (Catkin Press, 2023) is a theme of romantic poems.

Watch for it at the Ottawa small press fair on June 17. I’m probably pricing it at $10. Also watch for a blog post of holding it in hand!