Summer in review

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I’ve been quiet here, but a few things have been happening this summer. It’s the season for poetry in the park, and it began on Canada Day weekend, with readings at ArtFest in Kingston, Ontario, a fun gathering of artists, craftspeople and, in the big tent, poets. I was one of about 60 readers over the 3-day weekend, most of us included in a commemorative anthology edited by Kingston poetry impresario Bruce Kaufman.

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Home in Ottawa, small groups gathered to read poetry along the Poets’ Pathway, a 35-km trail through the green space around the city, the tramping ground of Canada’s “Confederation Poets” in the late 1800s. Here poets Mary Lee Bragg and Ronnie R. Brown confer under the trees on a summer Sunday afternoon.

On a sunny August evening, Ottawa poet Susan McMaster read with guitar accompaniment in an outdoor courtyard downtown.

Near the end of summer, on September 9, the Poet’s Pathway celebrated the completion of its mission by unveiling the last of 14 bronze plaques scattered along the length of the pathway, featuring poems by 19th century poets like Archibald Lampman and Pauline Johnson.

Our mayor and other officials turned out in tribute, and some stayed for a poetry reading by Canada’s poet laureate, George Elliot Clarke and Ottawa’s two (French and English) laureates, Andree Lacelles and Just Jamal the Poet.

20170909_163629And as fall begins, the literary life starts to get busy again. For a poet, however, being busy can look a lot like idling. It’s the quiet we seek, so we can hear our own inner voice and try to get down what it is telling us. Poet and blogger rob mclennan ask me to blog about my “typical writing day” and you can read about it here: https://mysmallpresswritingday.blogspot.ca/2017/09/colin-morton-my-small-press-writing-day.html

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