- December 8, 2018 – New poem “Riposte” is an above/ground press broadside, published to mark my taking part in the Arc Walk in Ottawa’s Byward Market. It was in the market building that Ottawa’s Tree reading series sponsored the first WordFest poetry festival back in the summer of 1982. I edited a chapbook of work by the featured writers for that festival and afterward went home and wrote a “Poem without Shame,” which I soon published as a broadside, the first of my Ouroboros editions. By chance, I found a few copies of the original broadside in my basement and handed them out to the poetry lovers who came out on a cold day to tour poetry sites in Ottawa.
above/ground publisher rob mclennan also handed out a new broadside with this poem, which commemorates some memorable murders on the streets of usually peaceful Ottawa:
- November 30, 2018 – “Crepuscule,” a villanelle that takes a good-humoured look at an old couple’s physical decay, is a new poetry selection at Ascent magazine.
- November 8, 2018 – “Tree Planting” makes an appearance in the League of Canadian Poets’ anthology Heartland.
Editors Lesley Strutt and Claudia Coutu Radmore staged an Ottawa launch where several of the poets read their work and viewed the award-winning film Call of the Forest.
- October 23, 2018 – Ottawa’s Poets’ Pathway has completed its objective of placing bronze poetry plaques on stones along the city’s walking trail from Britannia Beach to Beechwood Cemetery. To cap the project, the organizers invited the region’s poets to respond to a 19th century poem by Archibald Lampman. The “winning” poems, selected by Sarnia poet James Deahl, came together in a chapbook launched at the old firehall in Old Ottawa South. My poem in the chapbook recalls Ontario’s and Quebec’s great ice storm of January 1998:
That was the winter of our disconnect,
when towering trees, weighed down,
fell through our powers lines, and ice
paved the roads, if clear, with peril.
Neighbours sawed up fallen trees
and kept fires going for some who fled
to shelters when the lights went out.
The rest kept busy to keep warm
Nothing in the freezer spoiled
though it became instead and ice-box
as we ate our way through summer’s
surplus tomatoes and stews.
Blankets, Afghans, quilts our grandmas
sewed for us when we were born
all found love again as we
huddled under them by the fire.
At night the streets were dark,
silent as in Lampman’s time.
Over gleaming fields of snow
the stars looked near, and cold.
All this and some anthology publications yet to be launched. It looks like I’ve been busy. But I’m merely slow to collect the news. More later.