31 Oct 2009, 3:46pm
Events, Holidays and Festivals Ottawa Poets
Comments Off on October Tree

October Tree

Tree reading Ottawa, Oct 27
Oana Avasilichioaei and Erin Moure entertaining with their reading from their collaborative book Expeditions of a Chimæra (BookThug, 2009). They were playing in and with translations and each other in theatrical ways. Think its accurate to say that they engaged everyone.

Tree reading Ottawa, Oct 27 What if you make up a poem claiming it is translated but it never existed? That’s one of the threads running thru. Oana Avasilichioaei read from feria as well, small pieces with a haiku-like aesthetic.

Earlier in the evening Max Middle performed some new pieces, including more variations of Kavanaugh Garage and something giving an effect like Hells Bells with his machine voice applied to a pop song and then 2 performances like variant tracks, one done in French and one with sound poetry phones jazzing about the music. I managed to forget to photograph anything but a film or two was made and will eventually surface, probably at least at the Tree site.

Oh, and for those curious, the workshop seemed to go well, people seemed pleased and numbers doubled from last time to 6 people.

Next up for Max is AB series with Joe Rosenblatt November 13th. Next up for Tree is Lisa Robertson and Monty Reid November 10.

Quote: “You can’t turn back the clock. But you can wind it up again. – Bonnie Prudden,

29 Oct 2009, 2:01pm
Comments Off on Randomness


Age, hazardous age as originally uploaded by Austin Kleon. Austin Kleon’s eye is brilliant. See his danger sign erasure? or a whole collection on de-signs.

There is much I could relay from writers festival. Not today tho. Tomorrow isn’t looking so good either. Monday? We’ll see.

But I’ve put up another couple dozen photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/pearlpirie/

And I’d like to point you towards Nichole McGill who has written about some of her highlights from fest.

I guess we’ll be entering month 3 shortly of dipping into The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives by Leonard Mlodinow. It’s utterly readable and interesting. But then comes…

Taking a cue from sound poetry exposures — and Michael Turner‘s 8×10 where the narrative is broken into page-lengths in randomized order, what if we read — ok, if I read — the book on randomness, across two page widths, down the inner margins or from phrase to phrase shuttling back and forth down a page? p. 186-187,

at Harvard a collaborator studied. they competed on elderly nursing home patients, mined purely by chance, how their rooms would be, bright and well-educated Yale undergraduates to care for another thirty random coin tosses. chosen and tended the outcomes so over their They, a predesigned measure of success: study order to learn. answered. One quarter distraction. with practice coning the tosses, rated themselves. We are in the number of successes. The clash is one. in fact each volunteer received. pointless actions on it can bag a dummy.

Which, late at night, I found vastly amusing.

Good ideas encountered: the pedals on a public sink to turn on water. Hands free, germ free, easier to use…a stopper in a sink that is porcelain not metal because seeing a fish-eye version of myself in the a.m. is unnecessary…roads without lines for lanes and without stop signs because drivers actually notice what’s around them instead of charging on…

Memory that rose unexpectedly: on tasting a clementine…when I was pre-teen my family came across a historical house somewhere in Southern Ontario on one of those road trips that proves that twisty dusty roads can lead you to anywhere. When we toured the stone mansion — with maple wood burl panels in the reading room — we found some rooms were closed off because it was being used for a film set with extension cords running along the floors. My parents considered this a reason the admission should have been adjusted downwards. In the backyard was a gazebo and cafe tables across the lawn with a menu luncheon. Parents declared the food weird, unfilling and overpriced but I had a spinach salad with sliced almonds, clementines and poppyseed dressing. It was decadent.

Poems I recently came upon: Not that these are random, but they don’t relate to each other: in 8 word by Steve Caraztas, Cars Without Headlights by Patrick Pilarski and a ghazal for Rumi and another for Michael Ondaatje by Susan Erickson, andrew torpel [via qarrtsiluni] Lastly, Transit of Venus from (U.S.) National Book Award nominee, Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon which starts,

“The actors mill about the party saying rhubarb
because other words do not sound like conversation.”

Quote: “Shocking writing is like murder: the questions the jury must decide are the questions of motive and intent.” – Elwyn Brooks White

26 Oct 2009, 2:52pm

Reminder to Locals

I’ll be giving a workshop (free) 6:45 to 7:45 at the Arts Court, Floor 2A before Tree Reading Series begins on Tuesday the 27th. We’ll be talking about what one values and how those get expressed in how the poetry gets expressed. Bring something to round table if you can. (The November 10th, before Lisa Robertson, will be exploring ways to make meaning and a peek at the sestina.)

Stay on for works from 3 poets starting at 8:00 (Erin Moure, Oana Avasilichioaei and Max Middle) with the open mic before and between readers.

btw, the talk on authorship I gave at a previous Tree is now up here.

Writers Festival

We’re entering day 4 of the Writers Festival. When the dust settles I’ll make time (knock wood) to write from some of my notes.

Last night was a full house on Cycling and the Livable City Panel. Here the public gives questions (or more often grandstanding monologues) to the panel of David Byrne, Jeb Brugmann, a Bixi founder and NCC’s Marie Lemay.
Cycling and the Livable City Panel

Last night was also Transgress with Mariko Tamaki, with comic tales from Chapters bookstore clerkdom, Derek McCormack with surreal stories from inside carnival hall of mirrors with a vampire fashion designer and Jimmie Rogers and (pictured) Michael V Smith who did a variety of prose and poems. The event was hosted by stand up comedian Kamal Pandya. Michael V Smith

John Lavery late nightThe night before John Lavery (pictured left) and Christian Bok were the late night at the festival. jwcurry made limited edition artifacts of two sets of lyrics of Lavery’s for the event.

Wednesday night the entertainment was Call Me Katie after the John Newlove Awards where Marcus McCann was awarded this year’s honor. (Look for his chapbook at next fall’s festival, or at ditch, now.)
Call Me Katies Marcus

The afternoon talk on Friday was about the death of globalization.
Gordon Laird
The Price of a Bargain: The Quest for Cheap and the Death of Globalization releases momentarily. Like most lunchtime events, it drew about 50 or 60 people.

Poetry Cabaret #1
Thursday was the first Poetry Cabaret of this festival with readings by each of Christian Bok, Paul Durcan, Sina Queyras, Colin Morton. It was hosted by Rob Winger.

Upcoming is the spotlight on Islamic fiction, Craig Kielburger on raising children who engage and contribute, freedom in Burma, a round table on memoir, the mathematics of creativity…

And that’s just part of today’s events. There are 3 full days of ideas after that.

Quote: “He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away. – Raymond Hull at QB

19 Oct 2009, 8:40am

Photos: Indoors and Out

Bending my fingers around this one.

bed head
(That one by Hub on request at the miraculous properties of bed head)

first frost leaf
First frost on leaf.

melting sun
The sun will soon melt it off.

Quote: “The time for action is now. It’s never too late to do something. – Carl Sandburg

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