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Apt613 Live for December 17, 2014

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Photo by Trevor Pritchard from the Apartment613 Flickr pool.Photo by Trevor Pritchard from the Apartment613 Flickr pool.

Hey kids! This is the last show of 2014 and we’ve jam packed it with interviews and music this week. To start thing off, I interview Fraser Mackay, a guide with the Ottawa Haunted Walk’s special tour this month, The Nightmare Before/After Christmas, which runs for the next two weekends. Then Trevor Pritchard catches up with the folks at Kichesippi Brewery to talk about their green practices. Finally I sit down with our Librarian in Residence, Jessica Green, who shares her holiday book ideas – either something you can sit down... | Continue reading article

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Write On Ottawa: Poems to Brood about

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Detail, book jacket, Brood.Detail, book jacket, Brood.

In his new chapbook, Brood, Ottawa poet Rob Thomas defamiliarizes the ordinary and makes us view the seemingly mundane. By “telling it slant,” as Emily Dickinson advised, he provokes readers’ thoughts. The cover photo by Ellen Moran, showing a child-sized person in a grotesque mask, holding hands with a larger figure in a gorilla or Yeti suit, suggests that the poetry inside won’t be a sentimental look at parenting. About half of the poems were previously published in literary magazines, an indication of their merit. Several capture the weird side... | Continue reading article

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Books and comics by local authors that make great gifts!

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Photo via Bibliotheek Kortrijk (Creative Commons)Photo via Bibliotheek Kortrijk (Creative Commons)

Last year we published the Apartment613 holiday gift list for 2013, which contained a list of more than 60 writers from the National Capital Region.  Given the popularity of that post, we are now publishing the 2014 edition of books and comics by local writers, which you can use to purchase special holiday gifts for the literary people in your life. The list below contains more than 50 writers from our region.  All the summarised works have been reviewed by Apartment613, with the exception of those named under “upcoming reviews,”... | Continue reading article

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Write On Ottawa: A teen romance time capsule

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All photos courtesy of Catherine Boivin.All photos courtesy of Catherine Boivin.

Opening the pages to Yours Truly, Miss Creation is akin to opening the window on a very specific moment in life: a moment when part-time jobs rule; Zaphods is the standard for Friday night; French fries are 2:00 am snacks; and university is a great excuse to troll Elgin Street during frosh week.  (Unless you’re this book’s protagonist, because then you’d much rather escape to the Manx than pub-crawl down Elgin.) Yours Truly, Miss Creation is Catherine Boivin’s debut novel and rests snugly in the genre of Teen Romance.  Vera... | Continue reading article

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Write On Ottawa: The on-going struggle of being human

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Winter Göreme. All photos from lauriefraser.com.Winter Göreme. All photos from lauriefraser.com.

Three cardamom pods bob in my glass of green tea. I ask Ottawa author Laurie Fraser what the Canadian Kurdish community’s reaction has been to her novel The Word Not Spoken. This love story of sorts is loosely based on Fraser’s own experiences backpacking in Turkey in the mid-1990s where she met and married a Kurdish man, the character in the novel named Ahmet. Simply put, the novel describes their adventures and misadventures together. It doing so, Fraser weaves a delicate and complex tale in a physical, emotional and political... | Continue reading article

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Write On Ottawa: Songs of science in Henry Beissel’s Fugitive Horizons

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Book cover, detail, for Fugitive Horizons by Henry Beissel.Book cover, detail, for Fugitive Horizons by Henry Beissel.

Beyond the furthest point that you can see. What exists there? Can it be captured? Can it be measured? Can it be understood? What about the furthest point you can imagine? What exists beyond that horizon? These kinds of questions are turned over and over in Henry Beissel’s Fugitive Horizons. They are studied and considered like the geometric boxes in a crystal lattice. Those themes are just what some people might expect from a poetry collection—particularly a collection of highly structured, meditative poems, impelled by argument and a strong narrator.... | Continue reading article

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Librarian in Residence: Holiday gift list part II, kids’ picks!

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Picture Books

Jessica Green is a book addict and library card holder since the age of 3. She’s a librarian at the Ottawa Public Library and currently the Apartment613 Librarian-in-Residence, sharing a compendium of literary thoughts and tips. As promised, here is part two of my Christmas list picks. This list features children’s books, with ten picture books, three graphic novels, and five chapter books all linked up for your reading pleasure. Most of the picture books were selected as they were fun to read out loud and have great illustrations. The... | Continue reading article

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Book launch, Trans Activism in Canada at Octopus Books

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Photo by chasdobie on Flickr.Photo by chasdobie on Flickr.

This Friday, the Centretown location of Octopus Books is hosting a launch for a new book that collects the experiences of those who are at the forefront of efforts to improve the lives of trans and gender variant people in Canada. Dr. Dan Irving, an associate professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Carleton University, co-edited Trans Activism in Canada along with Rupert Raj, a Toronto psychotherapist. Dr. Irving generously spoke to me for over an hour about the book and his own experiences with and views on trans activism in Canada.... | Continue reading article

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Write On Ottawa: Garden plants things deep in the brain

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Photo courtesy of Monty Reid.Photo courtesy of Monty Reid.

“Wow, you really kicked Nature’s butt,” that’s what a friend told me after we finally tamed our rear garden. It was wildly overgrown. There were gooseberry shrubs, a swath of ostrich ferns, Manitoba maple saplings, and half a dozen other weeds that thrive on neglect. I love gardens. I love admiring gardens from afar. They seem to embody order, balance and beauty. Or utility, if they’re vegetable gardens. Gardens are an illusion. You never kick Nature’s butt for long. This is what Monty Reid’s book Garden is about. It is... | Continue reading article

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Librarian in Residence: Christmas picks, part 1!

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Screen shot 2014-11-02 at 10.48.00 PM

As you nurse that mini chocolate bar hangover, I have some bad news and good news: you’ll have to listen to THOSE songs as you hit any of the shops from now until Christmas, but on the brighter side, I have lots of good finds to share that you may consider for your loved ones. I’ve assembled them into triplets; that is three picks per type of book. This is only part one as I’ll be concentrating on kids’ stuff exclusively in part two, coming soon. Adult Non-fiction For your... | Continue reading article

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