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Ottawa's Latest and Greatest on Books & Lit

Write On Ottawa: If human beings were numbers what would the sum be?

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Sandra RidleySandra Ridley

Poets and accountants are like oil and water.  While the former are known for their intense passion, the latter are often seen as synonyms for mind-numbing dullness.  But what if the two groups shared a secret, namely, that they both manipulate “facts” to create multiple meanings? “Give me any set of figures and I can come up with the answer that you want,” an accountant once told me.  While said in half-jest, his point was serious:  How you arrange numbers on a balance sheet is more important than the figures... | Continue reading article

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Write On Ottawa: The first photograph of a middle finger and other poetic stories

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David O'MearaDavid O'Meara

If you head over to The Manx Pub on Elgin Street and order a pint of beer, chances are that you will be served by one of Ottawa’s – if not Canada’s – most brilliant poets. David O’Meara is a fantastic writer who wears many hats: Manx bartender, artistic director of VERSeFest, all around great guy.  However, it’s through his books where he lets the full force of his creativity shine. Sean Wilson, artistic director of the Ottawa International Writers Festival, told me earlier this month that O’Meara is probably one of the... | Continue reading article

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Write On Ottawa: A Canadian stuntman and the evolution of storytelling

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Michael BlouinMichael Blouin

The word “evolution” is normally used in a biological context. When applied to literature, however, it can reveal a fascinating fact, namely, that the art of storytelling has changed profoundly over time. This thought occurred to me while reading I Don’t Know How to Behave, the latest book by Ottawa-based writer Michael Blouin that is published by BookThug.  A highly innovative poetic-novel, this work tells the story of the late Canadian stuntman Ken Carter and his attempt to jump a rocket-powered Lincoln Continental over the St. Lawrence River at Morrisburg, Ontario, in the late-1970s.... | Continue reading article

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Write On Ottawa: Captivating mystery novel brings the Canadian far north to life

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The Whisper of Legends

The Whisper of Legends is the ninth book in local writer Barbara Fradkin’s series of Inspector Green mystery novels.  In this most recent edition, Fradkin takes her 50-something Ottawa-based police inspector out of his comfort zone and tosses him into the white waters of the Nahinni River in the Northwest Territories. The story chronicles the search for Inspector Green’s teenage daughter who went missing on a summer wilderness canoe trip with her boyfriend and some friends.  Inspector Green faces unfamiliar territory when he and his long-time friend Staff Sergeant Brian Sullivan... | Continue reading article

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Discovering the poetic secrets behind the doors of Apt. 9

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Cover

“A community is like a ship; everyone ought to be prepared to take the helm.” – Henrik Ibsen. Henrik Ibsen, the renowned 19th century Norwegian playwright, would likely be proud of the National Capital Region.  While some cities are known for their literary jealousies, in which published authors resent the success of their fellow scribes, our region is filled with authors and publishers who work tirelessly to improve their beloved artistic community. To paraphrase Ibsen, members of our local writing scene have no qualms about taking the helm of the ship when... | Continue reading article

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Write On Ottawa: Christine McNair and her vast array of poetic flavours

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Photo of Christine McNair by rob mclennanPhoto of Christine McNair by rob mclennan

Local writer Christine McNair is like an ambitious literary chef, whose impressive skills and large imagination transform word “ingredients” into a delicious poetic menu. In her first collection of poetry Conflict, published by BookThug, she draws from a wide range of writing devices to create a truly eclectic work. “There are a lot of styles in the book, which is quite deliberate,” says McNair in an interview.  ”I find poetry interesting when it covers a lot of formats and moods.” Based on the critical reaction to her book, McNair has accomplished... | Continue reading article

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Weekend roundup: DIANA ticket giveaway!

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DIANA is in town this weekend and you could win tickets!DIANA is in town this weekend and you could win tickets!

It’s not just a weekend of turkey and pie – it’s also a weekend where those Mario Kart skills you’ve been honing can be put to good use. Starting off with music playing tonight, Paper Lions and Teenage Kicks are at Zaphods, while Doomsquad and HSY stop by Mugshots. Indie folk/pop project Twin Voices is down at Pressed this evening, with Orienteers and Mehdi Hamdad rounding out the bill. Friday at Pressed, Delta Will is back in town with Claude Munson and the Storm Outside. Friday night also brings The... | Continue reading article

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Ottawa Small Press Fair promises bookish delights for local readers

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Photo by Pearl Pirie courtesy of Flickr (creative commons)Photo by Pearl Pirie courtesy of Flickr (creative commons)

A treasure trove of literary gems will be on display this coming Saturday, as vendors from the National Capital Region and beyond set up shop in Centretown to sell their valuable wares. Since 1994, the Ottawa Small Press Fair has offered local bookworms a chance to purchase rare, limited edition works, as well as becoming familiar with many great writers in our region.  The successful event consists of two fairs per year, one in the spring and the second in the fall. The fall 2013 edition, which will take place in... | Continue reading article

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“Blood” is a thoughtful meditation on how human identity flows in our veins

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Blood

Human life would not exist without blood.  This is not only true in a literal sense – if your heart stopped beating you would die – but also figuratively, as blood plays an indispensable role in literature, politics, sports and culture, not to mention our understanding of who we are. In his new book Blood: The Stuff of Life, Canadian best-selling author Lawrence Hill meditates on this almost magical substance that runs through our veins. “Blood counts in virtually every aspect of our being that matters deeply,” he writes.  ”If you are fighting... | Continue reading article

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A stellar lineup, and some literary controversy, highlight the Ottawa Writers Festival

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Photo by zeeweez courtesy of Flickr (creative commons)Photo by zeeweez courtesy of Flickr (creative commons)

The Ottawa International Writers Festival is one of my favourite times of the year.  With a spring and fall session, as well as several literary events in between, this celebration of the written word is manna for book lovers. The 2013 fall edition, scheduled from October 24-30, continues the proud tradition of promoting intelligent discussion on a wide range of topics. One writer bound to pique local interest is Canadian author and University of Toronto English instructor David Gilmour, who recently started a firestorm after telling a journalist that he only... | Continue reading article

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