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Poetry Week: The versatile pen of Jeff Blackman

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Photo by Sanita FejzicPhoto by Sanita Fejzic

Ottawa-based Apt. 9 Press published this past fall Five, a poetry collection by five different poets. With the start of VERSeFest this week, we thought this would be a great opportunity to profile each of the writers featured in Five.  Today we look at the work of Jeff Blackman.  (See also part 2, part 3, part 4 and part 5 of this series of five profiles). Jeff Blackman works as a research analyst in Ottawa and tries to finish poems when we can.  He used to edit The Moose & Pussy, once Ottawa’s best... | Continue reading article

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Poetry Week: VERSeFest to showcase Canadian and international poets

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Photo of Yves Turbide and Avonlea Fotheringham by Pearl Pirie.  Taken at the Versefest volunteer drive, Pressed Cafe, March 2, 2015.Photo of Yves Turbide and Avonlea Fotheringham by Pearl Pirie. Taken at the Versefest volunteer drive, Pressed Cafe, March 2, 2015.

Matt Jones, the artistic director of VERSeFEST 2015, is unexpectedly calm as we sit down on Saturday morning for coffee near Elgin Street.  It’s only a few days away from the opening of Ottawa’s annual poetry festival and he acknowledges that a few pieces haven’t come together yet (noted later in the article) but he is confident that the theme for VERSeFEST has been achieved: “This year we’ve become much more robust about our outreach program . . . and expanded our presence,” he says, noting that 63 poets and... | Continue reading article

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Welcome to Poetry Week

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Photo by Nick Kenrick courtesy of Flickr (creative commons)Photo by Nick Kenrick courtesy of Flickr (creative commons)

If you are a lover of poetry then this coming week will bring a smile to your face.  VERSeFest, Ottawa’s annual poetry festival, starts on Tuesday, March 24, and runs until next Monday, March 30. To help celebrate this gathering of talented wordsmiths, Apartment613 is launching today Poetry Week, which will include extensive coverage of both VERSeFest activities and local poets from the National Capital Region. Our week-long series of stories begins on Monday with a post from Kenneth Ingram that provides an overview of what audience members can expect... | Continue reading article

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Ottawa Public Library Main Branch: Have your say!

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Exterior shot of the new central library in Halifax. Photo by Mathew Matheson on Flickr.Exterior shot of the new central library in Halifax. Photo by Mathew Matheson on Flickr.

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. After the Imagine Campaign run by the Ottawa Public Library back in 2013, it was pretty obvious that many citizens of Ottawa wanted either a major facelift or a completely new building for the Main Branch located downtown on Metcalfe. Many news articles and reports later, it’s looking to become a reality. On March... | Continue reading article

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Milo McMahon performs latest EP at the Rainbow

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Milo McMahon and Mike Beaton, perform on The Rainbow stage Sunday night. All photos by Terry Steeves.Milo McMahon and Mike Beaton, perform on The Rainbow stage Sunday night. All photos by Terry Steeves.

“There’s a deli sandwich in my heart for every one of you.” Some in the audience might have thought this an attempt at some tongue-in-cheek humour, but Montreal’s Milo McMahon meant it with every well-lived bone in his body. After 6 months on the road and over 33 cities across Ontario, the self-produced and self-managed 28 year old and his drummer/touring partner, Mike Beaton, know first-hand about being on the receiving end of such kindness. The two have journeyed relentlessly across Ontario, promoting McMahon’s newest EP, Gone Too Long, which... | Continue reading article

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Ottawa Creatives: Jenny Rational Rebel Meya

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Jenny Rational Rebel Meya. Photo by Amanda Armstrong.Jenny Rational Rebel Meya. Photo by Amanda Armstrong.

Jenny Meya was first introduced to poetry in the sixth grade. Stanzas, falling meter, iambic pentameter – at first these things meant little to Jenny, who had always wanted to be a dancer. Jenny had always told stories through dance. It wasn’t until she started middle school that she discovered her passion for telling stories through words and that poetry became her daily love. The beginning of middle school brought her first real crush, who became the inspiration for many of her poems. After her crush ended in heartbreak, Jenny... | Continue reading article

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The lively Marriage of Figaro takes the stage + ticket giveaway!

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Marriage of Figaro

Photo and videos by Kenneth Ingram. Apartment613 has two pairs of tickets for the Marriage of Figaro’s opening night performance on Saturday, March 21, 2015. To enter, send an email to apartment613@gmail.com with “Marriage” in the subject header. Winners will be selected by random draw at noon on Friday, March 20th. It’s a great time to toss aside everything you thought you knew about opera and take a trip to the theatre. Ottawa’s small but mighty Opera Lyra is bringing its lively take on Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro to... | Continue reading article

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Philip Sayce brings Influence to the Rainbow

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Philip Sayce performs at The Rainbow. All photos by Terry Steeves.Philip Sayce performs at The Rainbow. All photos by Terry Steeves.

Canadian musician Philip Sayce, known for his brand of powerhouse blues, has begun a journey across Canada commemorating the launch of his fourth upcoming album, Influence, which will be released in Canada April 7, 2015 through Warner Music Canada. Although previously out in Europe and already garnering rave reviews, Canadian audiences will look forward to a deluxe edition which includes two additional tracks produced by Michael Nielsen, “On The Road Again”, and “I’d Love To Change The World”, which has been released as a single and receiving massive airplay. The... | Continue reading article

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Video of the Week: The Rink Guy by Fangliang Xu

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Still from The Rink Guy by Fangliang Xu.Still from The Rink Guy by Fangliang Xu.

After months of exceptionally cold winter temperatures and a record-breaking run of 59 uninterrupted skating days on the Rideau Canal, it seems entirely appropriate to give one of Ottawa’s volunteer rink keepers the spotlight. Ewan Reid has been maintaining the McNabb outdoor rink in Centretown for five years now. His story comes to light in this three minute clip by Carleton University second-year grad student, Fangliang Xu. But you can call her Xu (shoe). Inspired by her father’s love of journalism, Xu has been obsessed with seeing the world through... | Continue reading article

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Framing and troubling identity: Celebrating Ottawa artist Nicole Crozier

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Chorus Effect by Nicole Crozier. 2014. Oil painting. 5 x 8 ft.Chorus Effect by Nicole Crozier. 2014. Oil painting. 5 x 8 ft.

Nicole Crozier’s paintings and portraits are fascinating meditations on identity and gender production. Leaping off Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble, Crozier’s work could be summed up by the words, “Identity Trouble.” Through the visual medium of oil painting and photography, Crozier troubles the notion that we have a stable, unique, inner identity. As Butler opens up and expands gender, so Crozier opens up possibilities for a person to form and choose her or his own identity. But that is as far as their similarities go. For Crozier, identity and gender are... | Continue reading article

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