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Librarian in Residence: DIY books of all kinds

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Craft Walk 2011, photo by blurasis on Flickr.Craft Walk 2011, photo by blurasis 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. I’ve simply had enough of this incessant winter or not-spring as the season seems to be. In times like this, I get creative, so I thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the books we have about all kinds of creativity. Creative hobbies are good for you as they... | Continue reading article

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Write On Ottawa: Children’s book still delights more than 20 years later

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mother is weird

They say you never forget your first love.  For some authors this is particularly true, as their first book holds such a special place in their hearts they decide, years later, to publish it once again. For Rachna Gilmore, the acclaimed Ottawa-based children’s author, this is what happened with My Mother is Weird, a picture book first published in 1988, but which has been re-released by Acorn Press. “My Mother is Weird was originally published by Ragweed Press in P.E.I. and to my delight was a huge success,” says Gilmore. ... | Continue reading article

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[Square]: Helping to launch Hintonburg Festival this summer

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"Zig" by Tafui."Zig" by Tafui.

I remember the days when I first moved here and I barely ventured West of Bronson or as I referred to it W.o.B. My boyfriend at the time had his film studio in Hintonburg, but there was little other reason to head out to the mainly residential neighbourhood. Now, things have radically changed and Hintonburg is not only home to some of Ottawa’s coolest homes, it is also a cultural hotspot featuring casual fine dining restaurants, funky stores and hip galleries. This is certainly something worth recognizing and celebrating. In... | Continue reading article

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Olivia Chow offers Ottawa a “two for one” mayor deal

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Left: Jim Watson, photo from his Twitter. Right: Olivia Chow, photo from www.torontosun.com.Left: Jim Watson, photo from his Twitter. Right: Olivia Chow, photo from www.torontosun.com.

In a surprise move Olivia Chow has declared that she will also run for the office of Mayor of Ottawa in the upcoming 2014 municipal election, offering Ottawa a “two for one” deal if she also wins her bid to take the reigns at Toronto City Hall. “If a crack-smoking buffoon can successfully run Toronto, I can probably run at least two cities” stated Chow in a one-on-one interview with Apartment613 this morning, adding “quite frankly, I’m worried I might be bored with just a single city to run.” “Ottawa... | Continue reading article

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Ottawa author to participate in international writing project for the month of April

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Photo of Amanda Earl by Charles EarlPhoto of Amanda Earl by Charles Earl

Local author Amanda Earl is joining poets from around the world in an experimental writing initiative. For the last three years, the U.S. online magazine Found Poetry Review has organized a project to commemorate National Poetry Month in April. This year, the magazine has launched the Oulipo project, in which nearly 80 writers from seven countries will use text from local newspapers. “The selected poets have received a list of 30 prompts which involve Oulipo constraints for each day in April,” says Earl in an interview with Apartment613.  ”They must write... | Continue reading article

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Write On Ottawa: Mary Hagey’s short story collection is a solid book debut with moving characters

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mary hagey

Ottawa-based writer Mary Hagey has lived an interesting life, having worked as a personal support worker, art instructor, housepainter and English composition instructor at Concordia University. This rich body of experience is evident in her debut book Castles in the Air, a collection of short stories published by Signature Editions that contains a wide range of characters and settings. Despite being her first published book, however, Hagey is quick to point out that she has been writing for decades. “I’m not the late bloomer I might seem to be,” she... | Continue reading article

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Darren Shan, world famous writer of YA fiction, is coming to Ottawa this week

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Photo of Darren Shan courtesy of HarperCollinsPhoto of Darren Shan courtesy of HarperCollins

Fans of young adult fiction are in for a treat this week as literary superstar Darren Shan is set to speak in the city’s west end. Born Darren O’Shaughnessy – Darren Shan is his pen name – the prolific Irish writer will be speaking about his new series Zom-B during a talk in Nepean at Ben Franklin Place (101 Centrepointe Drive), on Thursday, March 27, at 6:00 pm. Shan is the author of more than three-dozen books, including The Saga of Darren Shan collection of novels.  The film Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s... | Continue reading article

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Poetry festival brings together talented wordsmiths from Ottawa and abroad

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Left: Moe Clark, photo by Nora Nathoo. Right: Stephen James Smith, photo by Bob Dixon.Left: Moe Clark, photo by Nora Nathoo. Right: Stephen James Smith, photo by Bob Dixon.

VERSeFest, Ottawa’s annual poetry festival, will take place from March 25-30.  In advance of this literary celebration, we spoke with acclaimed local poet David O’Meara, who is also the artistic director of the festival. Apartment613: The first VERSeFest took place in 2011. What was the aim of starting this annual poetry gathering, given that Ottawa already has a writers festival? David O’Meara: Ottawa has a very large, diverse poetry community, with over a dozen reading and performance series organized through the year.  Not a week goes by that there aren’t at least three... | Continue reading article

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Celebrate the late Dennis Tourbin with ABCDelevision at Club SAW

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Screen shot of Dennis Tourbin, Canadian poet and painter reading Bay Street Ottawa as part of the Festival Of The Arts presentation Inset: The Visual Poets.Screen shot of Dennis Tourbin, Canadian poet and painter reading Bay Street Ottawa as part of the Festival Of The Arts presentation Inset: The Visual Poets.

The name says it all: ABCDelevision. Rather, to be clear, the written word doesn’t say it all-but absolutely that’s the point. ABCDelevision is actually pronounced “Abracadelevision” and it was a term Dennis Tourbin coined to describe the ‘magic’ of television: an ‘instant’ medium which beamed with unprecedented immediacy and simultaneity images and words, a message, directly into our homes. Fascinated by the power of different mediums to transform language and having dedicated his art to “an exploration of the complex visual dimensions contained within language” it’s unsurprising that his single... | Continue reading article

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Hidden Gems: 195 Elgin

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Photo by Maksim Apelfeld.Photo by Maksim Apelfeld.

As you walk down Elgin Street near Laurier, it is easy enough to get distracted and miss this week’s gem. It is by no means small, or hidden from view in any way. In fact it sits right along Elgin in one of the busiest parts of Ottawa. Yet it usually goes unnoticed. As you walk past it, your eye is usually drawn to its more imposing neighbours: the courthouse, the main City Hall building, or the office buildings across the street. And so it’s time to give some much... | Continue reading article

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