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Tour de blogosphere: A Special Guide to Ottawa’s Literary Blogs (Part 2)

By Catherine Brunelle on May 16, 2015

This is part two of our special guide to Ottawa’s online literary world blogosphere style. (See here for part 1).  In coming posts, expect champions of poetry, stories of small press, writers seeking writers, book clubs to notice, online journals, recaps, reviews and more.

Today’s guide stop takes you to the individual multi-taskers, whose literary blogs cover a range of purposes from showcasing their work, reviewing other’s work, capturing day-to-day life, and highlighting events and conversations.  Here’s you’ll find stories of road trips, insider interviews, stunning poetry, narrative power, literary vacations, and videogame world building.  These blogs are about the conversation – one voice representing many ideas.

Cameron Anstee: Literary | Ottawa | Ephemera
by Cameron Anstee
Cameron Anstee

Cameron Anstee

Cameron Anstee’ blog is a collection – a collection of life moments, literary happenings, chapbook activity and personal work.  Upon reading, you’ll find yourself intrigued by individualistic chapbooks covers, snapped book shelf after book shelf (spot the meaningful beer bottle), and you’ll come across the story of how five poets piled into a Honda Accord for a touring road trip for their book, FIVE.

(Ed: We recently published a five-part series on FIVE.  See part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4 and part 5).

Anstee locates and documents small pieces of Ottawa’s literary and bibliographic history.  He includes chapbook round-ups, as well as advertisements for local literary events.  And of course, he uses it to also keep track of his own writing, publishing, and reading.  He blogs with one voice, with many varied stories to share.

Today’s Book of Poetry
by Michael Dennis

Michael’s sole purpose is to talk about books of poetry he likes, and he most certainly has that covered with the hundreds of profiles and poems in Today’s Book of Poetry.  You can settle down to read this literary blog and not get up again for hours (comfortable chair recommended).  But then again, you could simply subscribe to his RSS and receive a new poet and three poems every other day.

To quote Dennis, with this blog there is “no time to talk about burnt toast.  Almost every other day another post appears about a recently published volume of poetry.  These aren’t really reviews but instead I like to think of them as appreciations.  Today’s book of poetry always includes three poems by each poet so you get a real taste of what they are about, then we tell you why we liked it.”

The Futurist Dolmen
By Alasdair Czyrnyj

When Alasdair isn’t reviewing the latest novel or film he’s just experienced, he’s riffing off witty life observations and historical references that will leave you feeling both smarter and entertained at once. His writing is crisp, and his ideas are creative. The Futurist Dolmen is his own venture into the blogosphere after years reviewing books for online zine Ferretbrain.

In his own words: “My heart has always been in the great triad of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, and the dolmen is the place I go to talk about what I’ve read and watched, and what I’ve thought about it. I also try to keep some of my old interests alive, so I talk about history and art whenever the mood strikes me.”  Don’t be fooled by his humble tone.  This guy’s writing is great.

Nigel Beale

Nigel Beale

The Literary Tourist
by Nigel Beale

If you are looking for adventure in your Ottawa literary blogs, you need not look further than Nigel Beale’s site, The Literary Tourist.  It’s essentially a book lover’s dream come true – getting you out from behind the computer, and into real world adventure.

With bookstore directories, event features, and literary destinations, you won’t just enjoy the interviews and profiles, you’ll plan your next vacation, too.  Don’t miss the route planner.  You can enter the city you’d like to visit, and get a map that shows the locations of bookstores (new and used), literary cafes, rare book libraries, writers’ houses, and other interesting literary places worth visiting.

Warning, this site may cause you to become giddy with anticipation.

Librarian in Residence, Apartment 613
by Jessica Green

What started as a joke between friends for Jessica Green about her as the Librarian in Residence for Apartment 613, soon became a reality.  Sharing news from the Ottawa Public Library, her contribution highlights a variety of activities happening at the library, as well as celebrating ideas like how you’re never too old to read a picture book, little free libraries, death of the paperback (?!), judging books by the contents, the power of narrative and more.

Green describes her blogging as “library flavoured.”  Her writing shows “how important libraries still are these days.  Everyone likes libraries, but not everyone uses them, so I hope people re-kindle their relationship with their local library!”


Catherine Brunelle

Write Along Radio
by Catherine Brunelle

Write Along Radio is known as a podcast for writers, but in fact, there’s a handy dandy blog on the website too.  Curated and edited by your humble narrator, you’ll find interviews and insights from people in different areas of the writing biz, many of them local to Ottawa.

On top of this are monthly writing challenges, community notice boards, as well as tips for writers from around the web.