As you may know, I recently signed on as one of the Co-Directors of Tree Reading Series in Ottawa. Tree has been one of the champions of VERSe Ottawa and the Ottawa poetry festival that it organizes, VERSeFest.
I thought I would take this opportunity to talk a bit about VERSeFest and do a bit of promotion on its behalf.
In 2011, Ottawa experienced the first VERSeFest poetry festival. A collaborative effort by the various poetry groups in Ottawa, it was organized in only a few short months, but was quite successful. The second festival in 2012 was ambitious, bringing Spoken Word, workshops and such poets as the well known American poet,Rae Armantrout. Fred Wah, now Canada’s Parliamentary Poet Laureate. The winner of Mexico’s most prestigious poetry prize, Pura Lopez-Colome. Phil Hall, 2011 Governor General’s Award winner.
The US poet Laureate Philip Levine.
So what is coming in 2013? Well the schedule is still being finalized. But so far, we have the first winner of the Montreal International Poetry Prize, Mark Tredinnick, from Australia. We have Canadian poets, A.F. Moritz, Chris Jennings, Catherine Owen, Stuart Ross and Don McKay. The Women’s Slam Team. Rob Winger, Anita Lahey. Lady Katalyst. Luna Allison. Emilie Zoey Baker, Samuel Watson.
I’m sure I’ve missed some, and that there are more names to be announced. You can watch this space for info coming soon: http://www.versefest.ca/2013/
For a flavour of what’s to come, Rod Pederson, one of the VERSe Ottawa committee key members, has put together a video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWZQ0mc7zTM&feature=youtu.be
You can hear Rod here. You’re encouraged to watch. We hope you will feel as excited as we are to attend. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSrQ9fqsmNw
And that you’ll donate if you can : http://www.indiegogo.com/versefest