Any Common Desolation

During a recent hospital stay for some rather serious concerns, Jan’s blog post arrived. This Ellen Bass poem  touched my heart that day and made me realize how thankful I was just to be still be here. — Carol

Heart Poems

Ellen Bass

can be enough to make you look up
at the yellowed leaves of the apple tree, the few
that survived the rains and frost, shot
with late afternoon sun. They glow a deep
orange-gold against a blue so sheer, a single bird
would rip it like silk. You may have to break
your heart, but it isn’t nothing
to know even one moment alive. The sound
of an oar in an oarlock or a ruminant
animal tearing grass. The smell of grated ginger.
The ruby neon of the liquor store sign.
Warm socks. You remember your mother,
her precision a ceremony, as she gathered
the white cotton, slipped it over your toes,
drew up the heel, turned the cuff. A breath
can uncoil as you walk across your own muddy yard,
the big dipper pouring night down over you, and everything
you dread, all you can’t bear, dissolves

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The First Time I Read My Poems in a Hat, poem by Carol A. Stephen (ME, IN A HAT Poetry and Prose Series)

My poem, December 2016, for the “Me, In a Hat” series on Silver Birch Press!

Silver Birch Press

carol-as-diva2-cropemailThe First Time I Read My Poems in a Hat
by Carol A. Stephen

at an open mic, I’m too terrified
to be myself, to stand in front, to speak
my own words to all those faces, other poets,
the ones who read their poems with aplomb.

I think of The Hat. It’s a beautiful hat:
swirled brown Swakara fur, pure white ostrich feather.
A frivolous hat, a dramatic hat,
an important kind of hat.

When I place it on my head, I become The Poet,
take on a new persona sporting a splendid plume.
I might be a musketeer, a courtier, grande dame,
I might be anyone but me.

No one sees the paper shake, nor hears
the tremor in my voice. What they see
isn’t really me. They see The Poet,
and it’s all about the poem, all about that hat.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: I bought the hat…

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CAA-NCR What’s Up in Literary Events in Ottawa for December, 2016

CAA LOGOhttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Parliament_Ottawa_Canada.jpg

NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION BRANCH (OTTAWA)

NOTICES FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER, 2016

 

Need more information on CAA-NCR?  Visit us at http://canadianauthors.org/nationalcapitalregion/

 
TO ALL READERS: Please send all submissions & event notices in the body of an email; (the text needs to permit copy and paste. Exceptions: Accompanying images such as photos and book cover) to Carol Stephen at cstephen0@gmail.com

 

MEETINGS AND EVENTS:

CAA-NCR WINTER SOCIAL – SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2016

Shake off those shivers at a warm gathering of friends and fellow writers.

  TIME: 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.  LOCATION: Sharyn Heagle’s s country home

TYPE: Pot Luck Appetizers and Munchies

xmas-and-winter-2009017.jpgRead your favourite seasonal poem or short story, share recent success, review and purchase work of your fellow writers … just in time for gift-giving.

Good cheer! Good friends! Good food! RSVP to sharyn_40@yahoo.com

IF you need a ride, we’ll try to accommodate.

COMING UP IN JANUARY: CAA MONTHLY MEETING WITH CAROLINE PIGNAT

TOPIC: The Writer’s Journey

DATE: January 10, 2017   TIME: 7:00 p.m.

LOCATION: McNabb Community Center, Percy St., Ottawa

Stuck at a threshold? In need of a mentor? Dreading your dragon? Wherever we are in our writing careers, writing takes courage—and lots of it. Asking ourselves the right questions can help us forge ahead and claim that treasure. Join two-time GG winner, author and teacher Caroline Pignat as she explores the call, challenges, and adventure of writing. Our voices, our stories, our ends and means may differ, but every writer’s journey is truly a Hero’s Journey.


30TH ANNUAL NATIONAL CAPITAL WRITING CONTEST (NCWC)

 Short Story • Poetry

$300 First Place • $200 Second Place • $100 Third Place

Open to all Canadian writers

Information: http://canadianauthors.org/nationalcapitalregion/contests/ncwc

 

FROM NATIONAL:

CAA WEBINAR: WRITE BETTER DIALOGUE

Date: Tuesday, December 6, 2016

7:00–8:15 p.m .Eastern Time

Presenter: Matthew Bin, Past Chair, Canadian Authors and author

Dialogue is a critical component of fiction and nonfiction writing. What people say—and how they say it—can engage your readers or turn them off completely. Join Matthew Bin for a tour of the techniques and mechanics of good dialogue. In this webinar, you’ll learn the mechanics of punctuation and paragraphs, understand the nuances of subtext and voice, and discover the always effective “Law and Order” dialogue technique. Let Matthew, author of three published books and numerous short stories and articles, show you how to make your dialogue natural and compelling.   Register at www.canadianauthors.org   DEADLINE to register: 12:00 p.m. ET December 6

 

SUBMISSION CALLS AND OPPORTUNITIES

 

OTTAWA SUBMISSION OPPORTUNITIES 

Links to contests and submission calls visit CAA-NCR website here: http://canadianauthors.org/nationalcapitalregion/contests/writing-contests-calls-for-submission/

 

BYWORDS.CA SUBMISSION CALL TO CURRENT AND FORMER OTTAWA POETS            

DEADLINE:  The 15th of every month for the following month’s issue.

Bywords.ca considers previously unpublished poetry from emerging and established poets for our online monthly magazine. We consider work by current and former residents, students and workers of Ottawa. We also publish poems by contributors to our predecessor, the Bywords Monthly Magazine.  FOR SUBMISSION INFO: www.bywords.ca  and click on Guidelines.  Amanda Earl, Managing Editor. Ottawans & former Ottawans, we want yr poems. guidelines @ Bywords.ca #wewantyrbywords #ottpoetry #613local #submissions PRT  Bywords.ca’s literary events calendar here: http://www.bywords.ca/calendar/index.php with up-to-date info on NCR readings, book signings, writers’ circles, literary festivals, spoken word showcases & slams. Event submissions can be sent to events@bywords.ca

 THE FIDDLEHEAD POETRY & PROSE CONTEST

 Entries are open for The Fiddlehead’s 26th annual literary contest. Winning entries will be published in The Fiddlehead 271 (Spring 2017). No simultaneous submissions and no previously published works.

Genre: poetry and short fiction.  Deadline: December 1, 2016 Entry fee: $30 (includes one-year subscription) Prizes: $2000 for winner; $250 for 2 honourable mentions; (plus publication payment)  Details: https://thefiddlehead.ca/contest

LEAGUE OF CANADIAN POETS  NATIONAL BROADSHEET CONTEST:  The League is excited to announce its first national broadsheet contest, open to all Canadian poets! Judge Sharon Thesen will select a winning poem for publication as a broadsheet designed and printed by Briar Craig on handmade paper. The winner will receive 10 copies of their custom broadsheet, have their poem included in the 2017 Poem in Your Pocket day booklet, and be promoted on the League website. As well, the winning poet will receive a free one-year membership with the League!  DEADLINE TO SUBMIT: FEBRUARY 1, 2017  http://poets.ca/broadsheet/

 2017 FRANK HEGYI AWARD FOR EMERGING AUTHORS

The Ottawa Independent Writers (OIW) is pleased to sponsor a new literary award for emerging authors. Named after long-time OIW member and former treasurer, Frank Hegyi, this new literary award will carry a cash prize of $500 for the winner and two years of free OIW membership. Finalists will receive a year’s free membership in the OIW. The winner and finalists will be invited to read from their books at the Prose in the Park Literary Festival on June 10, 2017.

The Frank Hegyi Award will be offered on an annual basis and will alternate between fiction and non-fiction, starting in its first year with fiction. The award is open to all Canadian citizens living anywhere or permanent residents of Canada or authors of any nationality whose submitted books were first published by a Canadian publisher, and who have not already won a major national or provincial literary award. Click here for the list of awards identified for exclusion from eligibility for the Frank Hegyi Award. Please note if you have won an award that is not on this list, you are eligible to submit your book  for the Frank Hegyi Award. MORE INFORMATION: http://www.ottawaindependentwriters.com/frank-hegyi-award

 OUT AND ABOUT IN TOWN

 MEETINGS, BOOK LAUNCHES AND POETRY READINGS

 
December 4th 1 pm. Mill Street Books, Almonte is honoured to welcome Charlotte Gray to Almonte
She is one of Canada’s best-known writers, and author of ten acclaimed books of literary non-fiction. In her most recent book The Promise of Canada: 150 Years — People and Ideas That Have Shaped Our Country,  the author has woven together compelling portraits of nine influential Canadians and set them within the larger context of our shared history. 

We welcome history lovers and proud Canadians of all ages to Charlotte Gray’s presentation and book signing.  This event is a fundraiser for the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum. Tickets are available by calling Mill Street Books at 613-256-9090

Tuesday, Dec. 13 2016 Tree Reading Series, Gallery 101, 51B Young Street Ottawa,

6:45PM: WORKSHOP TO BE ANNOUNCED   8PM: FEATURED READERS: BRENDA LEIFSO’s poems in Barren the Fury unflinchingly articulate negative epiphany. Her work has been published in journals and anthologies across Canada. Her second book, Barren the Fury, was released in 2015 with Pedlar Press.

SANDRA RIDLEY is the author of four books of poetry: Fallout, Post-Apothecary, The Counting House, and Silvija (published by BookThug this fall). She has mentored poets through Salus Ottawa (Supportive Housing and Mental Health Services) and Artswell’s “Footprints to Recovery”, a partnership program for people living with mental illness. In 2015, she was a finalist for the KM Hunter Award for Mid-Career Writer.  www.treereadingseries.ca

10616147_719512231476757_4644385450363778813_nWednesday, Dec. 21 Sawdust Reading Series, Pour Boy – 495 Somerset St W Ottawa.   The Sawdust Reading Series proudly presents Chris Johnson, Marilyn Irwin, and our newest contest winner, TBA. Come out for a fantastic night of poetry, food, and fun! Don’t forget your poems for the open mic. 
Pour Boy features on-street parking, direct #2 bus service, and an affordable menu. Look for us upstairs!

Chris Johnson: Chris Johnson is the coordinating editor for Arc Poetry Magazine. His chapbook, Listen, Partisan!, is forthcoming from Frog Hollow Press.

Marilyn Irwin:  Marilyn Irwin’s work has been published by above/ground press, Arc Poetry Magazine and Matrix Magazine, among others. Her seventh chapbook, “waving usufruct,” was a collaboration with David Emery and Samantha Lapierre (2016, The Steel Chisel). She won the Diana Brebner Prize in 2013 and was short-listed for the 2016 bpNichol Award for her chapbook, “the blue, blue there” (2015, Apt.9 Press). She runs shreeking violet press in Ottawa.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1147881791974096/

writers festival logoOTTAWA INTERNATIONAL WRITERS FESTIVAL For a listing of events and ticket info:

http://www.writersfestival.org/events

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Rest in Peace, Leonard Cohen

English: Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen (credit: Wikipedia)

Sad news last night, hearing that Leonard Cohen had passed away. Long one of my favourite singers, one of my favourite poets, someone whose music gave great comfort and inspiration over the years, his passing leaves a great emptiness.  He gave us light, he gave us darkness too, along with wisdom, questions and humour.

 

 

There are many tributes this day to the man. All of them more eloquent than what I might say. Here are links to several that touched the heart today.

 

From Stephen Jenkinson, at Orphan Wisdom, there is Darker, Still:

From Topology Magazine’s Daily Asterisk, the lyrics to a song from Leonard Cohen’s newest album: You Want It Darker  and one to a YouTube video of Leonard Cohen singing this song

 

English: Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen, 1934-2016 (credit: Wikipedia)

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