April is National Poetry Month. What better way to celebrate than to help us launch the first issue of the Bywords Quarterly Journal? Please join us at Chapters, 47 Rideau Street, Upstairs on Sunday, April 27, 2003, 2:00 pm. You will hear poets from Bywords.ca and the BQJ ring in the spring with their wonderful words!

The BQJ will be available for sale at local bookstores such as Mother Tongue Books, Patrick McGahern Books, and many other local book and magazine stores. We will also be trucking along the little orchid booklet to reading venues near you, and to the June 14 Ottawa Small Press Book Fair. So save those toonies and help us reach our goal of selling 100 issues for our debut.

April also marks the beginning of our second quarter. Thank you to the editorial team, contributors and all our supporters for filling our first three months with poetic energy and bounty. A backward glance at the early 2003 Calendar of Literary events shows that Ottawa does indeed have a rich and active literary community. Iíd like to think that Bywords is helping to foster and nourish it. Thatís our goal after all.

Through our webzine, calendar and journal, we want to give local poets a welcoming place to publish, and literature enthusiasts a place to read original poetry, and find out about the local events.

If you are an established poet with many publications and poetry collections under your belt, please support us by submitting your words. If you have never submitted a poem in your life before, please support us by submitting your words. We will accept work that challenges, amuses, and inspires us, using words effectively and imaginatively. We promise to not only publish but also to promote your work through our site, our calendar and our journal.

In business, it is customary to conduct regular quarterly reviews of progress. I wonít bore you with financial statements and Power Point presentations, but I will let you know that in the first three months of Bywords, we have accomplished what we set out to do: we launched the website, published local poets and even planned our first reading and release of the BQJ. We always want to make sure we do a good job, so please let us know how weíre doing by e-mailing editor@bywords.ca.

Thank you to Aprilís selection committee which had to do double duty this month for Bywords.ca and the BQJ: Erin Gouthro and Megan McGrath. If youíre interested in joining our team, please e-mail volunteers@bywords.ca.

We have an exciting summer planned full of poetry and surprises!

Happy Spring!

Amanda Earl