Editor’s Notes

Happy New Year, Eveyone!

Glad you’ve decided to beat those January blahs by joining us for the latest issue. We have four fine poems which transport us from the ethereal to the earthly this month.

If you are in Ottawa, or planning to be in Ottawa, please come to our reading on January 25 (2 pm at Chapters, 47 Rideau Street) to launch the hot pink winter issue of the Bywords Quarterly Journal. “Bywords Warms The Night” is a chance for you to hear some wonderful poetry by 7 of Ottawa’s undiscovered and well-known writers, and also to be serenaded by the hauntingly beautiful music of Rozalind Macphail on the flute. Our theme for this reading is inspired by the Cornerstone Women’s Shelter, an organization which provides support and emergency shelter to Ottawa’s homeless women. We will have a box on hand for your donations of items to warm their nights. Please click on the Quarterly Journal button for more information. Hope to see you there!

The new year’s literary events have started up again after a holiday hiatus. Café Nostalgica’s first open poetry stage of the season was wonderful, with a special surprise of well-known poet, Robert Craig taking his turn at the mic. Sasquatch hosted two gifted featured readers: Joe Griffin who spun poem-stories for us from “A Quebec City Boyhood” and Cyril Dabydeen who launched his new poetry collection, “Hemisphere of Love.” Juan O’Neill sang his own a ranchero love song for us during the open mic set, and introduced all the readers with great warmth. A memorial reading for John Newlove at the Manx was a touching celebration of his life with readings by some of the friends he had made in his lifetime. Tree opened its first reading of 2004 with local writer Bill Brown who read from his new short story chapbook, Folly. The open mic set included traditional and experimental poetry from Ottawa’s well-known poetry community.

Another new development was the launch of National Capital Letters, the website hosted by Ottawa’s Literary History Society. The premiere issue includes a wonderful blend of old and new literary activities in Ottawa from the Literary Club of 1870 to the 2003 Ottawa International Writers Festival.

Please click on the “Events” button to the left to find out more about Ottawa’s enticing literary activities to come. And don’t forget to send us your poetry! Click on “Submissions” to find out how, when and where.

I am very touched by support and friendship shown by Ottawa’s literary community this month. We all need warmth on these cold winter nights.

Thanks to this month’s selection committee: Stéphanie Lafleur, Megan McGrath and Krisha Wignarajah.

If you have comments or questions, please feel free to e-mail me at editor@bywords.ca.

Amanda Earl