Editor’s Notes

I am very excited and pleased to introduce our first theme issue, Autumn Mystique. The response was delectable—we received fifty two poems from twenty two poets, making October a record month for greatest number of poets to send us poems. Our selection committee this month unanimously voted to include eight poems which is the most poems we have published in an issue, including two by the same poet! Thanks to your overwhelming enthusiasm, we hope to craft another theme issue in the new year, perhaps something sensual for Valentines. Feel free to send me ideas.

The autumn mystique theme will also thread through our fall reading to take place at Chapters downtown on Sunday, October 26 at 2 pm. Nine readers will inspire us with their mystical and poignant words. Stop by and say hi. Please click on the Quarterly Journal link for more information.

We will conclude the autumn mystique theme with our table at the wondrous November 8 Small Press Book Fair at the Jack Purcell Community Centre. We will be selling all three issues of the Bywords Quarterly Journal and giving away poems designed with mystique in mind. Come gaze in our crystal ball, and share a mystical moment with the Bywords team. Hopefully your fortune will be to purchase copies of our journals and chapbooks from our sister organization, Friday Circle. Those of you who’ve attended the fair know that it is chock full of poetry, comics, art and other provocative works from presses throughout Ontario, Quebec and even the East Coast. If you haven’t gone before, don’t miss out this time! Please click on the events calendar for further information about the book fair.

Some of the Bywords team were fortunate to spend the most hectic, fun and inspiring eleven days of the year at the Ottawa International Writers Festival. Aside from incredible fiction, and thought-provoking ideas, the audience was exposed to a potpourri of poetic styles and substance. We also got a chance to hear and meet writers from all over the world. Ottawa was well-represented by our own poets Seymour Mayne, Susan Robertson, Rebecca Leaver, Mark Frutkin, Nicola Vulpe, rob mclennan, Michelle Desbarats, and fiction writer Melanie Little to name only a few. Our poets and fiction writers can certainly hold their own on the world stage of literature. My own bookshelf has grown substantially larger, and my neurons are firing with inspiration. Sales of our Quarterly Journals were brisk thanks to Nicholas Hoare Books, and literary enthusiasts who attended the festival picked up events calendars. We succeeded in our goal for the festival which was to acquaint or reacquaint the writing community with Bywords. In quantifiable terms we gave out over 50 business cards, and ads for the upcoming reading, 100 literary events calendars, and chatted with numerous writers and literary event organizers. Thanks to the Wilsons and their team for the incredibly well-organized, and inspiring festival, and congratulations to them for their 7th year! I’m broken-hearted that I missed the previous six, but won’t be missing subsequent festivals.

At the end of October, I will get the opportunity to talk to Seymour Mayne’s current poetry creative writing students enrolled in University of Ottawa’s ENG 3264 about Bywords. I would like to encourage students of poetry workshops to submit their work to our site. One of our goals is to give emerging poets a chance to publish their poetry. When I was a student in Professor Mayne’s class, the talent and originality of my fellow classmates amazed me. Through Bywords, you can read the fresh, new poetry of such writers along with the skillful style of established poets who generously share their original poems with us.

I hope to see you at our upcoming reading and at the Small Press Book Fair! Please pick up copies of our autumn quarterly journal at your favourite bookstore, and if you can’t find it there, ask them to procure some copies!

Thanks to this month’s selection committee: Stéphanie Lafleur and Krisha Wignarajah

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

Hope everyone had a marvelous Thanksgiving jumping in the fiery leaves.

Amanda Earl