Editor’s Notes

Greetings dear readers,

We have three poems to round out the year. Each issue of Bywords.ca contains poems that represent the variety of poetry created by current and former Ottawa students, residents and workers. I hope you enjoy the issue and perhaps take the time to go through the archives for 2015 to reread the poems that have enriched the year.

If you make new year's resolutions, I hope that many of these resolutions have to do with literature. May I suggest you pay particular attention to the small and micropress offerings of chapbooks and broadsides. I remind you that Ottawa has a fair number of dynamic small presses. Subscribe to above/ground press, pick up copies of chapbooks and broadsides from Apt. 9 Press, shreeking violet, and phafours press. Links to their pages are in the links and blogs sections of Bywords.ca.

One of the results is that you'll likely become a chapbook addict. Should this occur, consider creating your own small press. Chapbooks can be made as a bunch of photocopied sheets stapled together or as beautiful art books that are hand-sewn. You don't have to invest a ton of cash to create something compelling. It's a great way to share your own work and to publish the work of other talented artists and writers. Once you have a few titles available, consider getting a table at the Ottawa Small Press Book Fair which takes place twice a year in June and November. Exchange with other small pressers. Visit small press fairs elsewhere, such as Montreal and Toronto or even further afield.

2016 is rife with possibilities. The reading series will pick up steam in the new year with readings by local and out-of-town writers. VERSeFest, Ottawa's annual festival of poetry, will take place at the end of March. We know already that Christian Bök and Hector Ruiz will be reading. The Ottawa International Writers Festival will entertain and provoke us once again in 2016 with its comprehensive spring and fall programmes of literature, science, history, politics and more. There will be slams, zine offs, cook book launches, signings by literary big wigs, award ceremonies, radio show interviews and mayhem. Let's make 2016 a year of literary splendour.

Thanks to our selection committee this month:

Wes Babcock
Robert Martin Evans
Jason Lamantia
Anne LeDressay
Fiona Mitchell
Kemisha Newman
Leslie Smith
Carol A. Stephen
JC Sulzenko

On behalf of Bywords.ca I thank you all of you for your support and wish you happy holidays and a joyous 2016. Thanks for sticking with us for another year.

If you have questions, comments, suggestions or some mistletoe to offer, please e-mail me at amanda@bywords.ca.

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Amanda Earl