canadian ~ twenty-first century literature since 1999

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TDR offers into a cozy round-up of fresh new literary activities, thankfully occurring indoors, here in our nations capital.

Reporting by Nathaniel G. Moore

Between January 4-10, 1998, parts of Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec were hit by three successive storm fronts that have been called the greatest natural disaster in Canadian history. I remember moving to Ottawa during that season, out of some strange tendency to make bad decisions. I got a lot of writing done, and the university library was open. Ten years have passed since that legendary storm ... now, lit events abound.


Bywords Warms the Night V will go down on Sunday, January 20, 2pm at Chapters, 47 Rideau Street food drive for the Ottawa Food Bank launch of the winter Bywords Quarterly Journal with music by Glenn Nuotio and readings by Jim Davies, Jeff Fry, Joseph Kuchar, M.A. Lithgow and Catherine MacDonald-Zytveld. For more information on this check out

Ottawater is the Ottawa poetry PDF annual journal -- -- created by rob mclennan, and it comes out every January. Says mclennan, "Originally it was created to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the City of Ottawa in 2005; I like the idea of a journal only for folk who either live here currently or used to, opening up the idea of what "city of Ottawa" means, so it aint just about the current folk, you know?" The launch will take place through mclennan’s factory reading series, despite the editor’s absence as a result of him being in Alberta for a residency. The fourth issue features work by various residents current and former, including: Gary Barwin, Louis Cabri, John Cloutier, Michael Dennis, Adam Dickinson, Rhonda Douglas, Laura Farina, Andrew Faulkner, Laurie Fuhr, Chris Jennings, John Lavery, Nicholas Lea, Anne Le Dressay, Rob Manery and many others. The launch party for the fourth issue will be happening Thursday, January 24th, at the Ottawa Art Gallery (doors 7pm/readings 7:30) in the Arts Court Building, 2 Daly Avenue (at Nicholas), hosted by Stephen Brockwell.

And Ottawa author and publisher Matthew Firth has brought Black Bile Press back into his focus with three one-off chapbooks, which is a series of single story chapbooks. The chapbooks are published in limited editions of only 50 copies each.

  • Hemingway, Early and Late by Gerald Locklin
  • The Four-sixteen by Virginia Ashberry
  • Being a Greek by David Rose

Gerald Locklin is a small-press legend, having published dozens of books of prose and poetry over the past four decades. A pivotal figure on the California writing scene, Locklin was a good friend of Charles Bukowski. Publishing his work is a terrific launching point for this new series of chapbooks from Black Bile Press.

Virginia Ashberry has been very active in grass roots lit in Toronto – writing, publishing and broadcasting on community radio. Her fiction bores deeply into contemporary urban life, revealing its bruises, blemishes and unexpected beauty just so.

David Rose is no stranger to readers of Front&Centre where his fiction has appeared many times. Rose is an outstanding writer of variable and visceral short fiction. Nicholas Royle of Time Out London called Rose one of England’s "finest short story writers."

And finally, Arc, one of Canada’s finest poetry journals, launches its latest issue (#59) on the January 15th at Collected Works Bookstore (1242 Wellington at Holland, 7:30pm).






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