canadian ~ twenty-first century literature since 1999

Small Press Book Fairs in Ottawa and Toronto



Saturday June 20, 2009

  • Rm 203, Jack Purcell Community Centre (on Elgin, at 320 Jack Purcell Lane)
  • 12 noon to 5pm (opens at 11am for exhibitors)
  • Admission free to the public

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Interview with rob mclennan

TDR: What can people expect at this year's spring edition, ottawa small press book fair? Who is reading the night before?

rm: Many of the usual suspects will be at the small press book fair, including, The Dusty Owl Reading Series, Chaudiere Books, Buschek Books, jwcurry's Room 302 Books, In/Words and above/ground press, as well as writer/artist Tom Fowler, making a reapperance after a number of years, and Calgary's filling Station, making their first small press fair appearance. I've always found the fair a good place to get a sense of what is happening in and around the city as far as literary writing is concerned, and this fair will be no different, I'm sure.

The readings the night before the fair include Gillian Sze (Toronto) and Nick McArthur (Montreal), both of whom are launching first trade books, and former Ottawa resident (now managing editor of filling Station) Laurie Fuhr (Calgary), and poet Cameron Anstee (Ottawa). Fuhr hasn't read in Ottawa since she moved away a number of years ago, and Anstee is one of those young poets I expect to see better and better things from over the next couple of years. I've been quite taken with what I've heard so far.

TDR: how long have you been doing the fair and how do you see it as part of the literary community in Ottawa?

rm: I started the fair back in fall 1994 with James Spyker, who then moved to Toronto, and I've been running them solo twice a year since. I consider it an essential part of the infrastructure of the Ottawa literary scene, along with the TREE Reading Series, Dusty Owl, the ottawa international writers festival, and various other activity around the city. There is so much happening in Ottawa these days, and this is one of the few venues that allows people to see it there, all in front of them at once, available for the taking. It also allows a number of producers the opportunity to socialize with each other, and purchase/trade with other vendors.

TDR: Who are some of the vendors you expect to bring their a-game to the fair this year? who are you excited to see?

rm: I'm excited to see what Amanda Earl has been doing with her recent chapbooks under AngelHousePress, a recent enterprise of hers, and see what jwcurry has been up to, for example. It's always good, too, to see what John Buschek has been making lately, the only opportunity I really get to see such.



Saturday June 13, 2009

  • Toronto Reference Library
  • 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

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