Editorís Notes

Dear Readers,

Happy 2009.

I hope you're ready for an exciting year of poetry here at bywords.ca and all the events that will take place this year. The first issue of 2009 features the poetry of rob mclennan, Terry McDermott and Claudia Coutu Radmore. Claudia will be reading with Christine McNair and Carol A. Stephens on February 1 as part of our sixth annual Bywords Warms the Night fundraiser for Cornerstone, an organization that provides emergency shelter for downtown homeless women. Performing music for us will be Andrea Simms-Karp. She's performed for us before and it is always a treat to hear her.

A new year often brings changes, and our big change for 2009 is a move from Chapters for our reading venue to the Dusty Owl Reading Series at Swizzles on Queen Street. Chapters on Rideau has been a marvellous host for our readings and perhaps some time we'll have a reading there again, but for now, thanks to the kindness of the Owls, we will enjoy the opportunities and good times that are part of the Owl experience. One great thing is that after the feature, there will be an open mic involving other members of the literary community.

Another change is that literary highlights from the Bywords.ca calendar of events now appear weekly on Fridays on the excellent and detailed site about Ottawa culture and life, Ottawafocus.com. I urge you to visit the site to find out about all the various activities that make this city vibrant.

We're in the process of finishing up our proposals and organizing the year ahead. We're in the process of working with Rob Friday, last year's recipient of the John Newlove Award for Poetry, on his chapbook. Speaking of Rob, it was wonderful to see him featured in a recent issue of Capital Xtra and hear him speak about the award and Bywords.

This year's judge is Governor General Award winner and former Ottawa resident, Stephanie Bolster. Stephanie is also the editor of a new poetry anthology, Canada's Best Poetry 2008 published by Tightrope Books. Poems published on Bywords.ca between last September and this August will be considered for the Newlove award and we will announce the winner at the Ottawa Writers Festival in the fall. But before that we'll have our quarterly readings, the Bywords Quarterly Journal and numerous poems, listings for events, news items such as calls for submissions, information from local and small press publishers elsewhere, contests, conferences, and a plethora of great reading material to buy from our on line store.

Thanks to this month's selection committee:

Megan McGrath, Sean Moreland, Pearl Pirie, and Victoria Vernell.

If you have questions, comments or a free ride to downtown, please contact me at editor@bywords.ca. See you at all the great readings coming up.

Amanda Earl