As the days get shorter and we spend more of our daytime in the dark, we are transported by the poems published in this month’s issue, which take us from energy to aardvarks and cover us in petals. We continue to receive a large volume of poetry from current and former Ottawa folk.
As we approach the end of 2004, it is gratifying to bring these wonderful words out of the shadows. By early 2005, our site will reach 20,000 visitors from distinct addresses (not hits) since our creation in January, 2003. This means that an average of 200 visitors a week check out Bywords. That’s a lot of people reading poetry!
At Bywords Autumn Pie, an afternoon of tasty poetry and music on October 17, a surprisingly large audience had the pleasure of hearing the beautiful harmonies of the Platonics and the wise, joyous, contemplative, thoughtful and humourous words of our eleven poets. Thanks once again to Chapters, Rideau for hosting us so graciously.
In mid October, we attended the Ottawa Small Press Book Fair to meet old friends and new and to sell copies of Bywords publications and those available from our e-store. It’s always a pleasure to attend this wonderful fair. Bywords’ table had a great turnout. We provided free poetry and pastries to those who stopped by. Thanks to Stéphanie, Bywords baker extraordinaire.
Early in November, four members of the Bywords team attended the Toronto Small Press Book Fair. With over 75 vendors, the fair was an exciting and inspiring glimpse into Toronto’s small press world. We sold copies of the Bywords Quarterly Journal, the commemorative Moments Not Monuments, anthologies from Friday Circle, and also collections by local poets. It was also a pleasure to meet poets published in Bywords recently and in the past who now live in the Toronto area. Two of us also had a wonderful tour of Coach House Press by Alana Wilcox. If you’ve never gone there, I highly recommend you visit. It gave us an insightful view into small press publishing. Now if only Bywords had space for a linotype press!
At the end of November, Bywords will have a table at the Montreal small press fair, Expozine.
The end of the year finds us concentrating on putting in proposals for next year’s funding, continuing to publish Bywords.ca and the winter quarterly journal and organizing our first reading in 2005 on January 16. Stay tuned for more news about this reading.
There are lots of events in the next month that will be worth attending. On Tuesday, Nov 16, we find out about the winners of the Governor Generals Awards. It is exciting to see local Gatineau poet David Manicom nominated for the poetry award for his finely written collection, “The Burning Eaves.” We congratulate him and the other poetry nominees. It was wonderful to see an entire article devoted to his work in the Saturday, November 13 Ottawa Citizen, but sad that we have to wait until a poet’s work is up for an award before mainstream media provides coverage. One of the reasons that Bywords exists is to give voice to poets whose work might otherwise go unnoticed.
Thank you to all the poets who sent us work for this issue, the Bywords Autumn Pie readers, the event organizers who sent us announcements and our selection committee this month: Joe Goski, Stéphanie Lafleur, Sarah Ruffolo, Betty Warrington-Kearsley, Genevieve Wesley and Christine Zadorozny. And a big tankard of thanks to Stéphanie and Sarah for their support at the Toronto Small Press Book Fair
We appreciate your ongoing support of our endeavours. I wish all of our readers, contributors, volunteers and event organizers a happy month ahead as we rejoice in the onset of winter’s snow, the perfect inspiration to write a poem or two. Don’t forget to send your poetry to email@example.com.