it’s official: i’m going on a #poetrytour.

Poetry Tour 2014okay guys… #itsallhappening

i am super excited (okay, like, beyond super excited) to officially announce that i will be heading on tour this october! four other poets (Cameron Anstee, Jeff Blackman, Rachael Simpson, and Justin Million) and i will be taking our poetry on the road & will be stopping by a city near you (hopefully!).

we’ll have chapbooks and broadsides on hand as well as a book just for the tour, published by Apt. 9 Press and featuring new writing by all five poets. the book, Five, is currently being printed at Coach House in toronto, as if i weren’t excited enough. in addition to new writing from everyone, you’ll also have the chance to hear first-hand accounts of our #poetrytour experience.

we’ll be reading in four cities (ottawa, montreal, toronto, and peterborough) over five days, all between long hours together on the road in jeff blackman’s honda accord. please visit our tour website for dates/times/venues, plus more info on the poets and the book.

you can also follow me on twitter, where i’ll be tweeting more info as we get closer to our tour kick-off date in ottawa. #anaccordofpoets #itsallhappening #poetrytour #yathatsright

Five days, four cities, one book (printed by Coach House Books, designed and conceived by Apt. 9 Press), chapbooks, broadsides, booze, two hotel rooms, men open mouth kissing, beards, black clothing, smoke, electricity, water, one sweet Honda Accord with the windows up and the music up and the leaves falling down, and YOU!

-Justin Million

walking.

i went somewhere important tonight
because it’s august

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& it was the right place to be.

walked the rideau river in the dark, swing sets off rideau river road, sunnyside to echo, the long way through the side streets, east side of the canal, bay windows & balconies, no exit signs, main street, pretoria bridge and the canal back to home, fifth avenue.

quinquennium.

IMG_7957it’s my blog’s fifth anniversary today! or not actually today, because when i looked it up my first post seems to have been written august 4th, 2009. but i got the notification today, which means today’s the day i’m celebrating.

when i started writing this blog it was a way to get myself writing again, because summers are lazy, or just because i’m lazy in general, or whatever. i started the blog one night after i came home from work (the same office i work in now – i’ve been there for five years too. come to think of it i’ve been on twitter for five years as well. i guess 2009 was a big year for me. it’s also the year i met my boyfriend, even though we didn’t start dating until 2012, but that’s not as important as twitter, this blog, or my job.), and i remember feeling so discouraged that school would be starting again soon and that i’d barely read anything all summer that was just for myself.

i’ve posted about a billion poems here, probably, but this blog has also seen me through my apartment fire, my old bronson life, my quarter-of-a-century-life crisis,  my isolationism, me trying to sort some shit out,  feeling alive in the cemetery, not getting out of bed all day, adjusting to other human beings,  saying goodbye to my solo apartment, saying goodbye to my childhood friend. and some other shit too, i’m sure. not to mention my 2011 memory scrapbook, which i still think of fondly & remember spending so many hours making. best way to spend new year’s day ever.

i guess in a way i’m sort of proud of myself for keeping it going this long. i didn’t really expect that when i started, but here i am. there have been months where i’ve gone without writing anything, but then i always do again. and i know it’s kind of dumb to have a writing blog where i never even post anything i’d publish, but it helps just having it here. and i’ve grown kind of attached to it. right now most of my poems are under wraps for another few months, but i’ve been writing and it’s been kind of comforting, or something.

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what i’m currently working on (super secret surprise poems)

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random words of wisdom i found while walking to work

napowrimo conclusion.

so it’s may now!

which means it’s no longer april, which means i’m no longer writing a poem per day, which has been bittersweet.

april did encourage me to write more, and to share more, and i hope that continues in the months to follow. in the meantime i just wanted to say thank you to everyone who followed, liked, and commented along throughout my napowrimo adventure.

sometimes i was a bit drunk when writing, sometimes i was serious, and once i forgot to post before midnight, but i legit managed to write a new one every day. and it felt pretty great to share them without worrying about editing & obsessing first.

i had fun doing it & the encouragement was super helpful, so really, thank you! i hope you keep following & enjoy future posts.

blog tour: my writing process

i’ve been nominated by my good friend justin million to take part in this blog tour series about my writing process. i was nominated along with two talented ottawa poets, marilyn irwin & jeff blackman, whose blogs you should definitely go read right now (not just for their writing tour posts, and not just because they’re my friends!).

1. What am I working on?

currently i’m forcing myself through napowrimo, so i’ve been writing and posting a poem once a day on this blog, every day, for the month of april. i wouldn’t say they’re great poems (or even good ones) (yet), but i really needed something to encourage me to start writing again. even if it’s just a line or two i can turn into something else later.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

not really sure how to answer this question. like marilyn said, which genre? i think my poetry differs from other poetry because it’s my poetry and not someone else’s, and that’s pretty much it.

3. Why do I write what I do?

when i was a lot younger i wrote just to get thoughts on paper. in high school the only real poems i wrote were for english assignments. i didn’t take poetry writing seriously until i was around 20.

now it’s about remembering. and documenting. i have a terrible memory (like, really, i mean i can’t remember even simple things i have been taught over and over again), but i want to remember everything. that’s not to say that all of my poems are written about a personal experience, because most of them aren’t actually “about” my own life at all. but i always include something, even just a single line or word, that connects me to a particular moment. a smell, a sight, the way a man’s neck looked sunburned above his T-shirt in 2010.

i have this need to connect these insignificant moments to something else, something more important, to remember why they were so meaningful to me at the time. i would feel guilty forgetting and i would feel guilty obsessing, so i turn them into something else entirely and i know i won’t forget them.

4. How does your writing process work?

slowly, mostly, line by line. i like a line, i add to it later, i take something away, i re-write the added lines, i remove the original line altogether, i throw in words that don’t fit, i make them fit, i take my time. i’m still going back and changing poems i wrote five years ago.

i never commit myself to anything. i’ve taken lines from old poems and put them into short fiction. i’ve broken longer pieces of prose into multiple short poems. and i read, read, re-read, edit, change, edit. then i force myself to stop and it goes on the blog.

but that process can take years. it’s rare that i’m comfortable with a poem within the first six months of its existence, although that happens too.

that process has been abandoned for napowrimo, obviously. i write a line and then i write another line. i go back and re-write, but too quickly; i throw in words that don’t fit and then neglect to make them fit. it’s still just a process.

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thanks for reading my blog tour.! i was supposed to nominate some people to continue the blog tour next week, and i tried, really. but the people i asked had either already been asked, or they didn’t want to share their blogs, or i didn’t ask for a bio in time and i have no idea if they are actually planning to participate at all (chris…).

instead, maybe you can visit both marilyn’s and jeff’s blogs and see whose blogs they have nominated for the tour.

also, please visit rachael simpson’s blog. she originally nominated me for this blog tour and i don’t think i even responded to her because i was so busy and it seemed so complicated. it wasn’t until justin suggested it that i took the time to figure it out.

sorry rachael.

goldfishing.

sometimes it’s difficult for me to spend long, quiet saturdays & sundays lounging around my perfect home, watching my perfect pets swim around their perfect aquarium digging for food in the rocks.

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i’ve had this life before, and have always given it up for a noodle-dinner/naked-mattress life, the life i’ve always clung to (with stubborn nostalgia and the ignorant insistence that i am a certain way). i’m not a certain way.

and if i am, i hope i end up inside some sort of balance between a calm, peaceful, loving home and the frantic but inviting solitude i still sometimes take comfort in.

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