Hello again, STPSers!
Justin Million here, your STPS mouthpiece.
Well, it was a tough cancellation to swallow, for a lot of reasons.
Versefest, Ottawa’s international poetry festival, was supposed to take place live back in March, but like almost everything else, it was postponed until further notice.
I was crushed… again, for many reasons. I had planned to make my Versefest experience my sort of modest vacation for 2020, as I didn’t (and still don’t!) have enough money for some lavish tropical destination, or European romp… tho the tropical thing has never been something that I’ve wanted… ANYWAY, I had planned to sped six days in the capital, in hotels to boot! Which brings me to another reason I was looking forward to this festival: the treatment. I was, for the first time in my young writing career, going to get two nights accommodation at a downtown Ottawa hotel, an honorarium, a full festival pass with open bar designation (Yeehaw!), and an opportunity to come back to Ottawa, a place where I spent more than a decade and really cut my teeth as a poet, to deliver a performance that I had been cultivating for weeks beforehand. I had plans for that audience. Versefest was also supposed to be the launch for my first trade book, EJECTA: The Uncollected KEYBOARDS! Poems, published by Ottawa’s inimitable Apt. 9 Press. I was also supposed to see a lot of old friends and poetry folk that I hadn’t seen for years. I was also supposed to reacquaint myself with the city that held me for so long. I was coming back to the festival that I was one of the founding members of 10 years previous. None of that happened. It was all gone.
Well, the fine folks at Versefest, through a series of surely Herculean efforts, managed to launch a digital version of the festival starting a couple weeks ago, and I submitted a video reading to be aired as part of my digital event. I could not be more proud of this video that I made with the help of my partner Elisha Rubacha, and admittedly we had such a good time making it that it almost makes up for losing out on what potentially would have been one of the better weeks of my life. I love this video so much, and I wanted to make sure that it remains available long after the fest ends (which isn’t until tomorrow, so you still have time to catch some events here: https://versefest.ca/year/2020/), so I’ve posted the link from Versefest’s event page below, and I would love for you to watch it (I’m the first poet up, if you don’t feel like/can’t justify watching an hour of poetry right now!), and then watch the poets read who come after me if you like!
Check it out at the following link: https://versefest.ca/year/2020/event/?id=151&fbclid=IwAR3mDEKUi7VIpcHq0nExVSmOIZrtmRMDmPFpEJLeanmnM4pNSyweOlgyGjM
If Versefest takes it down, I will post my own download here.
Thanks team. Love you.