VERSeFest 2014

logoThe biggest annual poetry festival in Ottawa starts tomorrow and we at In/Words are very excited for the line-up this year. VERSeFest 2014 is featuring great local poets including last month’s featured reader at The Reading Series, Brandon Wint, as well as multiple great international poets.

On Wednesday, 26th March, In/Words will be co-hosting an event with blUe mOndays at Knox Presbyterian Church, 120 Lisgar St., where our friend Selina Boan will be reading.

Check out the other VERSeFest events and enjoy a week of excellent poetry!

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Old News, New Reviews

Squawk Back, online literary journal
Reviewed by JM Francheteau


Squawk Back is a kind of halflitjournalhalfblog from New York City. It describes itself as [click for word-salad]. Shorter version might be to say it looks for work steeped in alienation, be it from actual outsiders or outsider-y insiders. If you wanted to know whether it was worth your time to read Squawk Back, you might read a review. Conveniently, this is a review of Squawk Back.

Squawk Back: A review. Reading a single issue should take around 30 minutes, unless you are the sort of person who takes pride in reading very quickly, in which case it might take between 5 and 15 minutes, or you have been asked to write a review, in which case it will likely take between 31 and 47 minutes depending upon your level of conscientiousness.

Editor Zak Block has expressed the opinion that editors should not perform “the function of cogs in a meritocratic machine”; in other words, let the wild blind submission rumpus begin. This isn’t quite the same thing as downloading the role of evaluating open submissions to the reader, as Squawk Back does have a certain aesthetic cohesion. The editors seem to view their role as simply weeding out the insufficiently weird, allowing the reader suss out her own favourites from what remains. The result is that the average issue is of patchy quality, with the poetry in particular being often dire. You’re as likely in a single issue to stumble upon a piece like Andrew Harrell’s elegant and eerie “The Hole” as Matthew Harris’s homeless-man’s-bpNichol “numero” suite (both 10/20/2013).

If the tone of this review makes it sound like I dislike Squawk Back, that’s not the case. It’s simply that the total effect of its preferred aesthetic leaves me feeling oddly detached from the ingenuity of its better pieces and the verve of its editorial outlook. What I do think Squawk Back does that is interesting is map lines between contributors who are ostensibly “normal” and those whose experiences have been marginalized; there are contusions which are common across societal divisions, and in these stories and poems it’s possible to make out their purpled outlines. Very little of what they publish could be characterized as truly avant-garde, but if Squawk Back is not precisely ahead of the pack they are at least admirably indifferent to being in it.

In conclusion, the sentence of this review sufficient for blurbing is: Reading Squawk Back is better than not reading Squawk Back. Beyond this, your mileage may vary.

JM Francheteau is a rural transplant based in Ottawa, ON. His poetry and critical writing has or will appear in print and online in CV2Arc and ottawater. He’s not being paid for this review, but all of the current In/Words editors have at least bought him books or ice cream in the past.

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In/Words Magazine Issue 13.1 Launch

Hello Internet folk! I hope that the Internet is treating you well. Now, I’m here to tell you some great news: The first issue of In/Words Magazine’s thirteenth year is finally set to be released on 12th February at Pressed. This issue is jam packed of prosaic poetry and poetic prose, with authors from London (UK), Toronto, and a bunch from our wonderfully chilly hometown.

The evening will be book-ended with performances from the extremely talented, Ottawa-based folk singer-songwriter Amanda Cottreau, and a variety of authors featured in the issue will be reading their original work. Included in the line-up are: Lynette Wilson, Victoria Linhares, JC Bouchard, Rob Thomas, Lyndsay Armstrong, Elizabeth McGee, Marilyn Irwin, Geoffrey Bates, and Myles Moscardelli.

InWords13.1FrontSo, check out the Facebook event for more information, and make sure you come on out on Wedesday at 7PM to have a delicious Pressed sandwich, hear from talented local artists, and to pick up a new issue of In/Words Magazine. Hope to see you all there!

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In/Words Magazine Shivers: A Showcase

To kick off a new calendar year (because it’s more than just a new number to remember when dating things), In/Words Magazine is proudly hosting another slew of local talented artists in our second official In/Words Showcase.

After the success of the first Showcase in September, we decided to pull together a group of new and established artists to demonstrate the wide range of talent in the Canadian literary scene. The show, which will kick off at 7 pm on January 10th at Pressed Café on Gladstone, will showcase art ranging from indie-folk jams to heartfelt memoirs. The evening’s lineup is as follows:

Ali Alikhani
Kaleb Hikele
Marilyn Irwin
Jane Silcott
Kaleigh Watts

Indie Folk singer-songwriter Kaleigh Watts

Indie Folk singer-songwriter Kaleigh Watts

Find the Facebook event here and invite your friends out to an awesome evening of literature, music, and fun! Tickets can be purchased at the door for $10. Students with a valid student ID card can get discounted entry for $7.

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Flashback: A Month Ago

Do you remember the beginning of September? (Is that a song lyric? Sure sounds like it.) Do you remember the Showcase that started off our year with a bang? We hope you do remember, and you can revisit that event by checking out some pictures from the evening as taken by our good friend Neil Voorneveld.

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Now that you’re feeling all happy and nostalgic… for a month ago, I have some good news for you; In/Words Magazine is now accepting submissions for Volume 13 Issue 1! Submissions should be sent to inwordsmagazine [at] gmail [dot] com. The subject line should contain the word “submission” as well as the appropriate category and the submitter’s surname (e.g. “Poetry Submission – Kipling”). Be sure to read our Submission Guidelines before you submit; it just makes things easier for everyone. Deadline is tentatively set for 1st November, so get your submissions in quickly!

We look forward to reading your submissions! Happy writing!

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In/Words Turns Thirteen: A Showcase

It is September and the university campuses have experienced a resurgence of life, and it is at this time that we wish to welcome everyone to the thirteenth incarnation of In/Words Magazine & Press. In order to start this new year with a bang, we wish to invite everyone (that means you, yes you… or, wait… okay, yeah, you) to a very special eventthat will feature important and talented poets, performers, and artists.

The idea for this show was birthed from the collective desire of the In/Words editors to bring together local artists for a night of creativity and expression with the greater In/Words community. The show, which will kick off at 7 pm on September 13th at Pressed Café on Gladstone, will showcase local talent expressed in different media, ranging from electro indie-rock vibes to smooth soulful poetry. The evening’s lineup is as follows:

Selina Boan
JM Francheteau
Suzy Pankhurst
PrufRock Shadowrunner
Brandon Wint
The Fevers

Find the Facebook event here, and if you want to hear a little bit more about the event, listen to an interview on Literary Landscapes that featured In/Words editor Matt Jones and showcase performer JM Francheteau. Also, stay tuned to the magazine-style program Click Here on CHUO-FM 89.1 at 5PM on Wednesday, 11th September, to hear In/Words editor Chris Johnson and showcase performer PrufRock say a few words about the event.

Tickets can be purchased at the door for $10. Students with a valid student ID card can get discounted entry for $7. Hope to see everyone out at Pressed Cafe this Friday!

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The Town Fryer (it’s hot out there)

While you wait for our summer issue, spend some quality time catching up with In/Words alumnus Jeremy Hanson-Finger at the Town Crier, a literary blog run by the editors of Toronto’s Puritan Magazine. Puritan has published many In/Words alumni, including Bardia Sinaee, Ben Ladouceur, and Peter Gibbon. And yours truly!

The Town Crier will be showcasing previous authors’ notes on their Puritan pieces. Find out where the kids from Carleton are currently at! Expect lots of sass. From yours truly.


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