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According to Ottawa poets and creative-writing facilitators Terry Ann Carter (pictured above) and Susan McMaster, a wondrous wealth of writers from Ontario plans to entertain (Business-Class) passengers boarding the train from Windsor and making its way to the Capital City come Thursday, April 29 (courtesy of VIA Rail and Canada's longest-running small press, Black Moss); additionally, when the troupe reaches its Ottawa-Station destination at 4:25 that afternoon, the "random acts of poetry" crew will provide travellers and their meeter-greeters with on-the-spot readings from the likes of Brantford Poet Laureate John B. Lee, Marilyn Gear Pilling, Mary Ann Mulhern, Roger Bell and Betsy Struthers (to ID but a few among the top-notch voyagers accompanying Black Moss co-founder Marty Gervais in yet another stellar event celebrating the venerable publisher's 40th anniversary).

And, that's just for starters: Revving into high gear, the full-steam-aheaders plan to gather in Carleton Place for a 7:30 p.m. shindig @ Read's Book Shop, which includes a Round-Robin Scrum as well as a Blue-Pencil Workshop (N/C) before the travelling po-show returns to Ottawa to kick off the main event Friday evening (after visiting local high schools during the day).

The grand finale? Mother Tongue Books opens its doors for a free book-launch commencing @ 7:30 that includes refreshments as well as substantial discounts on new and perennially popular works by the aforementioned participants who shall be joined by special guests Ronnie R. Brown, Colin Morton and Mary Lee Bragg in an extravaganza intended to wrap up National Poetry Month with a bang.

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For further information on the two-day moveable feast, feel free to contact Carter who, incidentally, agreed to allow IOW to exclusively feature but one of the poems gracing the pages of her third full-length collection, A Crazy Man Thinks He's Ernest in Paris, coming soon to better bookstores near you:

Binary Numbers: Breaking the Code

A mathematician explains the simplicity of binary numbers. Using two digits

the calculations take an earnest curve toward counting, the perplexing notion

of numbers rearranged in the brain. Is this the world of the schizophrenic?

A code indecipherable, numbers not adding to their correct conclusions: the haunting

voice of zero and the number one, like a crack in the wall, incapable of letting in light.

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FYI: The brilliant Influency Salon, pioneered by Margaret Christakos, now features a complementary online component . . . In its celebration of National Poetry Month, The Walrus presents I Am Happy to Live in an Age of Plenty from Paul Vermeersch's just-published collection, The Reinvention of the Human Hand . . . Tomorrow evening (April 27) commencing @ 6:30, join Anansi poets Suzanne Buffam ( The Irrationalist), Michael Lista ( Bloom), Erin Mouré ( O Resplandor) and Steven Heighton ( Patient Frame) for a free Toronto reading @ The Garrison (1197 Dundas Street West) . . . The Calgary Herald's Eric Volmers shines the spotlight on Kevin McPherson Eckhoff, author of Rhapsodomancy ( Coach House) . . . Come Wednesday (April 28th) @ 8 p.m., see Eckhoff in the fresh when Coach House Press struts its spring-list stuff @ Toronto's Revival . . . Over @ New York Magazine, Sam Anderson unpacks Anne Carson's Nox . . . and, although the Near North (read: The Almaguin Highlands where culture's a dirty word) boasts no poet laureate despite lobbying for same for too long to believe, the Government of Canada happily and generously supports the arts in Muskoka (read: the deserving half of Muskoka/Parry Sound where the intellectuals, celebrities, politicos and artistes can afford their million-dollar mega-mansions).

YES! True to our predictions, JEW (Exile Editions) by D.O. Dodd published April 16 in Canada, proves its mettle and racks up glowing praise from Michael Turner ("Riveting, horrific, poetic brilliance. In the company of Kafka's The Trial, O'Hagan's Tay John and Tournier's The Ogre."), Linda Spalding ("This is our world turned on its head, and wonderfully writ. Astonishing."), Joe Kertes ("Dodd escorts Kafka into the 21st Century, every bit as horrifying and brutal as ante-bellum Europe, just when we thought we'd finally closed the door on senseless nationalism, extremism and division . . . a brave and original writer.") and Michael Mirolla ("A starkly brutal existential journey into power, guilt, identity, bureaucracy and the darkest corners of the human soul. There is no laying of blame here. Simply a laying bare of non-negotiable and elemental truths . . .").

KUDOS! Felicitations to poet, prose stylist and mentor Fred Wah, this year's deserving recipient of The Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize for is a door (Talonbooks) alongside Lorna Crozier whose Small Beneath the Sky: A Prairie Memoir (Greystone) scooped the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize @ the BC Book Prizes; and, in all this Planetary PoMo excitement (as well as getting out the vote for rob mclennan's donning of the first Canadian Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere mantle), we *almost* forgot to report Alice Oswald snagged the inaugural £5,000 Ted Hughes Award (sponsored by UK Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy) for her "unsettling and unsettled" Weeds and Wild Flowers.

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