News and Events

Poems and Images of Ottawa — A Project Launched by Francophone Poet Laureate, Andrée Lacelle

Ottawa Poet Laureate, Andrée Lacelle, organized and presented the project Poems of the City 2018 – our waters, our spirits. Twenty-odd poets and local artists created original works to celebrate the aquatic diversity – rivers, canals, streams, ponds, marshes, lakes and other bodies of water – of the National Capital and its surrounding region. These artists read poems and exhibited art work created for the occasion on a City of Ottawa website launched April 18, 2018. The second part of the project, Poems of the City 2019 – our places, our steps will be unveiled at the official launch of VERSeFest 2019, March 23 at Ottawa City Hall in the presence of Councilor Mathieu Fleury.

One of several works created by participating artists
Denise Levesque, Rideau en eau calme (acrylic on canvas, 76x100cm, 2017).


Writers Point Retreat

For six days and five nights (August 14 – 18th) Ottawa’s English Poet Laureate, Jamaal Jackson Rogers, organized, hosted, and facilitated the inaugural WRITERS POINT Poetry Retreat. Ten writers of all poetic genres came together at Jamaal’s country home to explore, reflect, engage and enhance their craft.The retreat facilitators, Jamaal Jackson Rogers, Kay’la M. Fraser, and Jacqui Du Toit, helped page poets, spoken word poets, song writers, and storytellers deepen and extend their practice. The retreat offered the writers an opportunity to disconnect from the world in order to reconnect with the word.

Yoga Break at the Retreat
Reflecting on the retreat, Jamaal offered his thanks “to the poets who trusted me enough to enter my home and live with word, sound and power. With beauty, purpose and truth. With conscience, feeling and offering.”

August 18th Post-Retreat reading at the Arts Court, Ottawa