A few days before the start of Summer, Sawdust had the pleasure of hosting the tireless Amal El-Mohtar and Poem-Off Winner and local spoken word artist Daniel Mark Patterson (DMP), on June 15! The crowd was completely enchanted by Amal’s poems reflecting on Syria, perception, language, and her reading from The Honey Month. The audience was moved by DMP’s intensely personal pieces from The Penguin Manifestos: Poetic Ravings of A Social Misfit. We are hoping to lure these two back!
Now that Summer’s here, we’re revving Pour Boy’s R2D2 Air Conditioner up, because our readers are smoking hot!
On June 29th, Sawdust hosted a special fundraising event – the launch of the poetry chapbook “the bird philomela” (by battleaxepress) in support of the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre (ORCC). We heard 14 moving performances from authors focussing on the theme of women’s assaults and sexual assaults. The wonderfully attentive, generous audience packed the room from corner to corner. Over $600.00 was raised and donated directly to the ORCC that night. Sawdust Director, Jennifer Pederson, has released her powerful song with Sjef Frenken, “Epilogue: Beater” as a bandcamp fundraiser, all proceeds of which will also be sent to the ORCC.
On July 20th, JC Bouchard hosted our second Sawmill workshop, teaching us the life of poems, before flooring the crowd with his own work: driving, wry, relational, quietly confrontational, full of bones and questions. Sarah McDonell, a brilliant new arrival to Ottawa, stunned us with long pieces on the deterioration of the domestic and a work in progress, the ultra organic, beautifully tense “the lithium body.” JC and Sarah were met with fierce applause!
Coming August 17th, Sawdust will host the sublime Frances Boyle and a yet to be determined contest winner. Frances’ poems, smooth, elegant, and inviting, are sure to capture the imagination. Facebook Event here.
We would like to especially recognize the contribution that our audience makes, not only as such gracious, attentive, and active listeners, but also for their excellent contributions to the open mic.
We look forward to seeing you all again soon! Bring your fans, get your cold drinks, and soak up the poems at Sawdust!