Ottawa's Festival of Ideas Since 1997
Manx Pub370 Elgin St.

Plan 99: Spotlight on Biblioasis

with Amanda Jernigan, Rachel Lebowitz, Richard Sanger and Paige Cooper

Plan 99: Spotlight on Biblioasis

with Amanda Jernigan, Rachel Lebowitz, Richard Sanger and Paige Cooper
Manx Pub
370 Elgin St.
Amanda Jernigan
Paige Cooper - Photo by Adam Michiels
Rachel Lebowitz - Photo by Nancy McCarthy
Richard Sanger - Photo by Rita Leistner

Join us for four short readings that showcase new work from Biblioasis, a literary press based in Windsor, Ontario, committed to publishing the best poetry, fiction and non-fiction in beautifully crafted editions.


Years, Months, and Days by Amanda Jernigan is a transfiguration of Die Gemeinschaftliche Liedersammlung—a collection of Protestant hymns originally compiled by a Pennsylvanian-born Swiss-German Mennonite—into heart-breaking lyric poems that bridge secular spirituality and holy reverence with the commonalities of life, death, love, hope, and pain. With a quiet musicality, Jernigan explores the connection between hymn and poem, between death and birth. In a sparse and tender meditation on the possibilities of translation that she describes as “an offering of words to music,” Jernigan celebrates a shared love and landscape that breathes music into poem and prayer alike.


On April 10th, 1815, Indonesia's Mount Tambora erupted. The resulting build-up of ash in the stratosphere altered weather patterns and led, in 1816, to a year without a summer. Instead, there were June snowstorms, food shortages, epidemics, inventions, and the proliferation of new cults and religious revivals. In The Year of No Summer, her book of linked lyric essays, Rachel Lebowitz not only charts the events and effects of the apocalyptic year, but also weaves in history, fairytale, mythology, and memoir to ruminate on weather and the natural world, motherhood, transformation, war, the human appetite for destruction, and our search for God and meaning in times of disaster.


Snow, canoes, frozen ponds, lonely conifers… Richard Sanger’s Dark Woods takes the motifs and landscape of Canadian childhood and examines their place in a world of smartphones and overflowing inboxes. The result, his first book in 16 years, is a striking new poetry collection that includes sonnets linked and stray, wordplay and slang, meditations on parenthood and the “cracks in the granite”: the urges that won’t go away, the people who have.


Paige Cooper’s short stories, collected in Zolitude, catalogue moments in love. These are stories about women who built time machines when they were nine, or who predict cataclysm, or who think their dreams are reality. They include police horses with talons and giant eagles and weredeer. At the center of it all is love. And if love is the problem, what is the solution? Being closer? Or being alone?


Books available for purchase at every event: Proceeds support our free children’s literacy programs.


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