Sustainable living: Pearl explains why SLOWest is best

Pearl Pirie is a local arts enthusiast who blogs about the city’s literary events in both word and image. Her most recent poetry collection came out last year. Thirsts (Snare, 2011) launches at Tree on Jan. 24. She will be one of the readers at versefest.ca in March.

Alise Marlane was the feature performer at this month's SLOWest

Alise Marlane was the feature this month at 1277 Wellington St. She sang her own compositions from Wakefield theatre productions and her album, Room for Less, talking about living more and having less. She also sang in French about uniting despite different political positions. She did Pete Seeger covers on her mandolin and guitars. For a couple pieces, a bit of guest starring happened with some harmonicas.

It was a cozy atmosphere and good music. A hat was passed.

How did the event come to be? The SLOWest is a group organized to create a space for meeting minds on ways to build a sustainable community, specifically Sustainable Living in Ottawa West (SLOWest). The group has an events listing of Local Music, Dance, Storytelling, Art.

For those pining for planting season, there’s a gardening talk on January 22. They’re gearing up for partnership with the RightBike.org bike-sharing program. Their January newsletter lists some of the green ideas they have cooking and other collaborations underway.

Tony Turner plays a harmonica at the last SLOWest

The next Coffeehouse will be February 11 with poets Blaine Marchand and Miche Kohler. The evening of March 10 will be a Coffeehouse with singers/storytellers Gail Anglin and Neville Miller.

April 14 will be a night of poetry with a spring launch of a chapbook entitled: In Air/Air Out: 21 Poets for the Guatemala Stove Project. The proceeds all go to the charity of clean air through the Guatemala Stove Project which has a Perth chapter and an Ottawa chapter. They have been building stoves with the Maya people since 1999. This poetry for air project so far has built stoves for two households.

Luminita Suse performs at Bywords Warms the Night for the Cornerstone Women's Shelter

Luminita Suse (right) is one of the poets in the chapbook. The photo was taken at the January 15’s ByWords Warms the Night:, the ninth annual ByWords fundraiser for the Cornerstone Women’s Shelter. It is fabulous when art and poetry and the community can come together to do social good locally or internationally.

A spring launch of the chapbook will happen this Thursday evening, January 19 across the street from Bridgehead at Collected Works. Allison Armstrong, Amanda EarlMike Montreuil, Luminita Suse and rob mclennan will be the readers in this round.

Thanks, Pearl! Be sure to check out the chapbook launch this Thursday!