Poetry and Philanthrophy: Bywords 7th annual Cornerstone fundraiser and spring launch

Spring edition of Bywords Quarterly Journal

Amanda Earl has published poetry chapbooks with above/ground press and Book Thug. Amanda is also the managing editor of Bywords.ca and the Bywords Quarterly Journal, the angel of AngelHousePress and the curator of Experiment-o.com, an annual journal that celebrates the art of risk. Today she is inviting you to Bywords.ca’s 7th Annual Cornerstone Fundraiser and Spring Launch next Saturday, May 28, at Elgin Street’s Manx Pub.

I’m very excited about our annual fundraiser for Cornerstone. It’s important and it’s going to be a lot of fun.

Here’s a wee bit of info from Cornerstone, which provides emergency shelter and housing for women. With your help, they will provide the following this year:

  • About 500 women will be offered safe emergency shelter and the support to start a new life beyond homelessness;
  • About 200 women will have help to find safe, affordable, permanent housing;
  • About 8,000 meals will be served;
  •  About 100 women will receive support to move beyond addictions to recovery;
  •  About 20 women will receive training in computer and job preparation skills.

Rod Pederson will perform at the BQJ fundraiser (Photo by Pearl Pirie, via Flickr)

In previous years, Bywords has raised $300 to $400 in support of Cornerstone. With your help, we can help Cornerstone. Just think $90 feeds one woman for a month. $50 will provide bus tickets for 25 women to get to doctor and housing appointments. And you will receive a free copy of the spring issue of the Bywords Quarterly Journal with your donation. The spring issue of the BQJ marks its 9th year of publication. 

As managing editor of Bywords, I am thrilled to introduce audiences to the work of emerging poets and to provide opportunities for new and established poets to read and publish their work.

In addition to fantastic music by Jesse Cole — listen here — the event’s poetry readings will give you a chance to hear out of town, emerging and established poets:

  • Emily Falvey is a former Ottawa resident, art curator who worked at the Ottawa Art Gallery and is now an independent curator. Her poetry is very visual and collage like.  This is a rare reading in Ottawa for Emily.
  • Christian McPherson has a new poetry collection out: The sun has forgotten where I live. His poems are humorous and full of everyday life’s conundrums.
  • Rod Pederson is the host of the Tree Reading Series, one of Ottawa’s most beloved poetry reading series and the driving force behind the new annual poetry festival VerseFest. His love of poetry shows in his own writing.
  • Dimitra Xidous is an enthusiast of the duende who writes cosmopolitan and sensual poetry.

The BQJ fundraiser for Cornerstone will be held at The Manx, at 370 Elgin (Photo by Roadtripp, via Flickr)

The Cornerstone Fundraiser is particularly dear to my heart. It is one of two of Bywords community outreach initiatives; the other being the Walk for Life in the fall, in which we raise money and awareness of AIDS/HIV. I believe our role as a long standing part of Ottawa’s community — the original Bywords ran from 1990-2001 via the University of Ottawa  with Seymour Mayne, Gwendolyn Guth and Heather Ferguson — is to be part of the community and support its activities and participate in its well-being.

I hope you will join us on Saturday, May 28 at 5 p.m. at the Manx (370 Elgin Street) for great music, great poetry, great beer and a great cause.

Thanks, Amanda! Looking for more information? You can reach Amanda at amanda@bywords.ca. Or check out the Cornerstone website.