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Today poetry thrives in Ottawa, as it always has. There are poets of all kinds, and the Poets’ Pathway honours them all. There are poetry readings and discussions in bookstores and pubs and coffee shops, and in restaurants and university pubs, and on radio stations; poetry is being written in writers’ clubs and groups, in classrooms, in courses and online and on the trail. The Governor General’s Literary Awards are given out in Ottawa each fall, and the Ottawa International Literary Festival takes place each spring and fall. Ottawa has the second largest slam poetry community in Canada and regularly wins prizes at the annual competitions, in 2010 taking home the grand prize. There are the Ottawa Small Press Book Fair, Arc Poetry Magazine and the Bywords Journal.

To do: There are live readings, competitions, blogs, websites, two small press book fairs each year; slam competitions, journals and festivals, workshops and courses, discussions and interviews on radio: Literary Landscapes Every Thursday at 6:30 pm. CKCU FM 93.1, Special Blend Every Friday at 7:00 am. CKCU 93.1 FM

To read: There are journals, websites, blogs, and many books of poetry.

Some Series

  • Tree Reading Series Arts Court, 2 Daly Avenue
  • The AB Series
  • Plan 99 - poetry and fiction series 5:00 pm. The Manx Pub, 370 Elgin St.
    Phone: 613 231 2070 Email:
  • The Dusty Owl   Swizzles Bar & Grill, 246-b Queen Street - various dates 5:00 pm
  • Sasquatch Literary and Arts Performance Series
    2:00 pm. Royal Oak II, 161 Laurier East Phone: 613-526-0056 Email:
    SASQUATCH meets every second and fourth Sunday of the month, except for July and August. The series offers an eclectic mix of poetry, prose, song and other performance

Websites and Blogs

These online sources are chock-a-block stuffed with information on every aspect of poetry writing in Ottawa: