VERSe Ottawa is a collective of Ottawa organizations who curate and produce reading and performance series. One of the principal strengths of VERSe is the inclusion of both traditional written- and spoken word poetry groups. In coming together, the members of VERSe Ottawa have created an organization that, we believe, is unique in Canada and, perhaps, North America. The group and its activities are all the more durable for coming together, since VERSe’s activities will not be dependent on any one group or executive body. VERSe membership changes from year to year as series come and go. The current members include, in no particular order:
There is a high density of activity in poetry in Ottawa. More than 14 reading series hold regular events, which enjoy a cumulative attendance of between 600 and 1000 people per month. Poets featured and nurtured by these opportunities include the best of local talent, as well as some of Canadian Poetry’s brightest and best-respected poets.
VERSe is an effort to recognize and make the most of these strengths. VERSe hopes to pool resources and avoid duplication of labour, so that organizers can be even more efficient, effective, while creating new collaborative opportunities for organizers, such as VERSeFest. Further, VERSe Ottawa will take over funding for an administrative support person, currently Ms. Kathryn Hunt, who will serve all members’ administrative requirements. The administrative support person will serve as a focal point for VERSeFest administration and by providing support to all members throughout the year will serve as a focal point for VERSe Ottawa activities, keeping members in touch with each other throughout the year.
VERSe began planning in spring of 2010 for our first festival, VERSeFest 2011, which made the most of the planning and organizational capacities of the component organizations of the collective, as well as the high artistic standards, of all these organizations in order to give Ottawa its own annual poetry festival. VERSeFest will be an annual international festival of poetry, befitting Ottawa’s place as a world capital, and showcasing the artistic accomplishment and high-level activity of the Ottawa poetry scene.
143 – 2166 Loyola Avenue
Ottawa ON K1J 8H5