Category Archives: Archive

Older, time sensitive posts

HAPPY 2020 to all–Boxing day colours republished


Three black pigeons found solace

in the too-warm puddles

They alone had not dreamt of a white Christmas

Did not regret the grim, gray slush

that bequeathed lines of salt to new leather boots

still stiff from packages, now crushed and

stuffed along with blue reindeer wrapping

and rivers of silver ribbon

into bulging green garbage bags

at the curb

of a new year

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Ottawa’s Sawdust Reading Series launched “Another Dysfunctional Cancer Poem Anthology” from Mansfield Press Nov. 21

JC’s poem “Right Here” was chosen by editors Meaghan Strimas and the late Priscila Uppal for this anthology, which was launched by Mansfield Press in Toronto on November 8, 2018 and in Ottawa at the Sawdust Reading Series on November 21.

Written to capture the hopefulness of her mother’s friend, this 5-stanza poem exists in a rich collection that takes cancer on with no holds barred. Not for the faint of heart, these offerings have a life and soul-affirming quality that is surprising.

JC is honoured to have her work appear in “Another Dysfunctional Cancer Poem Anthology,” which features poetry from well-known and emerging poets.



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Deadline: October 31 for PEPtBO Poetry Contest submissions from adults and students

Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory’s (PEPtBO’s) poetry contest, “For the Birds” closes at on Halloween at midnight.

Prince Edward County poets and visitors are welcome to enter poems in some way related to birds and birdlife on October 31st.

In January, PEPtBO plans to publish a chapbook of winning poems with photographs taken by local enthusiasts on its website and will celebrate the chapbook launch with prizes for the top poem in each age category (9-16) and adult.

As JC Sulzenko, who serves as contest judge and chapbook editor, explains: “It’s a great way to ring in 2019 by focusing on birds and nature with poems rooted in Prince Edward County.” For full contest details, go to

PEPtBO monitors and reports on bird migration along Prince Edward County’s unique South Shore and acts as official caretaker of the internationally-designated IBA (Important Bird and Biodiversity Area.)

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Submission deadline today, Oct. 19, for poems on the theme of a pivotal moment for “Poetry Quarter” in the GLEBE REPORT

What’s the theme for poems for the November “Poetry Quarter” with a deadline of midnight, October 19, 2018?

“The pivotal. The gamechanger.

“To turn on a pivot, to ricochet off in a new direction, to live a pivotal moment that changes everything.”

Or does it?

Open to poets in the NCR who write in English. Go to www.glebe for submission guidelines.

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JC curates August “Poetry Quarter” in The Glebe Report; next submission call

The August “Poetry Quarter” in The Glebe Report released on August 17 features eight poets with unique ‘takes’ on the theme of water. The submission call referred to water as critical to sustaining life and as one of the ancient Greeks’ four elements that make up the world.Up 60% of the human body consists of water.

“Such a long, hot, humid summer made this theme a fine choice for August,” curator JC Sulzenko explained. “I can’t resist saying we received poems that covered the ‘waterfront!’

“We welcomed submissions from well-known local poets, such as Michelle Desbarats and Carol A. Stephen, from poets new to “Poetry Quarter,” and from contributors whose work we have published on other occasions.”

Print copies of the paper are available throughout the Glebe. Here’s the link to the online page to paste into your browser:

What’s the theme for poems for the November “Poetry Quarter” with a deadline of midnight, October 19, 2018.

The pivotal. The gamechanger.

“To turn on a pivot, to ricochet off in a new direction, to live a pivotal moment that changes everything.

“There’s no turning back. Or is there?”

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JC to appear on 99.3 County FM, Friday July 13 at 12:30 with Vanessa Pandos

To preview the opening of County CollAboRaTive, arts commentator Vanessa Pandos interviews JC and artist Richard Leach who designed the chapbook that captures this 25th Anniversary ekphrastic project for the Prince Edward County Studio Tour.

On Friday July 13, tune in at 12: 30 PM to 99.3 FM or listen live on the device of your choice.

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Sunday, July 8 interview with JC about “What My Grandma Means to Say” on 99.3 County FM

Lynn Pickering’s Sunday July 8 program, The County Writes/The County Reads, featured a 20-minute interview on how and why JC came to write the play “What My Grandma Means to Say” and then the book for children/families about Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

The program aired on 99.3 County FM after the noon news.

This website has information on the tools designed to give children the opportunity to learn about Alzheimer’s and what strategies they and their families can develop when dementia affects someone in their circle.

The website also gives free access to a video of the play performed by PECI students for elementary schools in Prince Edward County in 2010 as part of the educational outreach programs of the then Alzheimer Society of Prince Edward County. The Discussion Guide, also available free on this website, contains the play’s script. JC is updating its Q’s and A’s and welcomes the assistance of the Alzheimer Society of Hastings-Prince Edward in this review.



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JC’s new piece for Mother’s Day, 2018

We lose our mothers

Not on street corners

or in parks or grocery stores

though we may be mislaid


Today, I wear a dead-woman’s coat

Not my mother’s

Hers were too large


I lost myself in their embrace

as I combed through her clothes

their old-woman scent still strong on

what she wore until she couldn’t stand to dress


I pushed deeper into that closet, touched

garments she chose in middle age to flatter

her long legs, to hide her extra layers

Then Channel No. 5™assaulted me


I rushed outside

onto the balcony that

overlooks the city


breathed in that view

just as she did

until she could not

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Home and homelessness themes in Poetry Quarter in May Glebe Report; new submission call issued for August

Shelter, home, homelessness…

Serious subject matter for Poetry Quarterin the May issue of the Glebe Report.

Cut and paste this link into your browser to access the page published on May 11.

JC curates the selection from local poets and found this quarter’s offering rich.“We received many, fine poems.  A connection to home came into sharp and soft focus in a number of them. Street people figured in others.

“We were honoured to receive such sensitive and original work from poets whose poems have not appeared in PQ before and from other writers Glebe Report readers will recognize from previous issues.“

A call for submissions for the August Poetry Quarterhas just been announced. It’s all about water—critical to life; one of the Ancient’s four elements that make up the world; around 60% of the human body.

PQ seeks poems that will make readers “sink or swim.”

“Climate change, days or nights by a shore, access to clean drinking water, tears of laughter or sorrow—I cannot wait to learn what local poets will say.”

The deadline for the August issue is midnight, Friday July 27, 2018. Submission guidelines appear at:



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Ottawa Launch of “South Shore Suite…POEMS” on June 5 — “A fine occasion”

On Tuesday, June 5 at 7:30 PM, JC Sulzenko read selections from her poetry collection, South Shore Suite…POEMS, published by Point Petre Publishing.

JC welcomed the SRO audience and thanked publisher Brian Flack for coming to celebrate this first full collection of her narrative and lyrical poems. She also thanked Octopus Books for its gracious hosting of the event.

JC explained how the book contains poems written over the course of her adult life. The collection takes its title from its first section, with poems rooted in the nature and landscape of Prince Edward County, about which she wrote and which she posted a line-a-day for over a year on this website. Its second section brings a wider lens to the natural world, while the third part of the book includes poems on life choices made by people in diverse professions, from carpenter to composer, from lightkeeper to librarian.

“I held interviews in Ottawa and elsewhere with people I knew and sought out others whose line of work interested me. South Shore Suite…POEMS offers samples from both categories. One of the people in these poem portraits was at the Ottawa launch. Recognizable or incognito, do you think?”

The collection concludes with poems that illuminate moments ‘from cradle to grave.’

Why did Point Petre publisher Brian Flack choose this particular book? “To me, many poems in South Shore Suite use language beautifully and capture the universality of experience in an accessible way, which is not often apparent in contemporary poetry.”

This award-winning Glebe poet and writer is well known through her workshops and poetry residencies for emerging, young writers. She has published six books for children.What My Grandma Means to Say takes a child by the hand and explores how to handle dementia in the family. She also writes centos and found poetry for which she uses a pseudonym.

This summer JC’s work will be featured in County CollAboRaTive, the 25thAnniversary celebration of the Prince Edward County Studio Tour, and she takes part as a guest artist in the Redenersville Road Art Tour on Labour Day weekend.

With Carleton Place poet Carol A. Stephen, she has co-authored two chapbooks, Breathing Mutable Air and Slant of Light. Together, they seek a publisher for their new collection of ekphrastic poems inspired by works of art.

Copies of South Shore Suite…POEMS are for sale in Ottawa at Octopus Books, 116 Third Avenue, as well as at Perfect Books. Singing Pebble Books and Books on Beechwood. In Prince Edward County, Books and Company, The Local  Store and Half Moon Bay Winery carry the collection.



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April 20 Deadline: Poems about shelter, home, or homelessness

Glebe Report Editor Liz McKeen asks this question: is shelter a right?

The May Poetry Quarter will feature poems by local poets that touch on themes of home, shelter, or homelessness.

JC  Sulzenko, who curates the quarterly collection, looks forward to what these writers consider in approaching notions of belonging or being outsiders.

Cut and paste the following link to reach the Glebe Report’s home page for details on submissions DUE BY MIDNIGHT, Friday, April 20, 2018.

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JC republishes her “Boxing Day Colours” and sends her wishes for a happy 2018


Three black pigeons found solace

in the too-warm puddles

They alone had not dreamt of a white Christmas

Did not regret the grim, gray slush

that bequeathed lines of salt to new leather boots

still stiff from packages, now crushed and

stuffed along with blue reindeer wrapping

and rivers of silver ribbon

into bulging green garbage bags

at the curb

of a new year


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JC’s interview Sunday, December 10 after the noon news on 99.3 County FM, Picton

Listen to Lynn Pickering’s feature interview with JC about South Shore Suite…Poems on her weekly program “The County Writes…The County Reads” on Sunday, December 10 right after the newscast at noon.

Go to to live stream the program from the FM station that speaks with the ‘voice’ of Prince Edward County, Ontario.

This first collection of JC’s poetry takes its title from its lead section, “South Shore Suite, ” with poems rooted in her experience at the County’s fragile south shore. “I committed to posting a line-a-day of poetry on my website for over a year, and the poems in “South Shore Suite” are the result of that undertaking,” JC explains.

During the interview, JC has the opportunity to read a few poems from the collection and openly discuss why poetry matters to her.

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“South Shore Suite” with poems honouring Prince Edward County launched on November 18

An enthusiastic crowd attended the November 18 launch of South Shore Suite, JC’s first collection of poetry from Point Petre Publishing. Hosted by Books and Company, 289 Main St. in Picton, the event featured a reading by JC, fine wines generously offered by Half Moon Bay Winery, nibbles, and brisk book sales.

“The launch was exactly as I hoped it would be: the chance for poetry-lovers, friends and neighbours to celebrate the release of this collection and become acquainted with my work. I chose to read five poems from the collection to give a taste of each of the sections of the book, which begins with the “South Shore Suite” that lends the book its title. The “Suite” consists of poems rooted in nature at Prince Edward County’s south shore and influenced by forms of Japanese poetry, such as haiku and tankas.”

The story in November 15th’s The Wellington Times profiled South Shore Suite. Cut and paste this link into your browser to read the article.

Lynn Pickering’s interview with JC on The County Writes, The County Reads aired on 99.3FM Picton after the noon news on either December 3 or December 10, 2017.

Go to the icon on the right of this website ( for information on how to order the book from JC or from the publisher, Point Petre Publishing. Books and Company in Picton also stocks the book. (

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Launch of JC Sulzenko’s SOUTH SHORE SUITE, November 18, 2017 in Picton, Ontario

Point Petre Publishing (PPP) launches JC Sulzenko’s first full collection of poetry in Picton, Ontario, on Saturday afternoon, November 18, 2017.

South Shore Suite cover

South Shore Suite cover

Prince Edward County publisher Brian Flack gives his reasons for electing to publish JC’s lyric and narrative poetry in PPP’s inaugural publishing program. “In our current political climate, the need for ‘something’ that speaks to the unspoiled uniqueness of the southernmost reaches of our County was not just needed, it was demanded!

“Rendered in language that is evocative of place, time, and sensation–yet straightforwardly affecting, many of the poems will transport you body and soul to the South Shore of the County, addressing head-on, as they do, issues both natural and ‘man-made’. These poems will inspire in any reader a wondrous appreciation for the area’s land, its birds, the water …”

JC responds. “I am honoured PPP chose South Shore Suite for this publishing season and gratified that poems in this collection turn the spotlight on Prince Edward County’s fragile South Shore. My work also speaks to the power of life-cycle events, whether mundane or momentous.”

The 100-page book takes its title from the first of its four sections, which contains poems rooted in the landscape of Prince Edward County and posted a line-a-day over the course of more than a year. Its second section brings a wider lens to the natural world. Poetry that reflects on life choices made by people in diverse professions comprises the third part of the book. The collection concludes with poems closest to JC’s personal experience on subjects ‘from cradle to grave.’ County artist Susan Straiton created the arresting cover art.

The launch takes place from 4:00-6:00 PM on Saturday, November 18, 298 Main Street, upstairs in the Lipson Room in Picton. JC will read from the collection at 4:30 PM.

JC serves on the Board of the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory (PEPtBO) and will donate a Loonie for every copy of South Shore Suite sold at the launch to PEPtBO.

For further information about the book and the event, email




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New Bookends Mini-review by JC Sulzenko: “Where’d You Go, Bernadette”

JC reviews Maria Semple’s national bestseller (US), “Where’d You Go, Bernadette.” Go to Bookends at to read her low-down on the 2012 novel.

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Nancy Drew met Garnett Weiss on March 11 at The Supermarket Restaurant and Bar in Toronto

From 3:00-5:30 PM, Saturday March 11, Garnett joined Toronto writer and event host Lee Parpart and other contributors to the Nancy Drew Anthology, plus special guests emcee Liz Gruening-Hay, Angela Misri and Melanie J. Fishbane to celebrate this new collection of poems, artwork, short stories, and memoirs inspired by the forever-young-woman sleuth.

Geared to adults and to appeal to kids grades four and up, the afternoon entertained the enthusiastic audience with readings from the anthology published by California-based Silver Birch Press (SBP.) Each speaker shared anecdotes about her own connection to and love of all things Nancy Drew, whose mystery series was published over a period of 80+ years and enjoyed by multiple generations.

Garnett first read four poems by international contributors to the anthology and then focused on the work of Canadian poets in the anthology. She explained that SPB published her erasure poem, “With original mystery,” which extracts words in the order in which they appear from the list of Nancy Drew book titles on the inside title page of “The Hidden Staircase”, released in 1939. Instead of reading “With original mystery,” she shared her found poem, “Siren,” now posted her website. “Siren” uses non-contiguous, unaltered phrases from “The Secret of Mirror Bay,” published in 1972.

The afternoon’s festivities included prizes and a book sale. Copies of the anthology are available from Silver Birch Press and Amazon.



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January 20 Deadline for the February Poetry Quarter Featuring Themes Linked to Canada Sesquicentennial

JC returns for the second year to curate “Poetry Quarter(PQ)” in the Glebe Report. For 2017, rather than collect and bank poems throughout the year, PQ will tailor calls to specified themes for each issue. 

Full details of the call for submissions for the February, 2017, PQ appear on the home page of January’s Glebe Report at

Open for the first time to any poet writing in English who reads the Glebe Report and lives in the National Capital Region, February will celebrate Canada’s sesquicentennial through poems on subjects relevant to the people, history, culture, present and future of the Glebe and its neighbouring communities. Here are the basic guidelines. Poems should be:

  • Original, unpublished in any medium (plus not submitted elsewhere)
  • Up to 30 lines
  • On any aspect of the theme within the bounds of public discourse
  • By poets of all ages (school-age poets, please include your grade level)
  • Submitted by January 20 to: (Please include contact info.)


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Annual reflection on the holiday season — JC’s poem “Boxing Day Colours”

From time to time, I revisit this poem after the frenzy of activity and gift-giving/receiving because of how it captures for me the inevitable, annual letdown, even as celebrations around the new year add add an upbeat quality to the season. So here again is the piece.

Boxing Day Colours


Three black pigeons found solace

in the too-warm puddles


They alone had not dreamt of a white Christmas

Did not regret the grim gray slush

that bequeathed lines of salt to new leather boots

still stiff from packages, now crushed, stuffed

along with blue reindeer wrapping

and rivers of silver ribbon

into bulging green garbage bags


at the curb

of a new year


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A. Garnett Weiss takes 3 of the top prizes in The Bannister 2016 Poetry Contest

Here’s the link to the Niagara CAA’s website which lists the 2016 winners. Three of Garnett’s centos were awarded top prizes. “Never mind the first unicorn” took 2nd Prize and “We lie down in each other, we lie down alone,” and “The only song I know” gained honourable mentions. “This is the second time my centos have been favoured in this contest. I am grateful to Judge Keith Garebian for favouring my work with these awards,” Garnett confirmed.

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Day 30 poem, “Generation, from memory,” the last piece in the month-long poetry challenge

I accepted the day 29 prompt in because the Day 30 prompts from that site and from Found Poetry Review were not a good fit. I am pleased to have participated in this month-long writing challenge but, at the same time, feel relieved it’s over. And apologetic that I was a day late once in a while.

Here’s the prompt: “write a poem based on things you remember. Try to focus on specific details… You could start… every line with “I remember,” and then you could either cut out all the instances of “I remember,” or leave them all in, or leave just a few in….”

What has emerged is a more personal poem than my other offerings this month. Perhaps that’s fitting for the last in this series, perhaps not. I’ll let the poem be for a while, then may revisit “Generation, from memory.”

Thanks to Found Poetry Review and for kick-starting every day in April with great ideas.

Generation, from memory

In May, the jubilant pronouncement: “I’m pregnant!”
Your mother’s words turned an ordinary day into a celebration,
then draped me in a shawl of worry: Would she be alright? Would you?

In June, she popped pills to stem the nausea, then slept day-long.
My gentle words that this would pass so inadequate,
I offered mint-leaf tea, dry toast, warm blankets and hugs.

In July, a visit to the midwife, tattooed and pierced, tightened
the worry around my shoulders. I asked myself could I trust
her judgment, her experience? Could I trust her with my daughter?

The rapid thrum/thrum/thrum/thrum of your heartbeat filled the room
when you were smaller than a lime, still on the tree. At that moment
I understood the passion, the argument about when life begins.

In November, my hand on your mother’s stomach—smooth,
without stretch marks, swollen to watermelon size— I felt
you kick at me as though you were dancing the can-can.

In January, on walking home with your mother from the spa,
sudden cramps stopped us every ten minutes, then every five,
then every fifteen as she breathed through your false start.

I packed that evening, took the long ride home, even though
I wanted so badly to stay, to wait with her it hurt in my gut.
I gathered the shawl to me but felt its cold through the car window.

Then a text message: your mother and father were at the hospital,
your mother resting well with a local anesthetic.
I sat in the living room, sipped wine, held your grandpa’s hand.

Waiting, worrying, waiting, worrying, waiting, worrying,
waiting, worrying, waiting, worrying, waiting, worrying.
In the silence, the shawl constricted like a straitjacket.

The phone rang, delivering your mother’s voice.
She sounded like a child herself.
“He’s here! It’s a boy. I’m looking at him.”

I tasted tears as I put down the receiver. I cast off the shawl,
left early the next morning to greet you before you were a day old.
Coming into the hospital room alone that first time to hold you,

light as a feather, I studied your eyelashes and tiny fingernails, traced
the line of your soft cheek with my arthritic hand. I both believed
and couldn’t believe the wonder you are, of my flesh, my blood.

I began singing “Hush little baby, don’t say a word…”
for the first time in almost thirty years
and remembered all the words.


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Beth Ayer’s April 29 Impromptu prompt to write a poem from an unintelligible text (in your own language)

Beth Ayer’s challenge through FPR was as follows: “In the spirit of heading into darkness after all things unseeable and obscure, write a poem using a text that is inexplicable to you. Could be quantum physics, thermodynamics, mathematics, aeronautical engineering – or something else altogether that to you speaks in incomprehensible language. Choose a text or texts and begin selecting words and phrases as they spark associations. Write a poem using the collected words and phrases. Let your imagination fire, and don’t worry about what these terms mean in their original context.”

I went online and used phrases and words largely unaltered from an article from European Nuclear Society ( What Is A Nuclear Reactor? to respond to the prompt on this penultimate day of National Poetry Month.  I certainly didn’t understand the technicalities in the article when I composed the poem below. Comments are welcome.

This basic difference

After the separation
converted their bond,
transferred power
for multiple purposes,
fission released them.

Before they escaped
slightly enriched,
they felt intense deceleration,
released from the laws of nature,
the pressure to combine.

Devices designed in a loop
fed into the fuel they use:
The same, reinforced, secondary light.

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Award Ceremony on March 29 for OPL’s Awesome Authors Contest Winning Poets and Writers

JC Sulzenko, English poetry judge for the 2016 Awesome Authors contest wants to encourage poetry-lovers of all ages in the region to come out for the awards ceremony honouring the best English and French poems and short stories written by local poets and writers, ages 9-17.

The culminating event of the the 2016 Awesome Authors Contest starts at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, March 29 at Centrepoint Theatre, Ben Franklin Place.

“I really look forward to the ceremony, particularly after having read all the poems submitted in English. What a challenge it was to choose the winning entries!  The quality and impact of the poetry these emerging writers crafted will amaze you, as it did me,” JC guaranteed.

Here’s the link to all the information on the contest. Winning stories and poems will appear in Pot Pourri, the anthology to be published by the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library in the autumn.

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JC’s Awesome Poetry Workshop a hit with 9-12 year-old poets

On January 22, JC led a great group of enthusiastic and talented young poets in her one-hour poetry workshop in advance of the Ottawa Public Library’s 2016 Awesome Authors Contest deadline, February 15. The annual contest encourages poets ages 9-17 to submit their original poems and short stories in English or French so that they will have the chance to both win prizes and see winning entries published by the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library in the annual anthology, Pot Pourri.

“Can you run, steer or stumble into writing poems? What makes a poem great?” JC took a vote and everyone agreed that all three ways of getting into a poem can work. She read aloud selected, winning poems from past Awesome Authors contests, plus used hit song titles from this week’s charts, to tackle these questions and others raised by the group. JC’s call to poets 9-17?  “Swamp me with your poems! I can hardly wait to read them!”

For information on the contest, go to the Awesome Authors Contest page on OPL website:

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January 11 deadline for February “Poetry Quarter” in the Glebe Report

Here’s the OPEN CALL FOR POETRY SUBMISSIONS from poets in Ottawa’s Glebe neighbourhood and surrounding areas for the 2nd Poetry Quarter, a compilation of poems curated by JC, which appears four times a year in Ottawa’s Glebe Report. The next Poetry Quarter will be issued in the February 2016 Glebe Report. The deadline to submit is January 11, 2016.

Poems should be:

  • Original and unpublished in any medium
  • No more than 30 lines each, including stanza breaks and title
  • On any subject within the bounds of public discourse

The poem or poet must have a connection to the Glebe or close neighbouring community, i.e., the poem must be about the Glebe or the poet must live, work, study or volunteer in the Glebe (or close neighbouring community.)

Poets of all ages are welcome to submit up to 7 poems at a time in one doc. or docx document attachment. Please include your contact information, your connection to the Glebe and your grade if you are in school in your covering email.

Please email submissions to

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October 22 Launch of “Pot Pourri,” winning poems and stories from the 2015 Awesome Authors Contest at the Ottawa Public Library

JC is a huge fan of emerging poets and authors in the region who participate in the Annual Awesome Authors Contest at the Ottawa Public Library (OPL).

“I am pleased return to judge the English poetry submissions to the 2016 contest which closes in February. The quality of what poets aged 9-17 submit always blows me away. These poets are awesome, indeed.”

Each year, the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Association (FOPLA) publishes an anthology of winning entries entitled “Pot Pourri.” The OPL and FOPLA join in launching the new collection on Thursday, October 22, at 6:30 PM in the downstairs auditorium of the Main Branch on Metcalfe at Laurier.

“This publication celebrates the creativity and courage of these emerging artists. I encourage all participants in the contest, whether past or prospective, to come out and applaud the release of “Pot Pourri!” Copies of the anthology will be available for purchase at the launch and through FOPLA.



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On the Eve of the Canadian Election, here is JC’s plea

This poem first was broadcast on CBC’s program Commentary. JC brings it back to these pages on the eve of Canada’s federal election to BEG voters to turn out and vote.

So much is riding on each riding’s choice. \ JC hopes Canadians know how much each vote counts. Feel free to comment on her poem, “Anthem.”



A Mountie sings Oh Canada

A Fine baritone in scarlet

Odd how his stiff brown hat stays put


I strain to hear the others –their singing jumbles off

high glass planes, transparent walls

I make out Des plus brilliants

God keep

Glorious and free


I hear my voice, small in the great room

Oh Canada, we stand on guard for thee


I will the words to be true

Fear we are not up to it


Many don’t vote

They squander their choices, our democracy

Grumble at leaders in power almost by default


Our fault, really

Centred in little lives, blind to our need to protect

our country — beautiful, fragile


We ought to know better, to know

what to do for Canada every day

and in times of flood, plague, war and fire
Could someone tell us how

or should we go out there, start somewhere

Work not only for ourselves

but for our Canada


A half hour a day

times the 34 million of us or so

(minus the sick, the too-young)

would sure buy a lot


of standing on guard

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Deadline today for the Glebe Report “Poetry Quarter,” curated by JC Sulzenko

The deadline for submitting poems to be featured in the first of The Glebe Report’s new feature, Poetry Quarter, is October 9, 2015. Here’s the link to the website for specifics on how to submit.

JC is delighted that the Editor of this community newspaper has chosen to bring a poetry focus to the community four times a year by publishing poems JC will select as ‘curator.’

“Poetry Quarter” welcomes submissions from poets who work, live, study or volunteer in the Glebe in Ottawa or in its close, neighbouring communities on subjects that reflect the lives and sensibilities of people living in this community and that are appropriate for publication in a paper with an audience of all ages.

Poems can be in any form – rhyme, free verse, sonnets, haiku, found poems, etc., but must not be more than 30 lines in length. The work must be the poet’s own and should not have been published before anywhere, in any form or medium.

“As ‘curator,’ I will recommend a number of poems per quarter to the Editor. Poets will be contacted if their work is slated for publication in “Poetry Quarter.” We have already received many fine submissions and look forward to reading what emerging and established poets contribute to this project.”



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February 16 deadline for Awesome Authors and Poets

Just one more day for poets and short story writers to enter the Ottawa Public Library’s Awesome Authors Contest.

Don’t miss this chance to have your work read by professional writers and be considered for up to 6 prizes in each age category, 9-11, 12-14, 15 -17. Winning poems and stories will be published by the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library in the 2015 Pot Pourri anthology.

See the information in the post below for details. I want 500 good poems, please!  And I’m sure my fellow judges Caroline Pignat and Michel Lavoie join me in wishing you each good luck and happy writing!

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Awesome Poets at JC’s January Workshops for the Ottawa Public Library’s 2015 Awesome Authors Contest

On January 10 and 16, JC lead workshops for young poets who are thinking about entering the OPL’s 2015 Awesome Authors Contest. The contest, now in its 19th year, closes on February 16 for both online and hard copy submissions.

Open to writers of poetry and short stories in English and/or French in three age categories (9-11, 12-14 and 15-17), the contest gives an opportunity to talented students in this region to submit their work to judges who are professional writers. Winning entries appear in the annual anthology, Pot Pourri, published by the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library. Winning writers also receive prizes at an awards ceremony held at the end of March.

“This is a great way for talented young people to move forward with their work. Submitting poems and stories takes courage, but it is worth doing. If you are a writer, you want your work to be read or heard. And, if the writing doesn’t leave your head or stays on your own page, then it’s more in the nature of a journal or diary, which is fine, but not the sharing experience, which this contest offers,” JC suggests.

JC invited 15-17 year-olds to enter the amazing space where poetry works at the first workshop, billed as “What’s on your mind? Write? Edit? Post?”By reading together some of the winning poems over the history of the Awesome Authors Contest, JC highlighted features that attracted her and which led to the poem securing a place in the winners’ circle.

Some participants brought poems they had written, which they would not enter into this year’s competition. One past winner looked for insight into why a poem had not placed in the competition in a particular year.

JC reiterated what she explains at each awards ceremony: “Judging poetry is highly subjective. What one judge would choose might not appeal to another. Plus, how a poem ‘rates’ depends somewhat upon the competition, particularly when there’s a rich field of entries.”

JC’s approach with 9-12 year-olds departed from “What cereal boxes Say about Writing Poetry,” and focused on factors that make poems stand out from the pack, or the package! Again, the group looked at winning poems from past contest to show how they succeeded.

“I encourage emerging poets and short story-writers to submit their work in time for the mid-February deadline. I’d like 500 English poetry entries this year. I want to feel swamped and amazed by the creativity and daring of young poets.”

Information on where and how to enter is available from:



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