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John Parker Oughton's Blog

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May.27.2009
Today I got the cover proofs for Time Slip.  This will be my fifth poetry collection ... it's big for this genre, around 160 pages, because it incoporates  selections from my first four books as well as new work written since the fourth one came out.  The publisher (Guernica Editions of Toronto/...
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Apr.05.2009
The front cover of last year`s book Resonance: Poetry and Art..
For a couple of years now, i have been facilitating an unusual collaboration between my poetry workshop group (the Long Dash, about six writers all of whom have published one or more books) and an artists` group.  I`m the only man.  The Women`s Art Association of Canada is an organization now about...
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Apr.01.2009
The view through a rainy windshield
A rainy morning, sky an even expanse of luminous grey.  I like rain like this, the way it makes everything glisten, and washes the last remnants of winter down the drains.  Without the spotlight glare of the sun, colours are soft, yet somehow stronger, more saturated.  The sound and flow of rain...
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Mar.31.2009
We all contend with the world in various ways, but one thing that's particular to artists/writers is the degree to which we contend with ourselves.  In a time/space slot during which you're supposed to achieve your creative goals,  the demon of Self-doubt rears its head.  You do something, try...
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Mar.28.2009
Continuing on the theme of my previous blog -- what is the significance of the interactive, next-generation Web (AKA Web 2.0) and phenomena such as the "mash-up" to authors' contradictory urges to share their work and yet retain some control over it? In the old Web -- the kind envisioned...
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Mar.28.2009
A digital artifact for future archeologists to consider
For writers, the apocryphal Chinese curse "May you live in interesting times" has come true. The Web and the many social networking groups it has spawned make it remarkably easy to share samples of our work, market it, connect with fans, and sometimes agents or publishers. But the less-...
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Mar.27.2009
  "The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary announced this month that it has committed punctuational genocide, eliminating 16,000 hyphens from its pages. Either by combining two words into one or simply uncoupling them—severing the corpus callosum between them...
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Mar.26.2009
OK, why DO we write?I'm not discussing functional writing -- business memos, job applications, complaint letters, essays to get grades in school -- but creative, ruminative, why-the-hell-am-I-here writing?  This is the kind which one finds in large quantities on the web, although with varying...
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Mar.26.2009
Well, John, as the Brits put it, what's getting up your nose today? Today, without a doubt it's advertising.  Not any one campaign, but the whole industry.  Don't get me wrong -- it makes me very happy that in advertising there are well-paying, expense-account-padded jobs into which many failed...
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Mar.26.2009
These rapidly-maturing fledgling  robins are crammed into a nest above the porch for our side door.  I suspect their mother was dismayed, after carefully weaving her nest in what looked like a secure location, to find humans sometimes live here and use this door as their main entrance. Whenever we...
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Mar.26.2009
Poetry Production Continues to Boost Sagging Economy   New York: Yes, it's true.  During a visit to what's left of Wall Street, Canada's Minister of Conservative Party Funding and a little Finance on the Side, Jim Flat-Earthily, has announced that despite a slowing housing market, disastrous...
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Mar.26.2009
A gateway to snow
In my humble opinion, the role of poetry is to surprise and delight us with new ways of seeing and saying things ... it's not to repeat what we already know, using words or metaphors we're familiar with.  I liken it to a visit inside someone else's brain, having the privilege of experiencing that...
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