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Book Tour Re-Cap – Ottawa & Sarnia




I was giddy with excitement to be a part of the Tree Reading Series in Ottawa. It is one of Ontario’s longest running poetry series – and golly, I was on the roster! The reading took place at a small but very cool gallery called Gallery 101. Now, I used to travel to Ottawa quite often because my sister lived there. I also had some wild contract jobs that brought me to Ottawa – a stint with the Weather Network for Ottawa’s winter ice festival, and a gig with CBC for Canada Day (at which point Alanis Morrissette walked right past me). Ah, my previous life…In any case, I always loved Ottawa so I was very excited to have a wonderful reason to head back to our nation’s capital.


I flew Porter to Ottawa…that was fun. ears still haven’t popped back…!

I tell you flying over the city was breathtaking. The trees were a cornucopia of vivid colours – fire orange, love red, deep brown…It was a sight to see and hold in my heart. And it smelled so good too! Once on land, my gracious hosts fed me and off we went exploring in a gorgeous park that was clean and beautiful. 

I had a bit of alone time…and found this…


I found the Mayfair – a beautiful, old film theatre I used to go to.

I also found a very cool consignment shop where I did a bit of shopping. Very nice! I’ll admit I was a bit nervous to be reading at this coveted series! And, I was reading with Governor General Short-listed poet Joe Denham, whose work I read on the plane – wow!


Our gracious host Colin Morton set up shop and we were good to. That is following a lively open mic session that followed a poetry workshop. The series knows how to do it right! I felt confident during my reading. It was fun! After, we went with some local poets and people to chat. I did it!

I’ve got cat approval! Yes, Pearl’s kitty…well, she knows a good kitty when she reads one! Ha!

Post-reading, mama was exhausted.

Sweet dreams!

The flights home were smooth. I read, mostly. And couldn’t wait to be home to kiss and love the hubby and the kids! THANK YOU to Pearl Pirie, Colin Morton, Mary Lee Bragg, Joe Denham, Jason Rankin, and the folks at Gallery 101!



My drive to Sarnia was quite beautiful. It was sunny day. The roads were clear and not congested (unlike my nose). I listened to CBC Radio then my girl Whitney (Houston) and belted out the songs like I was a rockstar. I took one wrong turn, figured that out. Then turned onto a dirt road which made me panic a little, but in the end I made it! Though I’d been to Sarnia before, I hadn’t ever made it downtown. I was very impressed! There are many charming, cool, unique shops and also some great restaurants offering many varieties of foods.


The Blackwater Coffee Co. coffee shop was perfect! When I arrived, there were fresh baked-goods on the counter, stunning art on the walls, and Dave, the owner, was roasting coffee beans. So delicious! I settled in to write some poetry and relax before the reading later that night. Yes, I’ve been enjoying the writing time that these trips are affording me! I couldn’t write while I was driving, so I made sure to write when I got to the coffee shop.

And Dave, the owner, is a wonderful human who can do magical things with the bevvies he makes!

Latte art by Dave!
Dave Duguay, owner of the new Blackwater Coffee Company on Christina. Cathy Dobson
Dave Duguay, owner of the new Blackwater Coffee Company
Photo Credit: Cathy Dobson
Look at this beautiful place!

Come 7pm when the reading was to begin, the place was packed! Joining me to read were Sarnia poets Lynn Tait, Joe Farina, Rhonda Melanson and Ryan Gibbs.

Ryan Gibbs, Joe Farina, Rhonda Melanson, and in the front, me and Lynn Tait! Photo credit: Deb Hill

Don’t we all look fabulous? Well, we sounded fabulous too! We each shared poetry that made our audience clap and cheer, tear up and think.

Thank you to Deb Hill for capturing us in all our glory as we read! And thank you to all the other poets who were in the audience as well as all of our supporters! The evening was very successful!! I want to go back and do it again, okay?

And so…the tour continues…


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