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UESA presses forward with blUe mOndays series through state of change

Kyle Darbyson | Fulcrum Staff

Photo by Mathias MacPhee

THE UNDERGRADUATE ENGLISH Students’ Association (UESA) has kept afloat its ongoing blUe mOndays series of literary and poetry readings despite a somewhat troublesome transitional period for the organization.

The monthly event aims to showcase literary talent with a special emphasis on young writers and poets attending the University of Ottawa. This year’s second event took place Dec. 3 at Pub 101 in the ByWard Market. The first was held Nov. 5 at T.A.N. Coffee in Sandy Hill.

Former UESA president and co-creator of blUe mOndays Aaron Kozak says he developed the event three years ago with the belief that the art scene around the U of O was severely underdeveloped.

“I always felt when I was here that something needed to be done, because there are a whole bunch of creative people here,” says Kozak. “There’s a whole bunch of writers and there really wasn’t any outlet or community for them.”

Although the series is a consistent presence in the university’s literary community, its organizers are experiencing a rather awkward transition. After its most recent election in April, the UESA welcomed a batch of new blood into the organization, while having to say goodbye to some long-time members who were approaching graduation. While this transition holds exciting possibilities for the future, it also means there will be a disruption of the status quo that was established in previous seasons.

UESA vice president literary Mia Morgan says the shift in staff has definitely modified the tone of the event.

“In previous years there was more literary and lyric poetry, but I’m fairly involved in the Ottawa spoken word scene. So a lot of the people being featured are spoken word poets,” says Morgan.

To further complicate things, the UESA’s once reliable host venue Café Nostalgica was torn down for renovations last March, leaving them with no permanent domain for their events.

Kozak notes this state of constant change is a reality most student bodies must face.

“It’s just like any other student organization; you have people there for a finite period of time and you’re going through constant transitions,” he says. “It really is up to the individual people who are on the organization all year to take the bull by the horns and run with it.”

Thankfully for those who cherish the event, Morgan is taking this potentially difficult transitory period in stride. As of right now, she is looking to re-integrate more lyrical and experimental forms of poetry into the blUe mOndays lineup.

According to Morgan, the UESA will also host an event in conjunction with the Ottawa Arts Review journal at the beginning of the winter semester and is gearing up for their annual 48-hour novella-writing contest.

In the meantime, the blUe mOndays series is expected to continue running in the new year, with an event set to take place on Jan. 1 at the Royal Oak on Laurier Avenue.