David O’Meara will undoubtedly have more success on stage in Kingston than he did at a writers’ festival in Guelph a few years ago. The night before his reading, the Ottawa poet was out at a bar when an impromptu celebration broke out and he started drinking as if his name was Charles Bukowski.

Things did not go well the next day. “I tried to crack some witticism. Blank stares. A cold sweat sluiced down my forehead and temples,” he told the Ottawa Citizen, recalling one of his worst moments on stage. “I forged on through a vast, clumsy quarter-hour of indifference. I don’t think hangovers, beautiful sunny days and my poetry mix very well.”

David, who was born and raised in Pembroke has written three books. Storm still (1999) was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Award and The Vicinity (2003) was a finalist for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry.

Noble Gas, Penny Black, his third collection, explores the subject of departure and arrival, an ongoing theme in his work. Travel — being between places, in stations and airports and unfamiliar cities — creates a psychological, emotional space rife with reassessment, where the individual dwells simultaneously in the future and in the past.