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CANADA'S "RANDOM ACTS OF POETRY" RETURNS FOR A SECOND PERFORMANCE AND EXTENDS ACROSS THE ATLANTIC INTO THE UK

(Victoria, BC – September 29, 2005) Random Acts of Poetry - a week-long event where poets randomly read poems to people on the streets of Canada - will return for a transatlantic encore in October after being extended into the UK.

Random Acts of Poetry is the brainchild of Canadian poet Wendy Morton and supported by online bookseller AbeBooks.com and the Victoria READ Society, a non-profit literacy organization. The first event in 2004 featured 27 poets in 18 Canadian cities and this year it will be staged simultaneously in Canada and the UK and Ireland.

It will feature 26 poets reading in 21 Canadian communities stretching from Victoria to Halifax, and nine poets reading in UK and Irish cities ranging from London to Glasgow and Galway. It begins 3 October and continues until 9 October.

Details can be found at www.randomactsofpoetry.com

A celebration of poetry and literacy, the poets - all of whom have had their work published - will travel through their cities randomly reading poems to strangers in parks, bus stops, schools, cafes, shops, libraries, hair salons and other everyday places.

As the sponsor, AbeBooks.com will donate a payment to each poet for their efforts, as well as purchasing books from each poet's publisher so they can be presented to listeners, who have been 'poemed.'

"Random Acts of Poetry had a huge impact on Canada last year. We hope to repeat that effect and also introduce the event to the UK and Ireland where there is a great appetite for poetry," said Wendy Morton. "We have found poets who are willing to take poetry on to the streets and directly into peoples' lives. I've had remarkable experiences reading poetry to strangers and seeing how poems can move them – sometimes to tears."

Lisa Stevens, VP of Marketing at AbeBooks, said: "We're delighted to help promote poetry and literacy around the world. Poetry does not adhere to international boundaries and neither does AbeBooks.com, which lists books from 13,000 booksellers in 48 countries."

The participating poets are: Wendy Morton and Barbara Pelman in Victoria; Kuldip Gill in Mission/Vancouver; Nancy Holmes in Kelowna; Wendy McGrath in Edmonton; Sheri-D Wilson in Calgary; Glen Sorestad in Saskatoon; Gary Hyland in Moose Jaw; Gloe Cormie in Winnipeg; Sonnet L'Abbé and Andrea Thompson in Toronto; Marilyn Gear Pilling in Hamilton; John B. Lee in Brantford; Elizabeth Zetlin in Owen Sound, Terry Ann Carter in Ottawa; Mary Ellen Csamer in Kingston; Penn Kemp in London; Mary Ann Mulhern in Windsor; Carolyn Marie Souaid; José Acquelin and Fernand Durepos in Montreal; Hugh MacDonald in Charlottetown; Kathy Mac & the Wolf Tree Group in Fredericton; Lorri Neilsen Glenn in Halifax; and Marian Frances White and Mary Dalton in St John's.

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About AbeBooks
AbeBooks is the world's largest online marketplace for books, with over 70 million new, second-hand, rare, and out-of-print titles listed for sale by more than 13,000 independent booksellers from around the world. AbeBooks has millions of registered customers who collectively purchase more than 20,000 books a day from its 5 global websites (AbeBooks.com, AbeBooks.co.uk, AbeBooks.de, AbeBooks.fr and Iberlibro.com). A true internet success story, AbeBooks.com has been selling books online since 1996, and is a private company based in Victoria, BC Canada, with offices in Düsseldorf, Germany.

About Wendy Morton
During the day, Wendy Morton is an insurance investigator. During the night, she’s a poet with three books: Private Eye, Undercover and Shadowcatcher published by Ekstasis Editions. She commits random acts of poetry any chance she gets; she once was stopped by a cop for speeding, read him a poem and didn’t get a ticket! She was thus convinced of the power of poetry. Periodically, she boards WestJet flights and writes poems for the passengers as “poet of the skies”. She is also sponsored by DaimlerChrysler who has provided a PT (poetry travels) Cruiser for her poetry and literacy work.

About the Victoria READ Society
The Victoria READ Society is a non-profit organization in British Columbia established in 1976 to bridge barriers to learning. READ’s professional teachers provide students of all ages in the Greater Victoria area with support to learn and improve basic reading, writing, math, ESL and study skills. For 12 years READ Festival has raised money for literacy programs through poetic performances by some of Canada’s finest poets. www.readsociety.bc.ca

Contacts:
Richard Davies, PR & Publicity Mgr., AbeBooks.com
Ph: 250-412-3238
rdavies@abebooks.com

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