• Contactless Returns and Holds Pickup Service at OPL


    OPL offers contactless returns and holds pickup service at select branches, during new hours of operation. 

    • RETURNS will be accepted only during hours of operation, no appointment necessary. Due dates for currently checked out materials have been extended and late fees suspended. 
    • HOLDS PICKUP: As of July 27, appointments are no longer needed to pick up holds, except at Rosemount (temporary location). You can pick up your available holds during opening hours at branches offering contactless service.    
    • Rosemount (temporary location) will offer curbside service starting Monday, July 27. Holds pickups are by appointment only at this location. 
    • UPDATE: Starting Monday, August 17, additional in-person services will be offered at select branches and new branch locations will reopen. Find out more.

    Masks are required to be worn inside Ottawa Public Library branches, as per the Temporary Mandatory Mask By-law. 
    For information about Library cards, virtual programs, and more, contact InfoService by phone or email. 



You are here

Tomas Tranströmer wins the Nobel for literature


Here is a brief note of personal joy over the announcement yesterday that the Nobel Prize for Literature has gone to Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer. Tomas who? Among poets -- hardly a-list celebrities most of the time -- Tranströmer has a quiet but honoured reputation for his generally quiet, but profound poems. It's been years since I've read, and tried to write, poetry with devotion, but Tranströmer saw me through the various angsts of my twenties, and remains high up in my personal pantheon.

His poetry is not in the least angst-filled or angry; on the contrary, it's some of the most deeply calming writing I've ever read. In only a few lines he manages to craft images, which, even in translation, have the effect of moving one outside an everyday perspective -- as though gliding elegantly down through the floor of society into the dark, rich cellar of the unconscious. (And he has benefitted from a-list translators in English, including Robert Bly and former U.S. poet laureate Robert Hass.) A psychologist by training, Tranströmer, 80, is also an accomplished pianist, who in 1990 suffered a stroke that robbed his speech and the use of his right hand. (He has, however, continued to write and to play left-handed.)

Here is a recording of him reading one of his best-known poems:

Here is also a selection of his titles from Google Books, and a sample title available from Carleton University's collection, accessible with a SmartLibrary card.