12 March 2007

I'm drowning in books, and it's raining books

Amazing grace
how sweet the sound
of the Bush administration imploding

Been a week of much activity, and today a lot is tied up: my taxes are done, a MS evaluation delivered to a very happy client, and the intro to the McFadden Selected finished. This last thing has been a huge albatross for weeks. Now, just a little more to prod David to finish, and the thing can go to press.

Last week's full-day workshop, There's More To Memoir Than Truth, went over really well, and I had ten students, including a TV star! The poetry-critiquing workshop continues along nicely: interesting chemistry happens once the participants get to know each other and each other's work.

And the Padgett book is at Coach House being printed. And the May This Mag lit selection is off to the editor; it features fiction by Alexandra Leggatt, and poetry by David W. McFadden and Camille Martin.

I feel like time will open up now for me to write. And read. I've had all sorts of fantastic book accumulations over the past few weeks, and barely a moment to dig in.

A nice score from Apollinaire's Bookshoppe:

Lev Rubinstein's Catalogue of Comedic Novelties (ugly duckling press, 2004) looks like a pretty wild extended poem; Stigmata Errata Etcetera, with poems by Bill Knott and collages by Star Black (Saturnalia, 2007), should be a treat, and appears to be evidence that Knott is whining way too much over on his blog; and Jay MillAr's own chapbook Lack Lyrics (BookThug, 2007) I'm really enjoying.

A nice little batch of stuff arrived from Adventures in Poetry, including Carla Harryman's Baby (AiP, 2005), which I had regretted not buying in NYC last year, and Jean Day's Enthusiasm: Odes & Otium (AiP, 2005). And they very generously threw in Philip Jenks' My first painting will be "The Accuser" (Zephyr, 2005; I know nothing about Jenks, but man, what a great title!) and the huge Zoland Poetry: An Annual of Poems, Translations & Interviews, which looks really eclectic.

The IGA grocery store nearby recently turned into a Sobey's, and the prices went up, but they're still open 24 hours and they still have a crazy remaindered-books table. The other night I found Sheldon Rampton & John Stauber's The Best War Ever: Lies, Damned Lies, and the Mess in Iraq and Hugh Miles' Al-Jazeera: How Arab TV News Challenged the World, each for $3.99.

A lovely little package landed in my mailbox, from Nelson Ball, one of Canada's greatest (and quietest) poets. Nelson enclosed a copy of his visual poembook Visitation (Rubblestone Press, 2nd edn, 2007) and the wonderful Three-Letter Words (Rubblestone/Laurel Reed Books, 2006). These are not what one would expect from Nelson, which makes them that much more exciting.

Over at This Ain't the Rosedale Library, I nabbed my copy of John Ashbery's new book, A Worldly Country (Ecco, 2007), which I think will give me the hiccups. And at Talking Leaves in Buffalo I decided to gamble on Charles Bernstein's with strings (University of Chicago Press, 2001), because it's supposed to funny, even though Bernstein scares the hell out of me. Also picked up Laura Kasischke's Gardening in the Dark (Ausable Press, 2004; don't know who she is, but Dean Young blurbs it and the taste test was positive) and a big honkin' anthology called Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century (Sarabande Books, 2006).

Goodwill never fails to deliver goodthings unto me: a recent treasure: West Kootenay: The Pioneer Years, by Garnet Basque (Heritage House, 1990), for only two bucks! And it's jampacked with photos!

And from the library, because I occasionally do that, though I'll likely end up buying a copy of this anyway, I got Anne MacLean's tantalizing translations of two novels by Javier Cercas: The Tenant/The Motive.

I will read them all.

Over and out.


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