15 September 2009

Tomorrow: Happy birthday, This Ain't the Rosedale Library!

For three decades I've been a fan of Toronto's indie bookstore This Ain't the Rosedale Library. I've gone to readings and launches there, bought tons of great books, and given readings. I launched my three-day novel Father, the Cowboys Are Ready to Come Down from the Attic there in 1982.

More recently, with Kate Sutherland I ran a fiction-reading series upstairs at the Church Street location; I took a workshop there with Lisa Jarnot; I led a dozen workshops. I've helped take inventory at This Ain't the Rosedale Library. I've urged my out-of-town publishers to have This Ain't sell books at my launches.

Most recently, at This Ain't's wonderful new Kensington Market location, I saw Victor Coleman and Lee Ann Brown read there. It was a great experience.

At every location, I've made new friends.

And over the years, the owners and staff at This Ain't the Rosedale Library have been incredibly supportive of me and my projects.

Now Charlie Huisken's shelf-lined baby is celebrating its 30th birthday. I'm deeply honoured to be taking part. Read on.

This Ain't the Rosedale Library 30th birthday tribute
Celebrate with Toronto's bastion of indie bookselling (voted one of the top ten independent bookstores in the world by the Guardian) as it celebrates three decades of peddling poetry and prose.

Wednesday, September 16
7:30pm - 9:00pm
York Quay Centre: Brigantine Room
235 Queens Quay West

Admission: $8


With readings by bill bissett, Lee Ann Brown, Eileen Myles, Stuart Ross; showing off the Six String Nation guitar with Jowi Taylor; and an after party in the store's new home neighbourhood of Kensington Market. After party at Supermarket 268 Augusta Avenue.

Call the box office at 416.973.4000, or find details on purchasing tickets right here.

Jaymz Bee: Canadian emcee, party consultant, producer, director, writer, lecturer, musician, writer and radio personality Jaymz Bee was the lead singer for The Look People from 1985 to 1994. He currently hosts Jazz in the City on JAZZ.FM 91 in Toronto, and makes regular appearances on Benmergui in the Morning.

bill bissett garnered international attention in the 1960s as a pre-eminent figure of the counter-culture movement in Canada and the UK. In 1964, he founded blewointment press, which published the works of bpNichol and Steve McCaffery, among others. bissett’s charged readings, which never fail to amaze his audiences, incorporate sound poetry, chanting and singing, the verve of which is only matched by his prolific writing career — over 70 books of bissett’s poetry have been published. He reads from his latest “textual vision”: sublingual.

Lee Ann Brown was born in Japan in 1963 and was raised in Charlotte, NC. She is the author of two full-length collections of poetry, The Sleep that Changed Everything, and Polyverse (which received the New American Poetry Series Award), a song cycle, The 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, as well as numerous chapbooks and journal publications. Her poetry is widely anthologized. She reads from The Sleep that Changed Everything, which Robin Blaser called “an astonishing, wonderful book, top-of-the-line poetry.”

Eileen Myles, named “the rock star of modern poetry” by BUST magazine, is the author of more than 20 books of poetry and prose, including Chelsea Girls, Cool for You, Sorry, Tree, and Not Me, and is the co-editor of The New Fuck You. Myles was head of the writing programme at University of California, San Diego, from 2002 to 2007, and she has written extensively on art and writing and the cultural scene. Of Sorry, Tree her most recent volume, Chicago Review said: “Her politics are overt, her physicality raw, yet it is the subtle gentle noticing in her poems that overwhelms.” Her most recent title is "The Importance of Being Iceland" published in the Semiotext(e) Active Agents series about which Bruce Hainley said: "Even despite it being an age that's 'non-verbal, media-oriented, ultra-visual, and naturally pro-money,' in an America that's 'rapidly becoming this place which is nothing,' I was still going to insist that Eileen Myles is our Djuna Barnes and our Gertrude Stein, but past is past, and it's just as important to remember that she's a living force and as good as it gets."

Stuart Ross has been active in the Canadian literary underground for three decades. He publishes Peter O'Toole: A Magazine of One-Line Poems, and is the Poetry Editor at Mansfield Press and the Fiction and Poetry Editor for This Magazine. Stuart’s most recent books are Buying Cigarettes for the Dog, Dead Cars in Managua, and I Cut My Finger. He has been shopping at This Ain’t the Rosedale Library for 30 years.

Jowi Taylor is a multiple-award-winning writer and broadcaster best known for his long-running CBC Radio programme Global-Village, the Peabody Award-winning radio series The Wire: The Impact of Electricity on Music and its celebrated companion series, The Nerve: Music and the Human Experience. His independent “Six String Nation” multi-media project – centred around a guitar built literally from pieces of Canadian heritage – combines Jowi’s various fascinations, including music, media, community building and the intersection of Canada’s history and multicultural identity. He presents his book about the project, Six String Nation: 64 Pieces, 6 Strings, 1 Canada, 1 Guitar.

Over and out.

14 September 2009

People who died: Jim Carroll

Jim Carroll

05 September 2009

Nicanor Parra = 95

¡Feliz Cumpleaños, Nicanor Parra!


04 September 2009

another smoking doggy review

Just a small piece, part of a multi-book review, from the Halifax Chronicle-Herald. That makes about 15 or 16 reviews for Buying Cigarettes for the Dog.

Sun. Aug 30 - 4:46 AM

Love’s Civil War Elizabeth Bowen and Charles Ritchie, edited by Victoria Glendinning (McLelland & Stewart, $35, 496 pages)
Inside Iran Mark Edward Harris (Chronicle Books, $35, 208 pages)
Buying Cigarettes for the Dog Stuart Ross (Freehand Press, $19.95, 198 pages)

[big snip]

Stuart Ross has an interesting take on the world. Buying Cigarettes for the Dog, his latest collection of off-beat stories, have a tendency to veer into the surreal. His themes, though, are usually clear: The stupidity of war; the ability (or inability) to communicate; how we do or don’t cope with life. His stories are strange and mesmerizing.

Ross doesn’t waste words. Some of his stories are only four to six pages, snappy even for a short story. His often dark humour resounds through the collection. Language Lessons with Simon and Marie instructs those with "faltering English" how to "engage in sophisticated repartee at University Gatherings, Diplomatic Functions and other Social Opportunities." Perfect English, but please don’t try this in company!

In the title story, Buying Cigarettes for the Dog, a husband tells his wife he’s going for smokes and returns home some years later to find strangers living in his house. He is puzzled.

Reading these stories is like watching Ross poke at life with a sharp stick, wondering what will turn up.

While not to everyone’s taste, they are strangely compelling, resonating long after the last page has been turned.

Freelance writer Judith Meyrick lives in Halifax.

03 September 2009

Opt Out now.

You have till tomorrow.


If you want to confirm it in writing, send a signed letter, postmarked September 4 at latest, to:

The Settlement Administrator
Google Books Settlement
c/o Rust Consulting, Inc.
P.O. Box 9364
Minneapolis, MN, U.S.A., 55440-9364

Over and out.