27 November 2009

To Ottawa, to Small Press Book Fair

Off to Ottawa today, to catch Michael Dennis and others read the night before the Ottawa Small Press Book Fair. And then the fair itself, on Saturday: always a good time, if sparsely attended. I'll be doing a Proper Tales Press table, with honkin' new HARDSCRABBLEs featured. And Leigh Nash (who'll be there with her Emergency Response Unit) and I will also tend a Mansfield Press table, with the new titles by Tom Walmsley, Bob Stewart and Jim Smith, plus a nice spread of the backlist.

Gonna be fun. The fair takes place at the Jack Purcell Community Centre, off Elgin Street. No address listed (rob, fer gawd's sake!) on the Facebook page. Goes from noon till five. Looking forward to seeing my dear Ottawa friends. Maybe making some new ones.

In other Mansfield news, I'm just beginning to catch my breath after an onslaught of large and small editing jobs. Most exciting for me are the Mansfield titles I'm working on: a first book of poetry by Peter Norman, of Halifax, formally of Calgary, Ottawa, and Vancouver. The book is called At the Gates of the Theme Park, and it's this incredible mixture of strange formalism and crazy anarchy. I'm thrilled to have nabbed this manuscript, and the book is due out in March. Also for March, a fantastic family memoir by Marianne Apostilides, The Lucky Child. I remember seeing some much earlier version of this when I was sitting on an OAC jury years ago, and I was deeply impressed then, at the time not knowing who the book was by.

Meanwhile, the Toronto launch for the three 2009 Mansfield books I acquired and edited — Tom Walmsley's Dog Eat Rat, Jim Smith's Back Off, Assassin! New and Selected Poems, and Robert Earl Stewart's Something Burned Along the Southern Border — takes place on December 9, 7:30 pm, at the Monarch Tavern, on Clinton just south of College. Also launching is Pier Giorgio Di Cicco's Early Works, and there'll be guest readings by Corrado Paina and my hero, Mr. David W. McFadden, whose Be Calm, Honey (Mansfield, 2008), was a finalist for this year's GG.

Over and out.

26 November 2009

Broken Pencil, broken principles

Broken Pencil will not publish a letter to the editor from me in which I correct errors in their recent "incorrections."

The motive for my letter to the editor was to put the truth somewhere on record.

Luckily, it is on record — in Hal Niedzviecki's original review of my book. If you want an accurate version, read what Hal says. Ignore the subsequent incorrections.

As for Broken Pencil, I'm disgusted. I'm disappointed.

Over and out.

06 November 2009

Windsor reading ... workshops ... stuff

Off to Windsor this morning to participate in a panel and to give a reading at WordFest, a real nice writers' festival taking place at the Art Gallery of Windsor. The panel is about publishing; the reading is called Multimedia Poetry, but I will be reading prose and there'll be no multimedia for my stuff. More info right here.

Another highlight for me will be Robert Earl Stewart's reading on Saturday: it'll be his first reading from Something Burned Along the Southern Border, which I acquired and edited for Mansfield Press. A fantastic poetry collection.

Speaking of which, I just saw Bob's book yesterday. It arrived from the printer along with Jim Smith's Back Off, Assassin! New and Selected Poems, which I also put through Mansfield. Another really great book. And both of them have beautiful covers designed by Mansfield publisher Denis De Klerck.

Finally, I have a couple of workshops coming up, and there's still some space:

THE WORD BLITZ: a workshop by Stuart Ross
Sunday, November 15, 10am-5 pm (w/ 45-minute lunch break)
Christie/Dupont area
$75 includes materials, light snacks & a book by Stuart Ross

To register, write Stuart at hunkamooga@sympatico.ca

For beginning writers, or those who simply want a one-day writing holiday or to break through one of those mythical writers' blocks. The Word Blitz is a hands-on exploration of short fiction, poetry, the personal essay and memoir. We'll write, and we'll talk about how to make writing a part of your life, as well as about various forms of publication.

Sunday, November 22, 10am-5 pm (w/ 45-minute lunch break)
Christie/Dupont area
$75 includes materials, light snacks & a book by Stuart Ross

To register, write Stuart at hunkamooga@sympatico.ca

A relaxed but intensive one-day workshop for beginning poets, experienced poets, stalled poets, and haikuists who want to get beyond three lines. Poetry Boot Camp focuses on the pleasures of poetry and the riches that spontaneity brings, through lively directed writing strategies and relevant readings from the works of poets from Canada and abroad. Arrive with an open mind, and leave with a heap of new poems!

Over and out.

02 November 2009


OK, I've started yet another small literary mag. This one is called HARDSCRABBLE: A Little Magazine of Poetry. Just picked up the first issue from the photocopy joint last Thursday. It features new work by six authors, three or four poems each:

Nelson Ball
Alice Burdick
Loren Goodman
Susan Kernohan
David W. McFadden
Hugh Thomas

This little mag is a dream for me, because I desperately wish I'd written everything in it. I think that'll be my criteria. I also think this is one of the best poetry mags around: and it's a modest 28 pages, so you can actually read the whole thing.

HARDSCRABBLE first costs $5 postpaid in North America. You can write me at hardscrabble [at] bell [dot] net for a copy or two or send me some PayPal money at hunkamooga [at] sympatico [dot] ca.

All the contributors for this mag have been specially invited, and for now that's the way I'm going to keep things. I've already got work from two great writers for HARDSCRABBLE second.

Over and out.