25 May 2010

Toronto Poetry Vendors

OK, so Elisabeth de Mariaffi and Carey Toane have got some poetry vending machines going. They seem to be pretty sweet. There's one already installed at This Ain't the Rosedale Library.

Tomorrow (Wednesday, May 26) I'm taking part in the installation of another machine at a coffee joint on Dupont. Presumably I'll be reading my poem right outta the gizmo.

Worth noting that there has been one other poetry vending machine in Canada (that I know about): the bubble-gum-style contraption that Tamara Fairchild and Maria Erskine run some years back, in Toronto and Ottawa. Theirs was a travelling machine.

Here's the skinny on tomorrow's TPV launch:

Wednesday, May 26, 2010
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Ezra's Pound
238 Dupont St.
Toronto, ON

Toronto Poetry Vendors invites you and your toonies to celebrate our growing empire of mechanized poetry, as we launch a third machine at Ezra's Pound on Dupont St. Come listen to the clink of change as TPV contributors Kevin Connolly, Elisabeth de Mariaffi, Andrew Faulkner, Jacob McArthur Mooney, Stuart Ross, Jenny Sampirisi, Meaghan Strimas, Carey Toane and Paul Vermeersch drop a coin and read their poems...

Over and out.

23 May 2010

Ticker Text … and more

My fine friend Jason Camlot, a great poet and a prof at Concordia, has put together an intriguing project that boggles my non-techie mind: The Ticker Text Project. He's looking for poets around the globe to participate. Check it out.

On a side note, get Jason's most recent book, from Paul Vermeersch's 4 a.m. Books imprint with Insomniac: The Debaucher. It's Montreal! It's Jewish! It's poetry! And it's a great book.

Some loose ends to be tied up:

I did not win the Alberta Readers' Choice Award. That $10,000 award went to Michael Davie, an Albertan writer and software guy, for Fishing for Bacon. After five finalists were determined by jury, the voting for the winner was done by Internet voting: anyone could vote multiple times, but at two-hour intervals at minimum. Although the prize was determined by this public vote, the results haven't been posted. I was curious about the results, because I know I was at a really close second-place about a week before polling ended. I wrote to my contact at the ARC Awards, asking if, in the name of transparency, the voting number would be publicized. I didn't get an answer.

Anyway, the night I lost, I wanted to redeem things for myself: I stayed up till about 4 a.m. and nailed the ending of my novel and sent it in to ECW, who will be publishing it in spring 2011. That felt good. I think I could have tinkered with that book forever, but you gotta put an end to it sometime.

Last Tuesday's reading at the St. Clair/Silverthorn library: what a great time. Funny thing: David McFadden showed up, as audience, and, by coincidence, Nicholas Power, Lillian Necakov and I all had prepared to read poems about/for David. Only Jim Smith didn't, but Dave's influence in Jim's work was perhaps his salute. McFadden, by the way, just a week earlier, had launched Why Are You So Long and Sweet? Collected Long Poems of David W. McFadden. He read two poems from that at the launch: "Nevada Standstill," which he'd never read aloud before, and "Cow Swims Lake Ontario." His book is absolutely astonishing: the breadth of what he does — and the humour, humanity, and audaciousness — is incredible. You better go buy a copy.

Over and out.

17 May 2010

Necakov, Power, Ross, Smith reunion!

Very excited about tomorrow's reading in Toronto. Lillian Necakov, Nicholas Power, Jim Smith and I have been part of the same writing community since the early 1980s, and we're all appearing on the same bill at St. Clair/Silverthorn Library. I'm not sure that we've all ever read together before. Here's the skinny:

Tuesday, May 18, 2010
6:30pm - 8:00pm
St. Clair/Silverthorn Library
1748 St. Clair Avenue West (near Old Weston Road)

A lively early evening of new fiction and poetry by Lillian Necakov, Stuart Ross and Jim Smith.

Hosted by Nicholas Power (who will also read a couple of pieces)

Lillian Necakov is the author of four poetry books, including Polaroids (Coach House Books), Hat Trick (Exile Editions), and The Bone Broker (Mansfield Press).

Nicholas Power is a Toronto poet and fiction writer. His book include A Line in the Mind and The Over-the-Shoulder Poems (both from Gesture Press).

Stuart Ross's most recent books are Buying Cigarettes for the Dog (Freehand Books) and Dead Cars in Managua (DC Books). He is the co-editor of Rogue Stimulus: The Stephen Harper Holiday Anthology for a Prorogued Parliament (Mansfield Press).

Jim Smith is back after a decade away from the literary scene. His newest book is Back Off, Assassin: New and Selected Poems (Mansfield Press). He is also the author of Leonel/Roque (Coteau Books), One Hundred Most Frightening Things (blewointmentpress), and more.

Admission is free.

Over and out.

10 May 2010

Meanwhile, back in Ontario…

Hmm, is it being negative to suggest to someone that they proofread their online book reviews before posting them? I think it's being constructive. It's for their own good. It's for the good of writing.

Meanwhile, I'm back in Ontario, after a great three-weeks-and-a-bit out west, first in Edmonton, and then in the Kootenays. Spent most of my Kootenay time in New Denver, but also did workshops and readings in Burton, Nakusp, Grand Forks, Nelson, Kaslo, and Rossmore. An amazing time, and I really am feeling like part of the New Denver community now. They've been so welcoming to me.

Tomorrow, in Toronto, at Magpie on Dundas West, the launch of David W. McFadden's Why Are You So Long and Sweet? Collected Long Poems, as part of the Insomniac Press spring launch. Here's an interview with me on Open Book Toronto about editing the collection.

Over and out.

01 May 2010


Big thanks to all of you who voted for me online for the Alberta Readers Choice Award. The winner will be announced on May 14. I'll wait to see whether they're offering to fly me out.

Meanwhile, here I am in New Denver. Great week teaching at the school here. Thursday night was a blast with the elementary-school coffeehouse over at Silverton Hall. Last night was the secondary-school coffeehouse, with great readings by Michelle, Sadye, Angelo and Danika — a very small contingent of students, but all four read really well and had very strong work. Also readings by me, Murray Kimber, Mitchell Scott, and Celia Gunn.

Today: off to Burton for an afternoon reading, along with some local writers, at the high school. Always great to visit a new community, read my work there, and here the work of locals.

Over and out.