22 November 2013

My new book — a Canadian first!

My new book is at the printer right now. Our Days in Vaudeville is coming out under my own imprint at Mansfield Press. Why not?

I believe it is the first book of its kind by a Canadian poet: a collection in which one poet collaborates with a big bunch of other poets. A few years back, I published New York poet Ron Padgett's If I Were You, a collection of collaborations by Ron with the likes of Larry Fagin, Alice Notley, and Allen Ginsberg. As the years passed, and I found myself collaborating with more and more poets, I decided that a similar book by me would be in order.

So here it is. There are collaborations here with long-time collaborators Mark Laba and Gary Barwin, as well as 27 others, some of whom I have known for decades but had never before collaborated with, and other, newer colleagues with whom I have written just a single poem.

When it came to the final cut, I had to arbitrarily hold back works with another dozen collaborators for what I hope will be a follow-up volume. There was just too much great stuff!

I also decided to limit this particular book to collaborations with Canadian poets, which, again, made it a bit easier to choose what to include.

The brilliant cover was created by my old friend Gary Clement, an award-winning illustrator and writer who also did the covers for two of my previous books, I Cut My Finger and You Exist. Details Follow. (both from Anvil Press), and the anthology I edited with Stephen Brockwell, Rogue Stimulus: The Stephen Harper Holiday Anthology for a Prorogued Parliament (Mansfield Press). Having a cover-creator like Gary makes me just about the luckiest writer in the world.

And collaborating with these fabulous writers just ups the luckiness ante.

I'm excited in so many ways about this profoundly demented book, and grateful to Mansfield publisher Denis De Klerck for bringing it into the world.

The Mansfield Press fall 2013 lineup also includes new books by Stephen Brockwell, Jason Camlot, Glen Downie and Sara Heinonen. Details of our launches in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal coming up soon!

Over and out.

21 November 2013

8 new poems in experiment-o

I have eight new poems in the 2013 issue of Amanda Earl's online litmag experiment-o. I think I wrote every one of these poems in workshops that I gave — in Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver.

experiment-o is a lot of fun — very eclectic, with a nice mixture of the linear and the visual. Amanda lives in Ottawa and is crazily active in the poetry scene there: she organizes, publishes, writes, blogs.

I've been sending poems out this year, more than ever before. Another couple are about to pop up in mags in Canada and the U.S. It's something I've been terrible at — sending out submissions. But I want to give my poems as many lives as I can.

Over and out.

19 November 2013

Indie Lit Market bounty!

The November 16 Meet the Presses Indie Literary Market in Toronto was perhaps the best small-press showcase I've yet attended. The Market is unique in that we members of the Meet the Presses collective curate this event: it's not a first-come, first-admitted event, or a free-for-all. We have limited space, and we want to make sure that people attending the Market are going to find amazing things there.

Because I was mostly stuck behind my own table, and simultaneously watching the Meet the Presses info table that featured the bpNichol Chapbook Award shortlisted titles, I didn't get to all the tables I wanted to explore. Also, things were busy at my table, where I did extremely good business, especially with my four new Proper Tales Press chapbooks, by Sarah Burgoyne, Paul Vermeersch, Tom Walmsley and me. I was sure fortunate to get my hands on Sarah's, Paul's and Tom's manuscripts.

Here's what I acquired at the Market:

André Alexis, A (BookThug, 2013)
John Barlow, Open Field Writing: work in progress (garden of poetics, 2013)
Jessica Bebenek, I, family (Loose Ends Press, 2012)
Christopher Bowen, We Were Giants (sunnyoutside, undated)
Anhvu Buchanan, The Disordered (sunnyoutside, 2013)
Michael e. Casteels, full moon loon call (Puddle of Sky Press, 2013)
Nathan Dueck, @BillMurray in Purgatorio (above/ground press, 2013)
Brecken Hancock, Husha (above/ground press broadside, undated)
illiterature, issue 3, edited by Michael e. Casteels (Puddle of Sky Press, 2013)
David McFadden, the poetry of our age (Letters, 1986)
Daniel Perry, Ode (undated)
Nicholas Power, Public Denial Poem (The Writing Space, 2003)
Rampike Vol. 22, No. 2, edited by Karl Jirgens (2013)
Kevin Spenst, Retractable (serif of nottingham, 2013)
Stone the Crows! Vol. 2, No. 2, edited by Larry Cowan (Fall 2013)
Caroline Szpak, Pomeranian Front (Horse of Operation, 2013)
Souvankham Thammavongsa, Light (Pedlar Press, 2013)
Adrienne Weiss, Production 1060: The Oz Monologues (Junction Books, 2013)
Zhush Redux: An OUTwrites Anthology, edited by Terence Go (OUTwrites, 2012)

It's probably lucky I didn't get to some of the other amazing presses' tables, because I would've gone broke.

Over and out.

16 November 2013


TORONTO — Socks have joined Iceberg Vodka, Ford Motor Co., the Toronto Argonauts, and the Santa Claus Parade in distancing themselves from embattled Toronto mayor Rob Ford.

"When he made those vulgar comments on Thursday," said one sock, "he was wearing socks. We socks do not condone the mayor's misogynistic comments."

"For that matter," added another sock, "we do not condone drinking and driving while wearing socks or doing crack cocaine while wearing socks."

With socks now denouncing Ford, he is almost entirely isolated. "Lies, 100 percent lies," the mayor spluttered outside his office this morning. "I was not wearing socks during any of those isolated incidents. I have no choice but to take my socks to court. I don't know what else to say."

15 November 2013

Meet the Presses presents an Indie Lit Market and the winner of the 2013 bpNichol Chapbook Award!

This Saturday (November 16), the Meet the Presses collective is holding its 2013 Indie Literary Market. The info is all in the poster below. A couple of changes: Horse of Operation will be there, and The Emergency Response Unit will not.

We're pretty darn proud of this event.

I'll be there with my Proper Tales Press, and I'll have a record-breaking (for Proper Tales Press) four new chapbooks.

What the heck are they?

Good Dog, Bad Dog, by Sarah Burgoyne.

18 Goddamn Centos, by Stuart Ross.

Sunday, Monday and Tuesday Weld, by Tom Walmsley.

The Technology of the Future Will Emerge Hungry: Erasure Poems, by Paul Vermeersch.

Pretty good lineup, huh?

The finalists for the bpNichol Chapbook Award are listed right here.

Hope to see you there.

Over and out.