22 April 2014

9 little-known facts

1. Tonight (April 22) I am reading at the Boneshaker Reading Series, along with my excellent friend Meaghan Strimas, at the St. Clair/Silverthorn Library (1748 St. Clair West), at 7 pm. Admission is free. This series is curated and hosted by Lillian Necakov, who is a very fine and underrated poet. Here is Lillian's fantastic poetry blog. What will I read tonight? I'm thinking of doing the six-minute version of The Ape Play, plus a bit of new fiction and poetry.

2. The Mansfield Press spring poetry launch in Toronto on April 9 was just amazing — with three additions to the "a stuart ross book" imprint. Dani Couture launched her third collection, the harrowing and brilliant YAW; her reading was quiet, focused, and intense. Gary Barwin launched his slim-and-trim wonderful collection Moon Baboon Canoe; his reading was alternately tender and bombastic. David McFadden launched his first-ever full collection of haiku and tankas, Shouting Your Name Down The Well; his reading was charming as ever, filled with humour and tragedy — he received a standing ovation. All of these books are orderable from your local bookseller or direct from Mansfield Press.

3. So far I am scheduled to have six chapbooks published this year: from Warren Dean Fulton's Pooka Press, in Vancouver; Linda Crosfield's Nose in Book Publishing, in Ootischenia; Jay MillAr's BookThug, in Toronto; Jim Smith's The Front Press, in Toronto; Michael Casteels' Puddles of Sky Press, in Kingston; and Pearl Pirie's phafours press, in Ottawa. I'll likely do another through my own Proper Tales Press. Maybe more will materialize. In the past, I haven't been very good at practising what I preach, and what I preach is this: give your poems many lives: get them in magazines and get them in chapbooks and then get them in full collections. I'm so, so lucky all these chapbook publishers have shown interest in my work.

4. Further to that bit of preaching, I have been sending out lots of poems to magazines as well. Thrilled to announce that I will see my poems published in three of my favourite American literary mags: Gargoyle, in Arlington, Virginia; Fell Swoop, in New Orleans, Louisiana; and Jubilat, in Amherst, Massachusetts.

5. I dream of publishing a poem in Hanging Loose. I better send them some stuff.

6. A book tentatively titled Further Confessions of a Small Press Racketeer, the follow-up to my 2005 essay collection Confessions of a Small Press Racketeer, is scheduled for publication in spring 2015 by Vancouver's Anvil Press. Water under a burned bridge. It will contain all my Hunkamooga columns that appeared in sub-Terrain since the first book, plus a few newer pieces.

7. I am working on about ten or so further books, including three novels, two poetry collections, a collaborative poetry collection, a story collection, a memoir, and a collaborative novel. It's a race against time.

8. This year, Mark Laba and I hope to release an eBook/PoD version of our circa-early-1990s collaborative pork-noir novel The Pig Sleeps, first published in serialized fashion in Kevin Connolly and Jason Sherman's magnificent WHAT! magazine, and then in book form by Contra Mundo Books. We are doing plenty of revisions, because we've become better writers since the early 1990s. I hope. The title is supposed to be a play on The Big Sleep, but you'd never know.

9. There has been a lot of muscling around and power-positioning in the blogosphere the last bunch of years, as poets (mostly men) have attempted to declare their way the right way. But I think the best blog post in recent memory is this one by poet Helen Hajnoczky, in which she takes on Michael Lista with wisdom and class.

I gotta get to work. There were supposed to be 13 little-known facts here, but I gotta get to work. More facts to come.

Over and out.


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