05 July 2021

Vax Populi: I read with Alice Burdick

I read online on June 22 with one of my favourite people and one of my favourite poets! That'd be Alice Burdick, of Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, whose first four full-length poetry collections I edited. Her most recent book is Deportment, a selected volume edited by Alessandro Porco. (I suggested the project to him!)

We called our reading Vax Populi. And there will be more Vax Populi readings!

Over and out.

30 June 2021

Reading at Poetry With Pakriti, July 3, 9:30 am EDT

 On Saturday, July 3, at 9:30 am EDT, I'm reading for the wonderful series Poetry With Prakriti, hosted by the Prakriti Foundation in Chennai, India.

It happens, of course, on Zoom.

I believe I'll be the third Canadian poet featured, following Ayesha Chatterjee and George Elliott Clarke in recent months.

I'll be reading a selection of new and older poems, and then the host and I will have a chat.

You can register for this reading right here.

Over and out.

30 April 2021

For those wanting to study poetry for the first time…

Once again, I am teaching Poetry: Introduction at the University of Toronto's School of Continuing Studies. I just finished my first semester leading this online course last week, and it went even better than I'd hoped. I got fantastic feedback from the students, many of whom felt their whole view of poetry had exponentially expanded.

The course is based on 10 asynchronous lessons, and bolstered by four (I might change it to five) live online workshops.

Within the loose restrictions of the prescribed learning outcomes, I was able to create the course and choose the textbooks and other readings myself.

You can take Poetry: Introduction from anywhere in the world (though if you're in Dubai, as one of last semester's students was, those live workshops will start at 3 in the morning!).

The next semester begins on May 10. Here's all the info.

Over and out.

Ah yes, my halcyon days…

Just a year ago, I appeared in this multiple-choice question produced by the Halifax Public Library. It remains a glorious marker of my noble achievements as a Canadian writer.

Over and out.

26 April 2021

Motel of the Opposable Thumbs on the ReLit Long Shortlist!

 The ReLit Awards are catching up on four years worth of awards, and I'm so pleased to see that my last solo poetry book, Motel of the Opposable Thumbs, made their 2020 Long Shortlist. There are a lot of really good books on that list, including Mark Laba's Inflatable Life, which I edited for my Feed Dog Book imprint at Anvil Press, and James Hawes's first full-length collection, Breakfast with a Heron, from my alma mater, Mansfield Press.

I've had a few books on the ReLit lists in the past. Damned if I can remember them all now. But I do remember that Buying Cigarettes for the Dog won in the short story category back in 2010.

A couple of other entries in this batch of ReLit catch-up awards are exciting for me, both of them also Feed Dog Books: the outrageous The Least You Can Do Is Be Magnificent, by Steve Venright. and the sublime The Headless Man, by Peter Dubé.

Over and out!

15 April 2021

Interviewing Lillian Necakov about her new Feed Dog Book, Il Virus

 I had the pleasure the other week of interviewing Lillian Necakov for Word on the Street. We talked about her new book — which happens to be the latest from my Feed Dog Book imprint through Anvil Press — il virus and about the duties of the poet in a time of crisis/pandemic.

il virus gathers over 100 poems that Lillian wrote during the first Covid lockdown in Toronto last spring.

I've known Lillian for decades, and this was a new and enjoyable way of talking with her! As interview, editor, fellow writer. You can order Lillian's astonishing new collection directly from Anvil Press or find it or order it from your favourite indie bookstore.

Over and out.

15 March 2021

Reading on March 17 for Poets Corner


I have a virtual poetry reading coming up on March 17, 7:30 PM PST / 10:30 pm ET, as part of the Poets Corner reading series out of Vancouver. Also on the bill is Medrie Purdham.

I plan to read mostly new poems, as well as a couple of selections from Motel of the Opposable Thumbs and a couple from 70 Kippers, my recent collaborative book with Michael Dennis.

Please join me!

Over and out.

24 February 2021

Poetry: Introduction at University of Toronto's School of Continuing Studies starts March 1

 It's been an incredibly busy year so far. At the University of Ottawa, I am writer in residence, which has its particular sweet challenges online. And I'm teaching a fourth-year creative writing workshop I devised called Blowing Up Fiction. Again: especially challenging online.

But it's going well. It's busy times. I am doing less editing and more teaching. I really wish I was living in Ottawa for these four months. I wish I could meet with the students in person and create in-person events. But Zoom works pretty well.

Over at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies I am in my eight semester of teaching A Grammar Handbook, so that one is pretty easy for me. But on Monday I begin my first real creative writing course there: Poetry: Introduction. It will be conducted through both synchronous and asynchronous methods (i.e., live stuff online and then modules containing lessons), and I've spent weeks adapting the existing course to my own teaching methods, priorities, and interests: and what I think would work best for people just getting into poetry or who in the early parts of their poetry career.

If you are interested in enrolling in that course, or know someone who might be, here is the link.

Over and out.