Monday, November 11, 2019

The Factory Reading Series pre-small press book fair reading, November 22: Birrell, Blouin, Colistro + Earl,

span-o (the small press action network - ottawa) presents:

The Factory Reading Series
pre-small press book fair reading
celebrating 25 years of the ottawa small press book fair
featuring readings by:

Heather Birrell (Toronto)
Michael Blouin (Kemptville)
Vincent Colistro (Toronto)
+ Amanda Earl (Ottawa)
lovingly hosted as part of a rare public appearance by poet, provocateur and accidental recluse, rob mclennan
Friday, November 22, 2019;
doors 7pm; reading 7:30pm
The Carleton Tavern,
223 Armstrong Street (at Parkdale; upstairs)

[And don’t forget the ottawa small press book fair, held the following day at the Jack Purcell Community Centre]

Heather Birrell
[pictured] is the author of two story collections, both published by Coach House Books: Mad Hope (a Globe and Mail top fiction pick for 2012 and a “CanLit cult classic,” according to 49th Shelf) and I know you are but what am I? Heather’s work has been honoured with the Journey Prize for short fiction and the Edna Staebler Award for creative non-fiction and shortlisted for the KM Hunter Award, the Arc Magazine poem of the year award, National and Western Magazine Awards (Canada), and received a notable mention in Best American Essays 2017. Heather works as a high school English teacher and a creative writing instructor in Toronto, where she lives with her family. Float and Scurry (A Feed Dog Book from Anvil Press) is her first poetry collection. Learn more about Heather and her work at

Michael Blouin has won ReLit Best Novel in Canada, been shortlisted for the Amazon First Novel Award, the bp Nichol Award, the CBC Literary Award, and is a winner of the Diana Brebner Award and the  Lampman Award. He has collaborated on recent projects with poet Gillian Sze, film director Bruce McDonald, poet and artist bill bissett and visual artist and author Elizabeth Rainer. He has been published in most Canadian literary magazines including Arc, Descant, Branch, Dragnet, The Antigonish Review, Event, Queen's Quarterly, Grain and The Fiddlehead. He has received rave reviews from The National Post, The Ottawa Citizen, The Chicago Institute for Photography and Literature, The Ottawa International Writers Festival, SubTerrain Magazine, Broken Pencil Magazine, Ottawa Magazine, This Magazine, The Telegraph Journal, Lynn Crosbie, bill bissett, Emily Schultz, Susan Musgrave, Marilyn Bowering, George Fetherling, Phil Hall, Sean Wilson, Paul Gessell, rob mclennan, Alejandro Bustos, Melanie Jannisse, Catherine Owen and Lisa Moore. He has served as an adjudicator for The Canada Council, The Ontario Arts Council, The Ottawa Book Awards, Carleton University and This Magazine. His most recent work is in the Summer 2017 issue of Arc Magazine. Forthcoming are material in Taddle Creek Magazine, the anthology The Group of Seven Reimagined: Contemporary Stories Inspired by Historic Canadian Paintings and the novels Skin House, and I am Billy the Kid.

Vincent Colistro's poems have appeared in The Walrus, Hazlitt, Geist, Arc and elsewhere. He was a prize-winner in the 2012 Short Grain contest, and was nominated for National Magazine Award for Poetry in 2014. Late Victorians (Signal Editions, 2016) was his first book, but his new chapbook Mountain Fountain Font (Odourless Press, 2019) is what he's currently excited about.

Amanda Earl writes in Ottawa, and occasionally other places. She’s the managing editor of and the fallen angel of AngelHousePress. Kiki (Chaudiere Books) is now available from Invisible Publishing. For more information, please visit or connect with Amanda on Twitter @KikiFolle. Her latest chapbook, and her seventh from above/ground press, is Aftermath or Scenes of a Woman Convalescing (2019).

Friday, November 8, 2019

new from above/ground press: disrobing iris, by Mary Kasimor

disrobing iris
Mary Kasimor

disrobing iris 

the vase enslaved a      repetition of roses
                       placed away from a     field            
               iris dies
   a bird’s logic grips the ceaseless      function door
        the       purple in     a white room
                              the primal sky         is meat
        red is another        chance at life
                   it is     another joke
        no one should disrobe     iris
                     as there never was        perfection
breath                     happens     is a mix up
glass cutting                 edges repeat following
                  another row of stones
         makes it impossible to meet     reaction
crushed spiders         bundled on a treadmill
                              water stains
succumbing to eyes                    blue              
         bulk snow                 on the corner lot
roots of pi          collapse in the middle
        sky blue soup writes itself     a recipe
and pure          thoughts
devising knives                forks
       beyond the         spiritual means eating
all that      blood             made an ancient birth
trees spy on            the rings of saturn
      motion a magic reflex        producing us
fallen bread            on       the titanic grows
           tender mold
disputes the seating arrangements      if it
       were the ocean      rows of 16 ounce cans       
                propped up                        the cult
an installment of shoes        a purity in
                the                  flickering circus

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
November 2019
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Mary Kasimor
, who has been writing poetry for many years, considers her work experimental. Her recent poetry collections are The Landfill Dancers (BlazeVox Books 2014), Saint Pink (Moria Books 2015), The Prometheus Collage (Locofo Press 2017), and Nature Store (Dancing Girl Press 2017). Her poetry has been published in many journals, including Word For/Word, Touch the Donkey, Posit, Human Repair Kit, Arteidolia (collaboration with Susan Lewis), and Otoliths.

To order, send cheques (add $1 for postage; in US, add $2; outside North America, add $5) to: rob mclennan, 2423 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa ON K1H 7M9. E-transfer or PayPal at at rob_mclennan (at) or the PayPal button at

Thursday, November 7, 2019

the 2019 CBC Poetry Prize longlist: Stephanie Bolster + Franco Cortese,

above/ground press authors Stephanie Bolster and Franco Cortese are among the thirty-three writers included in the 2019 CBC Poetry Prize longlist! Hooray! Stephanie Bolster is the author of the above/ground press chapbooks Three Bloody Words (1996), Biodome (2006), Three Bloody Words: Twentieth Anniversary Edition (2016) and Ghosts (2017), and was also included in the 2012 shortlist and the 2017 longlist! Franco Cortese is the author of, among other items, the 2019 above/grond press chapbook uoiea. Congratulations to all! And good luck!

Monday, November 4, 2019

new from above/ground press: Retreat Diary 2019, by Margaret Christakos

Retreat  Diary  2019
Margaret Christakos

as  if  repeating  the  same  song  is  a  decent
strategy  for  building  a  blue  nest  in  thin  air
Nest  that  has  found  its  mourning  in  me
Mourning  that  has  turned  on  a  lathe  like
a  long  pull-whistle  carved  in  a  small  shop
by  someone  who  had  no  grandchild  to
apprentice  &  lake  contains  the  recording
technology  to  archive  the  young  gull's  song
which  is  hysterical  by  now,  which  is  full-out
incessant,  turbulent,  frightened,  hastened,
breath-parched,  adhesive,  hopeful,  hopeless,
hope-filled,  hope-gutted,  bathed  in  hope,
drowned  in  itself  yet  delivered  to
acoustic  sky  with  muscular  chest-bobs
&  a  rotational  tour  of  the  bay's  gloss     /

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
November 2019
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Margaret Christakos
is the author of ten collections of poetry, a novel & an intergenre memoir. She performs digital photo circuits on social media to think about the poetics of direct and indirect address. Recent books include Multitudes (Coach House) and Her Paraphernalia: On Motherlines, Sex/Blood/Loss & Selfies (Book*Hug) as well as the chapbook Social Medea vs. Virtual Medusa (Gap Riot Press). Two collections are forthcoming: charger (Talon Books) and Dear Birch (Palimpsest Press). She hails from Sudbury ON & lives in Toronto.

To order, send cheques (add $1 for postage; in US, add $2; outside North America, add $5) to: rob mclennan, 2423 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa ON K1H 7M9. E-transfer or PayPal at at rob_mclennan (at) or the PayPal button at