Thursday, May 16, 2024

new from above/ground press: Un-Composed, Poetry by Saba Pakdel

Poetry by Saba Pakdel

                  —For Woman, Life, Freedom

an inability
an unwillingness
to forget
                cannot up-roots
that I exist
cannot un-remember
my pain-bodied mother(land)

her hair

              every morning
              fall over my shoulders
that I carry
continue her being
the being

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
May 2024
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Saba Pakdel
is a poet, migration literature scholar, and PhD candidate in the English department at the University of Victoria. She specializes in migration studies and climate refugees with a focus on contemporary literature, exploring the experience of mobility, displacement, and climate crises.

This is Pakdel's second above/ground press title, after In-Between (2022)

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 rob_mclennan (at) or the PayPal button at

Friday, May 10, 2024

new from above/ground press: Family Chronicles from Muffin Land, by Hope Anderson

Family Chronicles from Muffin Land
Hope Anderson

For Kobi, my son

We released fighter kites into clouds
Shimmying tails disguised dangerous blades
Beat the air, unleashed against real
Not so real goliaths.
Downcast Bigfoot sleepily retreats
Into deep, deep foam
Saddened to be uncovered
Neither man nor beast
This is how we discover the secrets
Of Muffin Land,
Father and son sometimes vainly
Troll upstream, still relentless
Propelled perhaps, by ancestral dream
Around go cart tracks, once more you ask
As if no clock nor meter
In this promised universe
And we spies, weightless astronauts
Insistent on a good report
published in Ottawa by above/ground press
May 2024
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Cover Image generated by Deja Anderson using AI tool, ChatGPT-4, 20 February 2024.

Hope Anderson is a writer and editor based in Victoria, BC. In the Fall 2023, The Capilano Review published an extensive folio featuring an interview with Wayde Compton and a selection of poems, both previously published and new. Hope is the author of the poetry collection Slips From Grace (Coach House Press, 1987), and with David Phillips, a co-editor of the anthology of BC poets, The Body (Tatlow House, 1979). He is currently working on two book-length projects.

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 rob_mclennan (at) or the PayPal button at

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Touch the Donkey [a small poetry journal] : world donkey day 2024 : one day subscription offer,

Did you know there was such a thing as World Donkey Day? Naturally, over here at Touch the Donkey [a small poetry journal], we simply must get in on the action, so we're offering a subscription sale for one day only:  anyone who subscribes (or resubscribes) anytime TODAY has the bonus option of three (3) items: three Touch the Donkey back issues of your choice, OR three above/ground press (2023 or 2024) titles of your choice (while supplies last) OR any combination thereof.

OR: copies of ten (10) different back issues for $50 / copies of five (5) different back issues for $25 / copies of twenty different back issues for $100 / while supplies last on individual issues, naturally / add $5 for US orders ; add $10 for international orders,

Issue #41 of Touch the Donkey [a small poetry journal] (a slightly larger issue than usual) is currently available, with new work by Julie Carr, rob mclennan, Pattie McCarthy, ryan fitzpatrick, Conyer Clayton, Renée Sarojini Saklikar, Amanda Earl, Gil McElroy and John Barlow.

2023-2024 above/ground press titles include chapbooks by: Sacha Archer, Hope Anderson, Dale Tracy, Melissa Eleftherion, Kyle Flemmer, Saba Pakdel, Katie Ebbitt, Amanda Deutch, Phil Hall + Steven Ross Smith, Peter Myers, Terri Witek, Pete Smith, russell carisse, Micah Ballard, Clint Burnham, Angela Caporaso, Cary Fagan, Blunt Research Group, Gary Barwin, Lydia Unsworth, Kyla Houbolt, Zane Koss, Ben Robinson, Colin Dardis, Aaron Tucker, Adriana Oniță, Julie Carr + rob mclennan, Stephen Collis, Rae Armantrout, Jason Christie, Nikki Reimer, Noah Berlatsky, Miranda Mellis, MLA Chernoff, Marita Dachsel, Report from the fitzpatrick Society, Kevin Stebner, Meghan Kemp-Gee, Gil McElroy, Robert van Vliet, Stephen Cain, Geoffrey Olsen, Heather Cadsby, Evan Williams, Grant Wilkins, nina jane drystek, Sophia Magliocca, Jennifer Baker, Karen Massey, rob mclennan, Jérôme Melançon, Monty Reid, Jamie Hilder, George Bowering + Artie Gold, Ryan Stearne, Brad Vogler, Andrew Gorin, Report from the Pirie Society, Julia Drescher, Ken Norris, Joseph Donato, Samuel Ace, Stuart Ross, Leesa Dean, Report from the Reimer Society, Jessi MacEachern, G U E S T [a journal of guest editors] #26, Jordan Davis, The Peter F Yacht Club #32 : 2023 VERSeFest Special, Report from the Smith Society, Nick Chhoeun, Ben Jahn, William Vallières, Report from the Iijima Society, Derek Beaulieu, Isabel Sobral Campos, Mark Scroggins, Laura Walker, Report from the Trivedi Society, Nathanael O'Reilly, Lindsey Webb, Jason Heroux and Barbara Henning.

Touch the Donkey: Canadian subscriptions $35 for five issues / American subscriptions $40 / International subscriptions $50 / All prices in Canadian dollars /

To order, e-transfer or PayPal at at rob_mclennan (at) or the PayPal button at or

Issues are also available as part of the above/ground press annual subscription. [which I am totally willing to backdate, in case anyone so inclined,

Because everybody loves a holiday. Who doesn't love a holiday?

Touch the Donkey. Everywhere you want to be.

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

new from above/ground press: Perverse Density, by Sacha Archer

Perverse Density
Sacha Archer

Snow Drift

If it doesn’t stop snowing can you bear to hear
I told you so? The sled shifted, they were too eager, too
quick, look at us, look at us, and yesterday
becomes today, the sled shifts and turns, the girls
tumble, the screen goes blank. When it’s bright again,
who is sitting on a bench pouting with a cookie,
and who is it that will pass with ease on her skates?
Yesterday was just the same. Snow so heavy
we found a thousand different things to do
done a thousand different times before
we invented them, which mattered nothing to us.
We slept soundly. The second quivered in its spot.

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
May 2024
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Sacha Archer
is a Canadian writer and concrete poet. His most recent publication is cellsea, published by Timglaset. Some of Archer’s other publications include Empty Building (Penteract Press), Mother’s Milk (Timglaset), which was included on CBC’s best poetry books of 2020 list, KIM (knife|fork|book), Hydes (nOIR:Z), as well as a collaborative sound poetry album with nina jane drystek, Years Between Rooms which can be found on Bandcamp. His book Havana Syndrome is forthcoming from The Blasted Tree. Find him on Facebook and Instagram @sachaarcher.

This is Archer’s third above/ground press chapbook, after upROUTE : The Language of Plates (2017) and Autopsy Report (2018).

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 rob_mclennan (at) or the PayPal button at

Sunday, May 5, 2024

an above/ground press (zoom) launch, May 19: Micah Ballard, Melissa Eleftherion Carr, Amanda Deutch, Katie Ebbitt + Julia Polyck-O'Neill,

Micah Ballard (San Francisco CA)
Melissa Eleftherion Carr (Ukiah CA)
Amanda Deutch (Brooklyn NY)
Katie Ebbitt (New York NY)
Julia Polyck O'Neill (Toronto ON)
lovingly hosted by publisher/editor rob mclennan
Sunday, May 19 2024: 3pm PST/6pm EST ZOOM

please contact host or readers for zoom link:
rob mclennan : rob_mclennan (at) hotmail (dot) com or Melissa Eleftherion Carr : melissa.eleftherion (at) gmail (dot) com

Micah Ballard is the author of over a dozen books of poetry including Waifs and Strays (City Lights Books), Afterlives (Bootstrap Press), The Michaux Notebook (FMSBW), Krewes (Bootstrap Press), Selected Prose, 2008-19 (Blue Press), Evangeline Downs (Ugly Duckling Presse), Daily Vigs (Bird & Beckett Books), Vesper Chimes (Gas Meter), Muddy Waters (State Champs), and Negative Capability in the Verse of John Wieners (Bootstrap Press). He lives in San Francisco with poet Sunnylyn Thibodeaux, their daughter Lorca, and co-edits Auguste Press and Lew Gallery Editions.

He will be launching BUSY SECRET (2024), his first chapbook with above/ground press, although he did co-edit G U E S T [a journal of guest editors] #21, "Castle Greyskull," with Garrett Caples (above/ground press, 2022).

Melissa Eleftherion (she/they) is a writer, a librarian, and a visual artist. Born & raised in Brooklyn, she holds degrees from Brooklyn College, Mills College, and San Jose State University. They are the author of the full-length poetry collections, field guide to autobiography (The Operating System, 2018), & gutter rainbows (Querencia Press, 2024), as well as twelve chapbooks including trauma suture (above/ground press, 2020), & sunflower spell (poems-for-all, 2022).  Her work has been widely published & featured in venues like Quarter after Eight, Sixth Finch, Entropy, & Barren Magazine. Melissa now lives in Northern California where she manages the Ukiah Branch Library, curates the LOBA Reading Series, and serves as Poet Laureate Emeritus of the City of Ukiah. Recent work is available at

She will be launching abject sutures (2024), her third chapbook with above/ground press, after little ditch (2018) and trauma suture (2020).

Amanda Deutch is a poet born and raised in New York City. She is the author of several chapbooks including Bodega Night Pigeon Riot (above/ground press, 2020), and Surf Avenue & 29th Street, Coney Island (Least Weasel Press, 2018). Deutch’s poetry has been published in The Brooklyn Rail, The New York Times, Oversound, The Rumpus, Cimarron Review and in many other journals and magazines. An artist book collaboration with Sarah Nicholls, wild anemone, is forthcoming in 2024. She lives in Brooklyn where she is the founder of Parachute Literary Arts.

She will be launching new york ironweed (2024), her second above/ground press title, after bodega night pigeon riot (2020).

Katie Ebbitt is a poet/psycho-behavioralist living in NYC. She is the author of the chapbooks ANOTHER LIFE (Counterpath, 2016), Para Ana (Inpatient, 2019), and Air Sign (Creative Writing Department, 2024). Fecund, her first full-length book, will be released by Keith LLC.

She will be launching HYSTERICAL PREGNANCY (2024), her first title with above/ground press.

Julia Polyck-O’Neill (they/she) is an artist, curator, critic, poet, and writer. They are currently the Michael Ridley Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Humanities at the University of Guelph and a former SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow at York University’s Sensorium Centre for Digital Arts and Technology. Starting in July 2024, they will be an Assistant Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Memorial University in Newfoundland. Her research explores feminist, digital approaches to interdisciplinary artists’ archives and intersections between archives and creative praxis. Her publications appear in Amodern, Zeitschrift für Ästhetik und Allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft (The Journal for Aesthetics and General Art History), English Studies in Canada, BC Studies, Canadian Literature, and other places.

She will be launching Process (2024), her fourth above/ground press title, after femme (2016), Everything will be taken away (2018) and poem | image | self (2019).