Friday, September 23, 2022

new from above/ground press: Light Makes a Ruin, by Geoffrey Nilson


Light Makes a Ruin
Geoffrey Nilson
$5


published in Ottawa by above/ground press
September 2022
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy


Geoffrey Nilson was born in Duncan, BC on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Cowichan Tribes. A poet, editor, and literary critic, he is also the founder and publisher of micropress pagefiftyone. Nilson is the author of four chap-books. In 2020, his poem “The Sound of Cellulose” appeared in the anthology Sweet Water: Poems for the Watersheds (Caitlin Press), and his critical writing has appeared recently in Canadian Literature and Arc Poetry Magazine. He holds a BA in Creative Writing from Kwantlen Polytechnic University and an MA in English from Simon Fraser University, where he is at work on his PhD studying the contemporary long-poem in Canada. In a past life, he was musician, songwriter, and recording engineer for various solo and collaborative projects. The BC-YK Representative for the League of Canadian Poets, Geoffrey lives with his daughter in New Westminster on the unceded territory of the Qayqayt nation. Website: www.vcovcfvca.com

This is Nilson’s second above/ground press title, after In my ear continuously like a stream (2017).

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) hotmail.com or the PayPal button at www.robmclennan.blogspot.com

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

new from above/ground press: Felines, which sounds like feelings, by Genevieve Kaplan

Felines, which sounds like feelings
Genevieve Kaplan
$5

It suits me fine

waking sometimes in the night I felt
some fur beneath my toes
and considered: kitten 1 or kitten 2
to the right
of my right foot, I thought, a kitten. so
I pushed my big toe, my calf closer and

in a notebook I kept score,
some track of emotions, rankings
of delight or astonishment, numbers
to remind myself not to contort
my face and ask instead, what
is the wonder of others? sometimes
I can be quite ungenerous

I thought about falling asleep
again. the sheets would take me
and release, I would be alive
with consciousness and departed
from it. to the right of my foot,
I thought

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
September 2022
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Genevieve Kaplan
is the author of (aviary) (Veliz Books, 2020); In the ice house (Red Hen Press, 2011); and four chapbooks, most recently I exit the hallway and turn right (above/ground, 2020), an anti-ode to office work. Her recent poems can be found in Oversound, Bennington Review, Ethel, and Puerto del Sol. A poet, scholar, and book-maker, Genevieve lives in southern California where she edits the Toad Press International chapbook series, publishing contemporary translations of poetry and prose. https://genevievekaplan.com/

This is Kaplan’s second chapbook with above/ground press, after I exit the hallway / and turn right (2020).

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) hotmail.com or the PayPal button at www.robmclennan.blogspot.com

Friday, September 16, 2022

new from above/ground press: Motion & Force, by Melissa Spohr Weiss

Motion & Force
Melissa Spohr Weiss
$5

Compression

In moonrise, cis men croon, pose
penis, sip sermons. Impose roominess.
Soon, moss ripens, minces crimson spines.
I spin poems, iron coins, pin ripe roses
on composers. Sirs piss, semipro. Rinse spoons
in poison. Scoop sonic noise. Impress
me, morons. Moose is risen.
Cross is nicer crisp. Secs (sic)
is remiss. SOS.


About Motion & Force:

This collection responds to and blurs the line between Erin Moure’s Furious and Christian Bök’s Eunoia. In true Bök fashion, each poem strictly adheres to a set parameter, making use of only the letters in their titles. The content of each poem responds to key concepts Moure addresses in the second part of her book, “The Acts,” where she outlines her poetic process.

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
September 2022
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Melissa Spohr Weiss
is a PhD student at the University of New Brunswick. Her work has been published in Arc Poetry Magazine, Riddle Fence, The Malahat Review, CV2, Prairie Fire, The Maynard, Oakland Arts Review, and elsewhere. She is an editorial assistant for The Fiddlehead and is originally from Kelowna, BC.

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) hotmail.com or the PayPal button at www.robmclennan.blogspot.com

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

report: Fisher Small and Fine Press Fair 2022

So: this past Saturday above/ground press was in Toronto as part of the Fisher Small and Fine Press Fair, an event that has returned after a three-year (covid) hiatus! Plenty of (masked, mostly) fun was had by all, and I was even able to introduce the chapbook rack that Christine found a while back on one of her buy-nothing groups (honestly, it worked far more effectively than I might have considered, so expect to see it returning for future fairs). It was good to get the whole top row-plus of the festschrifts I've been putting together over the past year, able to actually sell copies of some of them, which is nice (oh, so that's what these are).

This was actually the fourth curated fair in the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto (and a limited curation, given the physical limitations of the space), as librarian John Shoesmith originally founded the event around an exhibit of small press items from their collection that above/ground press happened to have items as part of (which is how I got invited). I was there for the first event (which Ryan Pratt was good enough to recap over at his blog), and even the second! Apparently the hopes is to curate a new version of the event every two years, so hopefully they can get back on that particular schedule for future events.

Ken Norris
Bruce Whiteman and Ken Norris

Christopher Patton (right) with his new above/ground press chapbook

Kirby, who radiates joy

And I was able to see so many folk I hadn't seen in moons! Why does Ken Norris (who lives in Toronto these days) look no different now than he did twenty years ago, when I last saw him? I mean, I've done numerous chapbooks of his lately (his tenth above/ground press title landed this past July), so it isn't like we haven't been in touch, but odd to think how long it's been since anything in-person. It was also good to see folk such as Aaron Tucker (with a new knife fork book title), Ralph Kolewe (who has a forthcoming Talonbook, the manuscript of which expands upon his above/ground press title), Christopher Patton (who I met for the first time, coming by to collect his copies of his new above/ground press title), Andrew McEwen (should we do another chapbook? we should probably do another chapbook), Lindsay Zier-Vogel (honestly, I simply presumed we'd met years earlier at something, so it was good to finally correct that), Cary Fagan (who mentioned I'd published his stepson in an issue of Touch the Donkey, a connection I wasn't aware of), Bruce Whiteman, etcetera. So many people!

Should I mention I spent the afternoon pretending not to eat an egg and bacon English muffin? Probably not, given it was in a library, after all. Fortunately, I am very effective in my pretending. Other exhibitors included Aliquando Press, Alan Stein/Church Street Press, Art Metropole, Book*hug, Coach House Books, George A. Walker, Greyweather’s Press, JackPine Press, k|f|b, Liz Menard, Massey College Press, Natalie Draz, Nietzsche’s Brolly, Porcupine's Quill/DA, Shanty Bay Press and Wesley Bates.

Given the hour it took to drive in from Andy Weaver's house out in Burlington on Saturday morning, I secured the "final table" in the space, set between JackPine (doing some neat things I hadn't seen physical copies of for some time) and Massey College Press (college printer Kit MacNeil is clearly doing some interesting things worth paying attention to), who were doing some very cool things, including allowing the public to letterpress print upon wee postcards! I collected a small handful of publications, although not terribly much (Kirby exclaimed, when I went to check out the k|f|b table: Why are you looking? You have everything!), and even managed issue five of JUST LIKE CREAM BUT WORST that Daniel F. Bradley handed over when he wandered by (we traded publications, naturally), which includes a new interview he conducted with Alice Burdick (email him at fdriveshesaid (at) gmail.com if you might be interested in attempting a copy).

Tim Inkster explaining something to Jay MillAr, as the Right Honourable Marshall Hryciuk
prepares his own table in silence

And: sales were good enough, audience was good enough, most folk were masked, so that was all good.

Stephen Cain and Andy Weaver
And after: I even got to hang out with Andy Weaver and Stephen Cain. And the drive home? Hitting the Big Apple, of course, to collect nonsense as wee gifts for the children. I think I got them pens with different coloured inks, and some Pez. Who doesn't love the Big Apple? Scream until your mother stops the car, I say. Oh, and there's another small press fair I'm returning to Toronto for on the 24th, curated by Kate Siklosi as part of TIFA; and of course, the ottawa small press book fair in November. Might we see you at either of those?

Monday, September 12, 2022

new from above/ground press: too many words, by Lori Anderson Moseman

too many words
Lori Anderson Moseman
$5


today a killing frost has me deadheading marigolds
the only flower whistle pigs won’t eat

the table looks full of tiny porcupine quills:
my cache of see is next summer’s hope

until I find them moldering
if only I’d removed the dead parts to isolate viability


            *

when I ask my partner about ma
he laughs
delighting in her brusque mischievousness
her handiness, her loyalty

her hard to understand syntax puzzles him
but he gets her jokes
he never sees her meanness

I am the only one keeping it alive?

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
September 2022
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Lori Anderson Moseman’s
chapbook Okay? is recently out from above/ground press. Her poetry collections include DARN (Delete Press, 2021), Y (The Operating System, 2019), Light Each Pause (Spuyten Duyvil, 2017), Flash Mob (Spuyten Duyvil, 2016), All Steel (Flim Forum Press, 2012), Temporary Bunk (Swank Books, 2009), Persona (Swank Books, 2003), and Cultivating Excess (The Eighth Mountain Press, 1992). Her collaboration with book artist Karen Pava Randall, Full Quiver, is available from Propolis Press. A former educator, she ran the press Stockport Flats from 2006-2016.

This is Moseman’s second above/ground press title after Okay? (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) hotmail.com or the PayPal button at www.robmclennan.blogspot.com