Friday, November 25, 2016

above/ground press contributes to the filling Station fundraiser

above/ground press has donated a whole MOUND of chapbooks to the filling Station magazine fundraiser! [there have been a number of fundraisers lately; did you see this one for Canthius?] Check the link here to bid on this magnificent collection (some of which are extremely rare), or even here for other items in their fabulous auction! The nineteen titles included in the above/ground press package are by Calgary poets, both former and current, produced by above/ground press over the past two decades. Most of these items are still available through the press, but a couple of them only through the recent "backlist/rarities" list.

The Appetites of Tiny Hands
Natalee Caple
1997

MY CITY IS ANCIENT AND FAMOUS
Julia Williams
2004

[Dear Fred]
derek beaulieu
2004

A, You're Adorable
George Bowering as "Ellen Field"
2004

"Calcite Gours 1-19," STANZAS #38
derek beaulieu
2004

Adolesce
ryan fitzpatrick
2005

The writing that should enter into conversation
Natalie Simpson
2005

& look there goes a sparrow transplanting soul [3 eclogues]
Emily Carr
2009

Further to Our Conversation
Robert Kroetsch
2011

@BillMurray in Purgatorio
nathan dueck
2013

Cursed Objects
Jason Christie
2014

Braking and Blather
Emily Ursuliak
2014

transcend transcribe transfigure transform transgress
derek beaulieu
2014

dealingwithit.gif
ryan fitzpatrick
2015

The Charm
Jason Christie
2015

Ins & Outs
Nicole Markotić
2015

10 Poems
Christian Bök
2016

ERASURE: a short story
Braydon Beaulieu
2016

REFRAMING PAUL CADMUS
John Barton
2016

Friday, November 11, 2016

“poem” broadside #340 : Quercus: “Nations hurled together so they might learn to know one another,” by Derek Beaulieu


Quercus: “Nations hurled together so they might learn to know one another”
by Derek Beaulieu
November 2016
above/ground press broadside #340

Derek Beaulieu
is the author of the collections of poetry with wax, fractal economies, chains, silence, ascender / descender, kern, frogments from the frag pool (co-written with Gary Barwin) and Please no more poetry: the poetry of derek beaulieu (Ed. Kit Dobson). He has also written 4 collections of conceptual fiction: a a novel, flatland, Local Colour and How To Write (Nominated for the W.O. Mitchell Award). He is the author of two collections of essays: Seen of the Crime and The Unbearable Contact with Poets. Beaulieu co-edited bill bissett’s RUSH: what fuckan theory (with Gregory Betts) and Writing Surfaces: fiction of John Riddell (with Lori Emerson). He is the publisher of the acclaimed no press and is the visual poetry editor at UBUWeb. Beaulieu has exhibited his work across Canada, the United States and Europe and is an award-winning instructor. Derek Beaulieu was the 2014–2016 Poet Laureate of Calgary, Canada. With rob mclennan, he edited the new anthology The Calgary Renaissance (Chaudiere Books).

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Ryan Pratt reviews Robert Hogg's from Lamentations (2016)

Ryan Pratt was good enough to review Robert Hogg's from Lamentations (2016) over at the ottawa poetry newsletter. Thanks much! This is actually the third review of Hogg's chapbook, after Rebecca Anne Banks reviewed such over at Subterranean Blue Poetry, and Scott Bryson reviewed such in Broken Pencil. You can see Pratt's review here. As he writes:
As its title suggests, from Lamentations is a sampler of poems from an as-yet-unreleased body of work about memory. That this is the compilation’s expanded, second edition implies considerable gestation time. But even without knowing that, the sporadic growth of this manuscript can be measured by dates that accompany each poem, marking when their finished drafts occurred. As a result, Robert Hogg explores the past in layers, writing about his childhood and formative years in the 1950s and 1960s via perspectives he held on dates ranging from the early '90s up until January of this year.

Hogg pokes and prods these breadcrumbs of autobiography for gleanings beyond his own experience. “Roy Rogers – a jazz elegy” and “Summer of sixty-three” deal in fractured, stream-of-conscious details that transpose the youthful significance of its subjects to disquieting uncertainty. He slows his boyhood’s galloping adoration for Hollywood cowboy Roy Rogers to examine the simple “good against evil” doctrine of America’s wild west:

the colorful black and white dazzle of your perfect horsemanship riding
full speed the reins wrapped around the horn those mother of pearl six guns
twirling round your index fingers and firing so perfectly the outlaws seemed
to fall and die but not really it was just like the make-believe we also played
Jesus Roy did you know all that when you practiced your squint in the mirror and
yodelled all those songs on the radio nights we were too young to know any better and
thought it was real romance?

Later, in "Summer of sixty-three", he steadies a romanticized image of his “bohemian goodfornothing but love and lovemaking friends” upon the dulling of years passed:

1325
West Pender
Coal Harbour

place itself
nervous and precarious as this pad
perched on its stilts above a steep ravine

and below near the shoreline the rail yard
abyss we all knew
time was or would be

Tight, conservative stanzas like the above excerpt follow wooly, run-on yarns – sometimes within the same poem – as though the writer is torn between rose-tinted nostalgia and the dislocation of trying to categorize certain memories, decades on. Yet these poems aren’t so much conflicted by age as they are counterbalanced, the wild and restrained Robert Hogg appearing on page in roughly equal measure. The tone’s just right – good natured but deeply felt.

With “Ahead (in memoriam, Bob Creeley” and “Synapse, Mid-Morning, January”, the chapbook takes on true existential colours; the former poem aiding a good friend in traveling the mysteries of afterlife and the latter finding Hogg at present day, kindling a wood stove. There’s no sentiment in this last poem, just small observations on the present moment. And given so much space to interpret, I wonder if "Synapse, Mid-Morning, January" provides such a contrast from the bulk of from Lamentations because it signals the sort of insight one's left with after seventy-odd years on Earth. There's no ego; just a new memory, cut at the root.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Factory Reading Series pre-small press book fair reading, November 25, 2016: Strimas, Di Cicco, Brockwell, Fiszer + Marchand,

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

The Factory Reading Series
pre-small press book fair reading
featuring readings by:

Meagan Strimas (Toronto)
Pier Giorgio Di Cicco (Toronto)
Stephen Brockwell (Ottawa)
Doris Fiszer (Ottawa)
+ Blaine Marchand (Ottawa)
lovingly hosted by rob mclennan
Friday, November 25, 2016;
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]

Meaghan Strimas [pictured] is the author of three poetry collections, Junkman’s Daughter, A Good Time Had By All and Yes or Nope, and the editor of The Selected Gwendolyn MacEwan. She grew up in Owen Sound, Ontario, and lives in Toronto, where she is a professor in the Department of English at Humber College and the managing editor of the Humber Literary Review.

Pier Giorgio Di Cicco is the author of twenty-two volumes of poetry, most recently My Life Without Me, and a book of manifestos on creative cities called Municipal Mind. He has lectured widely in the domain of creative economies throughout N. America and Europe and is the recipient of a Canadian Urban Institute Award for his thesis of civic spirit as the underpinning of prosperous modern cities. He is a Roman Catholic priest, a jazz trumpeter, and principal of the urban consultancy, “Municipal Mind” (municipalmind.com). He is presently the public space liaison between the stakeholders of the Toronto waterfront land and the City of Toronto. He was the Poet Laureate of the City of Toronto between 2004 and 2009.

Stephen Brockwell cut his writing teeth in the ’80s in Montreal, appearing on French and English CBC Radio and in the anthologies Cross/cut: Contemporary English Quebec Poetry and The Insecurity of Art (both Véhicule Press, 1982). George Woodcock described Brockwell’s first book, The Wire in Fences, as having an “extraordinary range of empathies and perceptions.” Harold Bloom wrote that Brockwell’s second book, Cometology, “held rare and authentic promise.” Fruitfly Geographic won the Archibald Lampman award for best book of poetry in Ottawa in 2005. Brockwell currently operates a small IT consulting company from the 7th floor of the Chateau Laurier and lives in a house perpetually under construction. His most recent poetry title is All of Us Reticent, Here, Together, published by Mansfield Press.

Doris Fiszer is a member of Ruby Tuesday’s writing group. Her poetry has appeared in Bywords Quarterly Journal, bywords.ca and other local publications. Her chapbook The Binders won the 2016 Tree Chapbook Award and was published by Tree Press. The poems in the chapbook were inspired by her parents’ experiences in Nazi camps during world War 11 and are part of a larger collection she is currently working on. 

Blaine Marchand's poetry and prose has appeared in magazines across Canada and in the US. He has won several prizes for his writing, including 2nd Prize in the 1990 National Poetry Contest and the Archibald Lampman Award for Poetry for his book A Garden Enclosed. His two most recent books, Aperture and The Craving of Knives were short-listed for the Archibald Lampman Award in 2009 and 2010. He has six books of poetry published, a children's novel and a work of non-fiction.