Thursday, June 22, 2017

new from above/ground press: CANCON, by nathan dueck

CANCON
nathan dueck
$5




Season One


I don’t think I can                                                              
                           (101)
confusing school.

I’d like to be president, but I can’t
control our fate as students.

I’d like to congratulate all candidates
concerned about youngsters in the third world.                                     
                                                                       (102)

You can (DEGRASSI JUNIOR HIGH Family)

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
June 2017
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy


nathan dueck's middle name is russel, which means his initials spell “nrd.” His parents tell him that nobody knew that word when he was born, but dictionaries say otherwise. He is the author of king's(mère) (Turnstone Press, 2004) and he'll (Pedlar Press, 2014).

This is dueck's second chapbook with above/ground press, after @BillMurray in Purgatorio (2013).

To order, send cheques (add $1 for postage; outside Canada, add $2) to: rob mclennan, 2423 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa ON K1H 7M9 or paypal at www.robmclennan.blogspot.com

Friday, June 16, 2017

The Factory Reading Series pre-small press book fair reading, June 23, 2017: Rubacha, MacDonell, Million + Christie,

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

The Factory Reading Series
pre-small press book fair reading

featuring readings by:
Elisha May Rubacha (Peterborough)
Sarah MacDonell (Ottawa)
Justin Million (Peterborough)
and Jason Christie (Ottawa)

lovingly hosted by rob mclennan
Friday, June 23, 2017;
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]


Elisha May Rubacha [pictured] lives, writes, and gardens in Peterborough, ON. She is the editor and designer of bird, buried press and the co-curator of the Show and Tell Poetry Series. Her work has been published by Bywords, Puddles of Sky Press, The Steel Chisel, and Skirt Quarterly, and she was shortlisted for the PRISM International Creative Non-fiction Contest in 2016.

If you work in the arts, Sarah MacDonell would like you to hire her. A 2017 Tree Reading Series Hot Ottawa Voice, AOE Young Artist Mentee, and youth board member of the OAG’s dépArt, Sarah has performed at Slackline Creative Series, Sawdust Reading Series, CSA rout/e, and the ottawater launch. Her first chapbook, The Lithium Body, came out in January with In/Words. You can find her poems online and posted outside of McCarthy Park.

Justin Million is a poet living, working, writing, and curating art happenings in downtown Peterborough, ON. Million has published 19 poetry chapbooks, with presses such as Apt. 9 Press, and bird, buried press, and has been featured in literary magazines such as Word and Colour, Poetry Is Dead, and ottawater. Million is also the curator of the Show and Tell Poetry Series in Peterborough, ON, is the Poetry Editor for bird, buried press, also located in Peterborough, ON, and features every month with his Smith-Corona Electra 110 at KEYBOARDS!, Peterborough’s only live-writing poetry show.

Jason Christie is the author of Canada Post (Snare), i-ROBOT (Edge/Tesseract), Unknown Actor (Insomniac), and a co-editor of Shift & Switch: New Canadian Poetry (Mercury). He has five chapbooks from above/ground press: 8th Ave 15th Street NW (2004), GOVERNMENT (2013), Cursed Objects (2014), The Charm (2015), random_lines = random.choice (2017). He is currently writing poetry about (being) objects, and exaltation.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

new from above/ground press: SOMEWHERE THE / SHAKING, by Sarah Cook

SOMEWHERE THE / SHAKING
Sarah Cook
$5



Shelf



where’s the person inside the thing? & when the thing starts over?

this house is full of people.

this head is full of things trying to be people.

(i place my small hand upwards in the palm of your hand, the gesture of holding without commitment)

take any individual street in the winter, small town, no commitments to décor or watering: just house after house after house of trying to be.

(i place my small fist)

this street is full of people or at least the houses suggest.
published in Ottawa by above/ground press
June 2017
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy


Sarah Cook’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, The Feminist Wire, Gaga Stigmata, and elsewhere. She writes at freelancefeminist.com and works with homeless and runaway youth in Oregon.

See her 2016 Touch the Donkey interview here.

To order, send cheques (add $1 for postage; outside Canada, add $2) to: rob mclennan, 2423 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa ON K1H 7M9 or paypal at www.robmclennan.blogspot.com

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Friday, June 9, 2017

Jordan Abel wins the 2017 Griffin Poetry Prize!

Last night, above/ground press author Jordan Abel was announced as the Canadian winner of the 2017 Griffin Poetry Prize for his third trade collection, Injun (Talonbooks, 2016). Congratulations, Jordan! It was also an absolute pleasure to see you win the prize in person!

And, by the by, his two above/ground press chapbooks are still very much available: Scientia (2013) and TIMELESS AMERICAN CLASSIC (2017). And then, of course, there was his interview a while back in Touch the Donkey, as well...

Friday, June 2, 2017

backlist #29: eckhoff, Ackerson-Kiely, Norris + Middle,

After a bit of a delay/distraction, I'm still discovering titles I thought either completely out-of-print or very close. For a few months now, I've been working to offer (or re-offer) various titles to the public, simply to see what might appeal (scroll down here to see the list to date). To order, send cheques (add $1 for postage; outside Canada, add $2) to: rob mclennan, 2423 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa ON K1H 7M9 or paypal at www.robmclennan.blogspot.com:

187. dissections from their biography by kevin mcpherson eckhoff
$4 each / 50 copies available

originally published in an edition of 250 copies, October 2012

 









188. Book About a Candle Burning in a Shed, Paige Ackerson-Kiely
$4 each / 25 copies available

originally published in an edition of 300 copies, September 2011

 



189. Windward, by Ken Norris
$25 each / 1 copy available

originally published in an edition of 100 copies for a reading at The TREE Reading Series, November 13, 1995

 








190. smthg, by Max Middle
$8 each / 5 copies available

originally published in an edition of 300 copies, March 2005

 








191. flow march n powder blossom s, by Max Middle
$6 each / 6 copies available

originally published in an edition of 300 copies, February 2006

Monday, May 29, 2017

backlist #28: Kerr, Schmaltz, Christie, Lea + Robertson,

After a bit of a delay/distraction, I'm still discovering titles I thought either completely out-of-print or very close. For a few months now, I've been working to offer (or re-offer) various titles to the public, simply to see what might appeal (scroll down here to see the list to date). To order, send cheques (add $1 for postage; outside Canada, add $2) to: rob mclennan, 2423 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa ON K1H 7M9 or paypal at www.robmclennan.blogspot.com:

182. drunkboy Stories by Greg Kerr
$10 each / 3 copies available

originally published in an edition of 300 copies, May 1997

 






183. MITSUMI ELEC. CO. LTD.: keyboard poems by Eric Schmaltz
$4 each / 20 copies available

originally published in an edition of 300 copies, February 2014

 









184. 8th Ave 15th St NW by Jason Christie
$4 each / 20 copies available

originally published in an edition of 300 copies, October 2004

 










185. light years by Nicholas (N.W.) Lea
$4 each / 50 copies available

originally published in an edition of 300 copies, March 2006

 






186. On Physical Real Beginning and What Happens Next by Lisa Robertson
$4 each / 50 copies available

originally published in an edition of 250 copies, April 2012


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

backlist #27: Stewart, Graham + mclennan, Burke + Hall, McCann, Poe, McElroy, McKinnon + Carr

After a bit of a delay/distraction, I'm still discovering titles I thought either completely out-of-print or very close. For a few months now, I've been working to offer (or re-offer) various titles to the public, simply to see what might appeal (scroll down here to see the list to date). To order, send cheques (add $1 for postage; outside Canada, add $2) to: rob mclennan, 2423 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa ON K1H 7M9 or paypal at www.robmclennan.blogspot.com:

173. An OK Organ Man, by Fenn Stewart
$6 each / 8 copies available

originally published in an edition of 150 copies, March 2012

 











174. metric: a collaboration of small poems, by Lea Graham and rob mclennan
$4 each / 13 copies available

originally published in an edition of 250 copies, March 2011

 








175. Shikibu Shuffle, by Andrew Burke and Phil Hall
$6 each / 7 copies available

originally published in an edition of 300 copies, March 2012

 










176. Town in a long day of leaving, by Marcus McCann
$8 each / 5 copies available

originally published in an edition of 200 copies, March 2010

 










177. Keep, by Deborah Poe
$6 each / 9 copies available

originally published in an edition of 200 copies, October 2012

 











178. Some Forty, by rob mclennan
$6 each / 3 copies available

originally published in an edition of 200 copies, March 2010

 












179. (The Work of Art) In the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, by Gil McElroy
$6 each / 6 copies available

originally published in an edition of 300 copies, November 2005









180. Into the Blind World, by Barry McKinnon
$5 each / 5 copies available
originally published in an edition of 300 copies, January 2012

 






181. ]            & look there goes a sparrow transplanting soil         ]        [3 eclogues], by Emily Carr
$6 each / 7 copies available

originally published in an edition of 200 copies, December 2009

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Robert Kroetsch Conference this weekend : Anstee, Baker, Cooley, Markotić, Hall etc

In case you weren't aware, the 2017 Canadian Literature Symposium at the University of Ottawa is this weekend: Robert Kroetsch: Essayist, Novelist, Poet. Running from April 27-30, 2017, presenters include a variety of above/ground press authors (and non-authors), including panelists, presenters and chairs Nicole Markotić, Jennifer Baker, Rudy Wiebe, David Eso, Cameron Anstee, Claire Farley, Dennis Cooley, Aritha van Herk, Robert Stacey, Phil Hall and others. I even have a couple copies left of Robert Kroetsch's above/ground press chapbook, as well as the memorial chapbook we put together for him, if such appeals. Apparently the public is more than welcome to attend, and you can see the full schedule for the conference here.

And: I took this photo of Robert Kroetsch during our shared University of Alberta Press on-campus book launch, April 2010.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

new from above/ground press: The Lover is Absent, by Jessica Smith

The Lover is Absent
Jessica Smith
$5



published in Ottawa by above/ground press
April 2017
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy


Jessica Smith, Founding Editor of Foursquare and name magazines and Coven Press, serves as the Librarian for Indian Springs School, where she curates the Indian Springs School Visiting Writers Series. A native of Birmingham, Alabama, she received her B.A. in English and Comparative Literature: Language Theory, M.A. in Comparative Literature, and M.L.S. from SUNY Buffalo, where she participated in the Poetics Program. She is the author of numerous chapbooks including Trauma Mouth (Dusie, 2015) and two full-length books of poetry, Organic Furniture Cellar (Outside Voices 2006) and Life-List (Chax Press 2015).

This is her third chapbook with above/ground press, after Shifting Landscapes (2006) and MNEMOTECHNICS (2013).

To order, send cheques (add $1 for postage; outside Canada, add $2) to: rob mclennan, 2423 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa ON K1H 7M9 or paypal at www.robmclennan.blogspot.com

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Katie L. Price: Poetry & Practice: Perspectives on Medicine and Narrative WSU

above/ground press author Katie L. Price (author of the 2015 chapbooks Sickly and BRCA: Birth of a Patient) tomorrow afternoon at Washington State University!

"This may seem tangential to our class at first glance. However, Katie L. Price has a very interesting project to turn the information contained on her medical records into poetry. In formal terms, the project shows how restructuring information—from documentary form to poetic form—can alter its meaning in dramatic ways, even if the data stays the same. The process of making private health records public also resonates with what Frank Pasquale writes about health insurance scores. Rather than letting her medical history add up to a numeric identity assigned by some data broker, Price works to regain a kind of control over her health records. In the process, she works against narratives of private illness and private risk, showing instead how perceptions of health have very public consequences. Medical patients bear the brunt of those consequences, her poetry suggests, not commercial insurance services.

This event should help us imagine interesting new angles for the course material. Price’s poetry could become an interesting point of entry for a final project about individual reputation in the era of run-away data. Attend the talk and blog about it for extra-credit—brownie points if you ask a question about digital technology!"

Saturday, April 1, 2017

new from above/ground press: Inaccuracies, by Ian Whistle

Inaccuracies
Ian Whistle
$4

Mistranslation

Khatumo Ceuta in the Spanish Mediterranean. The level of water is full of clothes and spread their weight and paddleboard illicit production. Thousands of foreign vessels in sealed boxes. Rarely forest safe in Brazil and Indonesia Coach handbags are leading the way. A meeting of the Russian military process. smuggling snuff products is prohibited in the Mohawk in Canada. Uday Hussein deals Mystery, workers of color television. Northern Canada, frogs and turtles coach products, household and office sales are sold worldwide. For smuggling on the border with Mexico, was nāki'i'ia peace. Brazil and lapa'au'ia, and millions of animals. Children between two and ten thousands of people traffic at the border. Nigeria "or" son of the victim, and sells cocoa harvest. Cocaine starts ka'ūhā. Syria Real illegal. Bible cocaine prison for women. The Warsaw ghetto wall power supply, doors, drainage and register the land illegally. 1800 New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and plaster illegally. It was a mystery. Incorporated. It was the shadow of the cross.

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
April 2017
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Ian Whistle
has published in filling Station, CRASH: a litzine, Moss Trill and Nöd. Small poetry publications have appeared via jwcurry’s 1cent and Ken Hunt’s Spacecraft. He currently runs h&, an occasional journal of visual/concrete poetry and assorted other oddities: http://handandpoetry.blogspot.ca/

This is Whistle’s third above/ground press chapbook, after “MOUTH or PLACE NAMES” (STANZAS magazine, issue #9, 1996) and resemblances (1998).

To order, send cheques (add $1 for postage; outside Canada, add $2) to: rob mclennan, 2423 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa ON K1H 7M9 or paypal at www.robmclennan.blogspot.com

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Cary Fagan reviews Stephen Collis, FIRST SKETCH OF A POEM I WILL NOT HAVE WRITTEN (2017)



Toronto writer Cary Fagan was good enough to provide the first review for Stephen Collis’ FIRST SKETCH OF A POEM IWILL NOT HAVE WRITTEN (2017) over at his Bodies and Words. Thanks much! You can see Fagan’s post here. As he writes:

Stephen Collis, First Sketch of a Poem I Will Not Have Written.  Ottawa, above/ground press, 2017.
abovegroundpress.blogsplot.com

An emotion not felt so often in poetry is anger.  But I certainly feel it in Stephen Collis’ long poem (something above 150 lines) – anger at contemporary culture, at the stubbornness of capitalism, and perhaps at the corruption of poetry itself.  It’s full of interesting contradictions, the main one for me being that it is no flag-waving manifesto or populist call to the masses but instead intricate, fragmented, and often as not difficult.

At borders, frontiers, reaching
into the historical moment of listening
to insurrection and speech /
spur and limit
in place of the street / we have Facebook
Google is a universe we
No longer have to search the limits of
the revolutionary subject lies elsewhere
can we revive?

Sometimes he sounds like a tired and aging, but still raging lefty, hating the opium of the internet and pop songs that “tell us / nothing” (surely an unfair generalization these days).  He might be in an old-fashioned working man’s tavern, talking to a half-listening friend (“and sometimes David when I say politics / I mean poetics”), feeling defeated but with still some of the old energy in him.  His thoughts jump around, as if he might be half drunk or falling asleep-

swing low
Campanera. Missing. Cellphone. Rift. Blank. Space. Rosebud.
What body is general? Autonomous?
Gras. Roots. Bit. Torrent. Detainees. No one.  Illegal.

There’s another moment when a name is mentioned, likely a wife or partner: “Late now. Sound of the furnace. Cathy out. Girls asleep.”  This also gives the impression of a restless and unhappy soul wrestling with defeats and losses in the dark hours. But the lines always have a clean, sharp edge, expressing an intelligent consciousness that feels to me trapped inside a spiral of argument, trying to find a way out:

I ponder Empedocles and volcanos
the history of the oppressed
“If you go out and look for the economy
it is hard to find”
desire to become cosmos
to live in the limitless
connection of all things

As I read I began to expect some kind of uplift or release, some hope in the end, if faint or bleary.  Instead the poem ends in cynicism or perhaps just resignation: “god didn’t die / he was translated into money”.  But I took this as a momentary feeling, as if another moment chosen (five minutes before, one minute after) might have given us a different ending, a sense that the fight – in the street and on the page – must go on.