Monday, March 27, 2017

A Soundival of Sorts : Jennifer Baker + others

Rhombus 19 presents "A Soundival of Sorts." April 1, 8 pm, The Happy Goat Coffee Company, 35 Laurel St., Ottawa. An evening of sound poetry, experimental verse, and poetry theatre. Original compositions, plus works by Hugo Ball, Kurt Schwitters, Christian Bök, Caroline Bergvall, bpNichol, The Four Horsemen, Sesame Street, Michael Ondaatje, and others. Performed by students and faculty of UOttawa's Department of English. For more information, check out the Facebook link.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

new from above/ground press: Open Island, by Faizal Deen

Open Island
three poems
Faizal Deen
$3

Wrong Essays

begins a mouldy turn into kaiso
Archie “and Muslims in general”
better than the hippogriff Kali come to life
behind Sinbad
little master in Mom’s panties
read more hippogriff where the masters let them
Ray Harryhausen a thousand arms
head griffin claws
hooves horse tail
Moors from Afrique
In hybrid hands; Ottawa special effect.
“see, Orientalist!, see?”
every funeral, the 4th takbir, remain standing
without wing or hippogriff
Moderns grow lush in their dream of an open island
Okroes in the grabber of scotch bonnet
a dying shoreline Hellshire’s fried Dancehall
love affairs
“The Indies,” a moonlight Haji shears history
At Plaza, hands everywhere Sinbad.
At Plaza, read more hippogriff mister.
Mom turns walaikum into laughing Sparrow
blows loud balloons
this secret petition to Kali

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


Faizal Deen Forrester
is a doctoral student in the Department of English Language & Literature at Carleton University. As a contributor to the Migration and Diaspora Studies initiative at Carleton, Faizal seeks to address the ways in which the cultural production of Caribbean populations in Canada—in particular, the work of poets—encourages us to rethink existing notions of diasporic identity. Faizal has studied at Queen’s University at Kingston, Ontario, the University of the West Indies (Mona Campus), McGill University; and, most recently, received an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Windsor. As Faizal Deen, he maintains—along with his scholarly endeavours—an acclaimed poetry practice, beginning in 2000 with the publication of Land Without Chocolate, a Memoir, Guyana’s first LGBTQI poetry collection. His most recent collection, The Greatest Films, which, in part, addresses Caribbean queer Islamic identities in the post-9/11 era, was published by Mawenzi House.

[Produced for Deen's participation in Ottawa's 7th annual VERSeFest, March 21-26]

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 21, 2017

new from above/ground press: The Peter F Yacht Club #25; VERSeFest special!

The Peter F Yacht Club #25
VERSeFest 2017 special

edited by rob mclennan
$6


With new writing by a host of Peter F Yacht Club regulars, irregulars and VERSeFest 2017 participants, including Cameron Anstee, Frances Boyle, Jason Christie, Stephen Collis, Anita Dolman, Amanda Earl, Patrick Friesen, Lea Graham, Marilyn Irwin, Gil McElroy, rob mclennan, Uxío Novoneyra, trans. Erín Moure, Pearl Pirie, Roland Prevost, D.S. Stymiest and Janice Tokar.

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
March 2017
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy
[a small stack of copies will be distributed free as part of the fifth annual VERSeFest, March 21-26, 2017]


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

Monday, March 20, 2017

new from above/ground press: Marilyn Irwin, north

north
Marilyn Irwin
$5


(&)
the spider plant
is unhappy
its foliage is
growing wrong,
pushed up against the wall
it is browning; it is dying
it is holding on because it has to
roots, pot, gravity
it turns away from the sun
it is trying

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


Shortlisted for the 2016 bpNichol Award, a 2014 Tree Reading Series Hot Ottawa Voice, and winner of the 2013 Diana Brebner Prize, Marilyn Irwin has no idea how she got here. Her work, including seven chapbooks, has been published by above/ground press, Apt. 9 Press, Arc Magazine, Matrix Magazine, and Puddles of Sky, among others.  She runs shreeking violet press in Ottawa.

[Produced for Irwin's participation in Ottawa's 7th annual VERSeFest, March 21-26]

This is Irwin’s third chapbook with above/ground press, after for when you pick daisies (2010) and flicker (2012).

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

Thursday, March 16, 2017

new from above/ground press: poorsong one, by Lisa Robertson

poorsong one
Lisa Robertson
$4


Day Opens on Water
You say the Water is not a Grave

Over the still mirror of Water
Love moves the Bright Shadows
Penetrates Borders

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

Lisa Robertson
lives in the village of Nalliers (population 310), on the Gartempe River, which drains from the Massif Central into the Loire basin. This region is the historic border zone of old Aquitaine, also the ragged border zone of old Occitan, and French. The current economy is based on small scale agriculture, the building trades, a plastic bag factory, and under-the-table activities. She moved to the region in 2004; she began making chapbooks in the late 80s in Vancouver. Her most recent book is 3 Summers.

This is Robertson’s second title with above/ground press, after On Physical Real Beginning and What Happens Next (2012).

[Produced for Robertson's participation in Ottawa's 7th annual VERSeFest, March 21-26]

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 14, 2017

new from above/ground press: Jordan Abel, TIMELESS AMERICAN CLASSIC

TIMELESS AMERICAN CLASSIC
Jordan Abel
$5




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

Jordan Abel
is a Nisga'a writer from BC. Currently, he is pursuing a PhD at Simon Fraser University where his research concentrates on the intersection between Digital Humanities and Indigenous Literary Studies. Abel’s creative work has recently been anthologized in Best Canadian Poetry (Tightrope), The Land We Are: Artists and Writers Unsettle the Politics of Reconciliation (Arbiter Ring), and The New Concrete: Visual Poetry in the 21st Century (Hayword).  Abel is the author of  Injun, Un/inhabited, and The Place of Scraps (winner of the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize and finalist for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award).

[Produced for Abel’s participation in Ottawa's 7th annual VERSeFest, March 21-26]

This is Abel’s second title with above/ground press, after Scientia (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

Monday, March 13, 2017

Joel W. Vaughan reviews Buck Downs’ Shiftless(Harvester) (2016) in Broken Pencil #74



Joel W. Vaughan was good enough to provide the first review of Buck Downs’ Shiftless(Harvester) (2016) in Broken Pencil #74. Thanks so much! You can see the original review here.

Buck Downs’ poetic method has been outlined in Broken Pencil’s review for “Touch the Donkey #11” [see that review here], as his work is briefly featured there, but it is worth noting here again for this interview, where the advantages and disadvantages to this approach are emphasized more heavily. “Shiftless(Harvester)” is, after all, a chapbookentirely of Downs’s composition, so when his method of “brute-force typing,” as he calls it, is tasked with producing the 23 short poems printed herein, their method of production is much more obvious.
            In an interview with publisher rob mclennan, Downs describes his “brute-force” method as follows: “I have a little box that when I fill it with filled notebooks, I take the box and type up its whole contents … which I get printed as a bound galley … and proceed to erase/cut & paste/collage that typing into drafts.” The advantages to this approach are the same to be found in more-recognized poets who, to some degree, follow a similar process (Downs himself cites Ronald Johnson and Jackson MacLow. “Shiftless(Harvester)” does garner a sort of ‘ghost in the machine’ kind of discombobulated affect, examples in such passages as “pee shy/& asking/for money/it’s hard to feel/sad when your mouth is on fire”. The chapbook confronts the issues associated with the method which produced it. However, some issues remain – namely, a resistance to settling into anything recognizable as meaning, and more noticeably a tendency towards shoehorning in association between dissociated memes to unfortunate melodrama (see: “days when you whisper | nights when you cry | […] | all the burnt parts | still rule inside. [11]. “Shiftless(Harvester)” makes for a solid read, but one leaves with little more than what one began with.


Friday, March 10, 2017

new from above/ground press: Stephen Collis, FIRST SKETCH OF A POEM I WILL NOT HAVE WRITTEN

FIRST SKETCH OF A POEM I WILL NOT HAVE WRITTEN
Stephen Collis
$4


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?
Make a small table set
in verse
a vocal reaching out to,
(and much else
allowed to sinew strength in solidarity as
in digital life we are dead as bodies already
and almost unthinkable technological waste accrues
the pop songs tell us
nothing but the nothing
we have always needed to know
so why not
nuestra arma / nuestra palabra
and what is poetry if money is information?
Cold last night, brain in its envelope, sealed
the struggle for the end of roles rolling on
(the black cap chickadees taking it up at dawn
and sometimes David when I say politics
I mean poetics
swing low
Campanera. Missing. Cellphone. Rift. Blank. Space. Rosebud.
What body is general? Autonomous?
Grass. Roots. Bit. Torrent. Detainees. No one. Illegal.
identity and difference / singular plural
to be small leavings, trace, humble solidarity with all struggles
writing as problem solving /
in the age of insoluble problems

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

Stephen Collis’s
many books of poetry include The Commons (Talon Books 2008; 2014), On the Material (Talon Books 2010—awarded the BC Book Prize for Poetry), DECOMP (with Jordan Scott—Coach House 2013), and Once in Blockadia (Talon Books 2016). He has also written two books of literary criticism, a book of essays on the Occupy Movement, and a novel. In 2014 he was sued for $5.6 million by US energy giant Kinder Morgan, whose lawyers read his writing in court as “evidence.” He lives near Vancouver, on unceded Coast Salish Territory, and teaches poetry and poetics at Simon Fraser University.

[Produced for Collis’s participation in Ottawa's 7th annual VERSeFest, March 21-26]

This is Collis’s second title with above/ground press, after NEW LIFE (2016).

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 7, 2017

new from above/ground press: from: Sunny girls, by Sandra Moussempès (translated by Eléna Rivera

Sandra Moussempès, from: Sunny girls
translated by Eléna Rivera
$4

J’AVAIS REMARQUÉ UNE MAISON SANS FIORITURE

Je vais trop loin
Je ne vais pas assez loin
J’entends un souffle derrière moi


I HAD NOTICED AN UNADORNED HOUSE


I go too far
I don't go far enough
I hear a breath behind me


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


These poems originally appeared in French in the collection Sunny girls, published by Flammarion in 2015.

Sandra Moussempès
, born in Paris in 1965, is a poet. Former resident of the Villa Médicis of the Academy of France in Rome, she has contributed to various reviews and anthologies in France and abroad. She is the author of nine volumes of poetry: Exercices d’incendie, éditions Fourbis, 1994, Vestiges de fillette, éditions Flammarion, 1997, Captures, éditions Flammarion, 2004, Photogénie des ombres peintes, éditions Flammarion, 2009, Acrobaties dessinées & CD Beauty Sitcom (Audio-poèmes), éditions de l’Attente, 2012 and Sunny girls, éditions Flammarion, 2015. She likes to decipher the mental codes that surround us through disrupting conventional imagery, in particular, clichés about the feminine, through the creation of a troubling environment, which has often cinematographic qualities or is inspired by sensations of déjà vu. She has translated American poet Kristin Prevallet into French, and has been translated by Kristin Prevallet, Serge Gavronsky, Lee-Ann Brown, and Carolyn Ducker. Moussempès works as a creative writing teacher. She is also a vocal and sound artist and has performed at Mamco in Geneva, Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, Carré d’Art in Nîmes, and other poetry festivals.

Eléna Rivera is a poet and translator. She won the 2010 Robert Fagles prize for her translation of Bernard Noël’s The Rest of the Voyage (Graywolf Press, 2011) and is a recipient of a 2010 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship in Translation. She has also translated three books by Isabelle Baladine Howald, Parting Movement, Constantly Prevented (Oystercatcher Press, 2014), Secret of Breath (Burning Deck, 2009) and The Pain of Returning (Mindmade Books 2012). Eléna's most recent books of poetry are Scaffolding (Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets, 2017), Atmosphered (Oystercatcher Press, 2014), On the Nature of Position and Tone (Fields Press, 2012) and The Perforated Map (Shearsman Books, 2011).

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

Monday, March 6, 2017

Joel W. Vaughan reviews John Barton’s Reframing Paul Cadmus (2016) in Broken Pencil #74



Joel W. Vaughan was good enough to provide the first review of John Barton’s Reframing Paul Cadmus (2016) in Broken Pencil #74. Thanks so much! You can see the original review here.

Printed 7” x 8.5”, John Barton presents, here, a sizable, not to mention memorable collection of ekphrastic poetry (ekphrastic is defined as verbal art about other art.) Each of Barton’s eleven poems printed herein demonstrates not only an intense familiarity with the visual work of Paul Cadmus, but a unique ability to transform his paintings into sensual narratives, all of which connect into a near-seamless collection that demands to be read aloud.
            For a reader generally unfamiliar with Cadmus’s work, I am surprised to feel such a visceral connection with his subjects through the dancing words of Barton’s interpretive hand. This speaks to the skill of the writer, and his ability not only to re-tell Cadmus’s implied narrative, but to develop it into an entity more than its original author conceived. This is the juice of ekphrastic poetry!
            Take, for example, Barton’s textual sketching-over of Cadmus’s 1935 “Gilding the Acrobats”: “Untouchable – For the duration, a man among many/Adept at plummeting down To earth A man up-close So ordinary/A man of ordinary looks”. Barton’s words, here, not only describe the events of the painting, but they enact them, the poem becoming acrobatic itself. A similar action marks the conclusion of a description of the 1987 “The House That Jack Built,” which reads as follows: “Kamikaze-like across his large stubborn/Shoulders while, unasphyxiated, he carries/On reading, indolent and immune to fire/Story after news story conflagrating/In flashes about him, the drifting/Tatters tampted in his damp coiled hair” [22]. The stoic eroticism of so many of Cadmus’s figures comes alive in Barton’s lexicon, perhaps even moreso in the latter than it does in the former. What results is a chapbook which must be consumed.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Eleni Zisimatos reviews philip miletic’s marginal prints (2017) at the Vallum blog




marginal prints by Philip Miletic is an accomplished book of avant-garde-type poetry that engages the reader fully. With expert control of his words, Miletic opens an exciting world to us, a world of spaces and meaning, couched within the avenues of a relationship. His poetry has a shifting range of forms, moving from poems like:

15
eyes erred
and edged;
soft-spoken script,
whispered periphery

to:

I thought of the passage
I thought of the passage in relation to you
I thought of the passage in relation to me
I thought of the passage and our shared conversation
I thought of the passage and our shared sense of ecstasy

marginal prints is a chapbook worth reading. Philip Miletic lives in Kitchener, ON and his book is published by above/ground press (2017).