Tuesday, October 23, 2018

new from above/ground press: BIRDS I RECALL, by Sarah Mangold

Sarah Mangold

In the Department of Birds we welcome the possible. Accuracy is more-or-less proposition. Low down and close up. An architect in need of work. During the next five years Mrs. Morrill painted African landscapes never seen. To create a message for the future. To prepare for her coming tasks.

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
October 2018
celebrating twenty-five years of above/ground press
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Sarah Mangold
is the author of the poetry collections Household Mechanics (New Issues, selected by C. D. Wright), Electrical Theories of Femininity (Black Radish Books) and Giraffes of Devotion (Kore), as well as many chapbooks. She is the recipient of fellowships and supported residencies from the National Endowment for the Arts, the MacDowell Colony, Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Willapa Bay AiR and Artist Trust. She founded and edited Bird Dog: a journal of innovative writing and art, which featured longer poems and emerging women poets. She lives and works in Seattle.

This is Mangold’s fourth above/ground press chapbook, after Cupcake Royale (2012), Parlor (2012) and A Copyist, an Astronomer, and a Calendar Expert (2016).

[Mangold launches this chapbook in Ottawa as part of the above/ground press 25th anniversary broadside launch event with Gil McElroy and Sandra Ridley on Tuesday, October 30, 2018 as part of the ottawa international writers festival]

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

Friday, October 19, 2018

above/ground press 25th anniversary essay: Monty Reid

This is the thirty-third in a series of short essays/reminiscences by a variety of authors and friends of the press to help mark the quarter century mark of above/ground. See links to the whole series here.

The Canvas Bag Survives

When I first moved to Ottawa from Alberta in 1999, two poets went out of their way to welcome me. One, Arc co-founder Chris Levenson, has since moved himself, out to the west coast.  The other was rob mclennan. In fact, the day after I got into town, we read together at a downtown bookstore at an event that had been planned much earlier. Or did he host? I don’t remember. What I do remember is leaving the bookstore with a small envelope full of recent chapbooks he’d produced. 

They weren’t hard to carry. Lightweight and simply-produced, they felt flimsy in my hand. But they were not flimsy, they were loaded. I had heard of above/ground but this was the first I’d actually seen of it. I had read some of the poets, but many of them were new to me. There was concrete work, mashed-up sonnets and more traditional sentence-based material. I loved some of them and didn’t love others, but was knocked out by the variety and the sheer quantity of the productions.

It hasn’t stopped. The chapbooks keep coming, fifty a year sometimes. And this in addition to rob’s other projects, his little magazines, his recently-sequestered Chaudiere Books, his extensive blog, his workshops, his own non-stop publications, his support for other poetry organizations such as the Tree Reading Series and VerseFest, and his now-substantial family commitments. 

Like other chapbook publishers, above/ground plays an important role in develping new poets and giving more-established poets a new audience as well as a chance to test-drive new, sometimes different material. But I can’t think of any other chapbook publisher with the range and number of titles (even Fred Cogswell’s amazing Fiddlehead Books produced only 307 titles, albeit not all were chapbooks), with the long-term consistency (25 years and counting is a heck of a run), with the editorial generosity and as a result, an increasingly pivotal role for many writers, particularly those with an experimental bent.

My relation with above/ground is both as enabled and enabler. The press has published four of my chapbooks and a fifth is in the works. rob has arranged readings, made introductions, and gotten my work out into the world. As he has done for hundreds of others. One of my favorite images is rob on his bike in mid-winter, a black toque on his head and his long coat flapping, a canvas bag full of above/ground envelopes slung over his shoulder, heading out in the snow to hand-deliver the latest chapbooks to subscribers around the city. The bike, sadly, got stolen and trashed. The canvas bag survives.

But there were also times when I supplied paper and envelopes for the chapbooks, and heated up the copiers at the Museum of Nature running off hundreds of pages of the latest productions. I moved boxes, bought pizza, and tried to get rob to eat his vegetables. They were good times. They were the kind of things that friends did together, and that’s how I think of above/ground most often – as a friend.

Monty Reid was born in Saskatchewan, lived for many years in Alberta, and moved to the Ottawa area in 1999 to work at the Canadian Museum of Nature. His books include Karst Means Stone (NeWest), Crawlspace (Anansi), The Alternate Guide (rdc) and Garden (Chaudiere) – his most recent collection is 2016’s Meditatio Placentae (Brick). His chapbooks have appeared from many small publishers in Canada and abroad, including four from above/ground. A new chapbook, nipple variations, is forthcoming from post ghost press. A three-time GG nominee, he was Arc Poetry Magazine’s Managing Editor for many years and is currently the Director of VerseFest, Ottawa’s international poetry festival.

Monty Reid is the author of four above/ground press chapbooks, including Six Songs for the Mammoth Steppe (2000), cuba A book (2005), In the Garden (sept series) (2011) and Moan Coach (2013). A fifth is forthcoming.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Concrete Poetry exhibition at the Secret Handshake Gallery, Toronto:

Concrete is Porous
Act 1: Visual

An exhibition of concrete poetry.

November 3, 2018 to February 23, 2019
Opening reception November 3, 2:30pm to 6:30pm
The Secret Handshake Gallery
170a Baldwin Street
Toronto, Ontario

Featuring works by a variety of above/ground authors and non-authors, including bill bissett, dani spinosa, kate siklosi, eric schmaltz, derek beaulieu, michèle prevost, adeena karasick, david tin mouth, w mark sutherland, steve mccaffery, peggy lefler, mark laliberte, bpnichol, karl bekker, jim andrews, gary barwin, gustave morin, chad juriansz, paul dutton, michael e casteels, barbara caruso, amanda earl, jwcurry, judith copithorne, grant wilkins, hart broudy and daniel f bradley!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Scott Bryson reviews Derek Beaulieu’s tattered sails (after un coup de des) (2018) in Broken Pencil #81

Scott Bryson was good enough to provide the first review of Derek Beaulieu’s tattered sails (after un coup de des) (2018) in Broken Pencil #81. Thanks so much! It reads:

1969: Belgian poet Marcel Broodthaers reimagines French poet Stéphane Mallarmé’s Un Coup de dés jamais n’abolira le hazard (1897), replacing all of its text with solid black bars. The homage is an attempt to amplify Mallarmé’s inventive utilization of space.
            2018: Derek Beaulieu takes Broodthaers’ work and folds it, shifting the horizontal bars, he says, into “the hang and fold of sails on the mast… heaving beams and broken masts of a ship-wreck of meaning.” Beaulieu’s nautical approach is evidently inspired by Mallarmé’s original, which was heavy on upheaval, ship-wrecks, and the movement of water.
            This far removed from its original state, the altered Mallarmé material is more about associations, evolution, and performance than it is about poetry. If you’re not willing to dive into the history of tattered sails, you’re not getting much more than slanted black lines. As a stand-alone work, meaning is obscured – the value is in the voyage.
            In circling back to the initial text thematically, Beaulieu has provided us a closing chapter – that we didn’t know we needed – for a process that was launched 120 years ago.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

25th Anniversary of above/ground press at OIWF: w Ridley, McElroy + Mangold

25th Anniversary of above/ground press
with Sandra Ridley, Gil McElroy and Sarah Mangold
Hosted by Stephen Brockwell
as part of the ottawa international writers festival

"The impact of above/ground press has been so great, some authors can’t remember a time without it."
Apt. 613
Tuesday, October 30, 2018
7pm, Christ Church Cathedral • 414 Sparks Street Ottawa

As part of its silver anniversary year, the above/ground press has produced a limited edition set of single-poem broadsides by an array of above/ground press authors.

Curated by publisher/editor rob mclennan and designed by Christine McNair, the series will be launched by Sarah Mangold, Gil McElroy and Sandra Ridley, who will be joined on-stage by rob mclennan for a conversation on the press’s twenty-fifth year. Moderated by Stephen Brockwell.

More details on the broadsides to be announced very soon! Copies will, of course, be available at the event;

See Sandra Ridley's bio here ; Gil McElroy's bio here ; Sarah Mangold's bio here

for further information on the event and the festival, check out the link here

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Derek Beaulieu named Director of Literary Arts at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity

fwd: Media Release
For immediate release

Calgary’s former Poet Laureate Derek Beaulieu [and above/ground press author] named Director of Literary Arts at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity

BANFF, AB, October 9 – Derek Beaulieu, an award winning professor at the Alberta College of Art and Design and Mount Royal University, has been appointed the next Director of Literary Arts at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Beaulieu will take up his post on October 15, 2018 and is thrilled to be taking on this important role. Born in Montréal, Beaulieu moved to Calgary as a young boy and has built his career here.

“I grew up in Alberta, and have worked with the artistic and literary community here and across the country for decades. I believe that Banff Centre is unique in Canada as a place where writers come to explore their craft and be mentored by some of the most illustrious figures in literary arts. I am thrilled to get this opportunity to add to the rich legacy of literary arts at Banff Centre,” said Beaulieu.

As Calgary’s former Poet Laureate (2014–16), Beaulieu enjoyed being a cultural ambassador for the literary and visual arts, something he will continue while at Banff Centre. An award winning instructor, Beaulieu has taught creative writing and contemporary literature. A prolific author, editor, and visual artist, his work has also been exhibited internationally in over 20 solo and group exhibitions.

“We are so pleased Derek is joining our team at Banff Centre. It’s exciting to have an author and artist from Alberta to lead Literary Arts. We know Derek will succeed magnificently in this new role,” said Janice Price, President and CEO of Banff Centre.

“Derek impressed us all with his passion, ideas, and commitment to the regional, national, and international literary world. Derek is widely celebrated for his lifetime achievements, his depth of experience as an educator, and as a published writer. He is also a builder of community and an advocate for the role art can play in shaping our understanding of who we are that made him a perfect fit,” said Howard Jang, Vice President of Arts and Leadership of Banff Centre.

Derek Beaulieu is the author and editor of 20 collections of poetry, prose, and criticism including two volumes of his selected work Please No More Poetry: the poetry of derek beaulieu (2013) and Konzeptuelle Arbeiten (2017). His most recent volume of fiction, a, A Novel was published by Paris’s Jean Boîte Editions.

Beaulieu lives in Calgary with his wife and daughter and will be relocating to Banff this fall.

For more information, please contact:

Jenny Spurr
Manager, Communications
Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity
107 Tunnel Mountain Drive
Banff, Alberta
T1L 1H5
tel: 403.431.0261

Friday, October 5, 2018

above/ground press at Canzine Ottawa / October 13

above/ground press will be exhibiting at Ottawa's first ever Canzine on October 13, 2018 at the Ottawa Art Gallery!

You should totally come out if you are able. Free to get in! Yay!

noon to 6pm
Saturday, October 13, 2018
Ottawa Art Gallery - Galerie d'art d'Ottawa
50 Mackenzie King Bridge, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 0C5

All of this, of course, simply as build-up to the semi-annual ottawa small press book fair on November 24th, an event that will be celebrating (as you know) twenty-four glorious years!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

above/ground press: 2019 subscriptions now available!

TWENTY-SIX YEARS! The race to the half-century begins. And with NINE HUNDRED TITLES produced so far, there's been a ton of above/ground press activity over the past year, including some FIFTY CHAPBOOKS (so far) produced in 2018 alone (including titles by rob mclennan (two!), Sara Renee Marshall (two!), Mark Laliberte, Lisa Rawn, Sean Braune (two!), Michael Martin Shea, Melissa Eleftherion, Ian Dreiblatt, Uxío Novoneyra (trans. Erín Moure), Stephen Brockwell, Phil Hall / Stuart Kinmond, Billy Mavreas, Stuart Ross, natalie hanna, Miguel E. Ortiz Rodríguez, Natalee Caple, Julia Polyck-O'Neill, Jason Christie, Travis Sharp, Beth Ayer, Jon Boisvert, Jenna Jarvis, Lise Downe, Allison Cardon, Lea Graham, Tim Atkins, Gregory Betts + Arnold McBay, Amanda Earl, Derek Beaulieu, Aaron Tucker, Dani Spinosa, Andrew Wessels, Marthe Reed, Kate Siklosi, Edward Smallfield, Amish Trivedi, Steve McCaffery, Gary Barwin and Tom Prime, Gary Barwin and Alice Burdick, Stephanie Gray, Alice Notley, Stan Rogal, Rachel Mindell, Eleni Zisimatos, Adrienne Gruber, Andrew Cantrell, kevin martins mcpherson eckhoff and Anna Gurton-Wachter, all of which are still in print), to The Factory Reading Series and the poetry journal Touch the Donkey (included as part of the above/ground press subscription!). And have you been reading the 25th anniversary essays on above/ground press being posted throughout the year? Just what else might happen? Forthcoming items include works by Franco Cortese, Heather Sweeney, Ralph Kolewe, Ben Meyerson, Isabel Sobral Campos, Mary Kasimor, Andrew K Peterson, Virginia Konchan, Evan Gray, Joshua Collis, Megan Kaminski, Sacha Archer, Sandra Ridley, Jamie Townsend, Jennifer Stella, MC Hyland, Sarah Mangold, Cole Swensen and Dennis Cooley as well as a whole slew of publications that haven't even been decided on yet. AND A NEW JOURNAL I'VE STARTED FOR SOME REASON! WHAT!

And 20th anniversary reissues of titles by Gil McElroy and John Newlove are already scheduled for 2019! Gah!

2019 annual subscriptions (and resubscriptions) are now available: $65 (CAN; American subscribers, $65 US; $90 international) for everything above/ground press makes from the moment you subscribe through to the end of 2019, including chapbooks, broadsheets, The Peter F. Yacht Club and G U E S T and Touch the Donkey (have you been keeping track of the dozens of interviews posted to the Touch the Donkey site?).

Anyone who subscribes on or by November 1st will also receive the last above/ground press package (or two) of 2018, including those exciting new titles by all of those folk listed above, plus whatever else the press happens to produce before the turn of the new year, as well as Touch the Donkey #19 (scheduled to release on October 15), a journal that already turns five years old in 2019!

Why wait? You can either send a cheque (payable to rob mclennan) to 2423 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K1H 7M9, or send money via PayPayl or e-transfer to rob_mclennan (at) hotmail.com

Monday, October 1, 2018

new from above/ground press: Study of a fox, by rob mclennan

Study of a fox
rob mclennan

Self-portrait, extant

Exhaustion sets in. Accelerated meaning. By too lean a mix. True, that. Am I not human? Green is the news. A narrative beckons. Absolute. Crossing a surface. Blood in the water. What I can relate to. Hard-core. What is interesting, conceptually. The universe: folds, and unfolds. We pretend we’re the centre. We have to. Take every precaution. Don’t cry. Our tomatoes, abundant. Despite our best efforts. Hold on. Hold. Listen. There was a light inside that. One can’t help but notice.

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
October 2018
celebrating twenty-five years of above/ground press
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Born in Ottawa, Canada’s glorious capital city, rob mclennan currently lives in Ottawa, where he is home full-time with the two wee girls he shares with Christine McNair. The author of more than thirty trade books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, he won the John Newlove Poetry Award in 2010, the Council for the Arts in Ottawa Mid-Career Award in 2014, and was longlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize in 2012 and 2017. In March, 2016, he was inducted into the VERSe Ottawa Hall of Honour. His most recent titles include the poetry collection A perimeter (New Star Books, 2016), How the alphabet was made (Spuyten Duyvil, 2018) and Household items (Salmon Poetry, 2018). An editor and publisher, he runs above/ground press, Chaudiere Books (with Christine McNair), The Garneau Review (ottawater.com/garneaureview), seventeen seconds: a journal of poetry and poetics (ottawater.com/seventeenseconds), Touch the Donkey (touchthedonkey.blogspot.com) and the Ottawa poetry pdf annual ottawater (ottawater.com). He is “Interviews Editor” at Queen Mob’s Teahouse, a former contributor to the Ploughshares blog and Open Book, editor of my (small press) writing day, and an editor/managing editor of many gendered mothers. He spent the 2007-8 academic year in Edmonton as writer-in-residence at the University of Alberta, and regularly posts reviews, essays, interviews and other notices at robmclennan.blogspot.com

This is mclennan’s sixtieth above/ground press chapbook, following snow day (2018) and It’s still winter (2017), and above/ground press’ 900th item overall. This chapbook, along with It’s still winter, is part of the as-yet-unpublished manuscript, “the book of smaller.”

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