Thursday, July 20, 2023


celebrating THIRTY YEARS of continuous activity (and nearly thirteen hundred publications), Ottawa publisher above/ground press presents:

readings and chapbook launches by:

Jennifer Baker (Ottawa ON)
nina jane drystek (Ottawa ON)
Amanda Earl (Ottawa ON)
Adrienne Ho Rose (Iowa City IA)
Sophia Magliocca (Montreal QC)
Karen Massey (Ottawa ON)
Jérôme Melançon (Regina SK)
Monty Reid (Ottawa ON)
Grant Wilkins (Ottawa ON)

lovingly hosted by above/ground press editor/publisher rob mclennan
downstairs at the Clocktower Brew Pub, Glebe
575 Bank St, Ottawa
7pm door/7:30pm reading

$10 at the door (cash only! although e-transfer possible, I suppose); includes copies of two recent above/ground press titles

author/performer biographies:

Jennifer Baker is a poet and Adjunct Professor of English Literature living and working in Ottawa. She is the author of three chapbooks: Abject Lessons (above/ground press, 2014), Memento Mishka (with David Currie, Apt.9 Press, 2023) and Groundling (Trainwreck Press, 2021). Her poetry, reviews, and articles can be found in ottawater, Dusie, Canthius, The Bull Calf, Canadian Literature, The Journal of Canadian Poetry, and Robert Kroetsch: Essayist, Novelist, Poet (University of Ottawa Press, 2020), among others, and she is the 2022 honourable mention recipient of Arc Poetry Magazine’s Diana Brebner Prize.

She will be launching an above/ground press reissue of her Trainwreck Press chapbook, Groundling: On Apology, her second title with above/ground press, following Abject Lessons (2014).

nina jane drystek is a poet, writer and performer based in Ottawa, unceded Algonquin Anishinaabe territory. she is author of a:of:in (Gap Riot Press, 2021) and knewro suite (Simulacrum Press, 2019), and her poems have appeared in online and print publications, as well as in self-published chapbooks and broadsides. her original sound poem scores can be heard on bandcamp. she is one of the co-founders of Riverbed Reading Series, was shortlisted for the 2020 Bronwen Wallace Award for Poetry, writes collaborative poetry with VII – authors of holy disorder of being (Gap Riot, 2022) and Towers (Collusion Books, 2021) – and performs sound poetry with the rotating group of collaborators. if you have ever lived in the same city as her you have likely seen her riding a red or blue bicycle. you can find her @textcurious or contact her via electronic mail.

She will be launching the chapbook missing matrilineal, her first with above/ground.

Amanda Earl (she/her) is a polyamorous, pansexual intersectional feminist living on Algonquin Anishinaabeg unceded territory. Her works with spines are Trouble (Hem Press, 2022), Genesis (Timglaset Editions, 2022), Coming Together Presents Amanda Earl (Coming Together, 2014) and Kiki (Chaudiere Books/now with Invisible Publishing, 2014).  She self-published her e-novella, A World of Yes in 2015 and will self-publish her poetry book, Beast Body Epic in autumn 2023, after turning 60. She is the author of over 30 chapbooks, including 14 visual poetry chapbooks. More info is available at Connect with Earl on Twitter @KikiFolle

She will be launching Touch the Donkey [a small poetry journal] #38, which includes an excerpt of a longer work-in-progress. She is also the author of ten chapbooks with above/ground press, including Eleanor (2007), The Sad Phoenician’s Other Woman (2008), Sex First & Then A Sandwich (2012), A Book of Saints (2015), Lady Lazarus Redux (2017), The Book of Mark (2018), Aftermath or Scenes of a Woman Convalescing (2019), Sessions from the DreamHouse Aria (2020), a field guide to fanciful bugs (2021) and THE BEFORE, an excerpt from Welcome to Upper Zygonia (2022). above/ground press also produced a festschrift celebrating Earl’s work, Report from the Earl Society, Vol. 1 No. 1 (2022).

Adrienne Ho Rose was born in Toronto, grew up in Ottawa, and has been living in the US heartland since 2004. Her poems and translations have been published in Canadian and US journals, including Arc Poetry Magazine and Bywords and most recently ottawater. She directs the undergraduate translation program at the University of Iowa.

She will be launching her chapbook debut, which is as-yet-untitled.

Sophia Magliocca is a Master’s student in English Literature at Concordia University (Tiohtià:ke/ Montreal) where she researches the effects of (mis)interpreting how women’s legacies are documented across literary history. Sophia is a known lover of travel, pasta and orange cats. Most recently she has published poetry in Canadian literary journals such as Yolk, Montreal Writes and periodicities: a journal of poetry and poetics. Find her on Instagram @sophmagli

She will be launching her chapbook debut, Girl gives long-fingered self-portrait.

Karen Massey (she/her) lives in Ottawa, Canada, on unceded Algonquin Anishinabe territory. Her poems & found poems have been published online, in 2 chapboooks, over 2 dozen print anthologies, & in literary journals including TNQ, Aesthetica, Mslexia, subTerrain & Arc Poetry Magazine, where she received the 2020 Diana Brebner Award.

She will be launching SONGS FROM THE DEMENTIA SUITCASE, her third above/ground press title after Bullet (1999) and Strange Fits of Beauty & Light (2014).

Jérôme Melançon lives in oskana kâ-asastêki / Regina, Saskatchewan. His most recent poetry collection is En d’sous d’la langue (Prise de parole, 2021). He has also published two books of poetry with Éditions des Plaines, De perdre tes pas (2011) and Quelques pas quelque part (2016), as well as one book of philosophy, La politique dans l’adversité (Metispresses, 2018). He regularly publishes poetry criticism, notably in the online journal periodicities: a journal of poetry and poetics, and his essay on above/ground press’ thirty years of activity can be read in Arc Poetry Magazine #101. He has edited books and journal issues, mostly in political philosophy, and keeps publishing academic articles that marginally relate to these poems. He can be found on social media with the handle @lethejerome.

He will be launching the chapbook Bridges under the Water, his third above/ground press title following Coup (2020) and Tomorrow’s Going to Be Bright (2022).

Monty Reid is an Ottawa poet. He prefers short poems.

He will be launching the chapbook Where there’s smoke, his sixth chapbook with above/ground press, after Six Songs for the Mammoth Steppe (2000), cuba A book (2005), In the Garden (sept series) (2011), Moan Coach (2013) and seam (2018).

Grant Wilkins is an occasional poet, printer and papermaker from Ottawa who has made a practice of doing strange things to other people’s words. He has degrees in History & Classical Civilization and in English, and he likes ink, metal, paper, letters, sounds and words, and combinations thereof.

He will be launching the chapbooks Poetic Constructions and The Baroness and her Ex Read Orgasmic Toast: To Whom It May Concern, his third and fourth chapbooks with above/ground press, after Reading The Great Classics Of Canlit through Book 5 of bpNichol’s The Martyrology (2022) and In Which Archibald Lampman / Translates Arthur Rimbaud (2023).

see a report on the 26th anniversary event here:

the 25th anniversary event here:

the 23rd anniversary (Ottawa) event here:

the 23rd anniversary (Toronto) event here:

the 20th anniversary event here:

and the 19th anniversary event here:


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