Saturday, October 1, 2022

above/ground press: 2023 (THIRTIETH ANNIVERSARY) subscriptions now available!

THIRTY YEARS! The race to the half-century continues! And with more than TWELVE HUNDRED TITLES produced to date, there’s been a ton of above/ground press activity over the past year, including some THIRTY-FOUR CHAPBOOKS (so far) produced in 2022 alone (including poetry chapbooks by Geoffrey Nilson, Genevieve Kaplan, Melissa Spohr Weiss, Lori Anderson Moseman, Christopher Patton, Leigh Chadwick, Ken Norris, Grant Wilkins (with a further forthcoming!), N.W. Lea, Jed Munson, David Miller, Matthew Gwathmey, Michael Boughn, Laura Kelsey, Russell Carisse, Saba Pakdel, Jérôme Melançon, Marita Dachsel (with a further forthcoming!), Anne Tardos, Vivan Lewin, MLA Chernoff, Wade Bell, Joanna Arnott, Rob Manery, Lillian Nećakov, Amanda Earl, Karl Jirgens, df parizeau, Wanda Praamsma, Lydia Unsworth, Michael Schuffler, rob mclennan, Natalie Simpson and Nate Logan, all of which are still in print), as well as a chapbook anthology guest edited by Stephen Collis, Calling to the Sun: Poems for Isabella Wang, issues of the poetry journals Touch the Donkey [a small poetry journal], G U E S T [a journal of guest editors] (with recent issues guest-edited by David Dowker, Kyle Flemmer and Castle Guestskull, edited by Micah Ballard and Garrett Caples, with an issue forthcoming guest-edited by Sara Lefsyk) and a virtual issue of The Peter F. Yacht Club (there hasn’t been as many print issues of this since pandemic began, but expect a new issue in early 2023, as the world begins to properly open up again). Usually I’m producing more individual chapbooks throughout the year, but 2022 also saw the introduction of the Report from the Society series, produced as individual festschrifts (as this period could use some more positive) celebrating the work of Stephen Brockwell, Amanda Earl, Stuart Ross, Kate Siklosi (two volumes!), Elizabeth Robinson, Monty Reid, Cameron Anstee, Phil Hall, Gregory Betts and Sarah Mangold. And there are plenty more coming! Part of the fun is that none of the subjects have a clue the projects are even happening until finished copies land on their doorstep.

The Factory Reading Series is gearing up for some events again soon (I have yet to get on that), but have you seen the virtual reading series over at periodicities: a journal of poetry and poetics (with new monthly online content, by the way; the pandemic-era extension of above/ground press). And at least we’ve the ottawa small press fair opening up again, with our next fair scheduled for Saturday, November 12.

Oh, and did you see that above/ground press announced a new prose chapbook series during the pandemic? With titles by Amanda Earl, Jane Eaton Hamilton, rob mclennan, Keith Waldrop, Kristjana Gunnars, Al Kratz, Anik See, Adam Thomlison, M.A.C. Farrant, Summer Brenner, Ken Sparling, Gary Barwin, Sarah Rosenthal, Karl Jirgens, Wade Bell and David Miller; what else might come?

Forthcoming items through the press also include individual chapbooks by Julia Drescher, Robert van Vliet, Brad Vogler, Derek Beaulieu, Samuel Ace, Nathanael O'Reilly, George Bowering, Joseph Donato, Chris Johnson, Ben Jahn, Leesa Dean, Lindsey Webb, Jason Heroux, Nick Chhoeun, Grant Wilkins, Isabel Sobral Campos, Mark Scroggins, Laura Walker, Adrienne Adams, Jordan Davis, Jason Christie, Andrew Gorin, Marita Dachsel, Stuart Ross, Angela Caporaso and Isabella Wang, as well as a whole slew of publications that haven't even been decided on yet (probably a new one by myself as well, which shouldn’t shock anyone).

Anniversaries are the best. Remember that stack of essays by above/ground press authors to help celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary, or the anthology to help celebrate the twentieth? There’s already work underway on the third anthology, celebrating the third decade of the press, scheduled for next year with Invisible Publishing! (and I still have a couple of copies of the first anthology available, if anyone is interested)

2023 annual subscriptions (and resubscriptions) are now available: $75 (CAN; American subscribers, $75 US; $100 international) for everything above/ground press makes from the moment you subscribe through to the end of 2023, including chapbooks, broadsheets, The Peter F. Yacht Club and G U E S T and quarterly poetry journal Touch the Donkey (have you been keeping track of the dozens of interviews posted to the Touch the Donkey site?). Honestly: if I’m making sixty or seventy titles per calendar year, wouldn’t you call that a good deal? I mean, it all does seem ridiculous.

Anyone who subscribes on or by November 1st will also receive the last above/ground press package (or two or three) of 2022, 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 #35 (scheduled to release on October 15), featuring new work by Garrett Caples, Sheila Murphy, Stuart Ross and Brenda Coultas, as well as a fantastic new collaboration between Chris Turnbull and Elee Kraljii Gardiner. Can you believe the journal turns nine years old next spring?

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 PayPal or e-transfer to rob_mclennan (at) (or through the PayPal button at

Stay safe! Stay home! Wear a mask! Wash your damned hands!

Friday, September 23, 2022

new from above/ground press: Light Makes a Ruin, by Geoffrey Nilson

Light Makes a Ruin
Geoffrey Nilson

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
September 2022
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Geoffrey Nilson was born in Duncan, BC on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Cowichan Tribes. A poet, editor, and literary critic, he is also the founder and publisher of micropress pagefiftyone. Nilson is the author of four chap-books. In 2020, his poem “The Sound of Cellulose” appeared in the anthology Sweet Water: Poems for the Watersheds (Caitlin Press), and his critical writing has appeared recently in Canadian Literature and Arc Poetry Magazine. He holds a BA in Creative Writing from Kwantlen Polytechnic University and an MA in English from Simon Fraser University, where he is at work on his PhD studying the contemporary long-poem in Canada. In a past life, he was musician, songwriter, and recording engineer for various solo and collaborative projects. The BC-YK Representative for the League of Canadian Poets, Geoffrey lives with his daughter in New Westminster on the unceded territory of the Qayqayt nation. Website:

This is Nilson’s second above/ground press title, after In my ear continuously like a stream (2017).

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 rob_mclennan (at) or the PayPal button at

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

new from above/ground press: Felines, which sounds like feelings, by Genevieve Kaplan

Felines, which sounds like feelings
Genevieve Kaplan

It suits me fine

waking sometimes in the night I felt
some fur beneath my toes
and considered: kitten 1 or kitten 2
to the right
of my right foot, I thought, a kitten. so
I pushed my big toe, my calf closer and

in a notebook I kept score,
some track of emotions, rankings
of delight or astonishment, numbers
to remind myself not to contort
my face and ask instead, what
is the wonder of others? sometimes
I can be quite ungenerous

I thought about falling asleep
again. the sheets would take me
and release, I would be alive
with consciousness and departed
from it. to the right of my foot,
I thought

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
September 2022
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Genevieve Kaplan
is the author of (aviary) (Veliz Books, 2020); In the ice house (Red Hen Press, 2011); and four chapbooks, most recently I exit the hallway and turn right (above/ground, 2020), an anti-ode to office work. Her recent poems can be found in Oversound, Bennington Review, Ethel, and Puerto del Sol. A poet, scholar, and book-maker, Genevieve lives in southern California where she edits the Toad Press International chapbook series, publishing contemporary translations of poetry and prose.

This is Kaplan’s second chapbook with above/ground press, after I exit the hallway / and turn right (2020).

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 rob_mclennan (at) or the PayPal button at

Friday, September 16, 2022

new from above/ground press: Motion & Force, by Melissa Spohr Weiss

Motion & Force
Melissa Spohr Weiss


In moonrise, cis men croon, pose
penis, sip sermons. Impose roominess.
Soon, moss ripens, minces crimson spines.
I spin poems, iron coins, pin ripe roses
on composers. Sirs piss, semipro. Rinse spoons
in poison. Scoop sonic noise. Impress
me, morons. Moose is risen.
Cross is nicer crisp. Secs (sic)
is remiss. SOS.

About Motion & Force:

This collection responds to and blurs the line between Erin Moure’s Furious and Christian Bök’s Eunoia. In true Bök fashion, each poem strictly adheres to a set parameter, making use of only the letters in their titles. The content of each poem responds to key concepts Moure addresses in the second part of her book, “The Acts,” where she outlines her poetic process.

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
September 2022
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Melissa Spohr Weiss
is a PhD student at the University of New Brunswick. Her work has been published in Arc Poetry Magazine, Riddle Fence, The Malahat Review, CV2, Prairie Fire, The Maynard, Oakland Arts Review, and elsewhere. She is an editorial assistant for The Fiddlehead and is originally from Kelowna, BC.

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 rob_mclennan (at) or the PayPal button at