Thursday, December 10, 2009

new from above/ground press: & look there goes a sparrow transplanting soil by Emily Carr

& look there goes a sparrow transplanting soil

Emily Carr


published in Ottawa by above/ground press
in an edition of 200 copies, December 2009
add $1 for postage (outside Canada, add $2 & in American currency)
with cheques to rob mclennan, c/o 858 Somerset Street West, main floor,
Ottawa Ontario Canada K1R 6R7
2010 subscriptions now available

Emily Carr is writing to loot to hew & Eden, a book of poetry that explores happiness from feminist & ecocritical perspectives. In 2010, directions for flying is forthcoming from Furniture Press & 13 ways of happily: books 1 & 2 is forthcoming from Parlor Press. Emily has received fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center & the Jack Kerouac House. Her poetry has appeared most recently in Gargoyle, Margie, Caketrain, ISLE, Fiddlehead & The Antigonish.

Cover image by kevin mcpherson eckhoff

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

new from above/ground press: Poems for Lainna by rob mclennan

Poems for Lainna

by rob mclennan


love is an impossible narrative

there are too many blue cars in this province.

too often beer commercials on television

are the last stop of wisdom. at the hands of the swarm,

came thus but another swarm. a plethora of bees.

if a murder of crows, why not just a pint, then, of poets?

most contemporary horror films

are but scenes of sudden surprise.

emus run wild through the streets of Edmonton.

someone just let them go.

if this is sinful excess, then let it be sinful.

let it be everything it need be then multiplied.

my three fingers that elevator on Whyte

that went nowhere until

we pushed back the button.

this is a true story.

love is a fading photograph

with newer pictures laid overtop.

there are too many blue cars in this province.

cars you can count on the fingers of one hand

coloured peach, lime, orange. the cupboards are bare.

I am caught up with the smooth skin

of an impossible country.

published in Ottawa by above/ground press

in an edition of 200 copies, December 2009

add $1 for postage (outside Canada, add $2 & in American currency)

with cheques payable to rob mclennan, c/o 858 Somerset Street West, main floor

Ottawa Ontario Canada K1R 6R7

2010 subscriptions now available

Born in Ottawa, Canada’s glorious capital city, rob mclennan currently lives in Ottawa. The author of some twenty trade books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, his most recent titles are the poetry collections Gifts (Talonbooks, 2009), a compact of words (Salmon Publishing, Ireland, 2009), kate street (Moira, Chicago Il, 2009) and wild horses (University of Alberta Press, 2010), as well as a second novel, missing persons (The Mercury Press, 2009). An editor and publisher, he runs above/ground press, Chaudiere Books (with Jennifer Mulligan), seventeen seconds: a journal of poetry & poetics (, The Garneau Review ( and the Ottawa poetry pdf annual ottawater ( He spent the 2007-8 academic year in Edmonton as writer-in-residence at the University of Alberta, and currently divides his time between Ottawa and Toronto. He regularly posts reviews, essays, interviews and other notices at

Monday, December 7, 2009

above/ground press at the toronto small press book fair


Because the Toronto Reference Library is having construction work done this fall, we're moving to the fabulous GLADSTONE HOTEL on Queen Street West for this season's Toronto Small Press Book Fair. We're really excited about the location, and we're thrilled to announce the new December date—perfect for holiday shopping, right in the middle of the festive season.

DATE: Saturday, December 12th. (Readers and performers including rob mclennan at 1:30pm on-site)

TIME: 10 am-5 pm (presses should be on-site by 9:30 at the latest—doors open at 9 am)

ADDRESS: 1214 Queen Street West, Toronto M6J 1J6
(Directions: Queen Street West & Gladstone (near Dufferin). Some street parking, some parking in front of Woolfit's on Queen. Nearest paid parking lot: Queen & O'Hara. Public Transit: TTC Queen Streetcar (the stop is right in front of the Gladstone Hotel!) (Facilities for people with disabilities)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

2 new chapbooks by above/ground press

by Phil Hall

Our / Are Carried Invisibles
by Roland Prevost

publisht in Ottawa by above/ground press. a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy. To order, add $1 for postage, & in Canadian currency; if sending from outside Canada, send in American, payable to rob mclennan, c/o 858 Somerset Street West, main floor, Ottawa, Ontario Canada K1R 6R7; above/ground press subscribers receive (honest!) a complimentary copy; calendar year subscriptions available for $40, & include chapbooks, broadsides, STANZAS magazine & The Peter F. Yacht Club.

Roland Prevost recieved the 2006 John Newlove Poetry Award (judge: Erin Mouré). His poetry has been published in two previous chapbooks: Metafizz, Bywords, 2007; Dragon Verses, Dusty Owl , 2009. He has also appeared in “Ottawater 3.0”, and “Ottawater 5.0”, above/ground press, Variations Art Zine, Bywords Quarterly Journal, Peter F. Yacht Club, Angel House Press, among others. He was the managing editor of for two years, and currently acts as the managing editor for 17 seconds, an online journal of poetry & poetics. Late at night, he loves to look at the deep sky through his various telescopes.

Phil Hall was born in 1953 & raised on farms in the Kawarthas region of Ontario. He attended the University of Windsor in the 70s, where he received an MA in English & Creative Writing. His first book, Eighteen Poems, was published in Mexico City in 1973. Since then he has published 13 other books of poems, 4 chapbooks, & a cassette of labour songs. He is also a publisher of broadsides & chapbooks under his Flat Singles Press imprint. In the early 80s he was a member of The Vancouver Industrial Writers’ Union. In the early 90s he was Literary Editor at This Magazine, & also edited a shortlived literary journal called Don’t Quit Yr Day-Job.Among his titles are: Homes (1979), Old Enemy Juice (1988), The Unsaid (1992), & Hearthedral—A Folk-Hermetic (1996). Trouble Sleeping (2000) was nominated for the Governor General’s Award for poetry. In 2005, Brick Books (celebrating 20 years as Hall’s publisher) brought out An Oak Hunch, which was nominated for the Griffin Poetry Prize in 2006. Hall has taught writing & literature at the Kootenay School of Writing, York University, Ryerson Polytechnical University, & many colleges.He has been poet-in-residence at the University of Western Ontario, the Sage Hill Writing Experience (Sask.), The Berton House in Dawson City, Yukon, & elsewhere. In 2007, Book Thug published Hall’s new long poem, White Porcupine, & also issue a revised second edition of his essay/poem, The Bad Sequence. Over the years, Hall has collected two full decks of random playing cards from the streets, numerous albums of found photographs, & too many boxes of paper ephemera. He calls all this junk “The Pedestrian Archives.” He is learning to play clawhammer banjo.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

a second event of out-of-towners (mostly)

lovingly hosted by rob mclennan
doors 7pm, reading 7:30pm

The Carleton Tavern (upstairs),
223 Armstrong (at Parkdale)

Friday, May 29, 2009

with readings by:
Elizabeth Bachinsky (Vancouver)
Matt Rader (Vancouver)

Wanda O'Connor (Montreal)
& Marcus McCann (Ottawa)

Elizabeth Bachinsky is the author of three collections of poetry, Curio (BookThug, 2005), Home of Sudden Service (Nightwood, 2006), and God of Missed Connections (Nightwood, 2009). Her work was nominated for the Governor General's Award for Poetry in 2006 and the Bronwen Wallace Award in 2004 and has appeared in literary journals, anthologies, and on film in Canada, the United States, France, Ireland, England, and China. She is an instructor of creative writing at Douglas College in New Westminster where she is Poetry Editor for Event magazine. She lives in Vancouver.

Matt Rader is the author of two books of poems: Miraculous Hours (2005) and Living Things (2008). His poems, stories, and non-fiction have appeared in journals and anthologies across North America, Australia, and Europe and have been nominated for numerous awards including the Gerald Lampert Award, the Journey Prize, and two Pushcart Prizes. He is an instructor of creative writing at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Richmond, BC. He lives in Vancouver.

Wanda O'Connor once embraced a fond affection for trap shooting. She's been published in three countries and once won a CBC poetry contest about the public service. She has a degree in Creative Writing and Classics from Concordia in Montreal and used to play punk guitar. She now tends tomatoes instead of children.

Marcus McCann is the editor of Ottawa’s gay and lesbian newspaper. He's a host of CKCU's Literary Landscapes and the organizer of both the Transgress festival and the Naughty Thoughts Book Club. After six chapbooks, Soft Where (Chaudiere Books, 2009) is his first full-length collection.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

a reading by five out-of-towners: Burnham, Stewart, Belford, Midgley, Smith

lovingly hosted by rob mclennan
doors 7pm, reading 7:30pm

The Carleton Tavern (upstairs),
223 Armstrong (at Parkdale)

Monday, May 25, 2009

with readings by:

Clint Burnham (Vancouver)
Christine Stewart (Edmonton)
Ken Belford (Prince George)
Peter Midgley (Edmonton)
& Michelle Smith (Edinburgh)

Clint Burnham is a Vancouver writer and teacher. His most recent books include The Benjamin Sonnets (Bookthug, 2009), Rental Van (Anvil, 2007), and Smoke Show (Arsenal Pulp, 2005).

Christine Stewart writes, teaches and researches experimental poetry and poetics in the English and Film Department, University of Alberta. Selected Publications: “This Then Would Be the Conversation." Antiphonies: Essays on Women’s Experimental Poetries in Canada. The Gig. 2008. Propositions from Under Mill Creek Bridge. Virgin Press. 2007. The Trees of Periphery: above/ground press, 2007. Pessoa's July: or the months of astonishments. Nomados Press. 2006. "We Lunch Nevertheless among Reinvention." Chicago Review. 2006. from Taxonomy. West House Press, 2003.

Ken Belford is the author of six books of poetry including lan(d)guage (Caitlin Press 2008), and when snakes awaken (Nomados 2007). A proponent of what he has termed lan(d)guage, Belford assembles his intellectually independent sequences out of the shifting language of the BC interior, writing out a type of poetic pidgin by mixing language markers of the modern west coast with an older contact lingo of the lands beyond the edge of the farmers and rancher’s field. Self educated, Belford has lived in the roadless mountains of the headwaters of Northern BC's Nass River for half his life. He adapts language and ideas, making a writing with a governance and order of his own. Lan(d)guage is his sixth book. He will be reading from lan(d)guage and a new manuscript, decompositions, to be published by Talon.

Peter Midgley is a storyteller and a writer of children’s books that have won international awards and have been translated into 20 languages. He is also the author of two plays, Archetypes and Namlish, a political farce about Namibian independence. Peter writes in both English and Afrikaans and his poetry has appeared in the South African journals, Literator and New Coin. Some poems also appear in The Story that Brought Me Here: To Edmonton from Everywhere. He is currently working on a bilingual volume of poems, perhaps i should / miskien moet ek and book-length creative non-fiction project, A Truce Stranger than Fiction: Reflections on Namibian Independence.

Michelle Denise Smith is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Edinburgh. She was awarded a doctorate in English literature by the University of Alberta in 2008. Her poetry has appeared most recently in Arc, Grain, CV2, and The New Quarterly. She is fascinated by travel or,more to the point, Paris, and she is accordingly at work on a collection of travel essays and a novel titled Hitting the Ground. She is also close to completing her first collection of poems, mnemosyne above dark waters.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

ottawa small press book fair, spring 2009 edition; pre-fair reading!

lovingly hosted by rob mclennan
doors 7pm, reading 7:30pm

The Carleton Tavern (upstairs), 223 Armstrong (at Parkdale)

Friday, June 19, 2009

with readings by:
Gillian Sze (Toronto)
Nick McArthur (Montreal)
Laurie Fuhr (Calgary)

Jon Paul Fiorentino (Montreal)
& Cameron Anstee (Ottawa)

author bios:

Gillian Sze was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her poetry has appeared in such venues as CV2, Prairie Fire, pax americana (U.S.), Crannóg (Ireland), Cha: An Asian Literary Journal (Hong Kong), and as a featured “Parliamentary Poem of The Week” selection. She is also the author of two chapbooks, This is the Colour I Love You Best (2007) and A Tender Invention (2008). She has an MA in Creative Writing from Concordia and resides in Toronto. Fish Bones, published this spring in the DC Books Punchy Poetry series, is her first full collection of poems.

Nick McArthur grew up in Newcastle, Ontario, and currently makes his home in Montreal. He is a graduate of Concordia University's creative writing program, and his work has appeared in Matrix, Pistol, and on Short Accounts of Tragic Occurrences is his first book.

Laurie Fuhr used to live in Ottawa, but now she lives in Calgary. She used to busk guitar in the Byward Market, but now she plays rockabilly bass in a band. She used to write poetry, but now she writes poetry. Laurie is Managing Editor of Filling Station Magazine.

Jon Paul Fiorentino is the author of five booksincluding the poetry collections Hello Serotonin and The Theory of the Loser Class, which was a finalist for the 2006 A.M. Klein Award and winner of the 2006 Expozine Alternative Press Award. He is also theauthor of the comedy book Asthmatica. His first novel, Stripmalling, is out now. He lives in Montreal where he teaches writing at Concordia University and is the Editor of Matrix.

Cameron Anstee is a student in Ottawa. He has a chapbook forthcoming from the Emergency Response Unit. He is presently learning to stitch books and will launch Apt. 9 Press this summer.

And don't forget the ottawa small press book fair, happening the following day!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Kim Minkus, Christine Leclerc + Jen Currin in Ottawa!

lovingly hosted by rob mclennan
doors 7pm, reading 7:30pm

The Carleton Tavern (upstairs), 223 Armstrong (at Parkdale)

Friday, May 8, 2009

readings by three Vancouver poets:

Kim Minkus
Christine Leclerc
& Jen Currin

author bios:

Kim Minkus is a Vancouver poet, and writing instructor. She is a PhD candidate in Simon Fraser University's English Department where her research interests are contemporary poetics, avant-garde book history, archival studies, and experiment and risk. She has had articles published on poets Susan Howe and Stephen Cain. LINEbooks published her first book of poetry 9 Freight in the fall of 2007 and her second book Thresh is forthcoming. She has had reviews and poetry published in FRONT Magazine, Interim, West Coast Line, The Poetic Front, LOCUSPOINT, ottawater, Memewar and Jacket. She currently teaches at Capilano University.

Christine Leclerc, originally from Montreal, now lives in Vancouver. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia. Her work has appeared in 42opus, Dig, FRONT, FU, Memewar, OCHO, Pistola, subTerrain, terry, the Worksound gallery, and is forthcoming in Interim. Leclerc is the author of Counterfeit, a book of poetry published by Capilano University Editions (CUE) in fall 2008. She teaches creative writing at Langara College Continuing Studies.

Jen Currin has published two books of poems, The Sleep of Four Cities and Hagiography. The Inquisition Yours is forthcoming in 2010. She lives in Vancouver, where she is currently pursuing a Masters in Literature at Simon Fraser University, and trying to grow vegetables in her front yard.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

i recently posted

a bibliography of the above/ground press "poem" broadsides; a full bibliography of the first decade at the back of Groundswell;

currently working on various new publications over the next few months; also, watch out for the sixteenth anniversary reading/launch at the Ottawa Art Gallery in August! details tba...

Monday, January 26, 2009

above/ground press: ALBERTA SERIES now online!

Edited and produced by rob mclennan
in Edmonton, at the University of Alberta
designed by mdesnoyers

One > rob mclennan
Two > George Bowering
Three > Christine Stewart
Four > Natalie Simpson
Five > Catherine Owen
Six > Jenna Butler
Seven > Douglas Barbour
Eight > derek beaulieu

These poetry chapbooks were originally produced in numbered runs of two hundred copies, once a month, from September 2007 to April 2008, to correspond with my time in Edmonton as writer-in-residence at the University of Alberta. All but two, myself and George Bowering, are Alberta authors, and George's came around the time he did a reading in Edmonton at the Olive Reading Series.

In the fifteen years I've been running above/ground press, producing chapbooks, magazines and 'poem' leaflets, I was amazed at what I could potentially accomplish, given that, thanks to the University and my new income, with actual resources. How could I not be producing material out of my English and Film Studies office?

rob mclennan
Ottawa, October 2008

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

ottawater #5 launch!

Ottawa’s annual pdf poetry journal
edited by rob mclennan

the fifth issue of ottawater will go live in January 2009, with new writing by Cameron Anstee, Michael Blouin, Stephen Brockwell, Monique Desnoyers, Amanda Earl, Jesse Ferguson, Warren Dean Fulton, Adrienne Ho, Sean Johnston, Ben Ladouceur, Lainna Lane, Marcus McCann, rob mclennan, Christine McNair, Colin Morton, Jennifer Mulligan, Wanda O'Connor, Pearl Pirie, K.I. Press, Roland Prevost, Monty Reid, Shane Rhodes, Suzannah Showler, Sandra Ridley, Mike Spry, Gillian Wallace, Zack Wells, Rob Winger and Rachel Zolf, as well as an interview with poet Nina Berkhout.

The Ottawa launch will be happening Thursday, January 29 at the Ottawa Art Gallery in the Arts Court Building as part of the Factory Reading Series, lovingly hosted by rob mclennan, with readings from various contributors; doors 7pm, reading 7:30pm

Friday, January 9, 2009

Angela Szczepaniak, Eva Moran & Jason Camlot at the Factory Reading Series

lovingly hosted by rob mclennan
as part of the Factory Reading Series at the Ottawa Art Gallery
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Arts Court, 2 Daly Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6E2 Canada
doors 7pm, reading 7:30pm

readings & book launches by three authors:
Angela Szczepaniak
Eva Moran
& Jason Camlot

author bios:

Angela Szczepaniak
Unisex Love Poems (Punchy/DC Books)

A doctoral candidate at the University at Buffalo, Angela Szczepaniak is neck-deep in a dissertation on innovative poetry, detective fiction, andcomic books. In addition to publishing poetry and critical essays, she recently participated in a hygiene themed poetry-art project, and as a result her work can be found on placards in some of the finest public restrooms in Seattle. She is the author of Unisex Love Poems (Punchy/DCBooks). At the moment, she lives in Toronto.

Eva Moran,
Porny Stories (Punchy/DC Books)

Eva a SWF 5' 6" Montreal native living and working in Toronto. Eva is a non-smoker who rarely drinks. But make no mistake, she's a spunky, fun and energetic Leo. Eva has her MA in English Literature from Concordia, is an aspiring boxer, and she works out six days a week. Eva enjoys running, yoga, and long bike rides. She adores petting puppy golden retrievers. She is the author of Porny Stories (Punchy/DC Books). Love her!

Jason Camlot
The Debaucher (Insomniac Press)

Jason Camlot is the author of three collections of poetry, The Animal Library, Attention All Typewriters and most recently, The Debaucher. His critical works include Language Acts: Anglo-Québec Poetry, 1976 to the 21st Century, co-edited with Todd Swift, and Style and the Nineteenth-Century British Critic. He is poetry editor of the Punchy Writers Series (DC Books), and Chair of English at Concordia University.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Jay MillAr & Pearl Pirie, February 13th at the Carleton Tavern

lovingly hosted by rob mclennan
doors 7pm, reading 7:30pm
The Carleton Tavern (upstairs), 223 Armstrong (at Parkdale)
Friday, February 13, 2009

readings by:
Jay MillAr (Toronto)
& Pearl Pirie (Ottawa)

author bios:

Jay MillAr is a Toronto poet, editor, publisher, and virtual bookseller. He is the author of False Maps for Other Creatures (2005), Mycological Studies (2002), and The Ghosts of Jay MillAr (2000). His most recent collection is the small blue (Fall 2007). In 2006 he published Double Helix, a collaborative "novel" written with Stephen Cain. Millar is the shadowy figure behind BookThug, an independent publishing house dedicated to cutting edge work by well-known and emerging North American writers, as well as Apollinaire's Bookshoppe, a virtual bookstore that specializes in the books that no one wants to buy. A long-time fixture of the Toronto writing and publishing scene, Jay has participated in such diverse projects as the UNBC/Via Rail Poetry Train, The Scream in High Park, Test Readings Series and Influency: A Poetry Salon. He is also the co-editor(with Mark Truscott) of BafterC, a small magazine of contemporary writing. Currently Jay teaches creative writing at George Brown College.

Pearl Pirie's words are in blogs everywhere and on paper in gar, 1cent, Peter F Yacht Club and in chapbooks by pooka press, Amanda's Angelhouse Press and rob's above/ground.