Thursday, September 22, 2011

2012 subscriptions now available!

The 2012 above/ground press subscription is now available. $50 for everything above/ground press produces to the end of the 2012 calendar year sent directly to your mailbox (or, in some cases, hand-delivered).

And be sure to check out the above/ground press group on facebook, including The Factory Reading Series (celebrating 20 years in January 2012) events at The Carleton Tavern.


with recent and forthcoming above/ground publications by: Camille Martin, Rae Armantrout, Dennis Cooley, Robert Kroetsch, Andrew Burke + Phil Hall, Sarah Mangold, Ben Ladouceur, rob mclennan, Ken Norris, Hugh Thomas, Michael Blouin, Christine McNair, derek beaulieu, Paige Ackerson-Kiely, kemeny babineau, Eric Folsom, Ross Brighton, Marilyn Irwin, Shannon Maguire + plenty of others.

give $50 to rob mclennan, or mail:
c/o 402 McLeod Street #3, Ottawa Ontario Canada K2P 1A6

paypal available via

regular notices are also sent out through an email list of Ottawa-area literary events. to get on the list, email me at

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

new from above/ground press: Hugh Thomas’ Opening the Dictionary

Opening the Dictionary
by Hugh Thomas

Opening the Dictionary

good family, the King, ten crowns, evil, a ring
himself, his looks, chance, profit, income
white blossoms, tears, burning zeal
principle, meat, that account
lack of curiosity, bake cakes
undress, clear the table, break in two
go to sleep, pine away


milk, light, book, loaf
the main thing
near, first, alone
as he works
suddenly, absolutely, quite simply


to glance at, to blow a kiss
to spend the night
to afflict, to throw out
to accuse, to speak ill of
to hanker after


memory, writing, works, friend,
days, folly, portrait,
tending to corrupt, suitable, full,

there were a lot of people in the streets today


to whine, to whimper
to squeak, to crinkle, to crunch
to twinkle, to shine
to take out, to utter, to publish
to hollow
to rummage in
to write, to be written
to wake up


pocket dictionary letter
bird ballad gadget
snowfall whisper


ink by force to talk to itself
engaged in reading
too, also, as well
and so am I

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
September 2011
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Hugh Thomas lives in Fredericton, where he is a professor of mathematics at the University of New Brunswick. Chapbooks of his poetry have been published by Paper Kite Press (Heart badly buried by five shovels, 2009) and BookThug (Mutations, 2004). Franzlations, the imaginary Kafka parables, a book of variations on Kafka texts, which is a joint project with Gary Barwin and Craig Conley, will be published by New Star Books in the fall.

To order, send cheques (add $1 for postage; outside Canada, add $2) to: rob mclennan, 402 McLeod St #3, Ottawa ON K2P 1A6 or paypal at

Hugh Thomas reads in Ottawa as part of The Factory Reading Series on Friday, September 23, 2011.

Friday, September 16, 2011

new from above/ground press: rob mclennan's The underside of the line,

The underside of the line,
by rob mclennan

Future Bakery: Interim Report


Tumble awake, this morning. Start from fragments. A gauntlet. Urge others, speak slowly, more. Unity precedes. A cranial. Decline to leave names.


Regular harbour, weave. Brunswick House, girlfriend. Ease down like an astronaut. What brief integrity, dialed. Composure governs. I pull my soldiered hands, small fortunes.


Children, the frame. Agency of water, fresh and unremarkable, rare. Brace, with low chairs. The sun strikes everything, rattling plastic clouds. Who is this, really? Table this, divide.


Windspeck, taste of rain. Illusions in this distance, blue. Compulsive fingernails. Battered, cleared and crawled. Hotel concordance, congress. In passing, spark tongues. Suppress. These rooms are legion. 


Mechanical lineage. By the way, no longer. Sorry flightless birds. Submit is not the word. The right lane ends. All these coloured pencils. A shelf-life. Blueprint grit. She worries: where we cease to be.


A corkscrew, distance. Impatient, leaf. Sweet fragrance. Hotel, sustains. Time changes colour. Coffee cools, and something moves. Synopsis: boundaries. Hips and dashed integrity. Relieved, we plummet.

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
September 2011
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

To order, send cheques (add $1 for postage; outside Canada, add $2) to: rob mclennan, 402 McLeod St #3, Ottawa ON K2P 1A6 or paypal at

Born in Ottawa, Canada’s glorious capital city, rob mclennan currently lives in Ottawa. The author of more than twenty trade books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, his most recent titles are the poetry collections A (short) history of l. (BuschekBooks, 2011), grief notes: (BlazeVOX [books], 2011), Glengarry (Talonbooks, 2011), kate street (Moira, 2011) and 52 flowers (or, a perth edge) (Obvious Epiphanies, 2010), and a second novel, missing persons (2009). An editor and publisher, he runs above/ground press, Chaudiere Books (with Jennifer Mulligan), The Garneau Review (, seventeen seconds: a journal of poetry and poetics ( 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 regularly posts reviews, essays, interviews and other notices at

rob mclennan reads next in Ottawa on September 17, 2011 as part of the League of Canadian Poets fundraiser.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

new from above/ground press: Eric Folsom's NORTHEAST ANTI-GHAZALS (second printing)


If you picked any story but this,
I wouldn’t know where to begin.

The grey November sky predicting early snow,
The ground already resisting footprints.

A young doe in my garden looks up;
How the mind seeing, loses sight.

Inside where I stand, one cobweb on the ceiling
Delicately twists when the furnace comes to life.

What if I turned my face away
And when I looked back you were gone?

The freezing mud in the driveway
Seizes the tires in their ruts overnight.

I wish for multiple eyes like a spider,
My forehead of shining cobblestones.
Eric Folsom

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
second printing, September 2011
(first printing, January 2005)
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

To order, send cheques (add $1 for postage; outside Canada, add $2) to: rob mclennan, 402 McLeod St #3, Ottawa ON K2P 1A6 or paypal at

Eric Folsom writes poems, works at the Kingston Frontenac Public Library, and occasionally bakes cookies. He has written a handful of poetry books, including Icon Driven (Wolask and Wynn, 2001) and Poems for Little Cataraqui (Broken Jaw, 1994). He helped edit the literary magazines Next Exit and Quarry, served as the Ontario rep for the League of Canadian Poets, and has hung around in Kingston, Ontario since 1974. He was told once he looks pretty good for his age. In 2011 the Kingston City council appointed Eric as Kingston's first Poet Laureate.

Eric Folsom reads in Ottawa on Saturday, September 17, 2011 as part of a League of Canadian Poets benefit.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

new from above/ground press: have you learned / nothing kroetsch by Dennis Cooley

have you learned / nothing kroetsch
three poems by Dennis Cooley

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
September 2011
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Dennis Cooley grew up in Southern Saskatchewan. He has studied at the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Rochester, and has lived with his family in Winnipeg since 1973. His latest title is correction line, which draws heavily on memories of family and of his life in and around Estevan. He is working on several manuscripts, including a collection of essays on Robert Kroetsch.

To order, send cheques (add $1 for postage; outside Canada, add $2) to: rob mclennan, 402 McLeod St #3, Ottawa ON K2P 1A6 or paypal at

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

new from above/ground press: Paige Ackerson-Kiely’s A Book About A Candle Burning in a Shed

A Book About A Candle Burning in a Shed
by Paige Ackerson-Kiely


They called me down and I went down and arrived. My uniform was basically clean; a life alone makes the need for external demonstration almost disappear, but not fully. One thing I hate is when you get there and it’s all over. Like felled trees after a storm you have to cut up and drag them off the road. But not really the same thing. I knew it would be an important day when someone first hollered help in my direction. Mostly it is small jobs, unlocking cars and checking on the elderly. Sometimes they think I am their son and cry when I leave. Other times they are pretty much dead and I call the paramedics. None of the situations is good. I was north of town when the dispatcher crackled to me. Her clothes found in the river, hung up on some rocks, probably she got taken in the storm—but I was still uneasy, even though nature is out of my hands, which should be a relief like it is to be a child and not a man. Beside the river there was an old mattress and a woman’s swimsuit, the kind that was in style 5 years ago, with ties on either side of the leg openings that you cinch or relax, depending on company. Water’s high and full of silt, and it smelled like squash bugs and my ex-girlfriend’s neck when she worried about money. There was never enough of anything but I guess I got used to it. She was still beautiful from a distance and always in my memory delivered on a soft cloud. I didn’t make a grab for her shirt as it drifted away, there on the banks, sun as bright as I’d ever seen it. I was afraid to be pulled under.

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
September 2011
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

To order, send cheques (add $1 for postage; outside Canada, add $2) to: rob mclennan, 402 McLeod Street, Ottawa ON Canada K2P 1A6, or simply drop $ on paypal at

Paige Ackerson-Kiely [see her 12 or 20 questions here] authored the poetry collections In No One’s Land (Ahsahta, 2007), My Love is a Dead Arctic Explorer (Ahsahta, forthcoming) and a limited edition art folio/ collaboration, This Landscape (Argos Books, 2010). Paige lives in rural Vermont, edits the poetry annual A Handsome Journal, and works at a homeless shelter.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

"poem" broadside #294: Incidental Kill, by Monica Kidd

Friend, I've been thinking about that day on Temperance Street, before you packed up, before any of it, when Ken sat at your table to eat whale. All dark glasses and skinny elbows, drunk on the place. His homecoming. A Fogo Island minke, caught by someone's father, was the story. Wrong time, wrong place: how she goes. Mason jars marked with a letter and passed from kettle to coat pocket. How he grinned. The meaty greasy on his plate, the fork in his ham-fist. He wanted a picture and I took one. His serious stare. His joy bursting.

We all climbed Topsail Bluff later and I still look for myself in his poem. And still I find: your hand, his cigarette, even my faded red truck. Wrong place, wrong time. Incidentally, did you ever tell him the W on that jar was really an M? Someone's bottled moose forgotten in your bachelor fridge? How that piece of lead shot stuck in your teeth like a little white lie?

Incidental Kill
by Monica Kidd

above/ground press broadside #294

Monica Kidd is the author of four books, including Actualities (poetry from Gaspereau Press, 2007). A former biologist and journalist, she lives and writes in St. John's, Newfoundland, where she now works as a physician.