Monday, October 29, 2012

new from above/ground press: Keep by Deborah Poe

Deborah Poe

The Sensual Infrastructure

Creatures completing ourselves in limbo, partial
Brenda Iijima


hippocampus cerebellum

amygdala basal ganglia

the song recalls a day

splattered mud by car

the difference of standing

in puddles alongside speeding train

a matter of motor memory

still how the sight

of landscape

harbors time

floral sumbrella

its un-neatly wrapped end

bodies mutually exclusive

but memory?

vehicles in overpopulated city

inharmonious and contingent

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
October 2012
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Thanks also to rob mclennan for his amazing “translation” of that earlier version of Keep. His response to Keep is entitled This, circular tower (above/ground press 2012).

Deborah Poe is the author of the poetry collections the last will be stone, too, Elements (Stockport Flats), and Our Parenthetical Ontology (CustomWords), as well as a novella in verse, Hélène (Furniture Press). In addition, Deborah is co-editor of Between Worlds: An Anthology of Fiction and Criticism (Peter Lang). She is also co-editing a collection of Hudson Valley innovative poetry (Station Hill Press).

Deborah’s poetry is forthcoming or has recently appeared in journals such as Handsome, Eccolinguistics, 1913, Shampoo, Denver Quarterly, The Dictionary Project, Bone Bouquet, Mantis, and Horse Less Review.

She is assistant professor of English at Pace University and founder and curator of the annual Handmade/Homemade Exhibit.

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

Friday, October 26, 2012

above/ground press introduces a "poem" broadside sub-set curated by Phil Hall: Sadiqa de Meijer + Kirsteen MacLeod

above/ground press introduces a new sub-series of the "poem" broadsides, the "Queen’s University writer-in-residence (2012) poem-pick," curated by award-winning poet and current Queen's University writer-in-residence, Phil Hall. As Hall writes:
In my capacity as Writer-In-Residence at Queen's University this fall, I have been meeting some terrific poets, both students at the University, & younger members of Kingston's large writing community.

To encourage these poets, and to share their poems in a wider, brighter form -- above/ground press & I offer these brief numbered POEM fliers, a small autumn series to unfold...

The first two pieces are now available:
by Sadiqa de Meijer
above/ground press broadside #312
& Queen’s University writer-in-residence (2012) poem-pick # 1


Meditation On Stress
by Kirsteen MacLeod
above/ground press broadside #313
& Queen’s University writer-in-residence (2012) poem-pick # 2

Sadiqa de Meijer’s poetry has appeared in a number of journals, as well as in the Best Canadian Poetry in English series and in the anthology Villanelles. Her poem “Great Aunt Unmarried” won the 2012 CBC Poetry Prize.

Kirsteen MacLeod is a yoga teacher in Kingston, Ont., where she stays mostly unconfined.

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
October 2012
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy of each

Copies will be available (as supplies last) directly from the authors, or from Phil Hall at Queen's University.

Or to order, send a s.a.s.e. #10 envelope to: rob mclennan, 402 McLeod St #3, Ottawa ON K2P 1A6 or paypal $2 directly at

Check out here for 2013 subscription information.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hugh Thomas' Opening the Dictionary and Elizabeth Rainer + Michael Blouin's let lie shortlisted for the 2012 bpNichol Chapbook Award!

Congratulations to all the authors shortlisted for this year's prize! above/ground press is thrilled to be included not once, but twice, on this year's list, and for the first time! Michael Blouin's inclusion also comes on the heels of his Archibald Lampman Award, which was presented last night as part of the Ottawa Book Awards. Congrats, all!

Click here for more information on Thomas' chapbook, and here for the Rainer/Blouin collaboration, both of which are still available.

Here's the full announcement, from the Meet the Presses blog:
In 2012, the Meet the Presses collective took over the administration of the annual bpNichol Chapbook Award, which was launched in 1996. Named for the late poet, novelist, and indie publisher bpNichol, the $2,000 prize is awarded to the author of the best poetry chapbook published in the previous year, as selected by two judges appointed by Meet the Presses.

Judges Bill Kennedy and Maggie Helwig — both writers themselves — made the tough choices this year.

The finalists for the 2012 bpNichol Chapbook Award are:

    Spencer Gordon, Feel Good! Look Great! Have a Blast!, Ferno House (Toronto)
    Adrienne Gruber, Mimic, Leaf Press (Lantzville, B.C.)
    Liz Howard, (skullambient), Ferno House (Toronto)
    Robert Martens, Poltergeist, Lipstick Press (Gabriola, B.C.)
    Elizabeth Rainer and Michael Blouin, let lie, above/ground press (Ottawa)
    Hugh Thomas, Opening the Dictionary, above/ground press (Ottawa)

The winner will be announced at the Meet the Presses Indie Literary Market, which takes place on November 17, 2012, noon to 4:30 p.m., at the Tranzac Club, 292 Brunswick Street, in Toronto.

The market gives the public an opportunity to meet independent literary publishers and authors, and take home books, chapbooks, magazines, broadsheets, and recordings that are largely not available in bookstores.

The Meet the Presses collective is Gary Barwin, Paul Dutton, Ally Fleming, Beth Follett, Leigh Nash, Nicholas Power, Stuart Ross, and Carey Toane.

About the 2012 Judges:

Maggie Helwig lives in Toronto. She was co-coordinator of the Toronto Small Press Fair from 1998 to 2003, and the event coordinator/associate director of the Scream Literary Festival from 2005 to 2009. She was among the founding members of the Meet the Presses collective. Her most recent book is the novel Girls Fall Down, published by Coach House Books in 2008.

Bill Kennedy once cold-called Bob Cobbing from a London phone booth. He proceeded to spend two days of his vacation with Bob perusing Writers Forum publications, an experience he considers his only real bona fide for judging a chapbook award. Bill is the co-author (with Darren Wershler) of Apostrophe (ECW, 2006) and Update (Snare Books, 2010). He’s a long-time literary organizer, from the Café May Reading Series (with Michael Holmes), to the Lexiconjury Reading Series (with Angela Rawlings), to the Scream Literary Festival (with a whole bunch of awesome people) where he did a ten-year stint as Artistic Director. The Apostrophe Engine (, the web-based poem that generated the book, has recently appeared as part of the Postscript: Writing After Conceptual Art show at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver. His latest venture is Intelligent Machines (, a digital media co-operative. Bill lives in Toronto.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

above/ground press at the ottawa small press book fair, november 17, 2012

above/ground press will again be participating in the ottawa small press book fair at Jack Purcell Community Centre. Come by and say hello, pick up some books, and maybe even a subscription for above/ground press' 20th year!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Ron Silliman reviews Rae Armantrout's Custom (above/ground, 2012)

American poet, critic and blogger Ron Silliman was good enough to write a short review of Rae Armantrout's Custom (above/ground, 2012). Not a surprise he favours her work, since he did the introduction to her selected poems, Veil (a title I'd highly recommend along with everything else Armantrout has published).

Here's Silliman's review, lifted from a larger post (see the original here):

Rae Armantrout | Custom | above/ground | 2012
Lyn Hejinian | The Book of a Thousand Eyes | Omnidawn | 2012

It will be no surprise that Hejinian & Armantrout are two of my favorite writers. Both poets have long, important relationships with small presses. While Armantrout has published mostly with Wesleyan in recent years, Custom, from rob mclennan’s stellar micropress in Ottawa is a reminder that Armantrout’s roots are not in the academy. Although being with Wesleyan enabled Armantrout to collect the Pulitzer, the sameness of Wesleyan’s books, year to year, author to author, serves none of their writers very well. I can assure you that these poems will look tonier, but not any better, when they appear in Just Saying in ought-13. Hejinian on the other hand has published only one collection of essays with a university press, none with trade houses, 36 volumes with independent presses, including self-publishing several via her own Tuumba Press. Eyes is Hejinian’s masterpiece, a series of literary interventions that invoke the great Russian novels of the 19th & early 20th centuries. I never want it to end. & I hope Omnidawn sells copies of this book forever.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

above/ground press: 20th anniversary subscription now available!

It might be hard to believe, but 2013 marks TWENTY YEARS of above/ground press, going way way back to those small publications long since buried in boxes (did you see the photos and report from the 19th anniversary reading?). What was I thinking? But it means that the 2013 annual subscriptions are now available as well: $50 (in the United States, $50 US; $75 international) for everything above/ground press makes from now until the end of 2013.

There are a whole bunch of publications in the works for 2013, but I'm not going to mention any names. This year has been one of the most active ones the press has enjoyed so far, and I'm planning a number of excitements over the next fourteen months. Why not take a chance and find out what? Already, new chapbooks are in the works by Deborah Poe, Seth Landman, Allison Grayhurst, Mark Cochrane, Shannon Maguire and plenty more.

You can either send a cheque (payable to rob mclennan) to 402 McLeod Street #3, Ottawa ON K2P 1A5 or drop the money on the Paypal button at

And keep checking notices for The Factory Reading Series (including two events in November!). There's so much more to come...

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Marilyn Irwin at the In/words Reading Series, October 31, 2012

The "spooky" Reading Series Featuring Ottawa poet Marilyn Irwin, author of the above/ground press chapbooks for when you pick daisies (2010) and flicker (2012).

Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Clocktower Brew Pub, 575 Bank Street

Check the facebook invitation here: Because nothing says Halloween like poetry - this months reading series falls on Halloween.

According to their promotions, there will be a unreasonable Open Mic Set with even more prizes and more contests and the most exciting featured reader to hear on Halloween (see above).

9pm / doors at 8:30pm

Monday, October 1, 2012

new from above/ground press: dissections from their biography, by kevin mcpherson eckhoff

dissections from their biography
kevin mcpherson eckhoff

You are each unique snowflake. Kevin is her mother's son with ten original sauces: spicy, virtues like puppy warmth, saucy and explicity tarnished. He was born in her village of several piqued interests. An ungainly warrant to circumvent the queue or whatever strokes, she identified a new generic strain in her spare time of which we are all the general inheritors. So, she began in a small town and she will live and dye in his small town of Weaverron, b.c. Her biography delisted from fame sites. I smell rubbery goodness in him and a gentle womanly love for all things small and hairy. It's me spring day, men from Anismouth visit when I'm shy. I'll call us together like teeth and dildos on picnic, eat parades of youth, or share old versions of each other's habitual shot records. That's her, shining and young and her. Mostly irreverent yet factually astute. Her massive glands and tiny shouts, little hands and huge hair. We eat to her delight, dear Kevin. I have found you at last, cowering, sheltered in her and apoplectic. The streets awake and look for small towns in which to retire. From inside, an inside delightedly yours. My story filled with vomit yet shiny, slick and parasitic. Missing you? Not now.

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
October 2012
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

kevin mcpherson eckhoff has been called a lot of things: rhapsodomancer, easy-peaser, reversed show gamer, et cetera. most of all, he's a blarney stone. least of all, he's a poet.

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