Thursday, January 22, 2015

new from above/ground press: Texture: Louisiana, by rob mclennan

Texture: Louisiana,
rob mclennan


In 1821, Jean Mouton bestowed Vermilionville. A designate, along Vermilion River. Renamed for war hero General Gilbert du Motier, marquis de Lafayette. A Frenchman, aiding the American Army during the American Revolution.

A bastion of French, both language, culture. Cajon, Creole, Acadian.

I am translucent skin.

The Battle of Vermilion Bayou, April 17, 1863. Third in a series running between Union Major General Nathaniel Prentice Banks and Confederate Major General Richard Taylor. What had we to say.

Am a tourist through these pages. I have no right.

Birds could never fly this high. Capital to capital.

Drop down in New Orleans. We flood, we persevere. We drown.

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
January 2015
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Born in Ottawa, Canada’s glorious capital city, rob mclennan currently lives in Ottawa. The author of nearly thirty trade books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, he won the John Newlove Poetry Award in 2010, the Council for the Arts in Ottawa Mid-Career Award in 2014, and was longlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize in 2012. His most recent titles include notes and dispatches: essays (Insomniac press, 2014), The Uncertainty Principle: stories, (Chaudiere Books, 2014) and the poetry collection If suppose we are a fragment (BuschekBooks, 2014). An editor and publisher, he runs above/ground press, Chaudiere Books, The Garneau Review (, seventeen seconds: a journal of poetry and poetics (, Touch the Donkey ( 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

Produced, in part, as rob mclennan’s participation in dusie kollektiv #8 [which will be online soon]. Much thanks to Susana Gardner.

“Texture: Louisiana,” is the result of an American trip with Stephen Brockwell, February 22-25, 2012; we were in and around New Orleans and Lafayette, Louisiana, in part for a reading we did together at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette on February 24, 2012, organized and hosted by poet Marthe Reed. This piece is dedicated to both Brockwell and Reed, with much and many thanks. Much gratitude, also, to Camille Martin and Megan Burns for generous feedback.

The piece was first read in full on Thursday, May 10, 2012, at the 17 Poets reading series, alongside Stephen Brockwell and Laura Mattingly, at the Gold Mine Saloon in New Orleans, LA [posted in its entirety on YouTube]; the series at the time was curated and hosted by Megan Burns and Dave Brinks.

[rob mclennan launches Texture: Louisiana, at The TREE Reading Series on Tuesday, January 27, 2015, where he features alongside Dilys Leman]

To order, send cheques (add $1 for postage; outside Canada, add $2) to: rob mclennan, 2423 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa ON K1H 7M9 or paypal at

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Factory Reading Series: Vavassis, Earl, Rice + Joudry, February 7, 2015;

span-o (the small press action network - ottawa) presents:

The Factory Reading Series presents
readings by four writers:

Vivian Vavassis (Ottawa)
Amanda Earl (Ottawa)
Waubgeshig Rice (Ottawa)
+ Shalan Joudry (Bear River First Nation NS)
lovingly hosted by rob mclennan
Saturday, February 7, 2015;
doors 7pm; reading 7:30pm
The Carleton Tavern,
223 Armstrong Street (at Parkdale; upstairs)

Vivian Vavassis
is a Montréal ex-pat who currently lives in Ottawa and calls both cities home. Her poems and essays have appeared in several issues of Arc, ottawater, Peter F. Yacht Club, Montage, A Crystal Through Which Love Passes: Glosas for P.K. Page, and Studies in Canadian Literature, among others. She was shortlisted for the Diana Brebner Prize (runner-up) and in November 2014, her work was featured as part of the Parliamentary Poet Laureate’s Poem of the Month Program (Canada). Once upon a time, she also co-founded and ran a little ‘zine called incunabula.

Amanda Earl is the author of Kiki, just published with Chaudiere Books in 2014. Also in 2014, her smut collection "Coming Together Presents Amanda Earl" was published. Her chapbooks have been published in Canada, the UK and the USA. Her poems appear in journals on line & in print in Australia, Canada, England, France, Ireland and the USA. Amanda is the managing editor of and also runs AngelHousePress with its transgressive imprint DevilHouse. For more information, please visit

Waubgeshig Rice [pictured] is an author and journalist originally from Wasauksing First Nation. He developed a strong passion for storytelling as a child while learning about being Anishinaabe. The stories his elders shared and his unique experiences growing up in his community inspired him to write creatively. Some of the stories he wrote as a teenager eventually became Midnight Sweatlodge, his first collection of fiction published by Theytus Books in 2011. His debut novel, Legacy, was also published by Theytus in the summer of 2014. His journalism career began when he was a 17-year-old exchange student in northern Germany, writing about being Anishinaabe in a European country for newspapers back in Canada. He graduated from Ryerson University’s journalism program in 2002, and has worked in a variety of media across Canada since. He started working for CBC in Winnipeg in 2006. Along with reporting the news, he has produced television and radio documentaries and features for the public broadcaster. He currently works as a video journalist for CBC News Ottawa.

Shalan Joudry is a Mi'kmaw writer, storyteller, musician and ecologist. Her poetry has been published in literary journals and the Mi'kmaq Anthology II. Her first poetry collection, Generations Re-merging, was published by Gaspereau Press in 2014. Shalan also works as a cultural interpreter and community ecologist at Bear River First Nation, Nova Scotia, where she lives with her two daughters.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

the launch of ottawater #11 : Ottawa's annual poetry pdf journal,

Ottawa’s annual pdf poetry journal
edited by rob mclennan

The eleventh issue of ottawater will soon be online
, featuring new writing by Steven Artelle, Jennifer Baker, Selina Boan, Frances Boyle, Jamie Bradley, Ronnie R. Brown, Catherine Brunet, Jason Christie, Faizal Deen, dalton derkson, Amanda Earl, Phil Hall, Chris Johnson, Matt Jones, a.m. kozak, Brenda Liefso, rob mclennan, Cath Morris, Colin Morton, Alcofribas Nasier II, Pearl Pirie, Nicholas Power, Ryan Pratt, Monty Reid, Sonia Saikaley, Dean Steadman, Rob Thomas, Dennis Tourbin, Lauren Turner and Vivian Vavassis, well as new interviews with Matt Jones (conducted by Amanda Earl), Brecken Hancock (conducted by Lesley Strutt) and Phil Hall (conducted by Jennifer Baker).

Come out to the launch (featuring readings by a number of this issue’s contributors) on Friday, January 30, upstairs at The Carleton Tavern, Parkdale at Armstrong; doors 7pm, reading 7:30pm. Lovingly hosted by rob mclennan.

Founded to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the City of Ottawa, Canada's glorious capital city, "ottawater," and its chemical formula/logo "O2(H2O)," is a poetry annual produced exclusively on-line, in both readable and printable pdf formats, and found at An anthology focusing on Ottawa poets and poetics, its first issue appeared in January 2005, 150 years after old Bytown became the City of Ottawa.

All previous issues remain archived on the site as well. Thanks to designer Tanya Sprowl, the ottawa international writers festival, and Randy Woods at non-linear creations for their continuing support.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Best American Experimental Writing 2014 : Armantrout, Greenstreet, Kronovet, Maguire, Reed + Robinson,

The first edition of the annual Best American Experimental Writing, guest edited by Cole Swensen, is now available from Omnidawn Publishing! It includes work by seventy-nine different contributors, including above/ground press authors Rae Armantrout, Kate Greenstreet, Jennifer Kronovet, Shannon Maguire, Marthe Reed and Elizabeth Robinson. Congrats to all!