Tuesday, April 26, 2016

above/ground press on Parliament Hill: Clarke, Earl, Reid + mclennan,

As part of his tenure as current Parliamentary Poet Laureate, George Elliott Clarke hosted a poetry reading in Centre Block of Parliament Hill this past Friday afternoon, featuring poets Amanda Earl, Monty Reid, myself and Romanian-Canadian poet Diana Manole [who posted her own report on the event here]. Incredible thanks to Mr. Clarke and all on the Hill who had helped make such possible!

I was unclear whether or not a poetry reading had been held on the hill prior (apart from, say, Milton Acorn, who used to perform his poetry on the grounds circa 1970, or the complete reading jwcurry did of bpNichol's The Martyrology in the gazebo behind the Parliament Buildings in July 2006), but Clarke claimed this was the first official poetry reading on Parliament Hill, which was incredibly exciting to think about (although I always consider such statements suspect, and am hesitant to back such a claim without further research). Sponsored by The League of Canadian Poets, this year's #NationalPoetryMonth theme was "The Road," to which Clarke appended William Shakespeare as well, and most readers (but for myself) read a short excerpt of Shakespeare's work as part of their performance.

The room was perfect for the event, known as room 256-S Centre Block (I attempted more information on-line of the space, but found little but this array of photos), decorated with maps, and paintings of ships, trains and other modes of transport. The road, indeed.

Clarke later offered that he originally launched Whylah Falls in Centre Block in 1990, also, as organized by his MP, Dr. Howard Douglas McCurdy (I know numerous books have been launched on the hill, having even been in attendance for a mid-1990s event of Anglo-Quebec poets), but this the first, he suggests, with League funding (I'd be curious if there's a list anywhere of prior poetry readings on the Hill).

The crowd was roughly forty or so, predominantly made up of a variety of Hill workers (and even the Romanian Ambassador to Canada!) as well as poets Roland Prevost and Janice Tokar (who were good enough to take these photos with my terrible camera) and Chris Johnson. Clarke's reading included King Lear, Earl's included an array of unpublished work composed around her hospital scare from a few years back, Manole read from her Romanian-English poetry collection B&W, and Reid read a selection of pieces from a number of his published books (given, at that point, I was recovering from newborn and night two of three sleeping at the Montfort with Christine and baby, I'm amazed I recall so well; the afternoon was a bit hazy. I was even wearing clothes I'd been sleeping in...). I read two unpublished poems, including this piece, composed for newborn Aoife.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

new from above/ground press: Odds Are, by lary timewell

Odds Are
lary timewell

The distinction disappears but the things remain, as if history were

(history were) an afterimage. Aspirate the h out of it; a unit of eulogy,

one. Arbitrary, so long as we are consistent. Colloquial is not illiterate.

To follow a task greater than to lead. Resolute happiness counting

the beats in anomalous time, reading down the page in 4D. Reading con-

sonantal discontent, boring into the infernal meantime speakers re-

present. Choosing less before sufficient, we position an exit more glorious.

The day is done but (inserted) here to do over again, the work more ill-advised

& ungrammatical than ever. A re-arrangement that never signals defeat. In-

verted, the institution becomes parenthetical to process. When you think

about it too long, nonce-word. Greek stems, Latin advocatus diaboli. Instantly

plausible, pattern. Not precision & cogency, but cut & dried. Supposed,

the unspoken (heard) analogies themselves dispense sense. Writing is

exception-tested, & subsequent practice discriminates, attends based on market

value. That it must count for something fair seems unfair. Only the un-

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
April 2016
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

lary timewell
is a North Vancouver writer recently returned from 20 years in Fukushima. The co-founder and publisher of the late 1980s and early 90s Tsunami Editions, he has published a number of titles, including two chapbooks from Obvious Epiphanies. Some of his latest work from the expanding manuscript molecular hyperbole recently appeared in Make It True: Poetry from Cascadia, eds. Paul Nelson, George Stanley, Barry McKinnon and Nadine Maestas (Lantzville, BC: Leaf Press, 2015).

This is his second chapbook with above/ground press, after tones employed as loss (2013).

Produced, in part, as a handout at The New Orleans Poetry Festival, April 15-17, 2016. Much thanks to Marthe Reed for her help and support. http://www.lavenderink.org/poetryfest/schedule/

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 www.robmclennan.blogspot.com

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Sean Braune launches The Vitamins of an Alphabet Chapbook in Toronto

As Braune writes in his facebook invitation:
The Vitamins of an Alphabet Chapbook Launch!
Thursday, April 14 at 7:30 PM

Grey Tiger
1190 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario M6H 3N7

Tonight we will launch Sean Braune's first chapbook The Vitamins of an Alphabet, with special readings by Dani Spinosa, Dave Milman, Kate Siklosi.

The event will be hosted by the stupendous Eric Schmaltz (who may, perhaps... read as well)!

Come out and try one of the Grey Tiger's wonderful cocktails and listen to some words.

The event will begin at 7:30 with readings beginning at 8:00 pm.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

new from above/ground press: After the Battle of Kingsway, the bees—, by Renée Sarojini Saklikar

After the Battle of Kingsway, the bees—
~ from volume 2 of thecanadaproject, The Heart of This Journey Bears All Patterns, commonly known as Thot-J-Bap, a long poem
Renée Sarojini Saklikar

Morphology of the

Let lists suffice, those rubbed, we that assemble:
Cardo, stipes, galea, and palupus.
The City, our essence, we might communicate,
syllable, grammar and line, beds violet, wild thyme
were we to find, cracked cement, east side court
Labium when extended, the cardo,
slender, in the laterial wall, we—
might not meet, nor share anything, a glance
on the train, commonly, as short as half,
the stipital length. See here, we gather
at the steps of public buildings where once
protest put down. Many genera.
there came a time, when soldiers rode, guns cocked.
Through the cardo to the lorum, winds breathe
around condo cranes, City of Night, wander
spray cans in hand, fill our shoes with sand.
O for a hundred thousand,
homes we might call to,
all the lights coming on at once—
published in Ottawa by above/ground press
April 2016
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Renée Sarojini Saklikar
writes thecanadaproject, a life-long poem chronicle. Work from the project is widely published in journals, anthologies and chapbooks. The first completed book from thecanadaproject is children of air india, un/authorized exhibits and interjections (Nightwood Editions, 2013), winner of the 2014 Canadian Authors Association Award for poetry and a finalist for the 2014 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Award. Renée is currently a mentor and instructor for Simon Fraser University, and co-founder of the poetry reading series, Lunch Poems at SFU. With Wayde Compton, Renée co-edited The Revolving City: 51 Poems and the Stories Behind Them (Anvil Press/SFU Public Square, 2015). Renée was recently appointed Poet Laureate for the City of Surrey. She collects poems about bees.

Produced, in part, as a handout at Buffalo Small Press Book Fair, April 9-10, 2016, from 11am-5pm at the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum, Porter Hall, 453 Porter Avenue, Buffalo, NY. Much thanks to Chris Fritton for his help and support. http://www.buffalosmallpress.org/

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 www.robmclennan.blogspot.com