Monday, September 12, 2016

above/ground press in Ottawa: a report,

[Braydon Beaulieu, reading] As you most likely know, this past Saturday was the above/ground press twenty-third anniversary event at Black Squirrel Books in Ottawa, held not long after a similar event in Toronto [see my report on such here], with readings and launches by Braydon Beaulieu, Sean Braune, Pearl Pirie and Stephanie Bolster. Thanks so much to all who participated!
[Sean Braune, reading] Now that I've heard two different readings by Beaulieu and Braune in a short period, I'm getting a better sense of what either of them are doing (Braune's reading really stood out, of the four authors), and might be capable of (and am further intrigued). Beaulieu also has work forthcoming in The Calgary Renaissance (Chaudiere Books), an anthology edited by myself and Derek Beaulieu.
[Pearl Pirie, reading] The crowd was small, but worthy, and included a variety of above/ground press authors past and present, including Cameron Anstee, Amanda Earl, Stephen Brockwell, Michelle Desbarats and Colin Morton, as well as Ottawa poet Chris Johnson, who generously donated his time and energy for the sake of the door/book table (did you know he has a chapbook forthcoming with Frog Hollow Press?). What became curious, in hindsight, was realizing that the four readers read in reverse order of how long I've known them, having first interacted with Stephanie Bolster back in the mid-1990s, and publishing her first item back in 1996 (newly reissued, and discussed here).
[Stephanie Bolster, reading] For Pearl's reading, she made a point of wearing Vulcan ears, to acknowledge the 50th anniversary of Star Trek (she wore them unrelated to the reading in any way). Another highlight included the fact that Stephanie came by the house a few hours early for the sake of a visit, and to meet our latest edition, nearly five-month-old Aoife. And after the reading, a small mound of us went out for drinks and an extended period of stellar conversation.

While I may be a bit behind on a couple of publications (and mailouts) (our newborn and toddler are rather distracting), the next few weeks should see new chapbooks by George Bowering, Geoffrey Young, Carrie Hunter and John Barton, as well as the 11th issue of Touch the Donkey, among other possibilities.

As well, I'm most likely announcing 2017 subscriptions around the end of the month, by the by. And what might 2017 bring? I'm not entirely sure yet, but, as per usual, I've a number of irons in the fire. Just keep watching.

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