Friday, October 20, 2017

selected above/ground press titles now available at Toronto's knife | fork | book

Toronto's infamous poetry-only bookstore and reading venue, knife | fork | book, has been developing quite the selection of above/ground press titles! They even have a couple of issues of Touch the Donkey, as well. If you're in town, be sure to check them out at their new location as part of The Dark Side Studio, 244 Augusta Avenue, Second Floor (walk-up above Bunner's Bakery).

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

new from above/ground press: upROUTE : The Language of Plates, Sacha Archer

upROUTE : The Language of Plates
Sacha Archer

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
October 2017
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Sacha Archer is an ESL instructor, childcare provider, father, writer, and visual artist. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as filling Station, ACTA Victoriana, h&, illiterature, NōD, Experiment-O, UTSANGA, and Matrix. Archer’s first full-length collection of poetry, Detour, a conceptual work with the Dao De Jing as the source text, was recently published by gradient books (2017). His most recent chapbooks are The Insistence of Momentum (The Blasted Tree, 2017), and Acceleration of the Arbitrary (Grey Borders, 2017), with a chapbook forthcoming, TSK oomph (Inspiritus Press). A collection of broadsides from his work Ghost Writing is his latest publication from The Blasted Tree. One of his online manifestations is his blog at Archer lives in Burlington, Ontario.

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

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

above/ground press authors Renée Sarojini Saklikar's After the Battle of Kingsway, the bees— (2016) and Dana Claxton's THE PATIENT STORM (2016) are on the 2017 bpNichol Chapbook Award‏ shortlist!

It has just been announced! Congratulations to Renée Sarojini Saklikar and Dana Claxton for making the shortlist to the 2017 bpNichol Chapbook Award [and of course, both Renée Sarojini Saklikar's After the Battle of Kingsway, the bees— and Dana Claxton's THE PATIENT STORM are still in print]! I'm in the midst of chapbook making (that might even be a Sacha Archer title in the background I'm stapling...), so am taking but a small pause with wine to hoist to the shortlisted authors. Congratulations, all!

This is above/ground press' fifth appearance on the bpNichol Chapbook Award shortlist over the past six years, after Jason Christie's Cursed Objects (2014) and Ben Ladouceur's Lime Kiln Quay Road (2014) made the 2015 list, Christie's Government (2013) made the prior year's list and Fenn Stewart's An OK Organ Man (2012) made the list before that, and Hugh Thomas' Opening the Dictionary (2011) and Elizabeth Rainer and Michael Blouin's let lie/ (2012) were shortlisted the year prior to that. So many lists!

Looking forward to this year's Meet the Presses to hear the winner! You should totally come by and say hello and even pick up copies of these shortlisted titles? The press release for such is below (and at this link):
TORONTO – October 17, 2017 – Tonight, at a Toronto event paying tribute to the late poet bpNichol, the Meet the Presses collective announced the finalists for the 2017 bpNichol Chapbook Award. The prize, awarded annually since 1985, goes to the author of the best poetry chapbook – in the estimation of the judges – published in Canada in the previous year and submitted for consideration. It is named in honour of the late poet, novelist, mentor, and micropress publisher bpNichol (1944–1988).

The $4,000 prize purse, donated by an anonymous benefactor, makes this the richest annual literary award for a poetry chapbook, specified as a collection of no more than 48 pages. The publisher of the winning title also receives $500, thanks to an annual donation by Toronto writers Brian Dedora and Jim Smith.

Judges Helen Guri of Montréal, Québec, and Hoa Nguyen of Toronto, Ontario, chose the finalists from more than 60 submissions from across the country.

The finalists for the 2017 bpNichol Chapbook Award are:

Dana Claxton. The Patient Storm. above/ground press
Doris Fiszer. The Binders. Tree Press
Stevie Howell. Summer. Desert Pets Press
Sonnet L’Abbé. Anima Canadensis. Junction Books
Nanci Lee. Preparation. FreeFall Literary Society of Calgary
Renee Sarojini Saklikar. After the Battle of Kingsway, the bees. above/ground press

The winner will be announced at 2 p.m. on November 18, 2017, at the annual Meet the Presses Indie Literary Market, open from 12 noon to 5 p.m. at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor Street West, in Toronto. The Market introduces the public to independent literary publishers of books, chapbooks, magazines, ephemera, and recordings generally not available in bookstores. The free event is curated by Meet the Presses, a volunteer literary collective devoted to showcasing the work of independent publishers of fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction.

More details can be found at

For more information and interview opportunities, contact the publicist for Meet the Presses: Zarmina Rafi at

Monday, October 16, 2017

above/ground press at Toronto's Indie Literary Market, November 18

above/ground press will once again be participating in the annual Indie Literary Market, organized by Toronto's Meet the Presses collective for Saturday, November 18, 2017! See here for the Facebook invitation, and their website here, both of which even contain further information! Hoping to see you there! above/ground press has been producing an absolute ton of stuff lately...

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

rob mclennan reads in Kingston : Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre 40th Anniversary

rob mclennan reads in Kingston as part of the Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre 40th Anniversary.

Poetry Evening with an Open Mic

Common Market Café
136 Ontario St, Kingston, ON K7L 2Y4
7-9pm on 24 October 2017

On Tuesday, October 24 we are pleased to present an evening of poetry organized by Eric Folsom.

Featured poets will include Elizabeth Greene, rob mclennan and Susan McMaster.

More information is promised soon, via their website:

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

new from above/ground press: dark ecologies, by natalie hanna

dark ecologies
natalie hanna


by a fountain in a public square, in the heart of a city garden, in the downtown core was my heart first published on a bench under partial shade of a tree with hazenut shaped leaves and dark bark.  where sleek men in suits lay on the grass twenty feet from a half naked cyclist rubbing his belly as he sunned himself on another bench, bicycle resting behind his shoulders. i remember eating lunch here with you with one summer and how you admonished me for feeding the birds. dear god, i thought, am i friends with a man who does not feed birds? young boys lay face down on the fountain rim, laughing and dangling their arms into water. a young man passed and handed me a flyer of the country's 150th birthday as a pigeon in the branch overhead considered whether i was fit to steal from or be shat upon. a cloud of pot smoke settled lazy on my shoulders from the nearby drowsy grass-throned caterpillar considering the afternoon in his cut off jeans, forrested legs crossed before him. i felt the concern of these ants on my calves, wrong way, wrong way, this is womanly skin on womanly leg, out of place today, when will this expanse end?

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
October 2017
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

natalie hanna
is a queer lawyer of middle eastern heritage whose writing focusses on feminist, political, and personal themes. she runs battleaxe (small) press, is the administrative director of the Sawdust Reading Series, and serves as board-member and newsletter editor for Arc Poetry Magazine.

This is her second chapbook with above/ground press, after “this evidence against you,” produced as STANZAS #21 (October 1999).

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