Thursday, July 25, 2019

the above/ground press 26th anniversary reading/launch/party!

celebrating twenty-six years of continuous activity (and nearly a thousand publications), Ottawa publisher above/ground press presents:

seven readings and chapbook launches by:

Conyer Clayton (Ottawa)
Kyle Kinaschuk (Toronto)
Marilyn Irwin (Ottawa)
Gary Barwin (Hamilton)
Pearl Pirie (Ottawa)
Chris Turnbull (Kemptville)
Stuart Ross (Cobourg)
lovingly hosted by above/ground press editor/publisher rob mclennan
Vimy Brewing Company
145 Loretta Ave N #1, Ottawa, ON K1Y 2J7
7pm door/7:30pm reading

$6 at the door; includes a copy of a recent above/ground press title



And don't forget the BIG SUMMER SALE, going on until August 15th!

author/performer biographies:

Conyer Clayton is an Ottawa based artist who aims to live with compassion, gratitude, and awe. Her most recent chapbooks are: / (post ghost press, 2019), Undergrowth (bird, buried press), Mitosis (In/Words Magazine and Press), and For the Birds. For the Humans. (battleaxe press). She released a collaborative album with Nathanael Larochette, If the river stood still, in August 2018. She won Arc's 2017 Diana Brebner Prize, 3rd place in Prairie Fire's 2017 Poetry Contest, and honourable mention in The Fiddlehead's 2018 poetry prize. She is a member of the sound poetry ensemble Quatuor Gualuor, and writes reviews for Canthius. Her debut full length collection of poetry is forthcoming in Spring 2020.

She will be launching her above/ground press debut, Trust Only the Beasts in the Water (2019).

Kyle Kinaschuk is a PhD candidate in the Department of English at the University of Toronto, where he researches the politics and form of lament in contemporary poetry situated within Canada. His poetry has appeared in journals such as The Capilano Review, filling Station, PRISM international, The Puritan, Hart House Review, Poetry is Dead, and FreeFall Magazine.

He will launching his above/ground press debut, COLLECTIONS-14 (2019), a chapbook produced to coincide with TEXT / SOUND / PERFORMANCE: Making in Canadian Space, a conference held at UCD, Dublin, Ireland, April 25-27, 2019.

Shortlisted for the 2016 bpNichol Award and winner of the 2013 Diana Brebner Prize, Marilyn Irwin’s work has been published by Apt. 9 Press, Arc Poetry Magazine,, Hussy Press, Puddles of Sky, and The Steel Chisel, among others. the day the moon went away is her ninth chapbook, and fourth published by above/ground press. She runs shreeking violet press in Ottawa.

She will be launching the day the moon went away (2019), Irwin’s fourth chapbook with above/ground press, after for when you pick daisies (2010), flicker (2012) and north (2017).

The author of twenty-two books of poetry and fiction, Gary Barwin is a writer, musician and multimedia artist from Hamilton, Ontario and the author of the nationally bestselling novel, Yiddish for Pirates (Random House) which won the Leacock Medal for Humour and the Canadian Jewish Literary Award and was a finalist for the Governor-General’s Literary Award and the Scotiabank Giller Prize. His poetry includes No TV for Woodpeckers (poetry; Wolsak & Wynn, 2018), many chapbooks some with his own serif of nottingham editions, and, forthcoming, A Cemetery for Holes, a poetry collaboration with Tom Prime (Gordon Hill Press, 2019), Muttertongue (book/recording with Lillian Allen and Gregory Betts (Book*hug, 2019) and For It is a Pleasure and a Surprise to Breathe: New and Selected Poems, ed. Alessandro Porco (Wolsak and Wynn, 2019.) A new novel,  Nothing the Same, Everything Haunted will appear from Random House in 2021.

He will be launching Dust of the Wren: poems and translations (2019), a chapbook produced for the sake of the author’s participation in the TEXT/SOUND/PERFORMANCE: Making in Canadian Space conference at University College Dublin, Ireland, April 25-27, 2019. This is his fifth above/ground press chapbook, after “SYNONYMS FOR FISH,” STANZAS #26 (March, 2001), Seedpod, Microfiche (2013) and the collaborative PLEASURE BRISTLES (with Alice Burdick; 2018) and gravitynipplemilk anthroposcenesters (with Tom Prime; 2018).

Pearl Pirie has 3 poetry collections with a forthcoming in the fall of 2020 from Radiant Press. These haibun are unrelated to those. She gives workshops and readings sporadically. She lives in rural Quebec with her brilliant husband, scratchy cat and sweet dog. She can be found on twitter @pesbo and you can sign up for her mailing list at

She will be launching Eldon, letters (2019), her fifth chapbook with above/ground press, after the oath in the boathouse (2008), vertigoheel for the dilly (2014), today’s woods (2014) and sex in sevens (2016).

Chris Turnbull is the author of continua (Chaudiere Books 2015; now a homestay at Invisible Press 2019) and [ untitled ] in o w n (CUE Books 2014). She has published several chapbooks: Shingles (Thuja1999); continua 1-22 (above/ground 2010); and Candid (hawkweed 2019). Undertones, a collaboration with text/artist Bruno Neiva, is forthcoming in summer/fall 2019 with Low Frequency Press (Buffalo). Other visual and text based work and collaborations can be found online, in print, and within landscapes. She curates a footpress, rout/e, whereby poems are planted on trails: A collaborative hapbook with a rawlings, The Great Canadian (Low Frequency Press 2016), combined Turnbull’s photographs from rout/e with rawlings’ text from her ongoing echolology. Candid was previously published as part of Dusie Kollective #8 and is also online at It is the first of three interconnected chapbooks. contrite follows Candid much like a riffle: “guess a spokesperson of it all” was published as a broadside in above/ground press’ 25th Anniversary collection (2019); other pieces were published in The Capilano Review 3.35 (Spring 2018) and Café Review (Spring 2019: ed. Bob Hogg).

She will be launching contrite (2019), her second chapbook with above/ground press, after continua 1-22 (2010).

Stuart Ross is the author of 20 books of poetry, fiction, and essays, and countless chapbooks and ephemera. His most recent books include the novel-in-prose-poems Pockets (ECW Press, 2017) and the poetry collections Motel of the Opposable Thumbs (Anvil Press, 2019) and A Sparrow Came Down Resplendent (Wolsak and Wynn, 2016), which won the Canadian Jewish Literary Award for Poetry in 2017. Other titles include the poetry collection A Hamburger in a Gallery (DC Books, 2015), the novel Snowball, Dragonfly, Jew (ECW Press, 2011), and the story collection Buying Cigarettes for the Dog (Freehand Books, 2009). Stuart began his literary career by selling his self-published chapbooks on the streets of Toronto during the 1980s, wearing signs like “Writer Going To Hell: Buy My Books.” He was the 2010 Writer in Residence at Queen’s University, and has taught writing workshops across Canada. His poetry has recently been translated into French and Slovenian; other translations, into Nynorsk and Spanish, are in progress. His micropress, Proper Tales, is currently celebrating its 40th year of publishing. Stuart lives in Cobourg, Ontario.

He will be launching 90 TINY POEMS (2019), his second chapbook with above/ground press, after ESPESANTES (2018).

And you remember how much fun last year's event was, yes?

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

the above/ground press summer sale! and today is the press' 26th birthday!

IT WAS TWENTY-SIX YEARS AGO TODAY (July 9, 1993) that I launched the first two official above/ground press titles (after a year or two of a variety of titles and semi-random press names, if at all) at an event at the long-since disappeared Stone Angel Institute coffeehouse on Ottawa's Lisgar Street. Where does the time go, exactly?

With the anniversary reading/launch/party currently in production, I thought we should also celebrate TWENTY-SIX YEARS OF CONTINUOUS PRODUCTION (getting remarkably close to one thousand publications) with a glorious summer sale! 

$30 for any eight 2019 chapbook titles! (until August 15, 2019

(and if you ask all-nice, I might even be willing to include titles from the 2018 backlist...)

with nearly three dozen 2019 chapbook titles so far: HONG KONG BLUES, Ken Norris; Gravenhurst, a failed record of a roadtrip in haibun, Chris Johnson; Trust Only the Beasts in the Water, Conyer Clayton; Apples and Roses, Frances Boyle; Here on Huron, Michael Sikkema; Rain Play, Kemeny Babineau; poem | image | self, (after Adrian Piper and Lucy Lippard’s Catalysis), Julia Polyck-O'Neill; Dust of the Wren, poems and translations, Gary Barwin; 1956, Kate Siklosi; Somewhere in-between / cloud, rob mclennan; har sawlya, Mairéad Byrne; running commentary along the bottom of the tapestry, Kimberly Campanello; Tag & Run: Canto One, Stephen Cain; COLLECTIONS-14, Kyle Kinaschuk; The Ghosts of Barnacullia, Paul Perry; For a Poetry of Blot, Gregory Betts; Some Julian Days : Twentieth Anniversary Edition, Gil McElroy; from The Book of Bramah, Renée Sarojini Saklikar; camera obscura, Claudia Coutu Radmore; Words Are What You Get / You Do It For Real, poems and prose poems, Stephanie Gray; B V A, Billy Mavreas; A Holiday for Molecules, Alice Burdick; After the Battle of Kingsway, the bees— Second printing, Renée Sarojini Saklikar; SAME BITCH, DIFFERENT ERA: THE REAL HOUSEWIVES POEMS, Heather Sweeney; Like the noises alive people wear, R. Kolewe; uoiea, Franco Cortese; BODY BIRTH, Evan Gray; from Riot, September 2016, an Inside Out Journal, Dale Smith; Empire of Dirt, Virginia Konchan; Codex Mathematicum, Joshua James Collis; CHOOSE YOUR OWN POEM, Laura Farina; LETTERS WE'RE ALLOWED, Jennifer Stella; as well as G U E S T [a journal of guest editors] #2 (edited by Brenda Iijima), #3 (edited by Geoffrey Young), #4 (edited by Anthony Etherin) and #5 (edited by D.W. Adams) and Touch the Donkey [a small poetry journal] #20, #21 (fifth anniversary issue!) and #22 (more to come, so any titles that appear after this post would also be eligible,

while supplies last (like, obviously,

To order, send cheques (add $1 for postage; in US, add $2; outside North America, add $5) to: rob mclennan, 2423 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa ON K1H 7M9. E-transfer or PayPal at at rob_mclennan (at) or the PayPal button at

with numerous rarities/backlist titles still available as well! And you remember we still have t-shirts, right? And those 25th anniversary broadsheets?

with forthcoming titles by John Newlove, Jessica Smith, Ben Robinson, N.W. Lea, Zane Koss, Lydia Unsworth, Allyson Paty, Guy Birchard, Andrew Zawacki, Simina Banu, Hawad (trans. Jake Syersak), Susanne Dyckman, Jane Virginia Rohrer, Dennis Cooley, Ben Meyerson, Isabel Sobral Campos, Mary Kasimor, Andrew K Peterson and Natalie Lyalin! (and more, most likely,

and you saw the anniversary essays that appeared all last year, yes? celebratory essays by authors and friends of the press including John Barton, Eric Schmaltz, David McKnight, Susanne Dyckman, Kristina Drake, Michael Dennis, Sean Braune, Carrie Olivia Adams, Gregory Betts, Marthe Reed, Gil McElroy, Ken Norris, Colin Morton, Aaron Tucker, Phil Hall, Gary Barwin, Erín Moure, Jason Christie, Amanda Earl, Stan Rogal, Eleni Zisimatos, Derek Beaulieu and Jessica Smith, etc

and keep an eye out on the annual above/ground press anniversary reading/launch/party at Ottawa's Vimy Brewing Company on Saturday, August 10th! readings and new titles already confirmed by Conyer Clayton, Michael Dennis, Kyle Kinaschuk, Pearl Pirie and Chris Turnbull, as well as possibly others! I mean, just look at the report from the 25th anniversary event, to see how fun that was, right?


the universe might be infinite, but above/ground press might just be infinite-er,