Thursday, October 29, 2020

new from above/ground press: Man Agar, by Baron Rocco Fleetcrest-Seacobs

Man Agar
Baron Rocco Fleetcrest-Seacobs

For rob mclennan, March 14, 2019.

Clan: born men
Be n' morn clan,
Carbon ln, men
Mrn bone, clan
Mn born clean
Brnn coal, men
Mrn bone, clan
Clamber onnn,
Cln-born, amen.

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
October 2020
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Baron Rocco Fleetcrest-Seacobs
, pseudonymously known by some (for sultry and rather unseemly reasons that we dare not delve into here too deeply, because this is a family-friendly establishment) as Rocco Fenestra, which translates roughly as “Rock Window” in Romanian, is an experimental poet living both aboard and abroad. His poetry has, he claims, been longlisted for the 2019 CBC Poetry Prize and has appeared or is forthcoming in Literary Review of Canada, The Malahat Review, Canadian Literature, The Capilano Review, filling Station, ditch, and others, although we can find no public record of these accusations. He portends his recent chapbooks to include aeiou (No Press 2018), uoiea (above/ground press 2019), teksker (Simulacrum Press 2019) and no mỡ, no mo, no mò (nOIR:Z 2020), although hard evidence of these charges are scant and wanting. He also alleges to have leaflets, booklets and other poetic ephemera out through The Blasted Tree, Penteract Press, and Spacecraft Press, but again, he has been known to lie under oath on multiple occasions where dignified and upstanding witnesses, notaries and testimoniants were present. His work has been simultaneously prognosticated and threatened, by him and him alone, to will have had been published both within Canada and internationally, and to have eventually been found to have been anthologized in Concrete and Constraint (Penteract Press 2018) and Science Poems (Penteract Press 2020), but again, he is not to be trusted, nor admitted, nor indulged or by any means whatsoever entertained, and if you see him you are cordially advised that he has arms, is strangerous, and should not to be approached under any circumstances, and we urge you with sincerest bestwishes and regards to report the time, place and proximal whathaveyous under which you witnessed his garish and brazen presence to the toll-free hotline (212) 756-7032.

This is Fleetcrest-Seacobs’ first above/ground press chapbook, after uoiea (2019) and Bark Ode (2020).

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 rob_mclennan (at) or the PayPal button at

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

new from above/ground press: THE DEER HAVENS, by Geoffrey Olsen

Geoffrey Olsen

the fur is dream and gelatinous
I can’t speak or present can’t speak
life within mouth of leaves
dream mouth

arrayed around the bleak opening
I do not have ownership over blade and all the
things of a blade on the edge of
climactic or feral

and the edge reproducing the dream in
a now of disaster songs
after songs and I’m also
the cat and the imbued indirect
that waits, waiting

unordered, unwindowed

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
October 2020
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

cover image: Brenda Iijima

Geoffrey Olsen is a poet living in Brooklyn, NY. He is the author of the chapbooks End Notebook and Not of Distends : Address Panicked. Recent poems are published in Deluge, Entropy, Vestiges and The Pi Review. His chapbook, Marrow, is forthcoming from These Signals.

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 rob_mclennan (at) or the PayPal button at

Sunday, October 25, 2020

RM Vaughan (1965-2020)

There have been a number of reminiscences to already appear for RM Vaughan, from my own obituary to pieces by Nathaniel G. Moore in the Toronto Star, Alana Wilcox via the Coach House site and Stuart Ross at his blog. above/ground press was fortunate to publish Richard in a handful of places, from an issue of STANZAS, in Missing Jacket, a "poem" broadside and a chapbook, starting in 1996. Condolences to his family, and his extensive network of friends, publishers and admirers. He was the loveliest and most generous of people. We shall miss him.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Tom Sandborn reviews George Stanley's Love Is Not an Algorithm (2020) in the Vancouver Sun

Tom Sandborn was good enough to provide the first review of Vancouver poet George Stanley's Love Is Not an Algorithm (2020) over at the Vancouver Sun. Thanks so much! And of course, you can see the full article here.
Do you love lively language and rigorous thought? Try long-time Vancouver poet George Stanley, a too-little-known writer who can be a delightful discovery

Love is Not an Algorithm
By George Stanley, Above/Ground Press (Ottawa, 2020)

$5 | 24pp.

George Stanley is one of Vancouver’s best-kept secrets.

For anyone who loves shapely language and rigorous thought, this too-little-known writer can be a delightful discovery. Stanley, an Irish-American poet from San Francisco, has been living and writing in B.C. since 1971, and much of his remarkable poetry reflects his Canadian experiences.

He writes in “Montmartre” that “I started out in Montmartre/in the bars and cafes. I drank/With Manet and Baudelaire/Now I drink at the Fringe Café/on West Broadway, in Vancouver. I’m one of the ‘regulars’.”

And he has indeed been a regular in the world of poetry for most of his adult life, and certainly all of his time in Canada, publishing collections, chapbooks and stand-alone poems. (Full disclosure: I have known Stanley since he arrived in Vancouver in the ’70s. I have also reviewed earlier volumes of his poetry, including a review in 2018 of Some End/West Broadway.)

Despite creating an impressive body of work over his Canadian decades, Stanley has never achieved the commercial success or notoriety that can come, even in these post-poetry years, to more emotionally and intellectually accessible writers, either in his home country or here in Canada.

Because Stanley seems to have read and digested almost everything ever published, his work is intellectually dense; and yet his keen-eyed observations of the fine grain particulars of his city and his mind invite the reader in and reward careful attention. His book-length Vancouver: A Poem (2008) and his jointly authored (with George Bowering in 2018) Some End/West Broadway are both master classes in poetic observation, reflection and distillation. A George Stanley poem can deliver the potent kick and long lasting after-pleasure of a glass of single-malt scotch.

While Stanley is not likely to ever be a mass-market poet, he has been recognized by the Poetry Society of America with that body’s Shelley Award in 2006, and in 2011

The Capilano Review devoted an entire issue to printing both his original work and poems and essays of appreciation from many powerful voices within the world of current poetry. Clearly, he is a poet’s poet.

But don’t let that scare you off. Love is Not an Algorithm will reward any careful reader with its lyrical reflections on love, desire, the beautiful, the mind and the city.

Highly recommended.

Friday, October 9, 2020

new from above/ground press: HOUNDS, by Cecilia Stuart

Cecilia Stuart


When parts of you receded I began to chew in threes. I lit candles, bound books filled with housing, burned them in a pile and filmed it. I would grab the white-hot tines with my uncalloused hands, feign a rancid vision and vision myself blessed. More vigorous than ever, I’d pull the curtains back and weep. Add splinters. Add plastic. Add clumps of ash and heat.
Parts of you receded. Parts of me were caught up in the lees. Hawking popcorn tins filled with scraps of ragged denim, bones from flightless birds. Out of all these tiny fragments, I cobbled up some plan. In a small house on a small street, I had hands that tapped reserves of yellow dye. I had a photograph of gophers and I swallowed it. Felt shrill and often evil, far from home without a friend.
I set out to make a palace. I brought forth a kitsch. I made lists, lazed at broken harps. Desperate for a genre or for something to belong to. Perhaps I belonged to you but your hands would always sweat. Then came the first blue light through my window, right where I had left it all along. Every surface had an appetite, and in the glow I stacked a shoddy stack. The sun came slow or maybe bloody. What was left I sold for cheap.

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
October 2020
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Cecilia Stuart’s
first chapbook Mudroom, a collaborative project with photography by Adrian Kiva, was published by Anchorage Press in 2018. Her poems have appeared in PRISM international, The Antigonish Review, Plenitude and elsewhere. She lives in Toronto.

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

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

new from above/ground press: from THE LOSS FOR WORDS, by Keith Waldrop

Keith Waldrop

“I couldn’t live,” she tells me. “If I really believed you die and that, that’s the end...  Well I just couldn’t live if I believed that.”

    I believe...  actually, I can think of nothing I believe.

    And find it hard to see what difference it would make, my believing or not.  Difference, that is, to a possible object of belief. What is, I suppose, is, whether I think so or not.


    No doubt I—believing some notion, likely or unlikely—would be different from myself disbelieving the same notion. Or myself undecided. Or unconcerned.

    I’m told I deceive myself. I’m told I do believe, believe that—for instance—the sun will rise tomorrow morning. Well, certainly it seems likely.

    If that’s all believing means, I’ll admit to a sort of scale. I’m fairly positive the sun will come up tomorrow, whether or not it becomes visible. That it will rain tomorrow I think, but not with anything like the same approach to certainty. An earthquake is unlikely. I see no reason to doubt that night will fall and the dead will not rise. (“INTERVAL”)

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
as part of above/ground’s prose/naut imprint
October 2020
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Cover image by the author

Keith Waldrop is the author of more than a dozen books of poems, including Transcendental Studies (U of California Press) which won the National Book Award in 2009, and, from Omnidawn Publishing, Selected Poems (2016), The Not Forever, and The Real Subject. He has also published a novel, Light While There Is Light (Dalkey Archive) and translated Baudelaire's Flowers of Evil and Paris Spleen: Little Poems in Prose as well as contemporary French authors like Anne-Marie Albiach, Claude Royet-Journoud, Paol Keineg.

He is retired from Brown University and lives in Providence, RI where he edited, with Rosmarie Waldrop, Burning Deck Press.

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

Monday, October 5, 2020

new from above/ground press: The Ham Harp, by Amelia Does

The Ham Harp
Amelia Does

A Silence

Believe it, there is a piece of ham
stuck to his favourite rock

Just a roll, a rolled jam cake
Silence is like milk to me

Can you write about things
Other than good or bad?

I’m sure people do it every day
In Marakesh there’s a few now

Writing long dedications, endless scrolls
Illegible scrawling on sheep innards

Ever closer dangling out the turrets
Sitting in a window, no glass

No light but a pink orange sunset
Their world brimming with silence

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
October 2020
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

cover illustration by the author

Amelia Does is an artist, filmmaker and writer from London, Ontario. Her poetry has been published by Proper Tales Press, Acta Victoriana, The Week Shall Inherit the Verse and Touch the Donkey. Amelia is author of essays and articles in Cineforum Italia, Senses of Cinema and Incite Journal of Experimental Media. She has self-published six books, six chapbooks and oversaw monthly and quarterly zine publications. Amelia has produced and consulted for several award-winning feature documentaries, and has recently begun a new video series called “Art Life”.

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

Thursday, October 1, 2020

above/ground press: 2021 subscriptions now available!

TWENTY-EIGHT YEARS! The race to the half-century continues! And with more than ONE THOUSAND TITLES produced to date, there’s been a ton of above/ground press activity over the past year, including some FORTY-TWO CHAPBOOKS (so far) produced in 2020 alone (including poetry chapbooks by Franco Cortese, Billy Mavreas, ryan fitzpatrick, Sarah Burgoyne and Susan Burgoyne, Paul Perry, Jérôme Melançon, Kemeny Babineau, Rose Maloukis, Sarah Burgoyne, Buck Downs, Kevin McPherson Eckhoff, Orchid Tierney, Derek Beaulieu, Julia Drescher (she’s had two this year!), Misha Solomon, Dani Spinosa, Andrew Cantrell, Mark Scroggins, Michael e. Casteels + Nick Papaxanthos, Ashley Yang-Thompson + Mikko Harvey, Ben Robinson, Khashayar Mohammadi, Melissa Eleftherion, Andrea Rexilius, Lance La Rocque, George Stanley, Rachel Kearney, J.R. Carpenter, Amanda Deutch, Stan Rogal, Guy Birchard, Razielle Aigen, rob mclennan, Anthony Etherin, Leesa Dean, Eric Baus, Ian McCulloch and Dale Tracy, all of which are still in print), as well as issues of the poetry journals Touch the Donkey [a small poetry journal], G U E S T [a journal of guest editors] and The Peter F. Yacht Club. Obviously The Factory Reading Series is on hold for the time being (until I have the time and energy to begin to try to figure out something else, I suppose), but have you seen the virtual reading series over at periodicities: a journal of poetry and poetics (with new monthly online content, by the way; the new pandemic-era extension of above/ground press).

Oh, and did you see that above/ground press has announced a new prose chapbook series? With new titles by Amanda Earl, Jane Eaton Hamilton and rob mclennan, and a forthcoming title by Keith Waldrop!

Just what else might happen? Forthcoming items also include works by Franklin Bruno (two!), Ava Hofmann, Amish Trivedi, N.W. Lea, Alexander Joseph, Amish Trivedi (two!), David Miller, Sa’eed Tavana’ee Marvi (trans. Khashayar Mohammadi), katie o'brien, Nathanael O’Reilly, Amelia Does, Andrew Brenza, Genevieve Kaplan, Geoffrey Olsen, Franco Cortese (three more forthcoming!), Zane Koss, Dennis Cooley, Barry McKinnon and Cecilia Tamburri Stuart as well as a whole slew of publications that haven't even been decided on yet.

2021 annual subscriptions (and resubscriptions) are now available: $75 (CAN; American subscribers, $75 US; $100 international) for everything above/ground press makes from the moment you subscribe through to the end of 2021, including chapbooks, broadsheets, The Peter F. Yacht Club and G U E S T and quarterly poetry journal Touch the Donkey (have you been keeping track of the dozens of interviews posted to the Touch the Donkey site?). Honestly: if I’m making this many chapbooks per calendar year, wouldn’t you call that a good deal? I mean, it all does seem ridiculous.

Anyone who subscribes on or by November 1st will also receive the last above/ground press package (or two or three) of 2020, including those exciting new titles by all of those folk listed above, plus whatever else the press happens to produce before the turn of the new year, as well as Touch the Donkey #27 (scheduled to release on October 15), a journal that turned seven years old in 2021!

Why wait? You can either send a cheque (payable to rob mclennan) to 2423 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K1H 7M9, or send money via PayPal or e-transfer to rob_mclennan (at) (or through the PayPal button at

Stay safe! Stay home! Wear a mask! Wash your damned hands!