Tuesday, July 5, 2022

new from above/ground press: Report from the Anstee Society. Vol. 1 No. 1

 

Report from the Anstee Society
Vol 1. No. 1
edited by rob mclennan
$7

an assemblage of writing in response
to the work of Cameron Anstee

including
poems, critical writings
and
philosophical transactions

with contributions by:
Kemeny Babineau
Jennifer Baker
Michael e. Casteels
Nicole Chin
Jack Davis
Beth Follett
Phil Hall
Robert Hogg
Marilyn Irwin
Gil McElroy
rob mclennan
Justin Million
Lillian Nećakov
Pearl Pirie
Sandra Ridley
Stuart Ross
Bardia Sinaee
Mark Truscott
Grant Wilkins
Rob Winger
published in Ottawa by above/ground press
July 2022
full list of published reports here
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy


Report on the Society logo by C. McNair, editor’s devil (retired)

Cameron Anstee has published two chapbooks with above/ground press, including Frank St. (2010) and Regarding Renewal (2012).

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) hotmail.com or the PayPal button at www.robmclennan.blogspot.com

Monday, June 27, 2022

new from above/ground press: Reading The Great Classics Of Canlit through Book 5 of bpNichol’s The Martyrology, by Grant Wilkins

Reading The Great Classics Of Canlit through Book 5 of bpNichol’s The Martyrology
Grant Wilkins
$5

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
June 2022
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy


This poem was created by a loose diastic reading-through of Book 5 of bpNichol’s The Martyrology (Coach House Press, 1982).

Grant Wilkins is a printer, papermaker and occasional poet from Ottawa who has made a practice of doing strange things to other people’s words. He has degrees in History & Classical Civilization and in English, and he likes ink, metal, paper, letters, sounds and words, and combinations thereof. A second above/ground press title is forthcoming.

above/ground press reprinted bpNichol's KON 66 & 67 (for jiri valoch in January 2002 and THE TRUE EVENTUAL STORY OF BILLY THE KID, with an afterward by carl peters, in December 2005.

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) hotmail.com or the PayPal button at www.robmclennan.blogspot.com

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Susan Rukeyser's Whatever Feels Like Home (2021) reviewed by Alice Kaltman at Heavy Feather Review

Alice Kaltman was good enough to provide a review of Susan Rukeyser's Whatever Feels Like Home (2021) over at Heavy Feather Review. Thanks so much! This is actually the third review of Rukeyser's collection of short prose, after one posted to the Cholla Needles Arts & Literary Library website, and a further posted by Al Kratz over at his blog. You can see Kaltman's original review here.
Susan Rukeyser’s new chapbook may be short in stature, a mere twenty pages, but there is nothing slim about the rich, emotionally resonant prose within. Whatever Feels Like Home reads like a songbook, each of the ten stories, melodic and masterful, ask that age-old query; What truly is home? With Rukeyser at the helm, the answer comes in fresh and alarming ways.

Here are tales of longing for belonging, of place and displacement, of family and estrangement. Each story is awash in wonder, regret, envy, and disappointments. Home is where the heart is? With Rukeyser’s sober and honest perspective, that’s not always the case.

This unusual collection showcases Rukeyser’s impressive range of narrative style. She’s as masterful in humorous first person as she is writing in a deeply mournful third. Some stories are no more than a paragraph long, lengthier ones barely brush past two pages. Still each story has heft.

Poetic lines are dropped in just the right places, always without pretense. At times I gasped at their potency and beauty. For example: “Everything shellacked with filmy silence” from “Stuck Shut,” a story about escape from disappointment and domestic claustrophobia. Or “Forgiving slacks were armor. Her smile, a shield,” from “Hers,” Mrs. Anderson’s brief but powerful story which sits in the very center of this marvelous book, across the page break from “His,” Mr. Anderson’s companion piece, as if on the opposite side of a bleak, marital divide.

There’s also a quiet humor threading its way throughout this book, even when a story is anything but funny. The first piece, “Yes, You Can Eat Your Goldfish,” starts with “Yes, you can eat your darling goldfish. He is most likely a form of ornamental carp, and he will taste as you expect: muddy and full of bones.” From there, Rukeyser leads us (in one brilliant page no less) from what appears to be a funny list of instructions but is ultimately a sobering tale about impossible romantic notions of love, of squashed expectations, and ultimate loss.

Really, every story in Whatever Feels Like Home is a winner. There’s the laugh out loud “FOR SALE: Galloping Horse (brass wall art)>>>Mint<<<,” where heavy wall art wreaks all sorts of violence and relational mayhem.

And then, the alarming “You Were the Girl Who,” chronicling gushing adoration in unrequited youthful friendship (you were the girl who made our town interesting), a cautionary tale which takes a surprising, devastating turn, setting the idea of the safety and comfort of ‘home’ completely awhirl.

Rukeyser writes in “Human/Nature”: “I want to be that rock, she thinks. I want to be yielded to … I want to be that rock, she thinks. I want to be pushed.” Read Whatever Feels Like Home. Yield to this book and guaranteed; you will be pushed along by the solid, sumptuous, powerful prose in this startling collection.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

new from above/ground press: Natural Man, by N.W. Lea

Natural Man
N.W. Lea
$5

Poem to Genevieve

Midnight sun shines on your mother’s face,
a sweet supernal glow, a show of real force.
You’re getting caught up in aromatic thoughts,
in your humour’s sense; I can see you
with a cool Marian grin,
unperturbed by the bittersweet burden of earth
and her strange strained world

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
June 2022
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

N.W. Lea
lives with his family in Whitehorse, Yukon. Find his books at invisiblepublishing.com.

This is Lea’s sixth above/ground press chapbook, after light years (2006), Present! (2014), Nervous System (2018), Five Mothers (2019) and Less Dream (2021).

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) hotmail.com or the PayPal button at www.robmclennan.blogspot.com

Thursday, June 16, 2022

new from above/ground press: Silts, by Jed Munson

Silts
Jed Munson
$5


-


O eye
 of uprightness, the graphic presence
on my shoulder conceals
I’m wincer,
Grown of moonlegs—
I
umber. Suspicions are buildings, Sweetheart,
petals,
 imploding
into categories. Like when oil rainbows tell me
you’re leaving
for the lack
of town, how I split
    An apple
with
 A doe in the grove we never settled

on. How questions
pressure what moroseness
proudly presents:
Glance gone wrong:

long sequences of feeding
as these lines over-
pronate,
politely step down to part-
time
 copperstrippers.

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
June 2022
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy


cover image/design: Kyuwon Kim.
The cover image nods to Park Seobo’s (박서보) Ecriture (‘묘법’) No. 21 (1974).

Jed Munson’s first chapbook, Newsflash Under Fire, Over the Shoulder, was published with Ugly Duckling Presse in 2021. His work has appeared in Conjunctions, P-QUEUE, Full Stop, and others.

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) hotmail.com or the PayPal button at www.robmclennan.blogspot.com

Thursday, May 26, 2022

new from above/ground press: AN ENVELOPE FOR SILENCE: Some Short Fiction 1977-1989, by David Miller

AN ENVELOPE FOR SILENCE: Some Short Fiction 1977-1989
David Miller
$5


My sister and I were amongst several children invited by the older girls who lived in the house opposite ours to come by for a puppet show one afternoon. I think I was more impressed by coming inside this otherwise unavailable domain itself than by the shadow-world created by the girls' puppetry; those girls would not ordinarily have spoken to us at all: and this was thorough-going: we were invited, at the end of the little show, to come for another performance if and when we could bring entrance-money. We never saw that interior again.

Twenty-one years of age, walking by water's side; river flowing, dirty, past industrial slums, grimy walls of factories; debris and mud everywhere. I had just been to an interview for a job I didn't want, and despite all my attempts at not getting accepted, it looked like I had been anyway: what a disappointment. Actually, I wasn't just disappointed, I felt sick. Some gulls flew over; and I thought of the young woman at the labour exchange who had sent me to the interview. Her face came into focus: an attractive woman; stylish; probably a nice person. Maybe she'd go far in her job. I was going to leave the country.

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
May 2022
as the seventeenth title in above/ground’s prose/naut imprint
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy


David Miller was born in Melbourne, Australia, but has lived in the UK for many years. His recent publications include Black, Grey and White: A Book of Visual Sonnets (Veer Books, 2011), Reassembling Still: Collected Poems (Shearsman, 2014), Spiritual Letters (Contraband Books, 2017), Towards a Menagerie (Chax Press, 2019), Matrix I & II (Guillemot Press, 2020), Vitruvian Shadows  (The Red Ceilings Press, 2020) and Some Other Days and Nights (above/ground press, 2021). He has compiled British Poetry Magazines 1914-2000: A History and Bibliography of ‘Little Magazines’ (with Richard Price, The British Library / Oak Knoll Press, 2006) and edited The Lariat and Other Writings by Jaime de Angulo (Counterpoint, 2009) and The Alchemist’s Mind: a book of narrative prose by poets (Reality Street, 2012). He is also a musician and a member of the Frog Peak Music collective.

This is Miller’s second above/ground press title, after SOME OTHER DAYS AND NIGHTS (2021).

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) hotmail.com or the PayPal button at www.robmclennan.blogspot.com

Thursday, May 19, 2022

new from above/ground press: looping climate, by Matthew Gwathmey

looping climate
Matthew Gwathmey
$5

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
May 2022
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Matthew Gwathmey
lives in Fredericton, New Brunswick, on Wolastoqey Territory, with his partner Lily and their five children. He studied creative writing at the University of Virginia and just completed his PhD at UNB. His first poetry collection, Our Latest in Folktales, was published by Brick Books in the spring of 2019.

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) hotmail.com or the PayPal button at www.robmclennan.blogspot.com

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

new from above/ground press: Report from the Reid Society. Vol. 1 No. 1

 

Report from the Reid Society
Vol 1. No. 1
edited by rob mclennan
$7

an assemblage of writing in response
to the work of Monty Reid

including
poems, critical writings
and
philosophical transactions

with contributions by:
D.W. Adams
Cameron Anstee
Douglas Barbour
Wade Bell
Stephen Brockwell
Dennis Cooley
Rhonda Douglas
Chris Johnson
Kevin Matthews
rob mclennan
Colin Morton
David O’Meara
Pearl Pirie
Ryan Pratt
Rusty Priske
Sandra Ridley
Bren Simmers
D.S. Stymiest
published in Ottawa by above/ground press
May 2022
full list of published reports here
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy


Report on the Society logo by C. McNair, editor’s devil (retired)

Monty Reid has published five chapbooks with above/ground press, including Six Songs for the Mammoth Steppe (2000), cuba A book (2005), In the Garden (sept series) (2011), Moan Coach (2013) and Seam (2018).

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) hotmail.com or the PayPal button at www.robmclennan.blogspot.com

Friday, May 13, 2022

new from above/ground press: In the shadows, by Michael Boughn

In the shadows
Michael Boughn
$5

Visitors

Angels return, dance around the edge,
twice in a day, quiet rhetorical surprises
recall the fall, protective hands, mercy
for a mortal plummet’s failed ascent
to overheard song

Earth is no pillow
and there’s no escape
from the landing, Listen,
sweetie
, they sing, but keep
your feet on the ground, tap, tap
tapping, & never ever try to illuminate
The Human Condition, stick
to the pebbles stretch out
before newly minted eyes
ineluctable terrain of the fallen

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
May 2022
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Michael Boughn
moved to Canada in October, 1966 because of opposition to the US war against Viet Nam. After studying with Robin Blaser for several years at SFU, he worked in the Teamsters on the Toronto lakeshore for nearly 10 years before returning to university in 1982 to study with poets John Clarke and Robert Creeley. He is the author of numerous books of poetry, including Iterations of the Diagonal, Dislocations in Crystal, 22 Skidoo / SubTractions, Great Canadian Poems for the Aged Vol. 1 Illus. Ed., and City—A Poem from the End of the WorldCosmographia – a post-Lucretian faux micro-epic was short listed for the Canadian Governor General’s Award for Poetry in 2011, prompting a reviewer in the Globe and Mail to describe him as “an obscure veteran poet with a history of being overlooked.” With Victor Coleman he edited Robert Duncan’s The H.D. Book for the University of California Press. He has also published books for young adults, including the Maple Award nominated Into the World of the Dead, a mystery novel, Business As Usual, a descriptive bibliography of the American poet, H.D., and numerous essays on film, writing, architecture and music. His most recent book is Hermetic Divagations—after H.D. From 2014 to 2018 he edited the online poetry disturbance known as Dispatches from the Poetry Wars with co-conspirator, Kent Johnson. A collection of his essays, Measure’s Measures, is forthcoming from Station Hill Press in 2022. He can most often be found with Case, his border collie pal, hanging out in dog parks or herding sheep.

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) hotmail.com or the PayPal button at www.robmclennan.blogspot.com

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

new from above/ground press: west coast shorts, by Laura Kelsey

west coast shorts
Laura Kelsey
$5

the home, demolished

jagged pile of planks
plywood and metal
a tiny woman stoops
with bonnet already
rifling through, yanking
at wires like a bird
pulling worms 

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
May 2022
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy


cover art/design: Michael Harding

Laura Kelsey is a former newspaper editor and now a poet, performer and graphic designer living in Nanaimo/Snuneymuxw Territory, B.C. Her poems have appeared in the New Chief Tongue, the Carnegie Newsletter, pocket lint and Sea & Cedar Magazine. She has self-published three collections of poetry and releases music through www.laurakelsey.com.

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) hotmail.com or the PayPal button at www.robmclennan.blogspot.com

Thursday, May 5, 2022

new from above/ground press: English Garden Bondage, by Russell Carisse

English Garden Bondage
Russell Carisse
$5

1.Brickwall

head stretcher stretcher stretcher stretcher head stretcher stretcher’s stretcher stretcher stretcher head stretcher stretcher stretcher stretcher head th’qt head head head head head head head th’qt head stretcher stretcher stretcher stretcher head stretcher stretcher stretcher stretcher stretcher head stretcher stretcher stretcher stretcher head th’qt head head head head head head head th’qt head stretcher stretcher stretcher stretcher head stretcher stretcher stretcher’s stretcher stretcher head stretcher stretcher stretcher stretcher head th’qt head head head head head head head th’qt head stretcher stretcher stretcher stretcher head stretchers stretcher stretcher stretcher ‘stretcher.


published in Ottawa by above/ground press
May 2022
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Russell Carisse
is currently living on unceded Mi'kmaw territory in New Brunswick. Here they have resettled off-grid with their family of people and animals, to grow food and practice other forms of underconsuption. Their writing can be found or forthcoming in Poetry Pause, The Anti-Langorous Project, The Quarantine Review, Funicular, The Utopia Project, The Pi Review, STILL: The Journal, Periodicities, The Paragon Journal, The Babel Tower Board, Talking About Strawberries, as well as in their self-published book, NOMOGRAPHY, on Google Books and New Brunswick Chapbook Series #18, BRICKWORKS from Frog Hollow 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 rob_mclennan (at) hotmail.com or the PayPal button at www.robmclennan.blogspot.com

Monday, May 2, 2022

new from above/ground press: In-Between, by Saba Pakdel

In-Between
Poetry by Saba Pakdel
a non-corresponding bilingual English/Persian collection
$5

lullaby

absence is a presence that never is
centuries would not pass
in an hourglass that’s falling
upside down
you did not believe in time
yet sand runs through
timelessness in a bubble
and oceans dry
does it all go back by turning the other end up?

what to do about the restlessness of the sun
the rebellious Icarus
falling to the borders of your stripped body
melts
in between your thighs
into a mirage appearing closer
yet absence still is
not standing afar
to outdistance recollections

here, is no fear
here is the fear
tall city towers fall
rows of pine trees succumb
a crowd wanders inside me
with hideous faces through the falling
I             am                  pregnant with a disaster
mother lullabies

time follows you all the way up
don’t try to move backward
shadows
are not the darkest side of absence
when trees are the presence that never is

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
May 2022
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy


Saba Pakdel (www.sabapakdel.com) is a poet, modernist scholar, and PhD student in the English department at University of Victoria. She completed her BA and MA in English language and literature in Iran. She earned her second MA in English at Simon Fraser University in 2021.

Saba has attended and coordinated literary workshops and poetry readings; published poems, translations, and essays; and collaborated in stage plays as a playwright and backstage filmmaker.

For a while, she worked as an editorial assistant at Talonbooks Publishing in Vancouver. Photography is her occasional and non-verbal means of communication with the world.

Saba specializes in migration studies and contemporary literature with a focus on exile, refugee, and immigration problems, particularly in works of migrant authors from the Middle East and Maghreb. Her research addresses the identity formation of migrants away from Euro-centric formulations based in twentieth century ideas about migration, largely derived from post-WWII circumstances, toward a contemporary reckoning with experiences of migration.

Pakdel will be launching In-Between in Victoria (in-person and virtually) on Friday, May 6 at UVic | Clearihue Building | Room C214 (2-4pm) and in Vancouver on Saturday, May 14 at This Gallery (noon-2pm). For more details, go to her website.

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) hotmail.com or the PayPal button at www.robmclennan.blogspot.com

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

new from above/ground press: Tomorrow’s Going to Be Bright, by Jérôme Melançon

Tomorrow’s Going to Be Bright
Jérôme Melançon
$5

Fifty-Three Kilometers

Emptied of the May snow
The branches across the highway
 – those branches still articulated
    without any exposure of cartilage –
Will find their place in this impatient
Thrust upwards of the Shield.
An ornament on its edges perhaps.
In the meantime the path winds,
Mattawa a distant memory: no one
Would even try to turn around. We come
Close to stopping to move one that had
Snapped – one branch that might have held me
And entire families, unlike those bent in a bow,
Ready to shoot back up and bury
Whatever leaves itself within reach.
The lack of agreement in seasons
Hides the reversal in the motives for this trip.
A coming death, spring already verified,
Leaves grabbing on to the snow out of curiosity
A desire to be transformed, exhaustion
Already. I see hares, living in a future
Landscape, foraging for what’s left of this
Forest’s promises in each other’s shade.

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
April 2022
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Jérôme Melançon
writes and teaches and writes and lives in oskana kâ-asastêki / Regina, SK. His most recent poetry collection is En d’sous d’la langue (Prise de parole, 2021). This chapbook is a supplement to that book. He is also the author of a bilingual chapbook with above/ground press, Coup (2020), and of two books of poetry with Éditions des Plaines, De perdre tes pas (2011) and Quelques pas quelque part (2016), as well as one book of philosophy, La politique dans l’adversité (Metispresses, 2018) and a bunch of different attempts at figuring out human coexistence in journals and books nobody reads. He’s on Twitter and Instagram at @lethejerome and sometimes there’s poetry happening on the latter.

This is Melançon’s second above/ground press title, after Coup (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) hotmail.com or the PayPal button at www.robmclennan.blogspot.com