Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Maguire, Ladouceur, Cooley + Ackerson-Kiely (+ mclennan) make Amanda Earl's favourite chapbooks of 2011 list

Ottawa literary maven Amanda Earl has posted a list of "favourite chapbooks of 2011," and she includes titles from an array of literary presses, including Apt. 9 Press, Pooka Press, BookThug and various others, highlighting four titles by above/ground press: Book About a Candle Burning in a Shed, by Paige Ackerson-Kiely; have you learned / nothing kroetsch, by Dennis Cooley; Lime Kiln Quay Road, by Ben Ladouceur; Vowel Wolves & Other Knots, by Shannon Maguire (all of which are still available). For a list of other recent chapbooks, click here! And then of course, subscriptions...

She was even nice enough to mention my own C. (little red leaves, Textile Editions). Thanks, Amanda!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A review of rob mclennan’s The underside of the line, by Megan Burns (Rain Taxi Review)

Poet Megan Burns wrote a lovely and positive review of my chapbook, The underside of the line, (above/ground press, 2011) as part of her “chapbook corner” in Rain Taxi, alongside reviews of Travis Cebula’s Jamaica (bedoin books) and Bhanu Kapil’s (a poem-essay, or precursor: NOTES: for a novel: Ban en Banlieues) (Belladonna #127). I did a review or two for Rain Taxi moons ago, but haven’t managed to write a second, but for them publishing my essay on Don Quixote. Unfortunately, the magazine somehow missed the misspelled Ottawa, and Megan Burns (who is also hosting a reading by myself and Stephen Brockwell in March, down there in New Orleans) somehow calls above/ground press “coedited” by me, misunderstanding that above/ground press is a solo show, and has never been co-edited by anyone (I suspect she mistook for Chaudiere Books, which still, is co-run with Jennifer Mulligan, and still singularly edited by myself). But enough nit-picking: this is a lovely, positive and attentive review, Megan Burns, and I thank you for it!

Here is a fragment of said review (the whole review is available in the print edition of their new issue), posted with permission:

mclennan’s lines are short and rhythmically sudden; the sounds of these lines, even in the midst of a prose poem, cause the reader to paint the picture from a flurry of images. […] The tableau would seem surrealistic, but mclennan’s images are grounded in the everyday; the poems function as collages where disparate but familiar tropes are given back to us for subjective sorting. Furthermore, mclennan’s lines are satisfying because he plays on the musicality of hard syllables and recurring assonance as well as the surprise of what will turn up next. […] In the same way that a song uses rhythm to bridge sense with emotion, mclennan winds his images in rhythms that allow one to suspend disbelief for the greater return of amusement.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

above/ground press 2012 subscriptions! + update of forthcoming titles,

Hey, above/ground press enthusiasts! This is a notice to see who might be interested in subscribing to our 2012 annual subscriptions, $50 (in the United States, $50 US; $75 international) for everything above/ground press makes from now until the end of 2012. Can you believe, 2012 marks nineteen years above/ground?

There are a whole bunch of publications in the works for 2012, including new publications by Rae Armantrout, derek beaulieu, Sarah Mangold, j/j hastain, Kathryn MacLeod, Rob Manery, Allison Grayhurst, Lars Palm, Fenn Stewart, kemeny babineau, rob mclennan, a collaboration by Andrew Burke + Phil Hall, and plenty of others. How is it you’ve stayed away for so long?

You can either send a cheque (payable to rob mclennan) at (new address!) 402 McLeod Street #3, Ottawa ON K2P 1A5 or drop the money on my recently-acquired Paypal button at

And keep checking author and publication updates on the above/ground press blog as well, including recent new interviews with Dennis Cooley and Camille Martin, a tribute to Robert Kroetsch, and the online appearance of Ross Brighton's above/ground press chapbook as a free pdf as part of the Dusie Kollektiv 5, as well as the occasional online reissue of a number of above/ground press “poem” broadsides, with recent and forthcoming appearances by Stephanie Bolster, Marilyn Irwin, Amanda Earl and Jamie Bradley.

We, alone, are keeping Canada Post in business. Don’t you forget it.

Happy seasonal things, and best for the New Year.
yer wayward publisher,

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

"poem" broadside #306: this side of pyr | ryp fo edis siht, by Marilyn Irwin

a heart
a feather

the weight
of the world
in a wink

weather wax drips
stellar sip trips
fire pours poorly

shades shadows

from star tangle
and everything

this side of pyr | ryp fo edis siht
by Marilyn Irwin
above/ground press broadside #306

Marilyn Irwin’s work can be found in issues of ottawater, Bywords, Bywords Quarterly Journal, X-Ray Magazine, and Peter F. Yacht Club. She self-published her first chapbook in 2010 which was re-issued by above/ground press the same year. She is amassing pieces of things for her second chapbook.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cameron Anstee at the Bah! House Band Reading Series, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011

above/ground press author Cameron Anstee reads at the Bah! House Band Reading Series alongside Ottawa poet David Currie on Thursday, December 15, 2011; 9pm-11pm, Raw Sugar Cafe, 692 Somerset Street West, Ottawa.

The return of the House Band Reading Series, featuring DJ Komsomol & McNally in the band, with Special Guests Cameron Anstee and Dave Currie.
The House Band Reading Series mixes music with words, a DJ scoring each piece as it is read/performed with special guests bringing other genres of writing to round out the evening.

Mashing a musical score with prose, the House Band will be performing two seasonal pieces.

Dave Currie: a man haunted by schemes. Writing is one of them, he's been working on this racket for a while now and if it doesn't work out he might take up glass blowing or dream interpretation. He can often be seen stroking, chewing or raking his facial hair. He currently serves as the fiction editor of In/Words Magazine where he is often quite grumpy.

Cameron Anstee: Apt. 9 Press (Ottawa ON) publishes handmade book in limited editions by new and established writers. We publish poetry, fiction and non-fiction. Our publishing emphasizes local writers, but strives for broader dialogue. Our first titles were launched in August 2009. His chapbook Frank St. (above/ground, 2010) is still available, here.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

new above/ground press broadsides by Marilyn Irwin, Jamie Bradley, Nick Ravo + Amanda Earl

"This side of pyr | ryp fo edis siht"
by Marilyn Irwin
above/ground press broadside #306

"Sex at 31"
by Jamie Bradley
above/ground press broadisde #307

"A Boab in Broome, Western Australia"
by Nick Ravo
above/ground press broadside #308

by Amanda Earl
above/ground press broadside #309

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
November 2011
a/g subscribers receive complimentary copies

To order, send cheques (add $1 for postage; outside Canada, add $2)

copies available by sending a s.a.s.e. (or $2) to:
rob mclennan, 402 McLeod St #3, Ottawa ON Canada K2P 1A6

paypal available at

Thursday, December 1, 2011

a new interview with Dennis Cooley

A new interview with recent above/ground press author Dennis Cooley, conducted by American poet Lea Graham, author of, among other titles, the chapbook Calendar Girls (above/ground press, 2006).