Saturday, September 29, 2012

new from above/ground press: Notes, on the subject of marriage; by rob mclennan

Notes, on the subject of marriage;
rob mclennan

They swam in moonlight,

These constant, language carves. I dream of summer, distant-green. here, the sun cools. Porcelain. Up, Ottawa Valley.

Phil Hall suggests, a frozen glow. Silence, is its only form.

The unexpected path. We sequence. Perfection, thus. Third-hand, paramours. Unsettled, through the sky. Moment, fetish, this one. Small. Enjoy.

There is no single moment.

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
September 29, 2012
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

This book is for Christine McNair.

Born in Ottawa, Canada’s glorious capital city, rob mclennan currently lives in Ottawa. The author of more than twenty trade books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, his most recent titles are the poetry collections grief notes: (BlazeVOX [books], 2012), A (short) history of l. (BuschekBooks, 2011), Glengarry (Talonbooks, 2011) and kate street (Moira, 2011), and a second novel, missing persons (2009). An editor and publisher, he runs above/ground press, Chaudiere Books (with Jennifer Mulligan), The Garneau Review (, seventeen seconds: a journal of poetry and poetics ( and the Ottawa poetry pdf annual ottawater ( He spent the 2007-8 academic year in Edmonton as writer-in-residence at the University of Alberta, and regularly posts reviews, essays, interviews and other notices at

To order, send cheques (add $1 for postage; outside Canada, add $2) to: rob mclennan, 402 McLeod St #3, Ottawa ON K2P 1A6 or paypal at

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Factory Reading Series presents: a VERSeFest fundraiser; lectures/talks by Anstee, Pirie + Brockwell,

The Factory Reading Series presents:

A VERSeFest Fundraiser

with lectures/talks on writing by

Cameron Anstee (Ottawa)
Pearl Pirie (Ottawa)
+ Stephen Brockwell (Ottawa)

lovingly hosted by rob mclennan
Thursday, November 15, 2012;
10$ door cover / includes a copy of The Peter F Yacht Club #17
doors 7pm; reading 7:30pm

Cameron Anstee lives and writes in Ottawa ON where he runs Apt. 9 Press and is pursuing a PhD in English Literature at the University of Ottawa. Recent chapbooks have been published by above/ground press (Ottawa), The Emergency Response Unit (Toronto) and St. Andrew Books (Ottawa). He blogs at

Pearl Pirie [photo credit: Charles Earl] has been organizing the Tree Seed Workshop Series for the Tree Reading Series since 2009. She is always on the lookout for new facilitators to bend their poetic passion to mentor local writers there. She tweets, photographs and verbs about town. Her blogs include pesbo, Humanyms, and Eaten Up. Her poetry collections include Thirsts (Snare, 2011) Mammals of Hoarfrost (Corrupt Press, 2011), Between Stations (epiphany press, 2011), been shed bore (Chaudiere, 2010) and over my dead corpus (AngelHouse, 2010). She is working on a couple full-length manuscripts. Her author site is

Stephen Brockwell is the author of 4 books of poems. Fruitfly Geographic won the 2004 Archibald Lampman Award for the best book of poetry by an Ottawa writer. His Excerpts from Impossible Books is an interminable work in progress, with two (one, two) sections of such appearing with chapbooks by above/ground press. Brockwell runs the small business from his basement, borrowed office space and coffee shops.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Factory Reading Series pre-small press book fair reading: Simpson, Blaikie, McPherson + Lithgow,

span-o (the small press action network - ottawa) presents:

The Factory Reading Series

pre-small press book fair reading

with readings/launches by:

Rachael Simpson (Ottawa)
David Blaikie (Ottawa)
Christian McPherson (Ottawa)
+ Michael Lithgow (Gatineau)
lovingly hosted by rob mclennan
Friday, November 16, 2012;
doors 7pm; reading 7:30pm
The Carleton Tavern,
223 Armstrong Street (at Parkdale; upstairs)

Rachael Simpson’s chapbook Eiderdown (Apt 9 Press) will appear in Fall 2012. She lives in Ottawa.

David Blaikie grew up in rural Nova Scotia and spent more than four decades years in journalism and communications, including 18 years as a Parliamentary Press Gallery reporter with The Canadian Press, The Toronto Star and Reuters. Returning to poetry in recent years, he won the inaugural Tree Reading Series chapbook contest in 2011 for his entry, Farewell to Coney Island, which appeared with Tree Press in 2012. He lives in Ottawa.

Christian McPherson was born in Ottawa, Ontario in 1970. He is the author of six books, Cube Squared (coming from Nightwood 2013-14), My Life in Pictures (Spring 2013 from Now or Never Publishing), The Sun Has Forgotten Where I Live, The Cube People (shortlisted for the 2011 ReLit Awards), Poems that swim from my brain like rats leaving a sinking ship (longlisted for the 2009 ReLit Awards), and Six Ways to Sunday (shortlisted for the 2008 ReLit Awards). He has a degree in philosophy from Carleton University and a computer programming diploma from Algonquin College. He is married to the beautiful Marty Carr. They have two kids, Molly and Henry. They all live together in Ottawa.

Michael Lithgow [pictured] is a PhD candidate in the School of Journalism and Communication. His poetry has appeared in Arc Magazine, The New Quarterly and Fiddlehead. Selections of his work have been included in Rutting Season (Buffalo Runs Press, 2009) and Undercurrents: New Voices in Canadian Poetry (Cormorant Books, 2010). His first solo collection, Waking in the Tree House, was published in Spring 2012 by Cormorant Books. He is currently a contributing editor at, research associate with the Canadian Alternative Media Archive project, and director of His doctoral research explores aesthetics, truth and dissent in digital and performance cultures.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

derek beaulieu delivers keynote reading as part of Mount Allison poetry conference Sept. 20 to 23

From the Mount Allison University events website:
SACKVILLE, NB — It won’t all be about the written word when Mount Allison University hosts a poetry conference on campus Sept. 20 to 23. Public Poetics: Critical Issues in Canadian Poetry and Poetics highlights all forms of poetry, including conceptual visual poetry, performance poetry, and poetry that blurs the line between music and poetry.

“The conference is a way to provide public access to poetry and to some of the fun things that are happening in contemporary poetry,” says Dr. Bart Vautour, a postdoctoral fellow at Mount Allison and a member of the conference’s organizing committee.

Although at its heart an academic conference, Vautour says they want to involve the wider community as much as possible, so many events are open to the public, including the two keynote lectures.

Dr. Diana Brydon, the Canada Research Chair in Globalization and Cultural Studies at the University of Manitoba, will deliver the first keynote address — Canadian Poetry and Poetics in a Globalizing World — on Thursday, Sept. 20. Sina Queyras, a poet, English professor at Concordia University, and author of Lemon Hound, a contemporary arts and letters blog, will present a lecture entitled Public Poet, Private Life: On The Dream of a Communal Self on Friday, Sept. 21. Both lectures take place in Room M14 of the Crabtree Building beginning at 7:30 p.m.

There will also be a keynote reading by conceptual poet derek beaulieu and Governor General’s Award-winner Erín Moure in Crabtree M14 on Friday, Sept. 20 at 4:15 p.m. One of beaulieu’s visual poems will be on display in downtown Sackville during the conference. 
“Take a look for it, but don’t try to read it,” Vautour suggests.

One of the highlights of the conference is a concert at the Vogue Theatre on Friday, Sept. 21 at 9 p.m., co-sponsored by SappyFest. Featuring Tanya Davis, a musician and Halifax’s poet laureate, as well as spoken-word poets El Jones and Ardath Whynacht, and folk musician Old Man Luedecke, it promises to be a not-to-be missed event. Tickets are $10 for students, $15 in advance, and $20 at the door and can be purchased at Thunder & Lightning Ltd., 6 Ford Ln., Sackville.

Community members are also invited to a mass poetry reading at the Owens Art Gallery on Saturday, Sept. 20 at 7:30 p.m., where participating poets can perform with the caveat that they can only present one or two poems and the performance has to take place in under five minutes.

The academic component of the conference will see about 50 poets, authors, and academics from within Canada and around the world come together for a series of discussions, roundtables, and lectures.

“We want to talk about the way that poetry is working in our contemporary communities and put that in dialogue with the way poetry worked in the public realm historically,” Vautour says, adding that contemporary poets and those who study poetic history too-often do not cross paths. “We wanted to bring those two communities together and also get the wider community as involved as possible to show as much of a diversity of poetics as we can.”

The Public Poetics conference is sponsored by the Centre for Canadian Studies at Mount Allison University, the Canadian Studies Programme at Dalhousie University, and is working in collaboration with The Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory. It is supported by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

For more information on the conference, visit Public Poetics.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

above/ground press authors Bolster, Young + mclennan on the 2012 CBC Poetry Prize longlist,

above/ground press authors Stephanie Bolster (author of two above/ground press chapbooks, most recently the 2006 chapbook, BIODOME), Deanna Young (author of the 2012 chapbook, Mediterraneo) and rob mclennan (author of too many things to count, but some recent above/ground press items include This, circular tower, goldfish: studies in fine thread, Sextet: six poems from Songs for little sleep, The underside of the line, the interview chapbook ECONOMIES OF SCALE, and (with Christine McNair) prelude: selections from a collaboration) were announced as part of a list of thirty-six on this year's CBC Poetry Prize longlist. Congrats to all!

Apparently we have to wait for September 17th to see what the shortlist looks like, and then another week or so to see who may have won...

Saturday, September 1, 2012

August's TRUCK: Rogal, Martin, Reid, Earl, MacLeod, McCann, McElroy, Anstee, Irwwin, MillAr, Jackson, McKinnon + mclennan,

I've been editing Halvard Johnson's TRUCK throughout August, and have included new poems by various above/ground press authors (the benefit of having produced so much, and for so long, it means a great many writers can be considered authors), including Stan Rogal, Camille Martin, Monty Reid, Amanda Earl, Kathryn MacLeod, Marcus McCann, Gil McElroy, Cameron Anstee, Marilyn Irwin, Jay MillAr, Meghan Jackson (who published a couple of above/ground press items under the name meghan lynch), George Bowering and Barry McKinnon, and forthcoming authors Lary Bremner and Jordan Abel, ending the month with a piece of my own, here. Check the entire month's worth, also featuring poems by nikki reimer, Daphne Marlatt, David McGimpsey, Kim Minkus and more.

And don't forget the 19th anniversary sale! only until September 15,