Thursday, January 22, 2015

new from above/ground press: Texture: Louisiana, by rob mclennan

Texture: Louisiana,
rob mclennan


In 1821, Jean Mouton bestowed Vermilionville. A designate, along Vermilion River. Renamed for war hero General Gilbert du Motier, marquis de Lafayette. A Frenchman, aiding the American Army during the American Revolution.

A bastion of French, both language, culture. Cajon, Creole, Acadian.

I am translucent skin.

The Battle of Vermilion Bayou, April 17, 1863. Third in a series running between Union Major General Nathaniel Prentice Banks and Confederate Major General Richard Taylor. What had we to say.

Am a tourist through these pages. I have no right.

Birds could never fly this high. Capital to capital.

Drop down in New Orleans. We flood, we persevere. We drown.

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
January 2015
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Born in Ottawa, Canada’s glorious capital city, rob mclennan currently lives in Ottawa. The author of nearly thirty trade books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, he won the John Newlove Poetry Award in 2010, the Council for the Arts in Ottawa Mid-Career Award in 2014, and was longlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize in 2012. His most recent titles include notes and dispatches: essays (Insomniac press, 2014), The Uncertainty Principle: stories, (Chaudiere Books, 2014) and the poetry collection If suppose we are a fragment (BuschekBooks, 2014). An editor and publisher, he runs above/ground press, Chaudiere Books, The Garneau Review (, seventeen seconds: a journal of poetry and poetics (, Touch the Donkey ( 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

Produced, in part, as rob mclennan’s participation in dusie kollektiv #8 [which will be online soon]. Much thanks to Susana Gardner.

“Texture: Louisiana,” is the result of an American trip with Stephen Brockwell, February 22-25, 2012; we were in and around New Orleans and Lafayette, Louisiana, in part for a reading we did together at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette on February 24, 2012, organized and hosted by poet Marthe Reed. This piece is dedicated to both Brockwell and Reed, with much and many thanks. Much gratitude, also, to Camille Martin and Megan Burns for generous feedback.

The piece was first read in full on Thursday, May 10, 2012, at the 17 Poets reading series, alongside Stephen Brockwell and Laura Mattingly, at the Gold Mine Saloon in New Orleans, LA [posted in its entirety on YouTube]; the series at the time was curated and hosted by Megan Burns and Dave Brinks.

[rob mclennan launches Texture: Louisiana, at The TREE Reading Series on Tuesday, January 27, 2015, where he features alongside Dilys Leman]

To order, send cheques (add $1 for postage; outside Canada, add $2) to: rob mclennan, 2423 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa ON K1H 7M9 or paypal at

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