Tuesday, May 9, 2017

backlist #27: Stewart, Graham + mclennan, Burke + Hall, McCann, Poe, McElroy, McKinnon + Carr

After a bit of a delay/distraction, I'm still discovering titles I thought either completely out-of-print or very close. For a few months now, I've been working to offer (or re-offer) various titles to the public, simply to see what might appeal (scroll down here to see the list to date). 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 www.robmclennan.blogspot.com:

173. An OK Organ Man, by Fenn Stewart
$6 each / 8 copies available

originally published in an edition of 150 copies, March 2012

 











174. metric: a collaboration of small poems, by Lea Graham and rob mclennan
$4 each / 13 copies available

originally published in an edition of 250 copies, March 2011

 








175. Shikibu Shuffle, by Andrew Burke and Phil Hall
$6 each / 7 copies available

originally published in an edition of 300 copies, March 2012

 










176. Town in a long day of leaving, by Marcus McCann
$8 each / 5 copies available

originally published in an edition of 200 copies, March 2010

 










177. Keep, by Deborah Poe
$6 each / 9 copies available

originally published in an edition of 200 copies, October 2012

 











178. Some Forty, by rob mclennan
$6 each / 3 copies available

originally published in an edition of 200 copies, March 2010

 












179. (The Work of Art) In the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, by Gil McElroy
$6 each / 6 copies available

originally published in an edition of 300 copies, November 2005









180. Into the Blind World, by Barry McKinnon
$5 each / 5 copies available
originally published in an edition of 300 copies, January 2012

 






181. ]            & look there goes a sparrow transplanting soil         ]        [3 eclogues], by Emily Carr
$6 each / 7 copies available

originally published in an edition of 200 copies, December 2009

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Robert Kroetsch Conference this weekend : Anstee, Baker, Cooley, Markotić, Hall etc

In case you weren't aware, the 2017 Canadian Literature Symposium at the University of Ottawa is this weekend: Robert Kroetsch: Essayist, Novelist, Poet. Running from April 27-30, 2017, presenters include a variety of above/ground press authors (and non-authors), including panelists, presenters and chairs Nicole Markotić, Jennifer Baker, Rudy Wiebe, David Eso, Cameron Anstee, Claire Farley, Dennis Cooley, Aritha van Herk, Robert Stacey, Phil Hall and others. I even have a couple copies left of Robert Kroetsch's above/ground press chapbook, as well as the memorial chapbook we put together for him, if such appeals. Apparently the public is more than welcome to attend, and you can see the full schedule for the conference here.

And: I took this photo of Robert Kroetsch during our shared University of Alberta Press on-campus book launch, April 2010.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

new from above/ground press: The Lover is Absent, by Jessica Smith

The Lover is Absent
Jessica Smith
$5



published in Ottawa by above/ground press
April 2017
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy


Jessica Smith, Founding Editor of Foursquare and name magazines and Coven Press, serves as the Librarian for Indian Springs School, where she curates the Indian Springs School Visiting Writers Series. A native of Birmingham, Alabama, she received her B.A. in English and Comparative Literature: Language Theory, M.A. in Comparative Literature, and M.L.S. from SUNY Buffalo, where she participated in the Poetics Program. She is the author of numerous chapbooks including Trauma Mouth (Dusie, 2015) and two full-length books of poetry, Organic Furniture Cellar (Outside Voices 2006) and Life-List (Chax Press 2015).

This is her third chapbook with above/ground press, after Shifting Landscapes (2006) and MNEMOTECHNICS (2013).

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 www.robmclennan.blogspot.com

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Katie L. Price: Poetry & Practice: Perspectives on Medicine and Narrative WSU

above/ground press author Katie L. Price (author of the 2015 chapbooks Sickly and BRCA: Birth of a Patient) tomorrow afternoon at Washington State University!

"This may seem tangential to our class at first glance. However, Katie L. Price has a very interesting project to turn the information contained on her medical records into poetry. In formal terms, the project shows how restructuring information—from documentary form to poetic form—can alter its meaning in dramatic ways, even if the data stays the same. The process of making private health records public also resonates with what Frank Pasquale writes about health insurance scores. Rather than letting her medical history add up to a numeric identity assigned by some data broker, Price works to regain a kind of control over her health records. In the process, she works against narratives of private illness and private risk, showing instead how perceptions of health have very public consequences. Medical patients bear the brunt of those consequences, her poetry suggests, not commercial insurance services.

This event should help us imagine interesting new angles for the course material. Price’s poetry could become an interesting point of entry for a final project about individual reputation in the era of run-away data. Attend the talk and blog about it for extra-credit—brownie points if you ask a question about digital technology!"

Saturday, April 1, 2017

new from above/ground press: Inaccuracies, by Ian Whistle

Inaccuracies
Ian Whistle
$4

Mistranslation

Khatumo Ceuta in the Spanish Mediterranean. The level of water is full of clothes and spread their weight and paddleboard illicit production. Thousands of foreign vessels in sealed boxes. Rarely forest safe in Brazil and Indonesia Coach handbags are leading the way. A meeting of the Russian military process. smuggling snuff products is prohibited in the Mohawk in Canada. Uday Hussein deals Mystery, workers of color television. Northern Canada, frogs and turtles coach products, household and office sales are sold worldwide. For smuggling on the border with Mexico, was nāki'i'ia peace. Brazil and lapa'au'ia, and millions of animals. Children between two and ten thousands of people traffic at the border. Nigeria "or" son of the victim, and sells cocoa harvest. Cocaine starts ka'ūhā. Syria Real illegal. Bible cocaine prison for women. The Warsaw ghetto wall power supply, doors, drainage and register the land illegally. 1800 New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and plaster illegally. It was a mystery. Incorporated. It was the shadow of the cross.

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
April 2017
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Ian Whistle
has published in filling Station, CRASH: a litzine, Moss Trill and Nöd. Small poetry publications have appeared via jwcurry’s 1cent and Ken Hunt’s Spacecraft. He currently runs h&, an occasional journal of visual/concrete poetry and assorted other oddities: http://handandpoetry.blogspot.ca/

This is Whistle’s third above/ground press chapbook, after “MOUTH or PLACE NAMES” (STANZAS magazine, issue #9, 1996) and resemblances (1998).

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 www.robmclennan.blogspot.com

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Cary Fagan reviews Stephen Collis, FIRST SKETCH OF A POEM I WILL NOT HAVE WRITTEN (2017)



Toronto writer Cary Fagan was good enough to provide the first review for Stephen Collis’ FIRST SKETCH OF A POEM IWILL NOT HAVE WRITTEN (2017) over at his Bodies and Words. Thanks much! You can see Fagan’s post here. As he writes:

Stephen Collis, First Sketch of a Poem I Will Not Have Written.  Ottawa, above/ground press, 2017.
abovegroundpress.blogsplot.com

An emotion not felt so often in poetry is anger.  But I certainly feel it in Stephen Collis’ long poem (something above 150 lines) – anger at contemporary culture, at the stubbornness of capitalism, and perhaps at the corruption of poetry itself.  It’s full of interesting contradictions, the main one for me being that it is no flag-waving manifesto or populist call to the masses but instead intricate, fragmented, and often as not difficult.

At borders, frontiers, reaching
into the historical moment of listening
to insurrection and speech /
spur and limit
in place of the street / we have Facebook
Google is a universe we
No longer have to search the limits of
the revolutionary subject lies elsewhere
can we revive?

Sometimes he sounds like a tired and aging, but still raging lefty, hating the opium of the internet and pop songs that “tell us / nothing” (surely an unfair generalization these days).  He might be in an old-fashioned working man’s tavern, talking to a half-listening friend (“and sometimes David when I say politics / I mean poetics”), feeling defeated but with still some of the old energy in him.  His thoughts jump around, as if he might be half drunk or falling asleep-

swing low
Campanera. Missing. Cellphone. Rift. Blank. Space. Rosebud.
What body is general? Autonomous?
Gras. Roots. Bit. Torrent. Detainees. No one.  Illegal.

There’s another moment when a name is mentioned, likely a wife or partner: “Late now. Sound of the furnace. Cathy out. Girls asleep.”  This also gives the impression of a restless and unhappy soul wrestling with defeats and losses in the dark hours. But the lines always have a clean, sharp edge, expressing an intelligent consciousness that feels to me trapped inside a spiral of argument, trying to find a way out:

I ponder Empedocles and volcanos
the history of the oppressed
“If you go out and look for the economy
it is hard to find”
desire to become cosmos
to live in the limitless
connection of all things

As I read I began to expect some kind of uplift or release, some hope in the end, if faint or bleary.  Instead the poem ends in cynicism or perhaps just resignation: “god didn’t die / he was translated into money”.  But I took this as a momentary feeling, as if another moment chosen (five minutes before, one minute after) might have given us a different ending, a sense that the fight – in the street and on the page – must go on.

Monday, March 27, 2017

A Soundival of Sorts : Jennifer Baker + others

Rhombus 19 presents "A Soundival of Sorts." April 1, 8 pm, The Happy Goat Coffee Company, 35 Laurel St., Ottawa. An evening of sound poetry, experimental verse, and poetry theatre. Original compositions, plus works by Hugo Ball, Kurt Schwitters, Christian Bök, Caroline Bergvall, bpNichol, The Four Horsemen, Sesame Street, Michael Ondaatje, and others. Performed by students and faculty of UOttawa's Department of English. For more information, check out the Facebook link.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

new from above/ground press: Open Island, by Faizal Deen

Open Island
three poems
Faizal Deen
$3

Wrong Essays

begins a mouldy turn into kaiso
Archie “and Muslims in general”
better than the hippogriff Kali come to life
behind Sinbad
little master in Mom’s panties
read more hippogriff where the masters let them
Ray Harryhausen a thousand arms
head griffin claws
hooves horse tail
Moors from Afrique
In hybrid hands; Ottawa special effect.
“see, Orientalist!, see?”
every funeral, the 4th takbir, remain standing
without wing or hippogriff
Moderns grow lush in their dream of an open island
Okroes in the grabber of scotch bonnet
a dying shoreline Hellshire’s fried Dancehall
love affairs
“The Indies,” a moonlight Haji shears history
At Plaza, hands everywhere Sinbad.
At Plaza, read more hippogriff mister.
Mom turns walaikum into laughing Sparrow
blows loud balloons
this secret petition to Kali

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
March 2017
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy


Faizal Deen Forrester
is a doctoral student in the Department of English Language & Literature at Carleton University. As a contributor to the Migration and Diaspora Studies initiative at Carleton, Faizal seeks to address the ways in which the cultural production of Caribbean populations in Canada—in particular, the work of poets—encourages us to rethink existing notions of diasporic identity. Faizal has studied at Queen’s University at Kingston, Ontario, the University of the West Indies (Mona Campus), McGill University; and, most recently, received an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Windsor. As Faizal Deen, he maintains—along with his scholarly endeavours—an acclaimed poetry practice, beginning in 2000 with the publication of Land Without Chocolate, a Memoir, Guyana’s first LGBTQI poetry collection. His most recent collection, The Greatest Films, which, in part, addresses Caribbean queer Islamic identities in the post-9/11 era, was published by Mawenzi House.

[Produced for Deen's participation in Ottawa's 7th annual VERSeFest, March 21-26]

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 www.robmclennan.blogspot.com

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

new from above/ground press: The Peter F Yacht Club #25; VERSeFest special!

The Peter F Yacht Club #25
VERSeFest 2017 special

edited by rob mclennan
$6


With new writing by a host of Peter F Yacht Club regulars, irregulars and VERSeFest 2017 participants, including Cameron Anstee, Frances Boyle, Jason Christie, Stephen Collis, Anita Dolman, Amanda Earl, Patrick Friesen, Lea Graham, Marilyn Irwin, Gil McElroy, rob mclennan, Uxío Novoneyra, trans. Erín Moure, Pearl Pirie, Roland Prevost, D.S. Stymiest and Janice Tokar.

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
March 2017
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy
[a small stack of copies will be distributed free as part of the fifth annual VERSeFest, March 21-26, 2017]


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 www.robmclennan.blogspot.com

Monday, March 20, 2017

new from above/ground press: Marilyn Irwin, north

north
Marilyn Irwin
$5


(&)
the spider plant
is unhappy
its foliage is
growing wrong,
pushed up against the wall
it is browning; it is dying
it is holding on because it has to
roots, pot, gravity
it turns away from the sun
it is trying

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
March 2017
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy


Shortlisted for the 2016 bpNichol Award, a 2014 Tree Reading Series Hot Ottawa Voice, and winner of the 2013 Diana Brebner Prize, Marilyn Irwin has no idea how she got here. Her work, including seven chapbooks, has been published by above/ground press, Apt. 9 Press, Arc Magazine, Matrix Magazine, and Puddles of Sky, among others.  She runs shreeking violet press in Ottawa.

[Produced for Irwin's participation in Ottawa's 7th annual VERSeFest, March 21-26]

This is Irwin’s third chapbook with above/ground press, after for when you pick daisies (2010) and flicker (2012).

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 www.robmclennan.blogspot.com

Thursday, March 16, 2017

new from above/ground press: poorsong one, by Lisa Robertson

poorsong one
Lisa Robertson
$4


Day Opens on Water
You say the Water is not a Grave

Over the still mirror of Water
Love moves the Bright Shadows
Penetrates Borders

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
March 2017
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Lisa Robertson
lives in the village of Nalliers (population 310), on the Gartempe River, which drains from the Massif Central into the Loire basin. This region is the historic border zone of old Aquitaine, also the ragged border zone of old Occitan, and French. The current economy is based on small scale agriculture, the building trades, a plastic bag factory, and under-the-table activities. She moved to the region in 2004; she began making chapbooks in the late 80s in Vancouver. Her most recent book is 3 Summers.

This is Robertson’s second title with above/ground press, after On Physical Real Beginning and What Happens Next (2012).

[Produced for Robertson's participation in Ottawa's 7th annual VERSeFest, March 21-26]

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 www.robmclennan.blogspot.com

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

new from above/ground press: Jordan Abel, TIMELESS AMERICAN CLASSIC

TIMELESS AMERICAN CLASSIC
Jordan Abel
$5




published in Ottawa by above/ground press
March 2017
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Jordan Abel
is a Nisga'a writer from BC. Currently, he is pursuing a PhD at Simon Fraser University where his research concentrates on the intersection between Digital Humanities and Indigenous Literary Studies. Abel’s creative work has recently been anthologized in Best Canadian Poetry (Tightrope), The Land We Are: Artists and Writers Unsettle the Politics of Reconciliation (Arbiter Ring), and The New Concrete: Visual Poetry in the 21st Century (Hayword).  Abel is the author of  Injun, Un/inhabited, and The Place of Scraps (winner of the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize and finalist for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award).

[Produced for Abel’s participation in Ottawa's 7th annual VERSeFest, March 21-26]

This is Abel’s second title with above/ground press, after Scientia (2013).

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 www.robmclennan.blogspot.com

Monday, March 13, 2017

Joel W. Vaughan reviews Buck Downs’ Shiftless(Harvester) (2016) in Broken Pencil #74



Joel W. Vaughan was good enough to provide the first review of Buck Downs’ Shiftless(Harvester) (2016) in Broken Pencil #74. Thanks so much! You can see the original review here.

Buck Downs’ poetic method has been outlined in Broken Pencil’s review for “Touch the Donkey #11” [see that review here], as his work is briefly featured there, but it is worth noting here again for this interview, where the advantages and disadvantages to this approach are emphasized more heavily. “Shiftless(Harvester)” is, after all, a chapbookentirely of Downs’s composition, so when his method of “brute-force typing,” as he calls it, is tasked with producing the 23 short poems printed herein, their method of production is much more obvious.
            In an interview with publisher rob mclennan, Downs describes his “brute-force” method as follows: “I have a little box that when I fill it with filled notebooks, I take the box and type up its whole contents … which I get printed as a bound galley … and proceed to erase/cut & paste/collage that typing into drafts.” The advantages to this approach are the same to be found in more-recognized poets who, to some degree, follow a similar process (Downs himself cites Ronald Johnson and Jackson MacLow. “Shiftless(Harvester)” does garner a sort of ‘ghost in the machine’ kind of discombobulated affect, examples in such passages as “pee shy/& asking/for money/it’s hard to feel/sad when your mouth is on fire”. The chapbook confronts the issues associated with the method which produced it. However, some issues remain – namely, a resistance to settling into anything recognizable as meaning, and more noticeably a tendency towards shoehorning in association between dissociated memes to unfortunate melodrama (see: “days when you whisper | nights when you cry | […] | all the burnt parts | still rule inside. [11]. “Shiftless(Harvester)” makes for a solid read, but one leaves with little more than what one began with.