Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Nikki Sheppy reviews Julia Polyck-O'Neill's Femme (2016) in Arc Poetry Magazine #83

Calgary poet and critic Nikki Sheppy was good enough to post the first review of Julia Polyck-O'Neill's Femme (2016) in the new issue of Arc Poetry Magazine. Thanks so much! You have to pick up a copy of the issue to see the full review, but a fragment of it reads:
In this collection, the room is a feminist forum inhabited by poet Sylvia Plath, conceptual artist Gillian Wearing, literary theorist Hélène Cixous, and postcolonial queer theorist Sara Ahmed, among others. These lines of influence are named and engaged: Polyck O’Neill invokes several titles that absorb her attention: Plath’s “Elm,” Cixous’ Stigmata, and Ahmed’s “Affective Economies.” The effect is to expand the subject, the body and its language to surrounding feminist genealogies, engendering an inquisitive dialogue that is genuinely rhizomatic. In the matter of communication, “Hers is a field model.”

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Factory Reading Series: Irwin, Rhodes + Landers, August 12, 2017

span-o (the small press action network - ottawa) presents:
The Factory Reading Series:

with readings by:

Marilyn Irwin (Ottawa)
Shane Rhodes (Ottawa)
+ Sue Landers (Brooklyn NY)
lovingly hosted by rob mclennan
Saturday, August 12, 2017
doors 7pm; reading 7:30pm
The Carleton Tavern,
223 Armstrong Street (at Parkdale; upstairs)


Shortlisted for the 2016 bpNichol Award and winner of the 2013 Diana Brebner Prize, Marilyn Irwin’s [pictured] work has been published by Apt. 9 Press, Arc Poetry Magazine, Matrix Magazine, Puddles of Sky, and The Steel Chisel, among others. north, her eighth chapbook, and third published by above/ground press, was released earlier this year. She runs shreeking violet press in Ottawa.

See her 2015 Jacket2 interview here: http://jacket2.org/commentary/short-interview-marilyn-irwin

Shane Rhodes is the author of six books of poetry, including his most recent Dead White Men (2017, Coach House Books). Other titles include Err, which was nominated for the City of Ottawa Book Award in 2012, X, which created poetry out of Canada’s post-Confederation treaties, and The Wireless Room, which won the Alberta Book Award. Shane’s poetry has also been featured in the anthologies Best Canadian Poetry in 2008, 2011, 2012 and 2014, Breathing Fire II, and was awarded the National Magazine Gold Award for Poetry.

See his recent Touch the Donkey interview here: http://touchthedonkey.blogspot.ca/2016/09/ttd-supplement-61-seven-questions-for.html

Sue Landers is a poet from Brooklyn. She is author of Franklinstein, which tells the story of one Philadelphia neighborhood wrestling with the legacies of colonialism, racism, and capitalism. She is also the author of two books of poetry, 248 mgs., a panic picnic and Covers, as well as two chapbooks, 15: A Poetic Engagement with the Chicago Manual of Style and What I Was Tweeting While You Were on Facebook. She is currently writing about riding every New York City subway line from end to end.

See her recent Touch the Donkey interview here: http://touchthedonkey.blogspot.ca/2017/06/ttd-supplement-81-seven-questions-for.html

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Greg Bem reviews rob mclennan's King Kong (2016) on Goodreads

Greg Bem was good enough to post the first review of my chapbook King Kong (2016) over at Goodreads. Thanks so much! You can see the whole review here. It reads:
This is a whacky pamphlet of poems that will leave you astounded at the canonization of North American poetry extended into such an array of strange and baffling contexts and contents. Enjoyable within the realm of quirks, King Kong reiterates the play and pride of Mclennan and his knack for the limp and romp of contemporary writ.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

the above/ground press summer sale! and today is the press' 24th birthday!

Where do the years go? Thanks to Alexander Monker back in 2013, I rediscovered that today is the anniversary of the first above/ground press reading and launch, way way back in 1993 (I'd spent years presuming the anniversary was in August, for some reason), so I thought we should celebrate twenty-four years (and more than eight hundred publications) with a glorious summer sale!

$25 for any 6 2017 chapbook titles! (until August 15, 2017

including: Domestica, by Sarah Swan ; Series out of Sequence, by Carrie Hunter ; random_lines = random.choice, by Jason Christie ; THIRTY-THREE, by Geoffrey Young ; marginal prints, by philip miletic ; ASTRAL PROJECTION, by Kyle Flemmer ; a a novel 1-20, by Derek Beaulieu ; No Right on Red, by Helen Hajnoczky ; These Ghosts / This Compost: An Aubadeclogue, by Jake Syersak ; SWAMP / SWAMP, by Brenda Iijima ; INVISIBLE WIFE, by Sarah Fox ; from: Sunny girls, by Sandra Moussempès (translated by Eléna Rivera ; Stephen Collis, FIRST SKETCH OF A POEM I WILL NOT HAVE WRITTEN ; Jordan Abel, TIMELESS AMERICAN CLASSIC ; poorsong one, by Lisa Robertson ; Marilyn Irwin, north ; Open Island, by Faizal Deen ; Inaccuracies, by Ian Whistle ; The Lover is Absent, by Jessica Smith ; SOMEWHERE THE / SHAKING, by Sarah Cook ; CANCON, by nathan dueck

while supplies last (like, obviously,

To order, send cheques (US orders, add $2 for postage; outside Canada/US, add $5) to: rob mclennan, 2423 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa ON K1H 7M9 or paypal at www.robmclennan.blogspot.com

with forthcoming titles from: Alyssa Bridgman, Geoffrey Nilson, Matthew Johnstone, Adele Graf, N.W. Lea, Sacha Archer, Stephanie Bolster, Buck Downs, Valerie Coulton, Katy Lederer and Sarah Dowling. but if you were a subscriber, you wouldn't even need to be scrolling through names, right? 2018 subscriptions will become available beginning October 1, 2017 (there are a lot of cool things already in the works for our twenty-fifth year...).

and keep an eye out on the annual above/ground press anniversary reading/launch/party! most likely to occur in August; there is so much to come I can't even,

Friday, July 7, 2017

Scott Bryson reviews Sarah Swan's Domestica (2017) in Broken Pencil

Not the most gushing of reviews (and he seems to acknowledge a nuance he also completely misses), Scott Bryson has provided the first review of Sarah Swan's Domestica (2017) in Broken Pencil. You can see the original review here.
Domestica Chapbook, Sarah Swan, 24 pgs, above/ground press, abovegroundpress.blogspot.com, $4

Domestica is a title that manages to conjure elegance and tedium at the same time, and that dichotomy is mirrored in Sarah Swan’s verse. In subsequent breaths, she compares her children’s “clear and clean” faces to icebergs in a Lawren Harris painting, then finds herself swept up by a wave of monotony as she pulls them down the sidewalk in a wagon, “grey square after grey square / after / solemn / grey / square.”

This collection is only half homebody musings; the riskiest — and most rewarding — section of Domestica is a numbered series of poems, all titled “Childhood.” Each does little more than list items, scenes or events that are presumably all from Swan’s youth. It’s a recipe for idiosyncrasy, but that line is never crossed; Swan’s choices for the lists consistently breed familiarity, at least for this reader: “The squat green / rotary telephone. // Porridge and / molasses. // Burrs / stuck / on my / sweater.”

If you’re looking for uncomplicated, mater-of-fact poetry, this one’s a safe bet. There’s nothing veiled, here — what you see is what you get — but Swan doesn’t sacrifice subtlety or nuance.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Scott Bryson reviews Neil Flowers' TAXICAB VOICE (2016) in Broken Pencil

Scott Bryson was good enough to provide the first review of Neil Flowers' TAXICAB VOICE (2016) in Broken Pencil. Thanks so much! You can see the original review here.
Taxicab Voice Chapbook, Neil Flowers, 12 pgs, above/ground press, abovegroundpress.blogspot.com, $5 
 The 5.5 x 8.5 inch format favoured by above/ground press was waived for this collection; Taxicab Voice is a comparably enormous 8.5 by 11. It was presumably the author’s preference, and while it could be owing to the length of a couple of these poems, Neil Flowers may also have been looking to make this resemble a song book. Most of this writing involve music, in one form or another, and it’s all dedicated to Bill Hawkins, a recently-deceased Canadian folk musician and poet.
Much of Taxicab Voice speaks from the perspective of Hawkins, and it’s possible that it’s entirely about him — a narration of the about-town and on-the-road life of a Canadian bard. If the two men weren’t friends, they were at least acquaintances — both inhabited the Ottawa poetry scene of the early ’70s, and Flowers included Hawkins’ writing in an anthology in 1973.

There’s a particular term that appears repeatedly throughout this collection, loosely tying its poems together: “starfuckers” (in multiple forms). In one instance, it refers to groupies, as seen from Hawkins’ perspective: the “Women with rainbows for eyes.” Later, the label is assigned to someone who picks up Hawkins after his car breaks down: “Who comes to your rescue? / Creeley. / Star Fucker!” (referencing poet Robert Creeley). Flowers’ carefree use of such language paints an amusing image of that fulsome circle of artists.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

new from above/ground press: CANCON, by nathan dueck

CANCON
nathan dueck
$5




Season One


I don’t think I can                                                              
                           (101)
confusing school.

I’d like to be president, but I can’t
control our fate as students.

I’d like to congratulate all candidates
concerned about youngsters in the third world.                                     
                                                                       (102)

You can (DEGRASSI JUNIOR HIGH Family)

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


nathan dueck's middle name is russel, which means his initials spell “nrd.” His parents tell him that nobody knew that word when he was born, but dictionaries say otherwise. He is the author of king's(mère) (Turnstone Press, 2004) and he'll (Pedlar Press, 2014).

This is dueck's second chapbook with above/ground press, after @BillMurray in Purgatorio (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

Friday, June 16, 2017

The Factory Reading Series pre-small press book fair reading, June 23, 2017: Rubacha, MacDonell, Million + Christie,

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

The Factory Reading Series
pre-small press book fair reading

featuring readings by:
Elisha May Rubacha (Peterborough)
Sarah MacDonell (Ottawa)
Justin Million (Peterborough)
and Jason Christie (Ottawa)

lovingly hosted by rob mclennan
Friday, June 23, 2017;
doors 7pm; reading 7:30pm
The Carleton Tavern,
223 Armstrong Street (at Parkdale; upstairs)

[And don’t forget the ottawa small press book fair, held the following day at the Jack Purcell Community Centre]


Elisha May Rubacha [pictured] lives, writes, and gardens in Peterborough, ON. She is the editor and designer of bird, buried press and the co-curator of the Show and Tell Poetry Series. Her work has been published by Bywords, Puddles of Sky Press, The Steel Chisel, and Skirt Quarterly, and she was shortlisted for the PRISM International Creative Non-fiction Contest in 2016.

If you work in the arts, Sarah MacDonell would like you to hire her. A 2017 Tree Reading Series Hot Ottawa Voice, AOE Young Artist Mentee, and youth board member of the OAG’s dépArt, Sarah has performed at Slackline Creative Series, Sawdust Reading Series, CSA rout/e, and the ottawater launch. Her first chapbook, The Lithium Body, came out in January with In/Words. You can find her poems online and posted outside of McCarthy Park.

Justin Million is a poet living, working, writing, and curating art happenings in downtown Peterborough, ON. Million has published 19 poetry chapbooks, with presses such as Apt. 9 Press, and bird, buried press, and has been featured in literary magazines such as Word and Colour, Poetry Is Dead, and ottawater. Million is also the curator of the Show and Tell Poetry Series in Peterborough, ON, is the Poetry Editor for bird, buried press, also located in Peterborough, ON, and features every month with his Smith-Corona Electra 110 at KEYBOARDS!, Peterborough’s only live-writing poetry show.

Jason Christie is the author of Canada Post (Snare), i-ROBOT (Edge/Tesseract), Unknown Actor (Insomniac), and a co-editor of Shift & Switch: New Canadian Poetry (Mercury). He has five chapbooks from above/ground press: 8th Ave 15th Street NW (2004), GOVERNMENT (2013), Cursed Objects (2014), The Charm (2015), random_lines = random.choice (2017). He is currently writing poetry about (being) objects, and exaltation.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

new from above/ground press: SOMEWHERE THE / SHAKING, by Sarah Cook

SOMEWHERE THE / SHAKING
Sarah Cook
$5



Shelf



where’s the person inside the thing? & when the thing starts over?

this house is full of people.

this head is full of things trying to be people.

(i place my small hand upwards in the palm of your hand, the gesture of holding without commitment)

take any individual street in the winter, small town, no commitments to décor or watering: just house after house after house of trying to be.

(i place my small fist)

this street is full of people or at least the houses suggest.
published in Ottawa by above/ground press
June 2017
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy


Sarah Cook’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, The Feminist Wire, Gaga Stigmata, and elsewhere. She writes at freelancefeminist.com and works with homeless and runaway youth in Oregon.

See her 2016 Touch the Donkey interview here.

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, June 13, 2017

Friday, June 9, 2017

Jordan Abel wins the 2017 Griffin Poetry Prize!

Last night, above/ground press author Jordan Abel was announced as the Canadian winner of the 2017 Griffin Poetry Prize for his third trade collection, Injun (Talonbooks, 2016). Congratulations, Jordan! It was also an absolute pleasure to see you win the prize in person!

And, by the by, his two above/ground press chapbooks are still very much available: Scientia (2013) and TIMELESS AMERICAN CLASSIC (2017). And then, of course, there was his interview a while back in Touch the Donkey, as well...

Friday, June 2, 2017

backlist #29: eckhoff, Ackerson-Kiely, Norris + Middle,

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:

187. dissections from their biography by kevin mcpherson eckhoff
$4 each / 50 copies available

originally published in an edition of 250 copies, October 2012

 









188. Book About a Candle Burning in a Shed, Paige Ackerson-Kiely
$4 each / 25 copies available

originally published in an edition of 300 copies, September 2011

 



189. Windward, by Ken Norris
$25 each / 1 copy available

originally published in an edition of 100 copies for a reading at The TREE Reading Series, November 13, 1995

 








190. smthg, by Max Middle
$8 each / 5 copies available

originally published in an edition of 300 copies, March 2005

 








191. flow march n powder blossom s, by Max Middle
$6 each / 6 copies available

originally published in an edition of 300 copies, February 2006

Monday, May 29, 2017

backlist #28: Kerr, Schmaltz, Christie, Lea + Robertson,

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:

182. drunkboy Stories by Greg Kerr
$10 each / 3 copies available

originally published in an edition of 300 copies, May 1997

 






183. MITSUMI ELEC. CO. LTD.: keyboard poems by Eric Schmaltz
$4 each / 20 copies available

originally published in an edition of 300 copies, February 2014

 









184. 8th Ave 15th St NW by Jason Christie
$4 each / 20 copies available

originally published in an edition of 300 copies, October 2004

 










185. light years by Nicholas (N.W.) Lea
$4 each / 50 copies available

originally published in an edition of 300 copies, March 2006

 






186. On Physical Real Beginning and What Happens Next by Lisa Robertson
$4 each / 50 copies available

originally published in an edition of 250 copies, April 2012


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.