Archive for April, 2009

Gadzooks Interview


I’m featured this week as the Gadzooks person in the neighbourhood. Check out the picture they posted to see my cat Hoppy. Oh, and Burn, here.

Thank Yous:

To Edward Nixon for having me at livewords last night, and to my co-readers Stu Ross and David McFadden, who were terrific as always. It was an honour. 


April 24, 2009 at 2:23 pm Leave a comment

New Cactus Press Chapbooks

As the Toronto poetry editor of Cactus Press, I’m pleased to announce the launch of our two latest titles: It looked like rain by Mark Laliberte and Free Translation by Edward Nixon. The launch will take place at 7 pm on May 8, 2009 at Cerverjaria (842 College St.). We’re also in the process of of putting together launches in Ottawa and Montreal, as well as finalizing the May 8th line-up to include authors from Cactus Press’s Montreal branch (Devon Gallant, Tim Ormond and Ryan Bird). 

Here’s a sneak peak at Mark Laliberte’s It looked like rain. For other Toronto Cactus Press titles, check out



April 10, 2009 at 10:35 pm 1 comment

30/30 + Etc.

I’m late on this one, but Literary Madam Julie Wilson is celebrating National Poetry Month by posting 30 poets reading both original and cover poems on her blog Seen Reading. She’s compiled an impressive roster of readers, including some of my favorite Canadian Poets (see: Evie Christie, Kevin Connolly, Dani Couture and Karen Solie).

You can hear me reading one of my own poems, Little Dipper, and an Ian Williams cover, Not Saying (from his forthcoming collection, You Know Who You Are (Wolsak and Wynn, 2010), here.

In other news, The Stouffville Free Press (my hometown newspaper) has posted an article on my CBC Literary Award win here. I’d like to thank Kate Gilderdale for taking the time to interview me!

Finally, the 2009 Griffin Poetry Prize shortlist has been announced. I’d like to congratulate the Canadian nominees: Kevin Connolly, Jeramy Dodds and Al Moritz, who are all more than deserving.

April 8, 2009 at 5:36 pm Leave a comment

Blair Trewartha’s Procedures for Escape

To kick off National Poetry Month, I’ve decided to post another poem that originally appeared in Misunderstandings Magazine. Here’s Blair Trewartha’s Procedures for Escape from MM11:

The train hovers along the track
somewhere between Oshawa and Belleville
and I sit in seat 14
in the aisle across from the emergency window
with a little red hammer
in a small gray box —
the one which every kid, including me
would give up their seat
just to smash

The attendant explains the procedures of escape
to the family of five sitting ahead of me
She’s a cute brunette with high cheekbones
and low lips and probably close to my age
and she asks me if in the event of an emergency
would I be willing to climb out the window with her first
to help her assist all the women and children off the train

I tell her yes, most definitely, and stare back out the window
at the blurred trees and old telephone wires
listening to the sounds the train wheels make
across the cold, hard rails
which always sound a bit like thunder
and a bit like a steel mill in full work-day swing
and I imagine the two of us, hand in hand
leaping out the shattered window
of the recently de-railed
looking like two children jumping off a small cliff
into blue water on a sun-blind afternoon
using their fear of heights
as a meager excuse to hold hands

I look back at the tiny red hammer
in the little gray box
displayed like a javelin in a courtroom
and repeat her question over again in my head
thinking, yes I would be willing to do that
you’re just the first person
to have asked



Blair Trewartha

April 1, 2009 at 4:20 pm 7 comments


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