Archive for April, 2010

National Poetry Month; or why Dani Couture is so damn cool

Along with the all the great Canadian poetry titles that have been released to coincide with National Poetry Month (including books from Dionne Brand, Suzanne Buffam, Dani Couture, Triny Finlay, Steven Heighton, Ray Hsu, Jeff Latosik, Michael Lista, Steve McOrmond, Jay MillAr, Paul Vermeersch and Ian Williams) there have been quite a few innovative projects conceived by Canadian writers to celebrate NPM. Here are a few of my favorites:

1. Toronto Poetry Vendors: Carey Toane and Elisabeth De Mariaffi have designed two vending machines that will dispense poetry broadsides for a toonie (a veritable steal!). The first machine, Spearmint, is in operation at This Aint the Rosedale Library. Stop by and check it out!

2.  Curious Excess: Toronto’s Book Madam, Julie Wilson, has posted book length readings of 3 recent poetry titles at Seen Reading: Dani Couture’s Sweet, Susan Holbrook’s Joy Is So Exhausting and Michael Lista’s Bloom. Excessive, yes, but absolutely worth listening to. Ms. Wilson will be adding readings from Nicole Markotic, Sachiko Murakami, Sandy Pool, Damian Rogers and Meaghan Strimus in the coming week. 

3. Poetry Fortune Teller: Dani Couture is offering downloadable Poetry Fortune Tellers on her blog. Sidle on over to reveal your fortune!

April 26, 2010 at 4:57 pm Leave a comment

Awards Season

Since the Griffin Poetry Prize shortlist was announced today, I thought I’d throw up a post highlighting some of the recent shortlists for major Canadian poetry prizes (Griffin included). I’m also going to post a notable omission along with each list.

Griffin Poetry Prize (Canadian Shortlist):

Karen Solie – Pigeon (House of Anansi Press)
Kate Hall – The Certainty Dream (Coach House Press)
P.K. Page – Coal and Roses (Porcupine’s Quill)

Notable omission: Carmine Starnino – This Way Out (Gaspereau Press)

Atlantic Poetry Prize

Zach Wells – Track & Trace (Biblioasis)
Anne Compton – Asking Questions Indoors and Out (Fitzhenry and Whiteside)
Tonja Gunvaldsen Klaassen – Lean-To (Gaspereau Press)

Notable Omission: Shane Neilson – Meniscus (Biblioasis)

Gerald Lampert Memorial Award

Kate Hall – The Certainty Dream (Coach House Press)
James Langer – Gun Dogs (House of Anansi Press)
Marcus McCann – Soft Where (Chaudiere Books)
Soraya Peerbaye – Poems for the Advisory Committee on Antarctic Names (Goose Lane Editions)
Marguerite Pigeon – Inventory (Anvil Press)
Robert Earl Stewart – Something Buried Along the Southern Border (Mansfield Press) 

Notable Omission: Jesse Ferguson – Harmonics (Freehand Books)

Pat Lowther Award

Elizabeth Bachinsky – God of Missed Connections (Nightwood Editions)
Ronna Bloom – Permiso (Pedlar Press)
Sina Queyras – Expressway (Coach House Books) 
Damian Rogers – Paper Radio (ECW Press)
Laisha Rosnau – Lousy Explorers (Nightwood Editions)
Karen Solie – Pigeon (House of Anansi Press)

Notable omission: None

Congratulations to all the nominees!

April 6, 2010 at 4:35 pm 1 comment


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