Archive for March, 2011

Poetry Month

Over the next few weeks I’ll be doing several readings in Toronto to promote both Patternicity and Sunday, the locusts. If you’re in town, I’d be delighted to see you.

Battle of the Bards (March 30)
Where:  York Quay Centre (235 Queen’s Quay West)
When: 7:30 pm
With: David Hickey, Robyn Sarah, Zach Wells, among others.

Carousel 27 Launch Party (April 7)
Where: Black Swan Tavern (154 Danforth Ave.)
When: 7:30 pm
With: Julie Cameron Grey, Christine Walde, Natalie Zina Walschots, among others.

Art Bar (April 12)
Where: Clinton’s (693 Bloor Street West)
When: 8:00 pm
With: Ruth Roach Pierson, Jeanette Lynes

March 29, 2011 at 8:10 pm Leave a comment

An Interview with Patrick Connors

This past week, Patrick Connors interviewed both Julienne Lottering and I for in regards to our new book Sunday, the locusts. It was interesting to hear Julie’s take on our collaboration, since I’d never asked her formally.

If you’re interested, you can check it out here.

March 28, 2011 at 8:15 pm Leave a comment

Michael Lista, literary magazines and the future of MM

Michael Lista tackled a topic close to my heart on Friday, discussing the future of Canadian literary magazines in his latest column for the National Post. I’m passionate enough about literary magazines to have run one (Misunderstandings Magazine) for the past 7 years, and was pleased to see the drawbacks of the new Canadian Periodical Fund discussed as they relate to literature.

Of course, my own enterprise is much too small to have ever qualified for government assistance, nor have I sought it. The goal of Misunderstandings Magazine has been to straddle the line between zine culture and Toronto’s more mainsteam literary community, positioning itself as an alternative to what Jacob McArthur Mooney describes as the “beige standard of mainstream literary publishing“. From the outset, Ian Williams, Vicki Sloot and I envisioned MM as means to foster emerging writers alongside some of Canada’s best. It’s been a delicate undertaking, and I have no problem admitting that the quality of our publication varied significantly over the course of 15 issues – however we’re proud to have stuck close to our mandate.

I’m of the firm opinion that the quality of writing that Lista mentions in the Post is one of the lesser considerations as it relates to literary periodicals. To me they’re learning grounds as much as places to find a “comprehensive, concise survey of our very best and freshest work.” I do agree with his thesis however, and feel it’s time to scale back the number of literary publications that exist in Canada at the moment – or at the least the number of literary publications that do the same thing. Mooney is right when he espouses ripping the cover off copies of The Antigonish Review, The Fiddlehead and The Malahat Review to compare: you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between them.

All of this is a roundabout way of getting to the fact that as of June 2, I’m folding Misunderstandings Magazine. My decision has nothing to do with competition or the CPF, but more to do with what plagues all magazines that exist as labours of love: time. Instead of working with a large number of writers on an issue by issue basis, I’d like to put my time into fostering specific writers through Cactus Press, a chapbook imprint I run with Devon Gallant. So, I’m bidding literary magazinedom adieu for the time being. I do, however, hope that the mantle of the small and in-between continues to be held high in Canadian letters.

March 27, 2011 at 7:14 pm 4 comments

Not Anyone’s Anything

Ian Williams’ first collection of poetry, You Know Who You Are (Wolsak and Wynn, 2010), may be the most underrated book of poetry published in Canada in the past year. I suspect this has something to do with both the vast number of talented poets writing in Canada at the moment and the fact that Ian teaches in the States, however his work isn’t to be missed. I highly recommend catching him on April 19, 2011 at The Gladstone Hotel in Toronto where he’ll be launching a book of short stories titled Not Anyone’s Anything (Freehand Books).


Read. Dance. Repeat: launching And Me Among Them by Kristen den Hartog, A Description of the Blazing World by Michael Murphy, and Not Anyone’s Anything by Ian Williams

Time: April 19, 2011 – 7pm-11pm
Location: The Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen Street West)

About Not Anyone`s Anything:

Ian Williams’s Not Anyone’s Anything is a trio of trios: three sets of three stories, with three of those stories further divided into thirds. Mathematical, musical, and meticulously crafted, these stories play profoundly with form, and feature embedded flash cards and musical notations, literal basements, and dual narratives, semi-detached. Roaming through Toronto and its surrounding suburbia, Williams’s characters wittily and wryly draw attention to the angst and anxieties associated with being somewhere between adolescence and more-than-that. They are disastrously ambitious, performing amateur surgery or perfecting Chopin; they are restless and bored, breaking into units of new subdivisions hoping for a score; they continually test the ones they love, and, though every time feels like the last time, they might be up for one more game.

March 16, 2011 at 3:41 am Leave a comment

Sunday, the locusts Launch

Sunday, the locusts, a book-length poem that I’ve been working on with Julienne Lottering since 2007, finally made its way to the printers today. So it’s with that news that I invite you all to the launch, which will take place  at 7:00 pm on March 24, 2011 at The Ossington (61 Ossington Avenue, Toronto, Ontario). In the collaborative spirit of the project, Julie and I will have three friends opening for us: Julie Cameron Gray, Kathryn Mockler and Daniel Tysdal.

My sincerest thanks to Shirarose Wilensky and Karen Correia Da Silva at Tightrope Books for putting up with all of my last minute edits. Here’s a cover preview:

March 4, 2011 at 9:13 pm Leave a comment


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