Monday, 29 June 2009

Warner Goes West




Ex-Signalite Patrick Warner read with Karen Solie in Toronto at This Ain't the Rosedale Library last Wednesday, June 24 (photographs by Anansi's Julie Wilson). You can read his new work in the new CNQ.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Eric Gregory Awards


Todd Swift has an excellent post about the Eric Gregory Award poetry readings that occured last night in London. In the photo above are Sicilians Josie and Vincenzo brandishing their prize-winning cucuzza (a variety of squash).

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

A Canadian poet, a Welsh poet and an Irish poet walk into a bar...


Got back Monday night from a stellar week in UK, touring with poets Patrick McGuinness and Zoe Skoulding. I read in Bangor, Manchester (this, thanks to Evan Jones) and Oxford. I then spent a couple of days in London visiting with friends Eric and Irena Ormsby (who kindly put me up), Marius Kociejowski and Todd Swift. The Ormsbys also organized a dinner where I met poets Sebastian Barker (son of George Barker and Elizabeth Smart), his wife Hilary Davis and Christopher Middleton. Some nail-biting drama getting back home, however, as I ended up losing my passport at the always-chaotic Gatwick due to a colossal confusion at the check-in desk, and needed last-minute permission from the Canadian Deputy High commissioner. I made it on the plane by the skin of my teeth.



Bangor, Wales


Patrick protecting himself against the next Irish Famine by growing potatoes in his yard.


Zoe Skoulding reading at Ogilvie Theatre Foyer, St Anne's College, Oxford.


Yours truly reading at Ogilvie Theatre Foyer, St Anne's College, Oxford.


Ian Gregson reading at Ogilvie Theatre Foyer, St Anne's College, Oxford.


Patrick McGuinness reading at Ogilvie Theatre Foyer, St Anne's College, Oxford.


High Street, Oxford


Getting steadily spannered in an Oxford pub

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Good-natured poet


In today's on-line Globe and Mail, Paul Vermeersch raves about This Way Out, Carmine Starnino's new collection of poems from Gaspereau. There is no question he likes the book: "infectious bounce and thwack of his lines," "a sensory-rich tour," "free-wheeling and playful," "adroit internal rhymes," "craftsmanship of profound dexterity."

However, Vermeersch strongly feels there is a contradiction between Starnino's public persona as a critic ("tenacious provocateur") and his work ("he puts his creative money where his critical mouth is"). Vermeersch asks, "Is this as it should be?" (What kind of question is that?) Vermeersch prefers the "good-natured poet, full of beans." to what he calls the critic of "stringent critical dogma." Without debating the merits of his comments, or detracting from his wonderful review of the book, from my point of view, who cares? Isn't it only the poetry that really counts?

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Bloomsbury buys rights to Véhicule's Chef


Véhicule is pleased to announce that Bloomsbury has acquired world English language rights (excluding Canada and India) to Jaspreet Singh's novel, Chef. The deal was arranged by Natasha Daneman and Jackie Kaiser at Westwood Creative Artists.

Indian rights to Chef have been sold to Penguin, World Spanish rights to Paramo Ediciones, World French rights to Buchet-Chastel, and Italian rights to Piemme.

This has been a banner year for Jaspreet Singh. Chef won the 2009 Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction and was shortlisted for the 2009 Commonwealth Prize for Best Book (Canada and Caribbean region), the CAA Literary Award for Fiction, and the City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize. Chef is published in Véhicule's fiction series--Esplanade Books--edited by Andrew Steinmetz.

Chef is a compelling look at the India-Pakistan conflict from atop Siachen Glacier, the coldest and highest battlefield in the world.

Jaspreet Singh won critial acclaim for Seventeen Tomatoes (Véhicule Press) which was awarded the 2004 McAuslan First Book Prize and has been translated into Spanish and Punjabi.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Laughing Wolf


Esplanade author, Nicholas Maes has finished his YA novel, Laughing Wolf (Dundurn Press). In the July issue of Quill & Quire, Robert J. Wiersema calls it 'strikingly original, with a convincing command of both future world-building and historical recreation.' The full review here.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Say What?


In the photo above is the desk of Vancouver poet Rob Taylor, as seen by his left big toe. But it's this statement, on our own Signal poet Shannon Stewart, that really caught my attention:

"I’ve read Penny Dreadful three times, I know all about Shannon Stewart’s computer monitor, but I’ve never seen an assortment of her rumpled blouses piled in a hamper. Can I really call myself a fan?” To me, these are the kinds of questions any real lit nerd must ask in this day and age.

Read the rest of what this kook has to say here