Wednesday 2 January 2008

Year-end Report

Seven Vehicule-related items from 2007 we’d like to bring to your attention.

Many of you will no doubt know that David Solway’s Reaching for Clear won the 2007 A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry. But you may not know that Solway actually published two books of poetry in 2007. The second, quietly released from Biblioasis in late November, is The Properties of Things. Originally intended as a Signal Edition -- before being switched with RFC -- the collection features the newest guest to the heteronymous dinner-party-of-selves Solway has assembled in his head: Bartholemew the Englishman. Curious? Here’s an early interview with Shane Neilson which includes sample poems.

Speaking of Biblioasis, a new issue of CNQ (the third under the editorship of Dan Wells) went live in October with yet another offering of vigourous critical prose. Worth a gander is Mark Callanan’s review of Mary Dalton's Red Ledger and Steve Noyes review of Don Coles’s A Dropped Glove in Regent Street.

TickleAce’s demise eight years ago left Newfoundland without a literary magazine. Riddle Fence, edited by Mark Callanan, seems intended to change that. The eye-catching, WANL-funded debut includes poems by Mary Dalton and Patrick Warner (who also contributes an appreciation of Tom Dawe), as well as an essay by Adam Beardsworth on John Steffler’s poetry. And who knew Michael Winter penned cartoons? Let’s hope this first issue isn’t the last. To order your copy of Riddle Fence, please send $12 (includes shipping and handling) to: Writers' Alliance, 102-155 Water Street, P.O. Box 2681, St. John's, NL, A1C 2L7.

As a follow-up to their Anglo-Quebec essay collection Language Acts, Todd Swift and Jason Camlot have put together a folio of new poetry by local mainstays. You’ll find it on the Jacket website, the venerable online lit mag from Down Under. The round up includes Signal poets from the past (Stephanie Bolster, Carmine Starnino, Andrew Steinmetz, Robert Allen) present (Asa Boxer, Peter Van Toorn, David Solway) and future (D.G. Jones: watch out for his Collected Poems slated for Fall 2008). There’s also superb new work from the founding editor of Signal Editions, Michael Harris and a reproduction of a rarely-seen chapbook called 5 Jockey Poems by the late Artie Gold.

Patrick McGuinness -- a good friend to Vehicule Press (he reviewed our New Canon anthology in the TLS) -- has fallen hard for Quebecois poetry. As a foretaste of the anthology he’s editing for Welsh publisher Seren, McGuinness has assembled a six-poet feature (Pierre Nepveu, Helene Dorion, Paul Belanger, Yves Prefontaine, Yves Boisvert, and Jacques Brault) for the Autumn 2007 issue of Poetry Wales. Alongside lovely translations by his hand and Judith Cowan's, the issue includes an essay on “Canada’s two literatures” by Signal Editor Carmine Starnino. For copies, see here.

Arc magazine, edited by Anita Lahey, has just published its Winter ("The Woozy") issue. Signalites might want to pay close attention to Abou Farman’s review of Christopher Patton’s Signal debut Ox, and Starnino’s review of Margaret Atwood’s Door.

And lastly, if you want a powerful taste of Shannon Stewart's upcoming Signal Editions book, Penny Dreadful (due out in Fall 2008) you need to buy Maisonneuve’s new food issue, and turn to page 47.

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