Thursday 26 June 2008


Over at Harriet, the Poetry foundation blog, DA Powell has dug up a hilarious piece called "Creeley Crawlies" which gives a failing grade to a poetry reading by the late Robert Creeley. Says Powell: "It describes a feeling that so many of us might have had at a poetry reading, at one time or another. Good to remind ourselves that no poet should rest on his or her laurels."

Thursday 19 June 2008

Air Canada resolves author's dilemma

[This is the text of a Véhicule Press release sent out today.]

Over the past several weeks, Calgary-based author Jaspreet Singh encountered difficulties when checking in to Air Canada flights at Canadian airports. Mistaken for someone else with a similar name he has been intensely questioned and informed his name appeared on a no-fly list. Rather than experience the demeaning process once again, Singh cancelled two book events in Toronto, June 14 and 15.

Jaspreet Singh and his publisher were extremely concerned by the situation, especially because the author was in the middle of promotional tours for his recently-published novel, Chef, In a story that appeared in the Calgary Herald (June 17), a spokesperson for Transport Canada stated that Jaspreet Singh was not on Canada’s no-fly list. In a conversation Jaspreet Singh had today with Laura Logan, Director of Security for Air Canada, the author was told that he was not on the domestic or American no-fly lists, however, that there is another person with his name on the airline’s “internal” no-fly list, and that the airline would take steps so that this problem does not occur again.

Jaspreet Singh is the author of the short story collection, Seventeen Tomatoes: Tales from Kashmir and the recently-published novel, Chef.

Picture worth a thousand words

Véhicule co-publisher Simon Dardick and winner Simone Lee
in classic promo shot.

That might be the proverb, however, Simone Lee will find out this fall when Terence Byrnes, author of Closer to Home: The Author and the Author Portrait, will travel to Calgary to photograph her. Simone, of the much-beloved Pages Books on Kensington Bookstore, won the drawing at the Véhicule Press booth at BookExpo Canada in Toronto on June 16. The portrait contest was for librarians and booksellers attending the show.

Closer to Home fixes its gaze on writers as we seldom see them. Byrnes’ photographic portraiture explores and subverts the traditional photographic representation of the writer—portraits that take us inside writers’ lives and inside the process of making portraits—all served with a touch of refined literary gossip.

Wednesday 18 June 2008

Kafka in Kanada

Fall of Icarus (Bruegel The Elder, 1558)

Fed up with extreme security checks by Air Canada at both Calgary and Montreal airports, Véhicule Press author Jaspreet Singh reluctantly cancelled two appearance in Torontothis past weekend. He was to have participated in a main-stage event at the Luminato Toronto Festival of the Arts on June 14 and at the BookExpo trade show on June 15, part of an author tour to promote his recently-published novel, Chef.

In April he was intensely questioned by Air Canada in Calgary before he was able to board his plane to attend launchings and readings in Ottawa and Montreal. “Air Canadaemployees informed me that I was on a ‘list’ but refused to give me particulars … On the return flight [from Montreal] Air Canada staff made the preposterous suggestion that I change my name…”

Yesterday’s Calgary Herald reports that they contacted Transport Canada and were told that Singh was not on Canada’s no-fly list. An Air Canada spokesperson confirmed that they received a faxed complaint from Singh which he sent May 9 and that they would be in contact with him.
Please see the Véhicule Press June 14 press release and coverage in the Calgary Herald, The Globe and Mail and the Quill & Quire Blog.

Italy beats France 2-0!

How happy are we?

Tuesday 17 June 2008

Boxer talks

CAA poetry prize winner, Asa Boxer appeared on Patti Schmidt's CBC Radio program 5 à 6. Listen to their interview here.

Boxer was also recently interviewed on Ryerson University's CKLN 88.1, by Diana Kiesners of "In Other Words". Listen to it here.

Had enough? If not, here's a reading he gave at Zeke's Gallery in 2006.

(Also, check out Asa Boxer's essay "The Avi Boxer Archives: Snap-Shots and Recollections.")

Monday 2 June 2008

War of Words

Here is an absolutely fascinating and lengthy exchange that the brave new world of Web 2.0 makes possible. Poet hates his review, tracks down reviewer's blog and shouts at him. A must-read. (Hat tip: Ron Silliman)