Thursday 30 April 2009

Pillow Fight!

Would you believe a new online mag called Mayday is devoting a section of its new issue to a series of responses to someone's elses response to Jason Guriel's essay/review "Going Negative"? Would you? Check it out here.

Wednesday 29 April 2009

"Come wave your white hankerchiefs on the platform"

If you're not following the "2 on a Choo-Choo" blog by touring poets Jeramy Dodds (Crabwise to the Hounds) and Matthew Tierney (The Hayflick Limit) you're missing out on some of the most bugged out, irresponsible, biggety, downside-up, and dubious promotional prose ever pixelated.

Friday 24 April 2009

Your Daily Fix of Jason Guriel

Jason is today's NaPoMo poster boy.

You can also catch him revealing his writerly peccadillos at Desk Space.

And don't forget to visit his Harriet blog

(Photo is from last night launch for Jason's Pure Product, held at Drawn and Quarterly bookstore)

Thursday 23 April 2009

I just have three things to say to you

1. Peter Richardson has been nominated for a National Magazine Award for a suite of poems published in the Malahat Review. The winner will be announced June 5. See here for more info.

2. Anita Lahey is the National Post's NaPoMo poet of the day (Not to be missed: Dante gets pwned!)

3. Jason Guriel will be launching Pure Product, our newest Signal Edition, at Drawn and Quarterly tonight at 7pm, 211 Bernard West. He'll be joined by peeps Robert Moore and Norm Sibum.

Steinmetz-Brecht connection

Andrew Steinmetz's recently-published novel, Eva's Threepenny Theatre, tells the story of his great-aunt Eva who performed in the first workshop production of Bertolt Brecht's Threepenny Opera in 1928. Read, in his blog, about his meeting, and whisky-drinking, with Johanna Schall, Brecht's grand-daughter--in Toronto!

Monday 20 April 2009

A Bit of Self-Promotion

My new book.

What I looked like when I was reading from it in Toronto last Thursday at Ben McNally Books.

A few people who came to the launch.

(Left ro right, Charmaine Tierney, Matthew Tierney, Carmine Starnino, Lucca Starnino, George Varkonyi, Alex Boyd, Liz.)

Sunday 19 April 2009

Double whammy

In the just-published Montreal Review of Books, distributed in yesterday's Quebec edition of the Globe and Mail, David Manicom's novel, Anna's Shadow and Andrew Steinmetz's novel Eva's Threepenny Theatre received rave reviews.

In a story that takes place soon after the collapse of the Soviet Union, in Moscow a young Canadian diplomat encounters a physicist, possibly a recruit of Iraqui agents. Manicom's day job as a Canadian diplomat has provided him with unique insights for this post-Cold War-thriller. Reviewer Ami Sands Brodoff described Anna's Shadow as "a suspensful read centering on the nexus between science, politics, and romance."

Who says you can't judge a book by its cover. Eva's Threepenny Theatre is another example of the beautifully-designed books we have come to expect from Gaspereau Press. In her MRB review Mary Soderstrom says that "the books physical appearance cries out for the reader to stop and take careful account of what is written in the pages." It's a book that "is worth reading--and just as importantly, worth thinking about afterwards."

Steinmetz was David Manicom's editor at Véhicules' Esplanade Books.

Friday 17 April 2009

Thursday 16 April 2009

Punjabi tomatoes

The Punjabi translation of Jaspreet Singh's Seventeen Tomatoes: Tales from Kashmir (Halkaa Dard) is now available from New Delhi's Hemkunt Press. Published in Véhicule's Esplanade fiction series in 2004, it garnered the QWF's McAuslan First Book Award. The Calgary Herald called it "an elegant collection that captures the two sides of Kashmir brilliantly."

Singh's novel, Chef, published last year, was a finalist for the 2009 Commonwealth Prize (Canada and Caribbean region) and is in the running for the 2009 Alberta Book Award and the 2009 Calgary W.O Mitchell Book Prize.

Monday 13 April 2009

Derek Weiler 1968-2009

I've just learned that Quill & Quire's ed-in-chief Derek Weiler passed away over the weekend. I didn't know him very well, but I was always grateful for the pieces he generously let me write for the magazine (a few, no doubt, assigned against his better judgement). I admired Derek's editorial acumen, his editorials, his Quillblog posts and (especially) his sharp writing style. This is a real shock -- he was only a couple of years older than me. As I just told a friend, I'm going to go hug my wife and kid and count my blessings.

Friday 10 April 2009

Figuring Ground

Since Tuesday, I've been happily esconced in the blustery city of Saint John, NB. I flew here to attend the April 8th launch of Robert Moore's Figuring Ground, a book I edited for Wolsak & Wynn. It's a terrific collection of poems, Bob's third and best yet.

The event was an astounding success, with a crowd of 100+ streaming into the inprint bookshop on King Street, and, much later, the home he shares with his partner Judith Mackin. Photographs have recently been uploaded to his website.

At inprint, I picked up a copy of Brent Maclaine's new collection, Shades of Green (Acorn Press) which I was pleased to learn was nominated for the Atlantic Poetry Prize (Vehicule published Maclaine's first book, Wind and Root). Another noteworthy nod for an East coast poetry prize is George Murray's The Rush to Here, which was shortlisted for the E.J. Pratt prize.

Wednesday 8 April 2009

"Robert Frost of the Supermarket Aisle"

The Vehicule office is abuzz: major tabloid Weekly World News has featured a poem from Shannon Stewart's Penny Dreadful on their website!

Of course, the attention is utterly appropriate. Penny Dreadful is partially inspired by the bizarre headlines Stewart would scan while standing in the checkout at Safeway.

For more on the book, read her interview with Newfoundland poet Danielle Devereaux on the Maisonneuve website.

Friday 3 April 2009

Busting the Blurb Bubble

Was poking around Scribd, and found this takedown of poetry blurbs. Speaking as someone who has both written them and solicited them, some of these satirical examples are funny in that hitting-too-close-to-home kind of way.

My favorites:

"If you read between the lines of what I'm saying, you'll realize my hyperbolic praise is obviously merely that, and the cognoscenti will know by my clever use of the word "accessible" that I deem this book literary roadkill, and quite flyblown at that..."

"This book should come with aspirin (for obvious reasons), a chisel (to scrape out some meanings between the lines), a coffin (for the death of literature) and a slingshot (to take out the windows of the chain bookstore where it came from).

"This book is so sure of its own greatness that I propped it up in front of a mirror, so that it might continue to bask in its own glory for centuries. The beauty of this act is that it spared me the indignity of reading it..."

The Burger Wrapper Poet

Northern Poetry Review has just posted a great interview with Vancouver poet Elise Partridge.

"Scientists are discovering that varying one's route home from work even by a street or so can provoke the creation of new neural pathways in the brain. Friar Laurence says to Romeo, "The world is broad and wide," and one wants to remember that. It's good not to try to protect oneself too steadily against surprises."

Wednesday 1 April 2009

we be tweetin'

Brief messages from the Véhiculers on what we're doing, what we're celebrating, what we're reading and listening to.

Follow our tweets.