Monday 12 July 2010

Talk to the Hand

The avant-garde allergy to criticism, honest self-evaluation and peer dissent (something I've long complained about, especially in my cage match with Christian) is getting a real airing over at Vox Populism (see comments). I thought I would never see the day. Here's a taste from Paul Vermeersch:

"I would like to see a critical vocabulary that allows for so-called “avant garde” texts to be honestly and qualitatively evaluated. Certainly not every “avant garde” text written in Canada (or anywhere else for that matter) is “good”, but I have honestly never heard anyone who self-identifies as belonging to the “avant garde” tradition call anything “bad” that didn’t belong to a recognizably different tradition. And before this is thrown back at me, I will go on record as saying yes, a great deal of poetry written in other traditions is bad. Most of the poetry ever written is bad. I admit it is bad, and I can tell you exactly why it’s bad. But can the “avant garde” do the same?"

More here.

Twelve easy places


The Montreal Gazette on Saturday July 10 did a three-page spread (with video) on 12 of Montreal's people-friendly places inspired by Avi-Friedman's new book, A Place in Mind: The Search for Authenticity.

"In just under 200 pages, the McGill University architecture professor takes readers on a leisurely tour of some of his favourite places around the world: to a tea rooom in Tuscany, farmers; markets in China and England, a playground in Israel, a sculpture garden in the Canadian Arctic and more."

The Gazette feature "puts a local face to some of the global themes in Friedman's book.

Sunday 11 July 2010

Dear Mr. Alexis

Over on their blog, CNQ publishes editor Zach Wells' response to Andre Alexis' article on reviewing culture "The Long Decline."

Friday 9 July 2010

Crows Landing

Susan Briscoe is giving two readings from her book The Crow's Vow next week.

Wednesday, July 14 at 7 p.m. Tour des Arts, Le Cafetier de Sutton, 9 rue Principale nord. Sutton, Quebec. She reads with Antony Di Nardo (Alien, Correspondent).

Saturday, July 17, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Knowlton WordFest 2010, Pettes Memorial Library, 276 Knowlton Road. She reads with A.F. Moritz (The Sentinel).

Listen to an interview with Briscoe on CKUT radio

Wednesday 7 July 2010

Getting a life ... and a dog

Amulet Books (an imprint of Abrams) has published a charming novel for teens by Art Corriveau. How I, Nicky Flynn, Finally Get a Life (and a Dog) has been getting kudos galore. It has been chosen as a "Top 10" pick for the Summer 2010 Kids' Indie Next List. The Washington Post called it a "fresh mystery that is believable as a kid's experience." In 2007 we published Corriveau's short story collection, Blood Pudding, in our Esplanade fiction series. According to the Globe and Mail, "Corriveau's versatility is impressive--he writes of men and women, gay and straight, blind and sighted, with equal verisimilitude." Congratulations, Art!