Thursday 31 March 2011

My Ears Are Burning

I'm very grateful to poets Jonathan Ball and Maurice Mierau for agreeing to chew over my bpNichol essay which appears in the new issue of Maisonneuve.

"I have long wondered why Starnino insists on writing at length about things he appears to hate, but although he is critical here toward the end, a real fondness for Nichol and an appreciation for aspects of his oeuvre shine through. Finally, some willingness to engage, which I find lacking in his other writings on the so-called avant-garde, which often, as they do here, descend into straw-man bullying."
You can read the rest it here.

How Much?

Signal poet Asa Boxer -- whose second book of poems, Skullduggery, is out next month -- was in the news today about the gobsmackingly lucrative poetry prize he's just co-founded.

You can ask him about it on Friday, April 29, 2011 at 6pm when Asa will appear, along with five other poets, at a reading I'm hosting: Blue Met's "Poets at Night: Changing Landscapes, Eclectic Voices."

Monday 28 March 2011

Alcuin Award Winner

I've just learned that Mark Callanan's chapbook, Sea Legend, published by Frog Hollow Press, has won an Alcuin Award for design.

The chapbook had already been shortlisted for the bpNichol Chapbook Award, and also enjoys the rare honour of being completely sold out. An e-version is available here.

Signal Editions is publishing Mark's second book, Gift Horse, this Fall.

More Crowing

Dean Steadman calls Susan Briscoe's The Crow's Vow "unique and masterfully spare." Check out the review here.

Sunday 27 March 2011

The Reason Artists Jump Out the Window

Kevin Spenst interviews Signal Editions poet Linda Besner on the subject of revision.
The thing about revision for me is that it’s at this stage that you struggle most mightily to make a poem into something it’s not. And then you have to decide what else it is, and whether you can still feel—if not the same way about it, then feel something for it. I just finished Salvatore Scibona’s novel The End, and there’s a line in it I loved: "Disappointment was the result of an idea’s attempt to miscegenate with the visible world." The poem in my mind and the poem on the page are never quite the same poem, and it’s always painful to accept that.
Read the rest here. Linda's debut, The Id Kid, is ready to drop next month.

Friday 25 March 2011

"The Biggest Poetry Competition in History"

The Montreal International Poetry Prize will hand out $50,000 to a single poem. More info here

Thursday 24 March 2011

Don Coles Reax, Ctd

The fine UK poet John McAuliffe seems very taken with Don Coles' Where We Might Have Been.
"Born in 1927, Don Coles began publishing poems in 1975 and over the past 35 years has produced ten books which possess a distinctive tone, both casual and observant, while fiercely arranging and sequencing those seeming casual observations to make beguiling poems which combine artifice and spontaneity with unusual conviction."
Read the rest here.

Susan Briscoe Reading

Our very own Susan Briscoe will be reading this Sunday at 9pm at The Sparrow (5322 Boulevard St.Laurent), along with Antony Di Nardo, Jacob McArthur Mooney and Richard Van Camp.

Thursday 17 March 2011

Don Coles Reax

I sometimes feel one of my most important jobs as an editor is to lower expectations. This is especially true with regards to reviews, which have all but evaporated for poetry books. When I started writing in the late nineties, a collection of joe-ordinary poetry could expect to get at least 5-6 reviews across the country in the dailies and lit mags. Today even one review is enough to cause a publicist to run around the office dousing themselves in champagne. But sometimes a book breaks through and reminds you (almost) of the good old days. Where We Might Have Been, Don Coles' tenth book of poetry, is one of those books. Review-wise, the collection has put up some decent numbers since it was published last October. Roundup below

"A restrained reflection on living...heart-piercing." Amanda Jernigan, Arc Magazine (unavailable online).

Monday 14 March 2011

"The epitome of good ideas well executed"

I know, it's been yonkers since the last posting. But with a major project finally tucked into bed, I'm hoping to get back to my semi-regular pace. To start myself off, here's a great interview with the man who turns out our brilliant covers, David Drummond.

My wife works as a horse groom for a big show barn and gets up at 5:00 in the morning to get ready for work. Consequently I start my day around the same time. It’s funny — I live in farm country and basically keep farmer’s hours. The lights are also on in the neighbouring barns when I start my day.