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95 books for 2014: list 12: from biography to bp

  1. Complete Sonnets of Archibald Lampman, edited by Margaret Coulby Whitridge (Borealis, 1976)
    1892 was exceptionally productive with Lampman writing 17 sonnets. From 1883-1899 he wrote over 450 poems; about a quarter of them were published. He received $25 per sonnet published in the dollars of that day while his full time government job paid $1000 per year. (Proportional to income that would be a $500 haul for a poem assuming only a $20,000 income.) He also wrote essays, reviews, a newspaper column, part of a novel and lectures. He has few sonnet in French in there. (The son of Anglican clergy he had studied English, French, German, Latin and Hebrew.) The introduction is quite interesting. I’d never thought of Poe and him in the same breath but they wrote analogous styles and subjects The City at the Edge of Things to Poe’s “The City in the Sea”. 177 sonnets are included in this selection from his notebook manuscripts in chronological order of first drafts. It is a book that I couldn’t dip in and out of since the old language impedes until the ear is accustomed to hearing it again.

    Kate

    She laughs with all, but none hath seen her weep,
    A tender stoic, beautiful and wise.
    What sorrow or what passion she may keep
    Behind that full pale brow, those veiled grey eyes
    I know not, none shall know; but the tide
    Of all her being is softly set to truth.
    In brown and breast and dainty foot abide
    The strength of a woman’s years, the grace of youth.

    What gentle power, I wonder, in her moods
    Sustains her, what unvexed philosophy;
    For when I think of her, I seem to see
    April herself among the sunny woods
    With laughing brooks and little clouds that pass;
    I dream of bluebirds and hepaticas

    They are generally gentle poems, easier to read in the countryside than amid internet-haste. Mostly he was tramping about in forest in the late 1800s, yet he was happiest when out in the woods. Back then there were far more birds to note. Clouds of them. The actual birds that is. He was no biologist and using them as devices for projecting human emotions. Nature was there to project from. Town he reports as dirty and full of crones nattering.

    Yet his truths bridge over to now such as “beauty, the lost goal, the unsought cure.”

    The introduction quotes a letter from 1897 to Edward Thomson

    You must not be dissatisfied with me because I am not always up to my high water mark. A man does a good deal of secondary work, which is certainly useful to himself and I believe may be useful to others although not prompted by the full stream of inspiration. [...]We shall all get the same amplefold of oblivion one day.

  2. A Clearing by Louise Carson (forthcoming Signal Editions, 2015)
    The poignant series of the old man, his solitude and wood chopping, the hard decisions of whether to garden again or not are tend portraits in one section.

    The hand is sure and acknowledges that rough edges and the necessity for beauty. There’s more completeness of vision and variance of tone than most. There’s a sharp awareness of human nature and outdoors nature, and the transience of life in lines like “smelling lilacs in the rain we can’t believe in winter.”

    Waiting

    Planting spring in autumn
    as cool wet chlorophyl recedes,
    as day length crisps each minute and hour,
    and living things darken and thin.

    Waiting for green to poke up
    through rough earth, dead leaves;
    hopeful seven months are enough
    to pay for one month’s beauty.

    Trying to believe a spring follows this winter.
    Struggling with the images
    of what it might look like.
    Imagining the flower.

  3. The Color of Water: A Black Man’s tribute to His White Mother by James McBride (1996)
    I intended to read this long ago, and started a couple times but this time, got thru. It’s funny how it says it’s about the strength of family when it’s account of a lot of distance. I should have kept track of the number of times it related the mom beat the kids bruised.

    One whole side of the family disowned when the woman who called herself “light skinned” married a black man. They said kaddish and she was done. It is mostly the story of the mother of her parents and the son towards his mom. Everyone else is kind of fuzzy.

    The parallel structure of alternating chapters where mom tells from her first memories and son from his until their histories cross again is interesting. It means a lot of reading of italics but it does help keep the narrator clear.

    Crazy times existed with a street riot happening last century for the mixed race couple to walk down the street. Yet it is living memory. She ate with the woman who remembered her family member as a slave. And who invited her into her home as a fellow Christian anyway despite in the race-divided times never having been so close to a white woman before. The cover talks about her starting a church but the church only get a few pages afternote at the end of the book.
    P9180387

  4. Very Special People by Frederick Drimmer (Citadel, 1971)
    P9190488
    The capacity of people, and wage earning of people who ran with or from PT Barnum was surprising. All the ways that a foetus can bind with another foetus in conjoining. The variety of lives and reactions by “normal” from saying everyone’s different and getting on with life to crossing themselves and crossing the street, or in the case of one woman, selling her child to the circus while the doting dad was out of town on business. The father tracked down his kid and got her back and sent her to his mom where she’d be away from his wife. As it turned out the farmer kid next door was a circus strongman and she still ended up in the travelling life.

    P9200592
    Imagine to be cooped indoors and never know a forest.

  5. Singular Plurals by Roland Prevost (Chaudiere, 2014)
    There’s a bias at work here since we workshopped together and I blurbed his book. It launches Oct 27th at the Writers Festival and he’s one of my guests today on CKCU Literary Landscape at 6:30pm. The book covers the best of his chapbooks and in 6 sections ranges from purer language to (I won’t say easily but differently) accessible anecdotes like p. 49

    Red Anchors

    Your operation’s later today.

    A white lab coat
    plays doctor well, soon
    to sew you up.

    Ragdoll you. Patch you up.

    We’re all under the coin,
    tossed, flipped, now or later.

    Everything hums in my room whispers
    hums unknown hymns.

    There are little sonic beauties of sound and sense thru like “silk of raindrops/sound umbrellas” where the expected noun verbs and makes it remind how the echo bounces and tells us the shape of the whole environment in the rain. Language also takes time to play such as in one of my favourites “His Coloured Concrete Pieces” “Black&White tv comedies/demi-century artefacts/pretending to sleep. Possum ously.”

    A fun read even the third time thru in part because of the good-naturedness informing the poems. Not a bitter witty screed but looking to what is possible in world and people. Heartening.

  6. Sound Ideas: Hearing and Speaking Poetry by B Eugene McCarthy and Fran Quinn
    A textbook on poetry. Like most it relies on poetry by the dead which encourages the notion that it is a practice from decades or centuries ago. That said it is one of best texts I’ve seen. Poem examples introduced me to new writers. Readable, grounded. The ideas on rhythm vs meter finally let me click to understanding meter better. It adds a different scale from the scansion I’m liable to do on any poem. The mediation around different uses of the line were also valuable.
  7. Astrophel and Stella by Philip Sidney, a translation by A.S. Kline, (2003)
    I’m not sure how many re-reads I’m at. This time I read only the translations which largely keep the sonnet form. It doesn’t bring it ahead more than a couple centuries. For example, sonnet 99, with Sidney and Kline,

    When far-spent night persuades each mortal eye,
    To whom art nor nature granteth light,
    To lay his then mark-wanting shafts of sight,
    Clos’d with their quivers in sleep’s armoury;
    with windows op then mot my mind doth lie

    vs.

    When the depths of night persuade each mortal eye,
    To which neither art or nature grants light,
    To lay down its arrows of sight that lack a target
    Shut with their quivers (eyeballs), in sleep’s armoury:
    My mind most often lies with windows (eyes) open,

    It brings it along somewhat. To culturally translate would need a change of metaphor base since archery isn’t a contemporary point of reference for the average reader. How much to translate without being too far non-literal. Even small things like “give” instead of “grant” wouldn’t change the soundscape that much.

  8. a thin line between by Wanda Praamsma (BookThug, 2014)
    For a sample of the long poem, I’ll refer you to audio at interview with her. The poems bridge internal monologues and external conversations transcribing the inflections and habits people have in the rush and tumble and gaps of conversation.
  9. The Vignelli Canon by Massimo Vignelli
  10. (Lars Muller, 2010) talks about the principles of design, broadly in typography. “White [space], in typography, is what space is in Architecture” and later adds “It is the white space that makes the layout sing. Bad layouts have no space left for breathing” He talks about using intention, grids, fonts, color and more. ” To master the notion of scale is a lifelong search that involves interpretation of functions, both tangible and intangible, physical, and psychological. Scale applies to everything.”

    It is strongly worded and with many examples.

    On desktop publishing:

    A cultural pollution of incomparable dimension. As I said, at the time, if all people doing desktop publishing were doctors we would all be dead!

    On page design:

    I strongly believe that design should never be boring, but I don’t think it should be a form
    of entertainment.
    Good design is never boring, only bad design is.

  11. Theseus: A Collaboration, bpNichol & Wayne Clifford (BookThug, 2014)
    An adrenaline pleasure read, linguistic, typograhical exhilarating fun. How to excerpt to give any sense? Part of it is the dexterity of headlong singzag. Tone isn’t kept poised as a mannequin.

    2. The last meaningful part    eff to ell    to fell fool

    amon stumps the season’ll
    root up, nose over into architecture.

    Cities between, yes, and
    between cities, rootless

    the fool falls one way, his shadow
    another

    opposed across a line in the mantle’s local endeavour.
    Sagging bedrock, a rift in the strata, tripping him up.
    Adrift?    Hey ace, did you think this act was free?
    That because the fool sports a nose ring, he’s housebroken?

        In the unflowered mind the landscape
        lurches,

            Whaaho, posits idiot.

    To feel fool, fall
    back into the seat of the mind
    unmend ego, let it go.

  12. The Green Word Selected Poems, Erin Mouré (Oxford University Press, 1994)
    A lot of dead animals, hunted or accidentally dead, and lab animals and loss. Heavy book for its size. It shows how much changed in style Erin Mouré’s poetry is. There’s some fracturing and looping but it is more anecdote and narrative than now. p. 50

    Ocean Poem

    I am the one who lies, slowly, closer
    to your arm.
    I insinuate.
    The trip trip of the rain into wet earth &
    the traffic noise.
    This kind of hush1, she said.
    Lifting her arms over her head so gently
    in a gesture of, longing.
    We are all innocent beings with out bathtubs2 & literary
    pure enforcement.
    I don’t know if there’s any difference between men & women3
    is just a lie.4
    The word human being has stood for me
    until now.

    Until now.

    When she puts her arm down, in innocence, 5
    I’ll show her6.

    __
    1 There’s a kind of hush, all over the world, tonight
    All over the world, you can hear the sound of lovers in love.

    Herman’s Hermits, 1966

    2Places to get clean. Large, enamel, clumsy. “Bathtub gin.”
    3The poets who sat this believe that the standard of poetic excellence is just excellent & not male.
    4This should not be done in any poem, accusing someone of lying.
    5In no sense.
    6Reading “shore”. This is an ocean poem.

    Love the broken box of the poem. It gives itself a going over. A few poems do. A literal anecdote story of remembering mom’s fur coat then flip the page and an alternate deep symbol reading.

Categories: Currently reading.

Funding Drive Season

ckcufundingdriveposter
It’s gearing up. Privately owned radio comes from private citizens.

Categories: CKCU.

95books for 2014, list 11: Classic to Classy to New

I haven’t updated the list in a while so I’m a month or two behind my own curve. I think I’ll post in segments rather than a mega-post. Throwing a curve in my curve is realizing I forgot from my summer list a book. The numbering may not match my list from twitter anymore. Ah well.

  1. Marshall Hryciuk’s In Search of Tatiana (LyricalMetrical Books, 2014)
    He’s all over the place and having a grand time doing it like Food for Verse,

    Marshall Hryeiuk

    Here’s another piece from a long poem Deseronto:

    Marshall Hyreiuk
    Ideas jostle among themselves in a joyful sport and spurt.

    Peculiar, there’s also all caps in poems and it doesn’t bother me here. There’s a lot of texture. Poems in columns, poems as conversation anecdotes, ones that break down into sound and concrete poetry, false etymologies and sonic cousins across languages. It doesn’t have confines. It’s kind of madcap like You Can’t Do That on Television, like “Essai un Rimbaud” where sounds bounce unpredictably,

    Mounds of fleece
    and a circumference of félicitations
    escape the valise of my fleeing.

    Fleeced enough? Obscene enough?
    Sit down. Shut up.
    You’ll do.

    A fun zip to read that doesn’t take itself so very seriously. It is a poetry that’s here to inflict its group social conscience borrowed pain. Story-schmory. There is story, here and there. It breaks against itself which amuses me. It doesn’t become tedious chase to nail a point. What all can language do?

  2. Desperately Seeking Susans: An Anthology of Poetry edited by Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang (Oolichan, 2012)
    Susan Holbrook and Sue Goyette pieces were worth the price of admission. (And if you borrow it from the library does that mean it’s like getting free cash?)

    Good to see another by Susan Holbrook. I enjoy her way of moving through ideas. She plays with other ways of splitting the world into binary sets of mutual exclusive knowledge but there are so many rings in these venn diagrams

    Susan Holbrooke
    It somehow keeps hooking forward, mixing humour and pathos, recognition and who, what? of being in neither binary. Interesting head hop. It was originally published as a Nomados stand-alone chapbook.

    Sue Goyette’s Alone moves and connects unexpected things as well. Things that happen in the night all wash together from the “Ryan’s glow-in-the-dark stars/ on the closet door” to alone “the ceiling is its own universe, a blank expanse/of sleeplessness” to the cat

    It’s not that I forget
    the cat outside. She just wants to stay out
    all night. And it’s her cry,
    plaintive and despairing: forgotten, forgotten
    each morning that wakes me.
    And each morning, I open the door
    to her joy at finally being remembered.

    and then somehow by the end the plastic stars, astronomical stars, cat and forgotten all lightly tie together in the gentle universe.
    .

  3. Milton Acorn’s I Shout Love, edited by James Deahl (Aya Press, 1987) A pretty hard slog for the first round. Better the second. There’s a lot of adjectives, with the ratio of more direct telling, less implying. The best of it to my filter is when I see is something like “Pit Accident” where he reports understated, the external for people reading/hearing to decide on what the internal or implication for action should be.

    “I liked him,” said the small man
    with coal seaming his hard little hands,
    “because he never stood in your light.”

    “It must’ve been a bad twinge,
    in the bone, not the muscle,
    that made him shift and lift his head,
    riding down to work, and
    that beam came too quick to blink at.”

    “He never stood in your light, poor guy.”
    He was pale, tough as a root at bedrock,
    but tears squeezed out his ridged face
    and even the rain tasted of coaldust.

    How elegant and understated for a maudlin grief. Only at the end can you see the narrator is also a miner perhaps, but a witness tasting his own tears.

    There’s often a lot of all caps, exclamation marks and florid bias in the outward looking poems that leave it to the reader to feel what’s inward. Still, I feel like I’m reading the wrong side of history with wildly caricatured knocks on black people and women who are mentioned when swooning at his poetry or sitting on his lap. Not that that would be different among some contemporaries in a man’s bell jar world.

    In ‘Belle” the woman even when she gives commands is silenced to offscreen and her reference is a joke more about the henpecked,

    Edwin with his glasses, is pipe
    and freckled, spare-tipped fingers
    she married at twenty-nine, had to,
    (everyone had to, but she
    claims that weakness like a certificate)
    hums to himself, makes
    the best cider in the settlement, hangs
    doors that open to one hooked finger,
    says four words in a day
    and two of them are “No Ma’am!”

    But he’s varied, or as some say, uneven. The preface says, “the most complex and varied body of work to be produced by a Canadian author in this century”. Seems hyperbolic. Of course these are his early poems of the 50s for the most part, sketches of what was to come more than full finesse. Maybe it is more intended as a counterpoint to later works in other books.

    I’m more than 30 years late for the debate but the thing with paper-text is that it is archival and can wait.

    Yeah, can’t say I always appreciate what Acorn is fuming about. He has a desire to make change but points to problems and leaves solutions to others.

    We’re on the same side in some things, but not in the same side of the side. I can see he’s anti-war such as “The Dead” “Must young men’s lives, our country’s richest store, /be stubble for a parliamentary plow?” The shoulder-chip of anti-government generally is there throughout. The artifice of the common man as having a plain and honourable distinctive muted inner life that is real is a hard bias to swallow. He’d be doing slam if practicing today with his justice stance.

    The first and last version of I Shout Love are included which show a transition. I’ve heard people recite parts of the later version so it appeals so some. It’s got a Walt Whitman, make self, make nation sort of soapbox ego roll going. “La marche à l’amour” by Miron is much more triumphant, moving and riveting. Compare the two, both of the same era talking nationalism with an allusion to romantic love: Acorn’s:

    Milton Acorn
    From Acorn’s I Shout Love

  4. Gaston Miron’s Ember and Earth (Selected Poems), translated by D.G. Jones and Marc Plourde (Guernica Editions, 1984)
    Gaston Miron
    From Miron’s long poem, “La marche à l’amour”
    I read goodly portions of this book aloud in “want to hear a poem” sharing because of the power and beauty of the dense phrase. There’s a sensuality and momentum that isn’t linear. There’s a more direct vulnerability. The poems are public but a more inward-looking at the same time. For example, “A Glass of Water, or the Unbearable”

    the thirst buds in my pores
    are not for the glass of water I drink
    but for something beyond water
    something we think about as the hours tumble past
    like a man who’s been had through and through
    all day the whole blesséd day

    He goes on to say “I’ve always had the lump of fire in stomach/and I say no down to the balls of my two feet”. Perhaps it is a little smooth yet there’s something like a steel guitar heart race sort of effect.

    Gaston Miron
    Concrete, palpable and encountering new. More a sense of willingness to transform. A desire to be changed.

  5. Portal Stones by Frances Boyle (Tree Press, 2014)
    Lovely to finally get a collection of poems from Boyle. At this point it is holding us over until her first trade collection from Buschek Books this November, to be launched at the pre-small press fair reading November 7th. It’s been a marvel seeing her poems develop over the last several years from internal shy vague poems to crisp tight, more sure and musical and wilder. Here’s a sample from Exhortation, p27

    A blackbird calls, piercing bright. Another
    replies like recollection. The current
    exhorts their song, urging you along, calling
    forth in you wings or gills to carry on.

    There’s human nature and outdoors nature that are the canvas for many that are about expansion, opening. It’s a wonderful balm when many poems are clever and jaded. Consider this last stanza of Quest, p. 19, that gave my scalp tingles:

    Unfolding the story like a map, you trace the roles:
    victim, hero, dupe. Disbelieve them, if you can, but try not to become
    wary of coincidence, connection. Seek out and find the route to where
    X marks the spot, where the green fuses you lit in your
    youth finally ignite the furious light of fireworks
    zipping through you, ripping through you, harmless in the end.

    Chameleon (p.9) I would have to quote in whole since it is how it all moves and comes together. Come to think of it many poems are less excerptible, more the path the individual phrase. The unit is the sweep in a way similar to the way David McGimpsey’s poems act.

  6. Sandra Alland’s Naturally Speaking (Espresso, 2012)
    The poems come from a method of playing with the constraints of the software that transcribes from spoken speech. It comes pre-loaded with a commercial-minded default of vocabulary. She fed in her own thoughts, translations of Nicannor Parra and sound. We only see what comes out, not what was fed in. What came out included from ii/, which fittingly enough, I hold open to the page to transcribe with the weight of more chapbooks and because that wasn’t heavy enough, my wallet.

    To the reader
    eBay us, so is that okay?
    No way through need.

    Be a really dollar,
    one dollar me.

    and from poem vi/

    But it’s not as they seem. They came back at me with an Audi Bentley. Signal surely? Us the meaty and doubled. Let them in, and their will.

    About a gay: that she penned it at the expected; that the meeting in the Apple meant I was a bit single.

    It lets the fractures in grammar stand as if fitting with the fractures in sense that a commerce-mind does to living sense.

  7. Rob Winger‘s Old Hat (Nightwood, 2014)
    It’s good when a collection comes together. I enjoy his readings, their cadences and turns, and looked forward to having a transcript of ones I’d heard.

    His spin on the pristine nature poems and his relating class is perhaps Milton Acorn updated for our era.

    He allows seriousness and comedy, both satire and less pointed. There’s an intellect engaged but with a sharp mind for how human nature works, including the effect of listening to the spiel by a contractor and only recognizing the grammatical slots but pretending you followed all that. The accumulation to preposterous is what he does well

    “Another lake poem” sits on the line between questioning and authority as authority erodes. What do we think we know. A literature of nature poems and yet can we tell our burr from our butt? Half way thru the winking elegy to the great outdoors it is more like an Irish wake than an English one,

    Canoes rust under beech trees.
    At least I think they’re beech trees.
    They’re near the beach.

    His poem spoofing prefacing patter to poems in a reading is a must read. Likewise re/covering Champlain Trail should make it to his collected whenever that happens. Here’s a bit of that poem,

    one-dimensional wildlife bursting into our special conditions
    of postmodernity: bearclaw cherry tree, beaver dam,
    sugarbush woodpeckers, golden hawks gloating

    in the turgid updraft, and our plucking of the first
    red trilliums from the syrupy undergrowth
    with a triumphant squeeze of pliers;

    the apex, where we edit out a flawless man-made
    bench, cut a tattered copy of The Idiot:
    diction dimmed, pages drenched, spine reeking fungus;

    It’s at the interview link here. It’s in my favourite chapter, re/set.

Categories: Currently reading.

Praamsma

New at LitLand if you missed it tonight, a conversation with Wanda Praamsma, who has a new book called a thin line between (BookThug, 2014) where she talks about her book, the long poem and about rooting the external in the internal.

She writes at www.whywandawrites.com She is reading with the next station call of the Railroad Series, on Oct 30th

Categories: CKCU.

Blink Gallery: Something Leads to Something Else

Something Leads to Something Else considers how artists conceptualize their research, of how their work comes to be. It is not a definitive account, but rather allowing room for different approaches, across different media, including collage, drawing, photography, sculpture, ceramics, poetry and video.

Artists:
Martin Golland’s paintings describe a fictional meeting point between built environments and the natural world, resulting in imaginary architectural spaces. At Blink, his multi-media collages have been gleaned from a large archive of material he uses to establish the subjects and multifaceted spaces eventually found in his paintings.
Lynda Hall is also concerned with culture and nature, shown in photographs that are unflinching and unsentimental. There is a shifting interplay in the relationships she establishes between multiple images of animals, shown in two and three-dimensional situations. What she evokes fluctuates, not unlike the roll of a dice.
Lise Rochefort is a freelance writer, poet, parent and researcher, as well as an Associate Poetry Editor for Arc Poetry Magazine. She has created a new, experimental work for the exhibition combining poetry with video.
Hilde Schreier’s work encompasses a variety of media. Her paintings and drawings are concerned with the human condition, whereas her weavings are richly coloured, textured embodiments of imagined landscapes. Here, a meticulous multi-media drawing undertakes to describe a complex system destined to be a large weaving.

Finally, on loan from an Ottawa clay studio, are a series of ceramic glaze samples, promising endless colour combinations.
(Text by Deborah Margo)

Exhibition dates:
First week: Friday, September 26 through Sunday, September 28 from 12 to 5 pm
Second week: Friday, October 3 through Sunday, October 5 from 12 to 5 pm.
Please join us for the exhibition reception on Thursday, October 2 from 6-9 pm at Blink Gallery, Ottawa.

Categories: PSA, Poetry.

Various and Sundry, also Sun-dried

Ottawa writer Deborah-Anne Tunney has a short story collection coming this fall. Enter at GoodReads to win a copy of The View from the Lane.

Also this fall: a call for Making Contact: Circulating Small and Micro Press Poetry in Canada organized by Cameron Anstee. There’s also calls for postmodernism, Women Writing North by Alana Fletcher (Queens University) and Canadian Writing Beyond the Book-Machine by organizers: Christopher Doody (Carleton U), Eric Schmaltz (York U). From a different direction there’s a call for The Canadian Alternative: Canadian Cartoonists, Comics, and Graphic Novels.

Today’s the homestretch to easily get into the workshop on bookmaking with Christine McNair thru the Chaudiere Rebuilding Year Campaign which surpassed its funding goals days ahead of the target. A couple days to go.

Sept 15 is the next deadline to submit to Bywords.

An album of the most recent Tree.

Part of the show with Helen Guri was broadcast in mono instead of stereo. I fixed levels and made a new copy: Listen to the show with Helen Guri here.

The Literary Press Group of Canada Festivals round-up.

A list of Best Canadian Book trailers

Woxikon finds synonyms, abbreviations and rhymes across multiple languages.

I forgot about google books Ngram viewer (and it’s remarkably hard to google up) but Poetic Meter peaked in 1984.

I think I’m in love with Zalgo text generator.

Who is Russell Edson and why have I not seen him before?

via Gallaher,

Russell Edson
A Letter from an Insomniac

Dear Mr. Furniture-Maker,

The bed you have made for me is a very difficult one. When I pull on its reins it rears up protesting the road. And it seems to fear heights, for when I ask it each night to jump from the window, it hesitates. It is impossible to sleep in a bed that is afraid of heights . . . I dream so often of the mountains. I believe this bed is a valley creature.

I’m way behind the curve on his blog but he also has an interesting post about Mary Ruefle who said, “wasting my life making idle comparisons between things that could not and need not be compared”

Yale University has an open university session with videos, pdfs and assignments on Modern Poetry like H.D. and Wallace Stevens.

The Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival happens every 2 years. The next one is Oct 23-26 in New Jersey. Their lineup is up. I think each one has Billy Collins and Rita Dove but this year also has Gary Snyder, Mark Doty, January Gill O’Neil, Alice Oswald and Robert Pinksy…and a few dozen more.

I’m curious about this British anthology, Blame Montezuma, dedicated to chocolate. The one sample poem is verse and there’s no list of poets. Anyone know more?

Speaking of food poem, came across this Black Truffle by Stephen Brockwell that starts,

Nothing on the tongue more subtle; from the earth,
not of it; of garlic, clove, oak, air,
and stars if stars were small enough to taste
and sprinkle on risotto.

You saw that the A-Frame residency is now open for applications?

I chanced across via twitter Jennifer M. Hecht on her “transliteration”—a meaningful sound-alike—of William Blake’s “The Tyger” The Spider.

In the purpose of your art
twist the neurons of my heart.

A Lorine Niedecker interview with Cid Corman.

I think I’ve read enough of Peter Norman to know he thinks interesting things and this interview on process and editing is no exception.

Susan Holbrook is interviewed and talks among other things about lists and less narrative forms of poetry,

Q: What is it about the accumulation that appeals?

A: I think of a traditional paragraph as a dogwalker holding a bunch of leashes, each sentence-dog tethered to the main man. In a more cumulative structure, dogs just keep running into the park, one after another—you never know when they’ll stop! There are interesting relationships among the units, but they do not involve cause/effect or subordinations so much as resonances—it’s democratic. No alpha dog. And there’s a nice processual, self-generating energy that gets going.

Jonathan Ball in recounting his making of Clockfire said, “If you always trust your instincts, you’ll always repeat what’s safe.”

And you saw this article about Biblioasis who turns 10.

If you follow me on twitter you’ll have seen most of this.

Categories: Link Dump.

Come Let us Workshop Together

Tree Seed Workshop with
Some Tree Seed Workshop participants earlier this week where Peter Richardson did a round table of poems sent ahead and brought in on the day. He gave a couple exercises and an essay of notes on his process.

examining a poem

Next time, next Tree, is September 23, workshop doors open 6:30 at Black Squirrel Books, 1073 Bank St, Ottawa.

I’m on deck. What will I be talking about? Rhythm Method: We’re talking tempo. Workshop for 8-18 participants to think about how rhythm is motion, a potion, a pause and a pace in the space. Looking at the speed of sound.

Pearl Pirie is the facilitator at this Tree Seed Workshop looking at contemporary examples of how rhythm works with Lorine Niedecker, Steven Zultanski, Adeena Karasick, Nelson Ball, Rae Armantrout, Laura Mullen, Derek Walcott and e.e. cummings.

Looking how the effects of poetic devices of using speed, pause and how to make speed and pause with density of ideas and word stressed. Exercise your tempo.

Free drop in. No registration required.

Followed by an 8pm feature of David Groulx and Jordan Abel and the open mic.

Categories: PSA, Poetry, Workshops.

Lampman Award 2014

Arc has announced the finalists for the Lampman Award, including our next Tree Seed Workshop Facilitator Peter Richardson and a past workshop facilitator, Sandra Ridley who is guest writing in September OpenBook,

Arc Poetry Magazine presents Ottawa Poetry Awards Reading
Each year, Arc Poetry Magazine honours Ottawa poets. Arc is proud to present the three 2014 finalists for the Archibald Lampman Award for the outstanding book of poetry by a National-Capital area author. Also featured are winners of the Brebner Prize competition, which honours emerging poets in the Ottawa area. The readings will take place at Pressed, 750 Gladstone Ave, Ottawa, Ontario at 7:30pm on Thursday, October 9

The Finalists:

David O’Meara, A Pretty Sight (Toronto; Coach House, 2013)
A Pretty Sight’s imaginative scope is immense, even as it wields organized control over its storytelling and its richly textured language. This is a powerful book by a gifted poet. David O’Meara lives in Ottawa. He is the author of three collections of poetry and a play, Disaster, nominated for four Rideau Awards.

Peter Richardson, Bit Parts for Fools (Fredericton, Goose Lane Editions, 2013)
Peter Richardson takes unusual care with his lines and packs them with startling imagery. He writes convincingly with wicked wit and exuberance and, when appropriate, an unusually winning and slightly sardonic seriousness. Peter Richardson is the author of three poetry collections. He lives in Gatineau.

Sandra Ridley, The Counting House (Toronto, BookThug, 2013)
This is a remarkably adventurous and fascinating book. The Counting House explores in different registers a failed or failing relationship and the states of mind of someone caught, wretched and in desperate need of escape. The verbal units may be fragmentary, but they assemble with great power in the reader. Sandra Ridley is the author of three books of poetry. She lives in Ottawa.

The event will also feature the 2013 winners of the Diana Brebner Award, given for the best work by an emerging Ottawa-area poet not published in book form. The $500 prize was won this year by Anne Marie Todkill, with Honourable Mention going to Vivian Vavassis.

Categories: PSA, Poetry.

Poets Touching Trees & Desks

This installment of Poets Touching Trees is up and its me and thinking about the forest. If you want to do one too, there’s the contact info there on their sidebar.

Do you miss Desk Space too? Looking to share your thoughts on your writing space? “where do write, my lovely?” is looking for submissions to write about your writing space, See what Amish Trivedi’s project here.

In other news, Sawdust Readings now have their veteran feature, Kevin Matthews

Categories: PSA, Poetry.

Words to Live By

Words to Live By is celebrating its two-year anniversary this month! The series has become a place for many firsts, including the starting spot for first-time performers and featured poets.

This month, Words to Live By will be showcasing the creator and co-host of the show, Jenna Tenn-Yuk, along with several guest performances. This will be Jenna’s last show as co-host of Words to Live By, which will be continued under Brad Morden and Artemysia Fragiskatos.

We’ve had a blast seeing many first-time performers and featured poets step up to the mic, so come and celebrate our two-year anniversary with us!

Doors and open mic sign-up is at 7:00pm and the show starts at 7:30pm. $7 at the door or free for performers. Pressed Café, 750 Gladstone, Ottawa.

In the open mic section you can get a copy of Shery Alexander Heinis’ new creation, her first chapbook: A Greater Whole. Watch for this around town over the next few weeks.

greaterwholepicture-cover

Categories: PSA, Poetry.