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Currently Reading: 13 New for the Shelves and Selves

One day held four small press events: Canzine West in Vancouver, Expozine in Montreal, Indie Literary Market in Toronto and the Ottawa small press fair.

signs on the lot

At Ottawa’s fair, and over the week, I got 13 things to highlight:

13 new

  1. Instruments of Surrender by Christine Wiesenthal (Buschek, 2001) from the backlist 3/$10 deal. I liked the playful tone. p. 14 from “wild finches, august”

    c’mere yiu little slackers,
    i want to say, you slippery flitters,
    you two-ounce peeping toms

    She also has a chapter with epigraphs from The Cook Not Mad to the Soap Opera digest paired with prose fretting over laundry which seem to run the line between satire and tragic.

  2. Have you ever Seen a Sky So Grey?, (in/words, 2012) Chris Johnson’s first chapbook. (no page numbers, at mid-chapbook) often have comedic twists, like this, “Two short poems for the everyday pessimist”

    Just because I need alcohol
    to make it through an ordinary day
    doesn’t make me a drunk,
    it makes me a failure.

  3. Go to the Pine: poetry in Japanese Style by Izak Bouwer and Angela Sumegi (Buschek, 2009) and I can’t find my copy so I either gave it away or just considered buying it before. p. 12 tanka by Angela,

    an evening flock
    of wax-wings gorge themselves
    on my mulberries –
    oh teacher of gods and men
    whose fruit do I eat?

    It also has a CD in it. I never know if I’ll listen to CDs. I mean, I even prefer to read the subtitles of movies on mute and read the transcripts at TED talks instead of listen. I like visual information. Here’s a visual; the Buschek table at the fair: Buschek

  4. Eiderdown by Rachel Simpson, (Apt 9, 2012) who read it the pre-fair (pictured) and launches this first chapbook of hers at Raw Sugar this Saturday afternoon along with Phil Hall and Claudia Coutu Radmore. from poem 6
    pre-fair reading, Nov 16, 2012

    What touches us most is a feeling of disbelief.
    Drawn in by what we can’t accept and can’t deny.

    Truth as intimacy, instead of precision.

    Different answers to the same question:
    what happened to you?

    She opens interesting things to ponder.

  5. little nothings by Marilyn Irwin (self published, 2012) poem 29,

    maybe next year
    I’ll cut my hair
    pack vices
    as tea cups

    I love how the meaning sways both ways. Vices as opposed to virtues or heavy metal tools for stability. Both sketch different intriguing scenarios.

  6. her absence, this wanderer by Rachel Zolf (Buschek, 1999) doesn’t seem excerpt-able as some. p 11

    We bundle Rose into the car and travel
    through the streets of North End Winnipeg,
    Rose pointing out the Peretz school where
    grandfather taught, the Labour Zionist temple,
    the houses the family lived in, landmarks
    on our way to the cemetery, where
    after a bit of combing (too many straight
    lines, too nearly kept) we find a polished
    grey granite stone, carved with our name


    and the simplicity of it overwhelms me

    There’s some of a haibun to this except although it continues in both directions on the page. The poems are emotional extreme, all over the map, retracing histories, some of collecting family stories, some of creating stories of sexual self.

  7. A Rural Pen by Phil Hall (Apt 9, 2012) in “Ubdegrove” (with most of the poems similarly titled for disappearing villages), delights me but I don’t want to finish it because then it will be over. Still something unique of time and place that one would be familiar in equal parts with a wood-borer insect and with the Indian script.

    what we wrote will be the wood-borer’s Urdu

    spelled-out by tunneling blind

    between the bark & the trunk
    (between the warning & the baggage)

  8. All the Perfect Disguises by Lorri Neilsen Glenn (Broken Jaw, 2003) which I read in part a couple times but want to take time for the whole. From p. 15-16 a poem of genealogy of County Kerry, where my family also came from in part,

    Glenn na ginci, Glanageenty, in Bally Mac Elligott, 1583[…]

    Out into the sun, I carry the pages. The song began

    At night we climb hills, weave tales into stonecrop
    join a chorus of voices calling down an old sea.

    stonecrop is a wonderful reduction of the frost-thrown stones phenomena. I wonder how well the word travels or how widely it unpacks?

  9. A blank art book by “Mary Kritz (pictured below) made of Lokta paper cover with die-cut pages, with a horsehair braid closure.
    art books by Mary Kritz
  10. cemantics by Michael e. Casteels (Puddles of Sky Press, 2012) is unretypable, with visual poems and the structure of book being surprises. Tasty concepts. Get it if you can. Oh wait, you can
  11. Peter F Yacht Club, issue #17 by various, launching in December including some of Amanda Earl’s “ghazals against the gradual demise” which she read from at Dusty Owl and Tree recently. A bit of xvii,

    these longitudes are heavy with thorns
    and i will continue to blossom

    please let the miracles continue
    confuse the cartographers once more

  12. Chrysalis, issue 2 a new zine in town by Kimberley Dawkins, Robert Sandercott and Sanjeevan Thermaratnam.

    zine: Chrysalis was at the ottawa small press fair Nov 17, 2012 with their submissions call for issue 3. From issue 2 by Miguel Eichelberger,

    he called me
    As through the very word
    were mucus

  13. Keep by Deborah Poe (aboveground, 2012) wanders thru brain science of perception and retention of them.

    dendrites, feathery tips of brain cells, extend to neighbouring cells
    one blossom bears many blossoms[…]
    how you pay attention determines what you remember
    old branches, which do not reach

That all should hold my attention for a while.

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  2. Currently Reading: Paying Attention and Worth Re-Reading Said like Reeds or Things (Coach House, 2004) by Mark Truscott. It’s a wonderful head space. The text uses the book for pacing. One poem sets up the idea and...
  3. Pre-Fair Reading The pre-fair reading, fall 2010 edition, lovingly hosted by rob mclennan, has readings by Helen Hajnoczky (Calgary/Montreal), Natasha Nuhanovic (Toronto), Suzanne Bowness (Ottawa) & Peter Gibbon (Ottawa) on Friday, 7pm,...

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Comment Feed

7 Responses

  1. Wow, this event looks really interesting and fun. Thanks for sharing.

  2. This is an interesting collection of poetry.

  3. Very intriguing collection. Thought-provoking, even.

  4. #9 certainaly looks interesting.

  5. thanks for including the ghazal excerpt, Pearl. twaas a fine fair.

    Amanda EarlNovember 22, 2012 @ 10:37 pm
  6. Some fascinating titles here – and I’m not normally a big fan of poetry. However, these intrigue me…

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Continuing the Discussion

  1. […] And Pearl Pirie includes both books in her round up from the Ottawa small press book fair here. […]