Category Archives: publications

Tree Reading Series in Ottawa next week, and “Min” in oratorealis

Hi everyone,

To begin, I’m very excited about the fact that I’ll be a featured reader (alongside Shoshanna Wingate) at next Tuesday’s edition of Tree Reading Series in Ottawa. In all honesty, there’s not much I can say about the series (since I’ve never been before!), but I do know it has a long tradition and an important place in Ottawa’s literary scene, both of which I’m happy to have a role in. It’s also a little flattering (though also intimidating!) to be described as a conceptual poet “known for fresh takes” (as Tree’s website points out)–I hope I don’t disappoint! In any case, I should thank Pearl Pirie and Nina Jane Drystek (who I met, by happenstance, at an art opening during my visit to Ottawa last February) for helping set up the reading. If you’re in Ottawa, it’s taking place on Tuesday, May 23, 6:45pm at Black Squirrel Books (and here’s the event’s facebook page).

Recently, I also got to see the text of my poem, “Min,” in this spring’s issue of oratorealis, a new-ish West coast literary journal with the provocative mission of publishing spoken word and experimental poetry. My piece definitely falls into the latter, since (as I’ve admitted to folks who have seen it) I have no idea how exactly it would be performed orally. The piece itself is a kind of textual medley, comprising poetic summaries of the verses of Cab Calloway’s big band jazz classic “Minnie the Moocher” as well as redacted transcriptions of the original verses, which reduce them to something resembling the song’s famous call-and-response scat choruses. As long as I’m on the topic, I might as well add that my process for writing the piece involved downloading every version and cover of the song I could find, then listening to them on loop until the lyrics (and their multiple musical renditions) were etched in my head. It’s a very, very good song.

Anyway, I think that’s all for now. Happy reading!

 

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“for my african violet” in Carousel 38 and “Conscientious Conceptualism” post at The Town Crier

Hi all,

With National Poetry Month (a.k.a. April) on its way out, I wanted to retroactively ‘announce’ two publications that haven’t yet made their way onto the blog.

First, another of my houseplants poems, “for my african violet,” was published in this month’s new issue of Carousel (which has been kicking around for a few weeks now). I’ve raved about Carousel and its publisher, Mark Laliberte, before, but I did want to add that both are also involved with the LitBang! Small Press Pop Up Store, which has been featuring a variety of magazines, books, and book-like ephemera all month long at Queen and Ossington in Toronto. If you haven’t made it over to the pop up yet, you’ve got one more weekend to check it out. (Do it now!)

Second, I’ve had the pleasure over the last month or so of writing a contribution to Andy Verboom’s guest editing stint at The Puritan‘s bloggy appendage, The Town Crier, which has taken the form of a series of posts on “Conscientious Conceptualism and Poetic Practice.” I knew as soon as I saw Andy’s call for submissions that the series would hit close to home, and that it was an opportunity for me to seriously think through (or, more accurately, begin to think through) some parts of my poetic practice and social presence in the literary scene that have troubled me for some time. What I didn’t know was that Andy would turn out to be an incredibly thoughtful, dedicated, and hard-working editor, and that his efforts with the series would give me no end of things to think about, both in print and in camera. Mostly, then, I wanted to thank him for his extraordinary attention and expertise. Otherwise, I’m still waiting to see what kinds of effects (if any) the post and the month of posts will have on my thinking and writing…. As with many projects of this kind, most of what I take away will likely be the lessons I’ve taught myself over the course of researching and articulating my ideas. Still, my ears remain open to any responses, positive or negative, public or private, that anyone might be interested in sharing with me. If you’d like, you can read what I’ve written on the topic of whiteness and conceptualism here.

That’s all for now, although I’m sure I’ll be back here before long with more news. Until then, happy reading!

 

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“for my boston fern” in Hart House Review Winter Supplement, launching Friday!

Hi all. Happy New Year!

I know we’re already a few weeks in, but with the sleepier parts of January now long past, I’m happy to announce that one of my poems, “for my boston fern” (one of many with that title, as you might have noticed by now), will be appearing in this year’s Hart House Review Winter Supplement! A launch party for the supplement will be taking place this Friday, January 20 in the Debates Room of University of Toronto’s Hart House…Even though I won’t be able to make it, I really think you should check it out; the last time I was at one of the Winter Supplement launches, the combination of venue + fancy cheese made it one of the classiest poetry readings I’ve ever attended. Also, the fantastic and charismatic poet/musician Rasiqra Revulva will be performing, so you’d be a fool to miss it (personally, since I’m missing it, I’ll be wearing my fool hat proudly). Here’s the facebook event.

Aside from the aforementioned Rasiqra Revulva, I’ll also be sharing space in the Winter Supplement pages with (unstoppable CanLiterary force) David Huebert, as well as many others whose work I’m super-excited to read. One of my favourite things about HHR’s Winter Supplement is that it also centres its design on the work of a visual artist (this year it’s Dahae Song), which tends to produce a pretty unique reading experience. In any case, I hope you enjoy it.

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“for my boat lily,” “for my boat lily,” and “for my boat lily” in S/WORD 6

Hi everyone,

This time, an update for all my friends on the internet: the sixth issue of S/WORD appeared online just this weekend, and I’m pretty excited to let you know that three of my poems, “for my boat lily,” “for my boat lily,” and “for my boat lily” (can you tell I’m a fan of repetition?), are right at the top of the contents! The S/WORD editors have a pretty raw perspective on poetry and poetics (just take a look at their “About” page), and judging by some of the strong and surprising work they’ve included in this issue, I can’t help but feel I’m in good company. You can check out the whole issue here (and, if you’ve only got a minute, I might go so far as to recommend you take a look at Mark DuCharme’s “Understood” or Michael Rerick’s excerpt from Moss). Happy reading!

 

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Guelph Book Bash!

Hi all,

I’m here with yet another message for my Guelph friends: this Sunday I’ll be participating in the city’s annual Book Bash Festival, a celebration of Guelph authors hosted by Friends of Vocamus Press and made possible by the tireless efforts of Jeremy Luke Hill. I’m involved with the festival from (at least) three angles: first, this year’s edition of Vocamus Press’s annual collection of Guelph creative writing, Rhapsody, featuring my poem “for my boston fern,” will be launching at the festival; second, I’ll be promoting my debut collection of poetry, Players, which was released with Palimpsest Press this past April; third, I’ll be helping my friends at the &, collective promote our second collection, this happened to one of us, which we launched with PS Guelph only two weeks ago (!). The whole &, 2 launch has been quite a rush over the past few weeks (I’ll actually be over at PS Guelph tomorrow helping bind and stamp copies of the book), and I’m pumped to see it continue at Book Bash this weekend, where we can hopefully get some copies out to new and returning readers who missed our launch. Of course, I’m also super-happy to have a chance to introduce Players to some new audiences, and I may even have copies of some of my more experimental projects on hand to show off, as well.

If you’d like to stop by to see me, the &, collective, or anyone else writing anything else in the Guelph area, come to Book Bash at the Red Papaya restaurant in the Old Quebec Street Mall this Sunday, October 16, between 1pm and 4pm. You can also check out the Book Bash facebook page. Finally, as always, happy reading!

 

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&, 2 and XAGGERA launches this week!

The very tail end of this week will be a pretty big one for me! First up, this Thursday I and the other amazing members of Guelph’s &, collective will be launching the collective’s second chap/book, this happened to one of us. The book’s been in the works for a while, and I think it’s pretty exciting: the project came from writing and workshopping we did together around the theme of confessional poetry, where one of us would come up with a confessional-style prompt and everyone else in the group would write a poem as if they’d actually had that experience themselves. The result is a bunch of poems about things like getting a flat tire, cheap motels, drunken teenage birthday parties, coffee dates, and (of course) sex. We’ll even be filling up this week’s launch with prizes for audience members who correctly guess which poet actually wrote the prompt for each set. Several of us in the collective have been working with Publication Studio Guelph to plan the launch and actually make our own books (see photo evidence below), and the book layout (wickedly designed by yours truly) also includes illustrations by the Guelph-based artist group SADSADDERDAZE, which will be hand-coloured for the launch editions–so, the whole thing definitely feels like a community effort. Which is why you should come celebrate with us: 7pm at Boarding House Arts (6 Dublin St. South) this Thursday, September 29! Check out the facebook event. Or look for the book (which, as per PS’s amazing distribution model, promises to be pretty damn cheap) over at the PS web store.

 

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Second, and the very next day, I’ll be hanging out with David Knight and friends of Fenylalanine Publishing and Ed Video to celebrate Ed Video’s 40th anniversary and launch FP’s new art magazine, XAGGERA (which will be on sale for $10 a copy). I’m definitely not as in-the-know about this project, but a quick look at the event’s facebook page promises a series of probably insane visuals and music that’ll be nowhere close to ordinary. I can also let you in on the fact that my contribution to the magazine is a bizarre pseudo-advertisement for the special erasure/asemic font I created for The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psycho-analysis: A Selection, which I’ve been uploading in parts over at my new instagram account. In short, the magazine is something to watch out for. And if you’re up for something on the weirder side of normal, come join us at the ANAF Club (32 Gordon St.), 9:15pm this Friday, September 30.

 

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Microlit review of Zane Koss’s Warehouse Zone at The Town Crier

Hi everyone,

I’ve already shared this on social media, but I wanted say a few more words about the “microlit” review of Zane Koss’s Warehouse Zone I wrote for The Town Crier (The Puritan‘s “bloggy appendage), which was published last Wednesday. The review is part of (the first part of, in fact) an ongoing series of microlit reviews the blog introduced last week; rather than try to define the term “microliterature” or the mission of the series myself, I’ll refer you to this introductory post written by The Town Crier’s editor, Jason Freure, which does a really excellent job of framing the extended project. It’s probably needless to say that I’m 100% behind it.

If you haven’t read it already, I hope you do take a look at my review of Warehouse Zone, which is really an amazing work of post-conceptual writing. I also hope the review might lead a few more people to read the complete chapbook, however difficult that may be; the project was printed in a very limited run last summer by Publication Studio Guelph and has not been widely advertised since. I’ve been told that the book will be available at the brand-new Publication Studio webstore very soon, so you should definitely be on the lookout for it. And if you’re really anxious, you should be able to get a copy sent to you (for only $5, + shipping and handling) by emailing PS directly, as noted on the book’s listing here.

Aside from the opportunity to review Warehouse Zone specifically, I’m also super-proud of the strong showing Guelph is making in the microlit scene, at least as far a The Town Crier defines it. It so happens that the blog’s second microlit review was written by my friend Jeremy Luke Hill at Guelph’s Vocamus Press on the fantastic Fenylalanine Publishing, who I released a chapbook with earlier this year. It’s also worth pointing out that Zane Koss is a founding member of the &, collective, a really excellent bunch of young poets I’ve been working with since September and will be releasing a chapbook with very, very soon (so stay tuned for that).

As usual, it won’t be long before I have more news. Until then, keep reading microlit!

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Rusty Talk with Paul Dutton

Hi everyone,

I’ve already been spreading word about this a little bit, but I wanted to write a few notes here about The Rusty Toque‘s newest interview, my Rusty Talk with Paul Dutton, which went online just a few days ago. Most of the context should be clear in the interview and its introduction, but the “talk” (or, more specifically, a kind of email questionnaire, as Paul stressed) was mostly organized around my reading of Sonosyntactics, Paul’s selected and new poetry (edited with an introduction by Gary Barwin, and with a fiery afterword by the author), which I thoroughly enjoyed from a variety of angles. I also read a few of Paul’s past interviews, though I truly believe he came up with some of his best responses in this one…especially on the themes of choice (both readerly and writerly) and the relationship(s) between art and politics.

In any case, reading Sonosyntactics and working with Paul on the interview was truly a privilege, both because of his stature as an artist and because of the incredible uniqueness of his artistic style(s). If you haven’t heard his soundsinging, it’s definitely worth a watch or a listen at his website, pdutton.ca. Or you can check out an excerpt of his writing in the interview!

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12 or 20 questions with rob mclennan

Howdy everyone,

A quick update about a great opportunity with one of CanLit’s most recognizable voices: I’ve had the pleasure of being “interviewed” by rob mclennan for his 12 or 20 questions series following the launch of Players, and the results of that interview have just been posted on rob mclennan’s blog.  If you want to read some of my thoughts on writing poetry, my multiple relationships with theory, writing and privilege, and videogames, you should check out the interview here.

I say I was “interviewed” because the 12 or 20 questions series doesn’t take the form of a conventional interview; instead, every writer is asked the same series of questions, to which they may respond to all, some, or none. In fact, so many writers have been featured that the series might offer one of the best opportunities to compare your favourite author’s views and personalities…keeping in mind, of course, that they may have changed since the time of the interview (I have, for example, shaved my head since responding to one of rob’s questions).

Happy Reading!

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Review of Andy McGuire’s Country Club in The Puritan

Hi all,

I’ll be getting back to you soon with updates about some readings I’m doing around the end of this month (or you can find details here, if you’re anxious), but I wanted to check in to give a shout out to Andy McGuire and his book, Country Club, which I’ve just reviewed over at The Puritan. McGuire’s poetry is fun, fascinating, and weirdly disturbing, from its finest textual details to the broadest questions it raises about aesthetic labour and politics; I tried to bring out some of these qualities in my review. The Puritan also a fantastic publication (an excellent model, I think, of how to publish literature and criticism on the internet), and I’m extremely happy to see my name within their pages. You can read my contribution to issue 33 here.

Until next time, happy reading!

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