Saturday, January 30, 2010

Declining Gracefully

I've been a fan of Rob Budde's writing since reading his intriguing novel The Dying Poem (2002), and have continued to follow his poetry and experiments with prose poems over the years. I was also honoured to spend some time with him as a guest in his creative writing class at the University of Northern British Columbia 2007, and still have wonderful memories of being introduced to the diverse and dynamic Prince George writing community through Rob's efforts. Thus I was happy to be invited by BookThug to help edit Declining America, a new collection of Rob's poetry. It's Rob's most assured and challenging writing yet, deploying a range of forms to explore the concept of America as a linguistic construction. While displaying an affinity for late KSW poetics-- particularly as expressed by writers like Jeff Derksen and Kevin Davies--Rob, having been born in the U.S., brings an insider's perspective to his critique of American ideological formations while maintaining his ex-centricity as a northern B.C. poet. Well worth checking out.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

CWP Memories

Thanks to an initiative by Gail Vanstone, the digital archives of the Canadian Writers in Person reading series is now online at Artmob featuring both readings and Q&A sessions from dozens of Canadian authors.

I was the coordinator of the 2007-2008 series which included visits from Christian Bok, a. rawlings, Heather O'Neill, Karen Hines, Steven Heighton, RM Vaughan, and many others. Running the series meant that I also operated the video camera on the evenings of the readings (when I remembered to charge the camera's batteries--which is why George Elliott Clarke's wonderful performance is missing from the archive).

I was invited to read at the series a few years before I hosted, and my reading (primarily from American Standard/ Canada Dry) and Q&A is also up here.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Top of the Aughts

My picks for the top ten Canadian poetry collections of the decade.

  1. Eunoia (Christian Bok, 2001)
  2. Seven Pages Missing Vols. 1 & 2 (Steve McCaffery, 2000)
  3. Transnational Muscle Cars (Jeff Derksen, 2003)
  4. The Weather (Lisa Robertson, 2001)
  5. Performance Bond (Wayde Compton, 2004)
  6. Sheep’s Vigil by a Fervent Person (Eirin Moure, 2001)
  7. Un (Dennis Lee, 2003)
  8. Spiral Agitator (Steve Venright, 2000)
  9. Wide Slumber for Lepidopterists (a. rawlings, 2006)
  10. Forage (Rita Wong, 2007)

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Digging Ditch

Excellent online anthology of innovative Canadian poetry selected from contributors to Ditch, magazine.


rob mclennan
Alessandro Porco
Todd Swift
David UU
Nathalie Stephens
ErĂ­n Moure
Jay MillAr
Asher Ghaffar
Mark Truscott
Geoffrey Hlibchuk

Natalie Simpson
Jordan Scott
derek beaulieu
Daniel f. Bradley
Margaret Christakos
Jon Paul Fiorentino
Alice Burdick
Gary Barwin
Lynn Crosbie
gustave morin
Elizabeth Bachinsky

Louise Bak
Stephen Cain
Sean Moreland
Frances Kruk
Judith Copithorne
Natalie Zina Walschots
Marcus McCann
Meredith Quartermain
Camille Martin
Nathaniel G. Moore
f.ward (cover art)

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Great Gulch

Gulch: An Assemblage of Poetry and Poetry, is a great new anthology of innovative writing recently published by Tightrope Books. Most of the contributors are associated with York University in some way, including some members of the infamous SPAY collective. The editors seem quite taken with the theories of Deleuze and Guattari, and this is reflected in the rhizomatic layout of the collection and the idiosyncratic selections. Refreshing, bursting with energy, and well worth a look. I contribute a short prose piece from my ongoing project N.

Be sure to also check out Steel Bananas, the webzine that the editors of Gulch publish monthly.