Saturday, 23 April 2016

I recommend Even This Page Is White by Vivek Shraya

I've been thinking about Vivek Shraya's new book of poetry Even This Page Is White in the context of having read Claudia Rankine's Citizen. It's an over simplification to draw broad comparisons between these books, but they share a thematic concern about race, and they do so in ways that are original, timely, and without trying to fit into a canon. If you read Rankine's book and were compelled by it, then I urge you to get a copy of Shraya's book, too. Like Rankine's, it's a book that asks us to consider ourselves and our society in vital ways, and it is worth your time.


Wednesday, 20 April 2016

"Grendel's Mother" -- a new poem

Last weekend my poem "Grendel's Mother" was published in the Globe and Mail. You can read it here.

The poem is partly inspired by John Gardner's novel Grendel, a longtime favourite of mine. Telling the Beowulf story from the monster's point of view allows us to question the role of the monster in a narrative. I wanted to take that constructive revisionism one-step further and contemplate the mother's point of view. In Gardner's novel, Grendel's mother is a howling, mindless beast. In my poem, she is thoughtful and concerned about the mental state of her son.





Wednesday, 16 March 2016

I Got to Be a Guest on the My Summer Lair Podcast

I sat down with Sammy Younan at the Girth Radio headquarters in Toronto's Pacific Junction Hotel to talk about my poetry, publishing, and art projects, including my latest book, my visual art, and my "cryptoreligion" the Holy Order of the Sasquatch.

The series is called My Summer Lair and you can listen to it here.





Thursday, 25 February 2016

New titles coming from Buckrider Books this spring.

I'm looking forward to launching the new titles from my Buckrider Books imprint this spring.


Learn more about:

Death Valley by Susan Perly


Kids in Triage by Kilby Smith-McGregor


Tuesday, 2 February 2016

The Holy Order of the Sasquatch

As if I don't have enough on my plate -- writing a new book, editing books for Wolsak & Wynn, teaching here and there, various art and poetry projects -- I have started a new creative project: a cryptoreligion called the Holy Order of the Sasquatch.


Members of this benevolent Order are called Knights, and in accordance with our rites and traditions, they uphold the value of the human imagination in order to create a better world. Messages from the Holy Order will be released periodically in the form of Epistles, i.e. comic-strip pamphlets containing the teachings of Saint Bigfoot, our patron.

To learn more and become a Knight of the Holy Order of the Sasquatch, visit www.saintbigfoot.com.




Thursday, 24 December 2015

My Mail Art Project is One Year Old Today

It was a year ago today that I announced my mail art project: I will send original, hand drawn postcards to you for ten dollars each. My postcards have become more detailed and complex over the past year, but the price is still just ten bucks. Here are some samples:




To see all the post cards and to learn more about the project, click here.


Thursday, 17 December 2015

Russell Smith writes about my Sunrise with Sea Monsters blog

Novelist and columnist Russell Smith has written about my Sunrise with Sea Monsters blog in his arts column in the Globe and Mail. Have a look:

A blog is a hobby; a blog is a notebook; a blog is a forum; a blog is a piece of art. A blog is unpaid, and so can rewrite our idea of what a journal is, what publication is. It reminds us that, in the age of culturecrat jargon such as “viability” and “private-public partnerships,” we can give away art entirely for free and that art can infiltrate a larger culture and therefore be worth something all on its own.
Here’s a blog I like: It’s called “Sunrise With Sea Monsters,” and it’s a project of the Canadian poet and editor Paul Vermeersch (who is also a colleague of mine in the small-press publishing trenches). It is a poetry journal: He asks poets to contribute poems whose only constraint is that they be titled Sunrise With Sea Monsters. This is the name of a rather odd 1845 painting by J.M.W. Turner, currently on display as part of a Turner show at the Art Gallery of Ontario.
To read the whole column, click here.


Monday, 7 December 2015

A new poetry blog: Sunrise with Sea Monsters

From 2010 to 2014, I curated a poetry blog called They Will Take My Island. The sole premise was that I would invite people to write a poem called "They Will Take My Island", a title taken from a painting by Arshile Gorky.


Click here to visit They Will Take My Island


My latest online project is similar, and draws its inspiration from J.M.W. Turner's painting "Sunrise with Sea Monsters", and so far contains poems by Gary Barwin, Sylvia Legris, Pearl Pirie, Michael Holmes, and James Lindsay. More to come!


Click here to visit Sunrise with Sea Monsters