I don't read ebooks very often, so it's a comfort to me that print books are still made the old fashioned way. I have a new book (called Don't Let It End Like This Tell Them I Said Something) coming out soon with ECW Press, and today I went to Coach House Printers to see how it gets made.
First, the pages are printed on these big Heidelberg printing presses. These huge machines are made in the Black Forest by dwarves who use magic hammers and exotic metals smithed in eldritch fire.
Next, highly trained technicians named John operate the gluing machine. This is where the covers are affixed to the pages and where "critical acclaim" is added to author bios.
This is what assembled books look like before they go the cutting machine. If there are still any typos left in the book at this stage, the cutting machine will remove them!
The cutting machine trims the excess paper off the top, bottom, and side of the book. You need to use two hands to operate the blade, so you can't cut your own fingers off by mistake. Emphasis on your own. Emphasis on by mistake.
As books come off the cutting machine, they are piled up on a shelf in the corner of the room so they can grow accustomed to how they will most likely spend the remainder of their existence in a shop or house somewhere.
At this stage in the manufacturing process, each book is assigned an author who will be its mascot. I was very happy to be paired up with this lovely little number, and you will see me flogging it around the country very soon.
I will be reading at an event called OUT-OF-TOWNERS AT THE SHIP on August 21st with Jonathan Bennett, Miranda Hill, Brian Panhuyzen, and Sandra Ridley. Hosted by Elisabeth de Mariaffi and George Murray. Hope to see you there. Click here for details.
I'll be back at the University of Toronto's School of Continuing Studies this fall, this time to teach the Poetry Master Class from September 23 to December 9. Registration is now open, and there are spaces open if you wish to enroll. If you haven't completed the Poetry II course already, then admission will be based on a portfolio of your work. Unlike the Poetry Intro and Poetry II courses, which are eight weeks long, the Master Class is an intensive twelve-week course. See you there?
The blog has been quiet for a couple of months, but big things are in the works. The new book is almost ready to go to press, and an Advance Reading Copy has already been made for promotional purposes.
Lots of events are being planned for the fall, and of course there will also be a whole new season of Buckrider Books from Wolsak & Wynn, with poetry from Claire Caldwell and Jesse Patrick Ferguson, and a novel by Christine Fischer Guy. Stay tuned for more announcements!
Well, we launched my new imprint, Buckrider Books, with Wolsak & Wynn last week at the Gladstone Ballroom. The Town Crier's Kris Bone was there to cover the event. Here are some highlights:
On Erina Harris and The Stag Head Spoke:
"Harris’s poetry was haunting and highly refined. Drawing on the
traditions of a wide variety of forms (such as the sonnet and the fairy
tale) to explore rhyme in new ways, Harris has created an atmospheric
set of poems, delivered in an even yet ethereal tone."
On David James Brock and Everyone Is CO2:
"An expert combination of smart, snappy phrasing and interesting, offbeat
subject matter made his poems exciting to listen to. Brock’s work
continues to mutate and evolve, comfortable spanning multiple genres and
conceptual divides as he moves into his first full-length publication,
with his poetry stronger, stranger, and more fearless than anything
we’ve seen from him yet."
On D. D. Miller and David Foster Wallace Ruined My Suicide and Other Stories:
"Funny and well-paced, it marks a welcome addition to Toronto’s wealth of short fiction collections."
Miller's David Foster Wallace Ruined My Suicide and Other Stories pulls
back the curtain on the tense and darkly funny world of post-millenial
men. Tasked with negotiating a universe of amateur porn stars, chat room
suiciders, and distracted derby girls, Miller's men are brazen, yet
oddly disengaged -- and above all, sharply observed."
-- Elisabeth de Mariaffi, author of How to Get Along with Women
"A striking debut. With unwavering eye and mordant humour, these
stories gently scrape the civil façade to reveal what’s awkward, raw
and, sometimes, brutal in us. D. D. Miller is a writer to watch."
-- Bill Gaston, author of The World and Gargoyles