Thursday 20 October 2011

Jacob McArthur Mooney on the shortlist for the Dylan Thomas Prize

The Dylan Thomas Prize is the world's largest annual literary prize (£30,000) for young writers (i.e. under 30). The shortlist was announced today, and it includes Canada's own Jacob McArthur Mooney, author of Folk (M&S, 2011).

Mooney is one of Canada's best young poets, and one of my personal favourites. It's great to see him getting international recognition for his excellent work!

Here's the entire 2011 Dylan Thomas Prize shortlist:
  • The Meeting Point by Lucy Caldwell, Faber
  • The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore by Benjamin Hale, Atlantic Books
  • Folk by Jacob McArthur Mooney, McClelland & Stewart
  • The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht, Orion
  • My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher, Orion

Read the press release here.

Coverage by CBC here

And coverage by BBC News here.

Sunday 16 October 2011

The Insomniac Press Fall Launch Party is Monday, October 24

WHEN: Monday, October 24, 7pm - 11pm. 
WHERE: The Dora Keogh Irish Pub, 141 Danforth Avenue, Toronto, Ontario.

On Monday, October 24, Insomniac Press will be launching five new literary titles at the Dora Keogh Irish Pub in Toronto, including Robin Richardson's debut poetry collection Grunt of the Minotaur.

Poet, playwright and novelist Stan Rogal, releases Bloodline, a mystery novel. Insomniac Press published Stan's Dance, Monster! Fifty Selected Poems earlier this year. 

Also launching are Jamie Popowich's debut story collection Metraville, Donna Bailey Nurse's latest book of criticism What's a Black Critic to Do II, and the re-release of Karen X. Tulchinsky's celebrated novel Love Ruins Everything.


Visit Insomniac Press

Visit Dora Keogh

Wednesday 12 October 2011

Tomas Tranströmer internet round-up

Tomas Tranströmer has won this year's Nobel Prize for literature. For those who may not be aware of his work, here is a round up of 47 of his poems available on the internet, and some recommended further reading.

The Half-Finished Heaven
Under Pressure
Open and Closed Spaces
The Nightingale in Badelunda
  • From The Academy of American Poets website
After a Death

  • From The Poetry Foundation website
National Insecurity
November in the Former DDR
The Indoors Is Endless

  • From The Guardian newspaper website
(audio version)

18 poems from The Sorrow Gondola translated by Patty Crane, with Swedish originals.

Breathing Room

  • From Google Books: 
16 poems from The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems translated by Robin Fulton
(Note: "Baltics", a long poem, is incomplete.)


  • Receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from The Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry.
Text and Video

  • An Essay on The Sorrow Gondola
by David Wojan


  • The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems, translated by Robin Fulton.
  • The Half-Finished Heaven: Best Poems of Tomas Tranströmer, translated by Robert Bly.
  • The Deleted World, versions by Robin Robertson.

Tuesday 4 October 2011

Margaret Atwood to appear at fundraiser for the Al Purdy A-Frame Trust

Margaret Atwood will appear in a special fundraiser for The Al Purdy A-Frame Trust in Picton this November 23, 2011. Here is some information from a press release about the event:
Friends of East Lake (FOEL) is proud to present Canadian novelist, poet, literary critic and environmental activist Margaret Atwood in a special presentation at Picton’s Regent Theatre on November 23, 2011. Her provocatively titled presentation “Bulldozing the Mind: The Assault on Cultural and Rural Heritage” follows a reception with Ms. Atwood at Books & Company featuring County food and wine.
Tickets are available for the presentation only or for the combined event, which is a fundraiser for the Al Purdy A-Frame Trust and Friends of East Lake.

The A-Frame Trust is dedicated to preserving the cottage built by celebrated Canadian poet Al Purdy and his wife Eurithe on Roblin Lake in Ameliasburgh. The cottage was a destination for outstanding writers of the era, including Ms. Atwood, at a time when its owner became one of Canada’s most popular and important 20th century poets....

Tickets for the November event will go on sale at the Regent Theatre box office in August at $40 for Ms. Atwood’s presentation only or $65 for the reception and presentation.

Read the rest of the press release here.

As some of you know, I was the editor of The Al Purdy A-Frame Anthology, a book of poems and remembrances (which included an original cartoon by Margaret Atwood) intended to raise funds and awareness for the Trust. If you would like to buy a copy of the anthology, you can order one from Harbour Publishing here.

For more information about The Al Purdy A-Frame Trust, or to make a donation, please visit