Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Curious links for May 2015

1) The tireless team behind words(on)pages is preparing to launch Issue 7 of (parenthetical) with the help of featured readers Eric Schmaltz and Astoria Felix. This launch will also celebrate words(on)stages’ one-year anniversary, with contributors from the current issue (as well as those from past editions) sharing their work. For event details, check the snazzy poster to your right.

2) The Writers’ Trust of Canada has announced three finalists for the 2015 RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers and they are Irfan Ali (for “Who I Think About When I Think About You”), Alessandra Naccarato (for “Re-Origin of Species”) and Chuqiao Yang (for “Roads Home”). If you’d like to get a head-start and read these emerging voices, you’re in luck: all three winning manuscripts are available to download on iBooks. 

3) Wolsak & Wynn’s Buckrider Books imprint will be launching a trio of titles this Thursday: Thrillows & Despairos by Chris Chambers, The Capacity for Infinite Happiness by Alexis Von Konigslow and We Can’t Ever Do This Again by Amber McMillan. 7:30pm, May 7th at Monarch Tavern; be there.

4) On Sunday, May 24th, Janet Turpin Myers launches her new book of fiction The Last Year of Confusion (Seraphim Editions) at the Cedar Springs Community Hall in Burlington. The Book Band has all of the particulars!

5) Again I feel compelled to point out that CKCU’s Literary Landscape is a wonderful radio program that consistently explores new topics and interviews engaging writers. Recent shows have JM Francheteau and Spencer Gordon talking about Pro Wrestling as well as Pearl Pirie sharing excerpts from various Ottawa-area reading series (featuring Mike Caesar and Stephen Brockwell). All of these shows are archived and streamable, so check them out!

Friday, April 17, 2015

An honourable mention in Mayor’s Poetry Challenge

Results from the Mayor’s Poetry City Challenge have been announced and my entry “Eight stanzas for Radial Trail” has picked up an honourable mention! As of yesterday I knew that meant attending Hamilton’s Council meeting on April 22nd and meeting Mayor Fred Eisenberger, but today’s media announcement revealed so much more. 

John Terpstra has won for his poems “The Highway That Became a Footpath” and “Giants”, while other honourable mentions went to Chris Pannell (for “Night Slides”) and Paddy Chitty (for “Burlington Heights”). It’s hard to describe what it means to be grouped alongside poets whose work I pride on my bookshelves, so I'll just say I'm humbled and grateful.  

Since I won’t be speaking at Wednesday’s event, I’d like to thank Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi for issuing this nation-wide challenge, Fred Eisenberger for answering it, Pam Mulholland and everyone at City Hall for running it, and the jury (comprised of Paul Lisson, J.S. Porter, Kerry Cranston-Reimer and Amanda Jernigan) for making my National Poetry Month.

If you’d like a refresher on what the Mayor’s Poetry City Challenge is all about, click here. Otherwise feel free to read today's full media release right here. (Updated 04/21/15: More information on the finalists.)

Friday, April 3, 2015

Curious links for April 2015 (NPM15 edition)

1) Happy National Poetry Month! April is always brimming with opportunities to connect and share in our love of literature. Among those celebrating (formally or casually): AngelHousePress is curating some beautiful visuals under the banner, the New York Public Library is rolling out 30 Days of Poetry (wherein library staff are recorded reading poems they’ve selected), Chaudiere Books is publishing new work every few days, Apparatus Magazine is posting 30 inspiration prompts and then there are countless others taking the poem-per-day challenge in various ways (including myself). I reckon the best way to navigate National Poetry Month is by following hashtags like #npm15, #nationalpoetrymonth, #poetrymonth and #NaPoMo for an unpredictable hodgepodge of videos, poems and encouragement. 

2) Locally, National Poetry Month culminates with gritLIT, Hamilton’s Readers and Writers Festival, which takes place April 16th through 19th! It'll be another stellar line-up of readings, workshops, lectures and events, featuring the likes of Kathleen Winter, Richard Swift and Christine Fischer Guy, among others. Just as exciting are the pre-festival partner events, such as Hamilton Poetry Centre’s reading with Gary Barwin and Deanna Young on April 9th at Homegrown Hamilton, and Lit Live’s roster on April 12th, including Janet Hepburn, Michael Lista, M.A.C. Farrant, Stephen Smith and Elizabeth Bachinsky. I've barely scratched the surface, so check out the full itinerary here.

3) But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. Poetry Month is young and gritLIT has barely warmed up. There’s still time to submit a poem for the Mayor’s Poetry City Challenge, a project spearheaded by Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi that selects local poets to read their  winning poetry during a city council meeting in April. So far nearly 70 communities around Canada have enlisted, so read the submission rules and apply by your city’s deadline.

4) BookThug's Spring 2015 launch is happening April 23rd at Toronto's The Garrison, celebrating new books by Mike Steeves, Pearl Pirie, Carellin Brooks, Lesley Battler, Daniel Karasik, Jimmy McInnes, Jake Kennedy and kevin mcpherson eckhoff. Full details are here.