Saturday, December 31, 2016

Three poems in Great Lakes Review


Only a few hours remain in 2016, so it’s fitting that Great Lakes Review chose today to unveil their seventh issue, which is dedicated to the best writing of this calendar year. The issue is available to order right now on Amazon.


Included are “Residuals”, “The Middle Lane” and “Resurface; a bellwether”, poems that, as previously noted, spent about two years in submission limbo. They’re older, immersed in the fifty-odd kilometres that separate Hamilton from St. Catharines, and curious to reread now. (One poem even had a stanza stolen and repurposed for this year's chapbook, Rabbit months.) But having just marked my third anniversary of living in Hamilton, I’m happy to see “Resurface; a bellwether” get its due – a poem about my first spring wandering this city's streets. 

Big thanks to the entire Great Lakes Review team!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Overdue; new address, publications & reviews


Last fall I paced a west Hamilton neighbourhood, waiting for the right time to enter a nearby poetry reading. I never ended up making it inside. Walking home and feeling defeated, I wrote down some rough lines that would eventually become "Light disorder", the first poem in Rabbit months. Those small streets referenced -- Reginald, Alexander -- I now see intersect from my new apartment's balcony.

Like New Year's Day, a new apartment affords that brief bout of amnesia where we reconsider who we are, what we want. My goal has been pretty practical: to shape this living space in ways that'll push me creatively. And I'm off to an okay start. That minimal poem manuscript continues in fits, although it still leaves more of a footprint than I'd like. "Cannot transform myth" needs two more pieces to be finished; I know what they involve but rarely feel like I'm in the right energy to get them done. Two other manuscripts exist in my head as daydreams, both tiny and manageable once I make time for them. As for other projects: 

The University of Toronto's Hart House Review will publish "Turkey Pond" in their 2017 winter supplement. I'm very excited to have a page in this storied journal. The poem is from a chapbook manuscript that continues to fine-tune, despite my efforts to let it go. Lord, I hope I get it right.

The Michigan-based Great Lakes Review accepted a submission I placed way back in the summer of 2014, meaning three poems from the transitional manuscript "A green horseshoe," will hit lit mag racks sometime in 2017. Few journals have a thematic focus that so readily compliments the work I undertook after leaving Ottawa as GLR; being included in their upcoming issue further validates that unsure period for me.

Lastly, I'm still posting occasional reviews on Ottawa Poetry Newsletter, the latest being for Robert Hogg's from Lamentations and Bronwen Tate's Vesper Vigil. (Speaking of which, do yourself a favour and get a 2017 subscription to above/ground press for the holidays. Every chapbook, issue of Touch the Donkey and broadside, directly to your mailbox.)