Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Reading Report, CNQ, etc.

Terrific reading last night with Alexander MacLeod at my alma mater, the U of King's College. It was a hazardous, icy night, but we still drew an audience of 15 or so. They were very responsive to the work and bought quite a few books. Alex had a bad cough, but soldiered through his reading admirably. I haven't finished reading Light Lifting yet, as I've been buried in things I have to read, but what I've read and heard is absolutely stellar. It's been my pleasure to know Alex a bit over the last few years; he's a class act. Always a bonus when a talented writer is also a good person. It's an honour to be on the same list with him.

In other Biblioasis-related news, my copy of CNQ's new issue arrived in the mail yesterday. Looks promising, as usual. Nicole Dixon has a polemical essay that's bound to ruffle a few feathers. Short story by Alex MacLeod. Poems by Nick Thran. And a neat new feature: Word of Mouth, featuring reviews of books neglected or forgotten. The inaugural piece was written by yours truly, on Charles Bruce's 1951 collection The Mulgrave Road.

Off to Fredericton tomorrow for my second-last class this semester. One more presentation and one more paper to write. Next term, I'll be more Halifax-based, working on an independent study course and my thesis. Which is a relief, financially, logistically and personally. The term's gone well, but the student life ain't for me any more, I'm afraid. TTFN.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Reminder: Reading on Monday

For all you fine Haligonians out there, I'm reading at the University of King's College--my alma mater--this coming Monday, the 22, with Alexander MacLeod, 7:30 PM in the Peter Wilson Room. Biblioasis rulez!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"In a big bold writing"

You know, dude's got a point: some people just don't know when to shut up.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Alexander MacLeod and Zachariah Wells read at the University of King's College

Join us in the G. Peter Wilson Room on November 22nd at 7:30pm for a reading from Giller Prize Nominee Alexander MacLeod and Poet and King's Alum Zachariah Wells.
MacLeod, nominated for the 2010 Giller Prize for his first collection of stories Light Lifting, is the son of famed Nova Scotian Author Alistair MacLeod. Alexander MacLeod's award-winning stories have appeared in many of the leading Canadian and American journals and have been selected for The Journey Prize Anthology. He holds degrees from the University of Windsor, the University of Notre Dame, and McGill. He currently lives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and teaches at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax.
Wells, whose collections include Jailbreaks: 99 Canadian SonnetsUnsettled and Track and Trace (illustrated by Seth), graduated from King's in 1999 with an Honours in English, and since then has been a vibrant member of the Canadian poetry community. Besides writing and translating poems, Zachariah is also a contributing editor for Canadian Notes & Queries, a freelance writer and works seasonally for Via Rail on board the train. He has toured the country extensively, doing over a hundred public readings.
If you wish to attend, please RSVP to kingsbookstore@gmail.com as seating is limited.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Kenneth Leslie launch report

Lovely event in Ottawa the other night, belatedly launching The Essential Kenneth Leslie. Peter Richardson and Stephen Brockwell joined me in reading Leslie's sonnet sequence "By Stubborn Stars" to a small but appreciative audience (turns out we were up against not only an unofficial long weekend exodus, but also another book launch that night), who stuck around to watch Chuck Lapp's film about Leslie, God's Red Poet (thanks to the Tree Reading Series' Rod Pederson, who actually bought a projector when the one the venue had promised fell thru). It was really great to hear people say afterwards how much they appreciated being introduced to a great Canadian they'd never learned about before.

Literary photog extraordinaire John MacDonald was in the house and he took this lovely picture of me with Leslie's daughter, Rosaleen Leslie Dickson. Having her and her daughter Elizabeth (who is writing Leslie's bio) in attendance was probably the best thing about the night.

I recorded some audio and hope to get around to uploading it before too long. (I know, I still haven't uploaded the poetry.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I Sing of Olaf Glad and Big

Another Remembrance Day reading: EE Cummings, read by yrs truly:

Dulce et Decorum Est

Thought I'd repost my reading of Wilfred Owen's great war poem, given the day:

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Reminder: Essential Kenneth Leslie launch in Ottawa

Off to Ottawa tomorrow morning to launch The Essential Kenneth Leslie. If you're in town, I hope you can make it. Details here. 

The book was published in the spring, and I read from it in the Annapolis Valley this summer, but this is actually the first official launch, due to how crazy busy I've been. Plans for a Halifax launch fell thru, unfortunately, but I'd like to set something up for the new year. It would be good to get to the north shore of NS, too, where Leslie was born and raised. It's been 38 years since a collection of his poetry was published, so I figure being a bit late launching it is not such an awful thing. I'm glad that the Ottawa launch is going to be on Remembrance Day, since Leslie played a big role on the homefront during WWII and such non-combatant heroes deserve to be remembered, too. He has certainly not been forgotten by anyone who knew him in life, but it's high time more people got to know his writing and his incredible life story.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Sunrise in the Eyes of the Snowman

Seven poems from Goran Simic's forthcoming Biblioasis collection, a book I had the privilege and pleasure of editing for the press. I also edited Joshua Trotter's debut collection, All This Could Be Yours, which, if it isn't on your radar yet, should be. Brilliant book. Three poems from it will be showcased in the forthcoming issue of Arc, along with a wee interview with me about Josh's work.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Sunlight on the Garden

Just found this. Someone has done a bit of an edit on my reading of Louis MacNeice's amazing poem "The Sunlight on the Garden."

Louis MacNeice - The Sunlight On The Garden
Uploaded by poetictouch. - Arts and animation videos.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


For every one there is a one, and one
and one make one, divided.

For every one a one must die, and every
death is one, provided

every other is a one and one
is every other.

An other and a one make one,
husbanded and brided.

The union of a one and one
makes other, suicided.

Self-murder of the one-in-one is mother
of the other one and one

another's one-in-ones conspire to smother
other ones, while lovers

wire their one and ones
implacably together.

One is bound and gagged by one, one
saws and frays the knot

of one, and one
lets slip the tether.