Time for your daily missive from Zed Land. I get up to way too many shenanigans.
Daily Roundup July 24th 2013: Spoiled
I’m trying something new with this site, to make it less static. Rather than just serving as a landing pad, information source and archive for my writing, I want to make things a little more dynamic again. I’m going to be implementing a new content strategy over the coming weeks (BLARG “content strategy”), so stay tuned for more frequently updated and exciting things.
Conference Recap: Vector Game + Art Convergence
Long overdue, my coverage of the excellent conference, Vector: Game + Art Convergence, that took place at various locations in Toronto from February 21st to 24th 2013.
* * *
It was on the very last day of the Vector: Game + Art Convergence conference in Toronto, ON, during the final panel, that a member of the audience asked the four speakers and moderators what they thought about the equation of games with art. The panel’s topic was “The Politics of Appropriation in Game Art,” and was moderated by Felan Parker, with participants Chris Burke and Tamara Yadao (also members of foci+loci, who explore the space and time within video games through experimental musical and visual performances), Martin Zeilinger, and Alex Myers. The panel itself was engaging, as all members on it straddle the line between academics and experimental artists in a variety of ways, but there was something about this question that took everyone aback. After answering, in incredible details, many fine, detail-oriented inquiries about everything from the legal ramifications of appropriating game material from AAA releases to make art to the nitty-gritty of each participants style and interests, the question of “are games art?” was still a challenge.
After batting the question around for a moment, the panelists settled on the idea that to ask if games are art is not a particularly useful questions, because it assumes the answer will ether be yes or no. Tamara Yadao likened it to asking if air was breathable. “The answer is yes – some of it.” It’s not that “are games art?” is a stupid question, but a multiple question, one that must be posited constantly in every context that games appear. It is a question with no absolute answer, but a whole glorious, glitchy ocean of grey area.
In fact, it is this question, and it’s essentially unanswerable nature, that the entire Vector Game + Art Convergence was based around. The Conference, which took place from February 21st to 24th at various venues throughout the city (including the Bento Miso co-working space, InterAccess and Propeller fine art galleries, and Videofag cinema and performance space), didn’t attempt to answer this question simply or bluntly, but rather presented a variety of ways in which the confluence of games and art could possibly take place.
There were many ways in which the conference achieved this goal. All of the panels discussed games and gaming culture in a way that presented games as cultural artifacts warranting serious critique. The panelists themselves were all specialists, whether they were artists or not, who treated games as art, either consistently or occasionally, in their own work. Games were featured art games as installations, many of them presented games in gallery spaces, and therefore were contextualized as playable works of art. There were also many examples of ways in which games could be manipulated into becoming art or hijacked to be art, especially during the evening performances by artists like Toca Loca (who performed their Halo Ballet), Foci + Loci (who created an immersive sound space using Little Big Planet) Angela Washko and others. The exhibitions also featured art that was inspired by or somehow created within games, everything from the stunning piece of textile art “The Glitch Scarf” to a book of war stories all lifted from experiences in first person shooters. There were also several screenings throughout the festivals of art films based on games and films that treated games as art, such as Stranger Comes To Town” Identity and the Avatar, and the Suerpcade! event, which featured a collection of commercials, shorts and other video/gaming ephemera presented as art.
Perhaps most successful of all was the way that Vector presented participants with the opportunity not only to explore intellectually the ways in which games could be art, but also to experience games as art my playing them, and making them. All of the exhibited games throughout the festival were playable, implicating the viewer and making them an active participant in the process. Also, there were a number of workshops and jams that allowed participants to make their own (potentially art) games as well or make their own art out of games. Chip.jam (led by Jeff Alynak, Roger Bongers and Pete O’hearn) taught participants to use game technologies to make music, noise art and sound; glitch-jam allowed participants to create glitch-based art via video game consoles; and micro-Twine.jam, led by Damian Sommer, led participants through the process of making their own interactive narrative using the Twine engine. The Twine jam workshop was particularly exciting for me, as it was an easy and hands-on way to learn some of the best and most basic tools within the software, while simultaneously being presented with a structured opportunity to write a game. For writers who are interested in learning to write for games, Twine is an incredibly powerful tool, and showing how it could be used within the context of exploring games as art was extremely useful.
Vector: Game + Art Convergence is a gaming conference full of promise. In a city like Toronto, bursting at the seams with indie developers, gaming groups, start-ups and game artists, having a conference like this specifically devoted to exploring the way games can be art is both valuable and needed. After an incredibly successful inaugural conference brimming with intelligently-selected and fascinating programming, it will be very interesting to see how Vector continues to evolve in the coming years.
Open Book Toronto Writer-In-Residence
For the month of February 2013, I am the Writer-in-Residence over at Open Book Toronto!
Almost every single day all month, I’ll be posting a new blog post, book review or meditation on writing and writing life. Come visit!
Holy crap, actual new poetry! Published originally on Joyland Poetry.
Metallica – Master of Puppets
Some cultures used thorns. Others, needles or silver or bone. The suture could be made of silk, strips of an animal’s muscle, tendons, hemp thread. Ants might be coaxed to bite the edges of the wound, and once their mandibles locked, the bodies would be twisted off, leaving a row of jaws and heads holding torn flesh together. Carbolic catgut and chromic catgut. Polyvinyl alcohol. A square knot, a surgeons knot. Blanching of the skin. Simple interrupted stitch.
Iron Maiden – The Number of the Beast
Will it come from the sea or from the earth? Blasphemous names carved on seven heads, lion’s mouth and leopard’s body, crowned and wounded. Or, lamb-horned and dragon-voiced, bearer of an ugly mark. Which beast’s boiling scars will we follow?
Slayer – Reign In Blood
From gouts to thick ropes, as platelets collide and fibrin knots the clotting. From liquid to lumpy unctuousness, fat globs of tissue, blood becomes organ, becomes body. Slit throat of a pale prince, lips blue, bleeding out.
Pantera – Vulger Display of Power
Rubber now, originally shaped from rhinoceros hide. Three to five feet long, a full inch thick at the base, tapering to less than a quarter at the tip. Rolled between heavy plates until it becomes a tapered cylinder. Cattle driving, killing snakes, crowd control, judicial discipline.
Black Sabbath – Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
Most were accused of poisoning wells, eating babies, desecrating the host or Eucharist, and kissing Satan’s anus.
Over the last year and a half or so, my life has felt like the execution of one gigantic resolution, so I haven’t felt much of a need to make smaller ones along the way. In September of 2011 I quit my job to pursue freelance writing full time, and 2012 has been my first full year of being entirely self-employed. It’s been a strange, challenging and wonderful year of learning how to get paid for what I do and building a real infrastructure around it, from scheduling to developing the beginnings of a client base. It’s been crazy and challenging, and ultimately wonderful. It’s meant a lean existence but an incredible good one, with the balance of freedom, flexibility and good pressure that I need to work at maxim capacity. I have learned more about my endurance, creative capacity, ambition and drive in the last year than did while working on a graduate degree or during full-time employment. It has been life-changing.
These are the resolutions that have grown out of this life change. I’ve made the big one; now here are some of the smaller ones that have grown out of the larger structure.
1) Build a Home Office.
This is the big one, and also the most embarrassing. I work from home most of the time, barring a little bit of office squatting and coffee shop invading, and yet I do not have a proper workspace set up. Usually, my “home office” just involves me sitting on my couch, writing with the laptop in my lap in the least ergonomic position imaginable.
Sub-goals for this resolution include:
— Partition off part of the apartment, however small, that is used exclusively for a workspace.
— Keep said workspace clean, usable, inviting and always ready to go.
— Experiment with a standing desk.
2) Strengthen My Brand.
The idea of “branding” still has a queasy connotation for me, which I need to get the hell over. I actually have two incredibly strong brands to work with — Natalie Zed and Golden Spruce Entertainment — and it’s important to actually think of them as things I have build and intelligently manage rather than pretending they are happy accidents. In the coming year I want to:
— Work at both integrating these brands in some ways and defining them as separate in others.
— Work actively on my online identity, and pay more attention to developing Golden Spruce in particular on social media.
— Re-do my primary website’s look to better reflect the relationship between the Zed and Spruce brands (this is already in progress).
3) Write Creatively More Often.
Since I started writing full time, one area that I have really struggled with is carving out the time to pursue my own, creative work. While a lot of the writing I do is work I feel passionately about and care deeply for, I still need to make the effort and find the time to do writing that is solely for me. Writing is my job, but it is also the art form that I work in, and making that a priority is something I need to do this year.
4) Start The Next Book.
I’ve been casting around for ideas for a while, playing around with a few possibilities, but not settling no one large project. Making this decision and the commitment to a manuscript is something I want to make a priority.
5) Work Out/ Do Something Physical Every Day.
So this seems like the odd resolution out, but I have come to realize that my physical health is incredibly important to my writing life as well (I know, it only took me until I was almost 30 to work this one out). Along with eating right, not caffeinating myself into oblivion and accepting that working with a hangover is just no longer possible, getting some exercise is absolutely necessary to my health and well-being (and the quality of my writing). I am a high-energy person and when I do not move around enough or simply get out enough, I start to get a bit squirrelly and my work suffers. Even going for a short walk works wonders, and is also how I do some of my best thinking.
There are all the standards, too: read more, listen more, travel more. Eat delicious food. Spend time with my excellent friends and beautiful family. Be mortal, and be happy.
Canadian Weblog Awards Nomination
I just discovered that this humble website has been nominated for a 2012 Canadian Weblog Award in the Arts & Culture and Writing & Literature categories!
Thank you so much to Ninjamatics and all my readers. Thank you for reading my pieces, visiting the Zed List for Toronto heavy metal concert listings, and generally being mega awesome. My black little heart just grew three sizes.
Trisha Low, on DOOM
On October 6th 2012, I read at the Segue Series in New York City. The incomparably brilliant Trisha Low invited me and introduced my reading and my work, and did an excellent job of it. She has kindly allowed me to publish the introduction that she prepared for my performance.
* * *
You guys, I like Natalie Z. Walschots’ poetry because as you all know, I am clearly a narcissist. And Natalie might be my Canadian doppleganger. [[I mean, I guess have a very strong love-hate relationship with myself, I mean who knows. Whatever, whatever.]] Anyway, I’m not actually saying this just because I’m narcissistic but because the points of difference in our approaches to BDSM and nerd//adolescent culture are also points of interest in a larger discussion about : femininity, submission and radical negativity. Let’s start here: we both believe in restraints and not restraint, and we’re both in love with supervillains? But if my approach is more Harley Quinn – ie. the lurid fantasy of Stockholm syndrome – then Natalie has totally one-upped me and found the momentary, the quiet center of being-under-restraints, its non-dramatic displacement and a harder-to-locate transgression. In a section of her book Thumbscrews (Snare Books, 2007), she uses a general sonic constraint : to represent either how each object sounded when it was used – its percussive sounds against the body, or the sounds made by the person it was used upon – and often what arises is an itemized glossolalia of the banal. A poem entitled “Squid Whip,” for example, begins ‘therapy // corset stitched doctor // far knotted tongues // chuckle black neoprene”. These appraisals of instruments become instrumental accounts – forgoing the currency of tropes that BDSM usually trades in for the object itself (be it a paddle or language or otherwise) that unravels into the quotidian as it suffers under a sensually constrained procedure. In these poems, as aural impressions disperse, that which was desired by oneself becomes abducted by the autonomy of sensational organs that begin to tick in nerve meter – but which were first, once upon a time, ‘me’.
Which brings us to Natalie’s DOOM: Love Poems for Supervillains – self-contained snapshots of comic book supervillain insanity. When I ask “Do you have a defining comic book moment?” and Aaron Winslow, who’s sitting over there says “Batman, taught me that superheroes die too”– I think of DOOM and its alarming (or not) premise of that supervillains can love too. Here, world-destroying inclinations, implemented chaos, daddy//mommy issues and crises of masculinity are rendered tame because of the insular feminine desiring, its intimate, almost domestic vocabulary. But this is not a situation as graphically simple as where : we have some characters – and some recognizable desires – and these are predictably thwarted by the unfortunate tendency of characters to interact with each other. Perhaps the most discomforting lesson is that Natalie’s supervillains become ciphers through which our own madness becomes articulated in the process of desiring the undesirable. Especially since the poems we are reading are consistently eroding into an overriding language of pathology and can no longer escape the binaries of the asylum – good or evil, sane, or insane, true or untrue. I love the Joker. Me, I become only a fanfiction of a relational self. DOOM is a networked body of clinical discourse and psychological ambiguity that becomes vast and fragile in its overwrought categorisation. Its sounds and screams are nothing but a devastation of the misguided happiness of any displaced feeling. Like, love, hate, whatever. And its comic sources belie a quiet neutralization of the rigged gamble of representation.
~ Trisha Low, October 2012.
Closing The Gap: Reviewing Canadian Books Of Poetry Written By Women
Every once in a while, I take a very careful look at the by-lines and review content of some of my favourite literary publications. Sometimes I do so because I think I might have caught wind of a trend, in terms of coverage, and want to see if my theory pans out. Sometimes I just look because I am curious and it occurs to me to do so. I do this because I am actively interested in how much coverage women’s writing is getting in the media all year round, and not just when the Vida Count comes out. I do it because I think keeping tabs on exactly who is writing about books, and what books they are writing about, is something that demands careful attention.
It occurred to me that it had been a rather long time since I read a review of a book of poetry by a woman in The National Post, and so I called up the column in question and counted. In the spirit of the Vida Count, I collated my findings into a handy pie chart:
Only 2 of the 14 books of poetry that the National Post has reviewed in the last year and a half were written by women. 2 in 14. I was expecting some discrepancy, from what I had just passively noticed, but nothing like this.
There are articles on poetry that appear in the pages of The National Post that aren’t counted, features like the recent excerpts from books nominated for the 2012 Griffin Prize, the Canada Reads Poetry series, or conversations between writers held for National Poetry Month last year. But when it comes to pure book reviews, the coverage is markedly skewed.
In the past 17 months, The National Post has reviewed the following books: Assiniboia by Tim Lilburn, Alien vs. Predator by Michael Robbins, No End In Strangeness by Bruce Taylor, Gift Horse by Mark Callanan, L’il Bastard by David McGimpsey, A Complete Encyclopedia Of Different Types of People by Gabe Foreman, The Id Kid by Linda Besner, Wore Down Trust by Michael Blouin, Earworm by Nick Thran, The Other Side Of Ourselves by Rob Taylor, The Cloud Corporation by Timothy Donnelly, Casanova In Venice by Kildare Dobbs, Unoriginal Genius by Marjorie Perloff, and Modern Canadian Poets edited by John Swift and Evan Jones. The numbers don’t lie: 12 books written (or edited) by men and exactly two by women. Originally I thought I counted 14 to 3, but my numbers were sadly a bit optimistic. If you want to take a look or check my results, here are all of the articles tagged with “poetry” on the National Post’s site.
The vast majority of these reviews happened under the purview of Michael Lista’s column, On Poetry, though not all. He most recently reviewed a book of poetry by a woman 11 months ago. He has taken the time to write about John Ashbery’s translation of Arthur Rimbaud’s Illuminations; Titus Lucretius Carus’ piece de rarum natura, written in the first century BCE; and, um, The Iliad.
I tweeted at the National Post Books editor that day, asking about the discrepancy, and as you can see in the responses to my original tweet, Michael Lista responded. He brought up the fact that two of the six books he considered the best of 2011 were written by women, which does not address my question in any way, shape or form. Later, when Canadian poet and critic Sina Queyras joined the conversation and repeated my query, Lista stated that some of the books of poetry he reviewed he didn’t even like (which, if you’re keeping score, is also not an answer). When I asked how some negative reviews for books by men compensated for a lack of coverage of books written by women, he did not answer.
I am repeating the details of our conversation because there is only one response to my question of why The National Post has reviewed 12 book by men and 2 by women that would be appropriate: “That is an egregious and unintentional oversight, and one that we will begin to set right immediately.”
The Twitter conversation with Mr. Lista bothered me deeply. I tweeted my observations out of the genuine hope that this was a mistake, an unacceptable but unintentional gap that had been allowed to grow simply because no one had noticed the numbers skewing previously. I hoped that the writer and editor would see what I had pointed out, acknowledge it and make a note to make a sincere effort towards closing the gap. Instead, I encountered a complete lack of comprehension, as well as responses that at best dismissed my questions and at worst exhibited a complete lack of acknowledgement that the writer in question occupies a position of incredible privilege and has any responsibility whatsoever to make sure that books other than those written by straight white men get any attention in print.
My response to the conversation, to the responses I received and situation I find unacceptable, is to put together the following list:
Every* book of poetry written by a woman in Canada in the last two and a half years.
* I used the submissions database of the Griffin Poetry Prize to put this together, as well as current publishers’ catalogues. I am sure I have missed some. If you know of any title I have missed, please let me know.
We, Beasts by Oana Avasilichioaei, published by Wolsak & Wynn www.wolsakandwynn.ca
Elseworlds by Nina Berkhout, published by Seraphim
The Book of Places by Yvonne Blomer, published by Black Moss
A Tilt by Farideh de Bosset, published by Innana
Monkey Ranch by Julie Bruck, published by Brick Books www.brickbooks.ca
Holler by Alice Burdick, published by Mansfield Press www.mansfieldpress.net
Wells by Jenna Butler, published by University of Alberta Press www.uap.ualberta.ca/
Antogonick by Anne Carson, published by McClelland and Stewart www.mcclelland.com/poetry
Day Moon Rising by Terry Ann Carter, published by Black Moss Press www.blackmosspress.com
The Clarity of Distance by Ayesha Chatterjee, published by Bayeux Arts
The Bones of His Being by Sue Chenette, published by Guernica Editions www.guernicaeditions.com
Once Houses Could Fly by Rosemary Clewes, published by Signature Editions www.signature-editions.com
small flames by Dina E. Cox, published by Signature Editions www.signature-editions.com
Soak by Kerri Cull, published by Breakwater
the weight of dew by Daniela Eliza, published by Motehr Tongue Publishing www.mothertonguepublishing.com
Sympathy Loophole by Jaime Forsythe, published by Mansfield Press www.mansfieldpress.net
The Smooth Yarrow by Susan Glickman, published by www.vehiculepress.com
I see my love more clearly from a distance by Nora Gould, published by Brick Books www.brickbooks.ca
Begin With the End in Mind by Emma Healey, published by Arbeiter Ring
Alert To Glory by Sally Ito, published by Turnstone Press www.turnstonepress.com
Distillo by Basma Kavanaugh, published by Gaspereau Press www.gaspereau.com
Handfuls of Bone by Monica Kidd, published by Gaspereau Press www.gaspereau.com
Monstrance by Sarah Klassen, published by Turnstone
Chaser by Erin Knight, published by House of Anansi Press www.anansi.ca
Foreignbody by Catherine Lalonde (trans. Nora Alleyn), published by Guernica Editions www.guernicaeditions.com
Ash Steps my M. Travis Lane, published by Cormorant Books www.cormorantbooks.com
Restless White Fields by Barbara Langhorst, published by NeWest
Geographies of a Lover by Sarah de Leeuw, published by NeWest Press
Imagining Lives by Bernice Lever, published by Black Moss
Where The Terror Lies by Chantal Lavoie, published by Quattro Books www.quattrobooks.ca
For The Maintenence of Landscapes by Mia Lecompte (trans. Johanna Bishop and Brenda Porster), published by Guernica Editions www.guernicaeditions.com
Bent At The Spine by Nicole Markotic, published by BookThug www.bookthug.ca
Sumptuary Laws by Nyla Maytuk, published by Vehicule Press www.vehiculepress.com
Between Dusk And Night by Emily McGiffin published by Brick Books www.brickbooks.ca
Conflict by Christine McNair, published by BookThug www.bookthug.ca
Something Small To Carry Home by Isa Milman, published by Quattro Books www.quattrobooks.ca
The Unmemntioable by Erin Moure, published by House of Anansi Press www.anansi.ca
Brides in Black by Mary Ann Mulhern, published by Black Moss Press www.blackmosspress.com
Any Bright Horse by Lisa Pasold, published by Frontenac House www.frontenachouse.com
No Ordinary Place by Pamela Porter, published by www.ronsdalepress.com
33 Million Solitudes by Ali Riley, published by Frontenac House www.frontenachouse.com
Grid by Brenda Schmidt, published by Hagios Press www.hagiospress.com
Intermission by Heather Simeney MacLeod, published by Shillingford
The Book of Changes by Madeline Sonik, published by Innana
New Theatre by Susan Steudel, published by Coach House Books www.chbooks.com
The Shape of a Throat by Sheila Stewart, published by Signature Editions www.signature-editions.com
All That Desire by Betsy Struthers, published by Black Moss
The Qwerty Institute of Cosmetic Typographical Enhancements by Angela Szczepaniak, published by Bookthing www.bookthug.ca
I Won’t Ever Learn Kattherena Vermette, published by Shillingford
DOOM: Love Poems for Supervillains by Natalie Zina Walschots, published by Insomniac Press www.insomniacpress.com
Dirt of Ages by Gillain Wigmore, published by Nightwood Editions www.nightwoodeditions.com
Both Boys Climb Trees They Can’t Climb Down by Stephanie Yorke, published by Signature Editions www.signature-editions.com
Bruised by Unbroken by Cheryl Antao-Xavier, published by In Our Words Inc. www.inourwords.ca
The Metamorphosis of Ishtar by Nadine Ltaif (trans. Jon Asfour), published by Guernica Editions www.guernicaeditions.com
Rough Wilderness: the Imaginary Love Poems of the Abbess Heloise by Rosemary Aubert, published by Quattro books, www.quattrobooks.ca
The Islands by Loise Cotnoir (trans. Oana Avasilichioaei), published by Wolsak & Wynn www.wolsakandwynn.ca
Syzygy by Louise Bak, DC Books www.dcbooks.ca
What Is The Sound of Someone Unravelling by Marsha Barber, published by Borealis Press www.borealispress.com
The Ecstatic Tour of Gratitude by Jill Battson, published by Guernica Editions, www.guernicaeditions.com
The ID Kid by Linda Besner, published by Vehicule Press www.vehiculepress.com
A Page From The Wonders of Life on Earth by Stepahnie Bolster, publisher by Brick Books www.brickbooks.ca
There Are Many Ways To Die While Traveling in Peru by Alanna F. Bondar, Published by Your Scrivener Press www.scrivenerpress.com
Unruly Angels by Diane Buchanan, published by Frontenac House www.frontenachouse.com
Calliope by Shirley Camia, published by Libros Libertad www.libroslibertad.ca
Daedalus Had A Daughter by Wanda Campbell, published by Signal Editions www.signature-editions.com
A Walker In The City by Miera Cook, published by Brick Books www.brickbooks.ca
Small Mechanics by Lorna Crozier, published by McLelland and Stewart www.mcclelland.com/poetry
At First, Lonely by Tanya Davis, published by The Acorn Press www.acornpresscanada.com
The Flower of Youth: Pier Paolo Pasolini Poems by Mary di Michele, published by ECW Press www.ecwpress.com
The Cure Is A Forest by Desi DI Nardo, published by Guernica Editions www.guernicaeditions.com
This Way by Lise Downe, published by Bookthug www.bookthug.ca
Lover Through Departure by Rishma Dunlop, published by Mansfield Press www.mansfieldpress.net
TRUE by Kristy Ellion, published by Leaf Press www.leafpress.ca
Insomnie Blues by Linda Frank, published by BuschekBooks www.buschekbooks.com
Angelic Scintillations by Katerina Vaughn Fretwell, published by Inanna Poetry and Fiction Series www.yorku.ca/inanna
Outskirts by Sue Goyette, published by Brick Books www.brickbooks.ca
Yes by Rosemary Griebel, published by Frontenac House www.frontenachouse.com
Match by Helen Guri, published by Coach House Books www.chbooks.com
Kerosene by Jamella Hegen, published by Nightwood editions www.nightwoodeditions.com
Alert to Glory by Sally Ho published by Turnstone Press www.turnstonepress.com
Crow by Cornelia Hoogland, published by Black Moss Press www.blackmosspress.com
Woods Wolf Girl by Cornelia Hoogland, published by Wolsak & Wynn www.wolsakandwynn.ca
Marrow, Willow by Maureen Hynes, by Pedlar Press www.pedlarpress.com
Yusuf and the Lotus Flower by Doyali Farah Islam, published by BuschekBooks www.buschekbooks.com
Groundwork by Amanda Jernigen, published by Biblioasis www.biblioasis.com
The Shining Material by Aisha Sasha John, published by Bookthug www.bookthug.ca
The Secret Signature of Things by Eve Joseph, published by Brick Books www.brickbooks.ca
First Woman by Patricia Keeney, published by Ianna Poetry and Fiction series www.yorku.ca/inanna
Good Holing Ground by Cynthia Woodman Kerkham, published by Palimpsest Press http://www.palimpsestpress.ca/
13 by Alexis Kienlen, published by Frontenac House www.frontenachouse.com
Hypotheticals by Leigh Kotsilidis, published by Coach House Books www.chbooks.com
Spinning Side Kick by Anita Lahey, published by Vehicule Press www.vehiculepress.com
Reporting from the Night by Kateri Lanthier, published by Iguana Books www.iguanabooks.com
Wretched Beast by Shelley Leedahl, published by BuschekBooks www.buschekbooks.com
Carapace by Laura Lush, published by Palimpsest Press www.palimpsestpress.ca
Kat Among The Tigers by Kath LacLean, published by University of Alberta Press www.uap.ualberta.ca
The Sound Of Darkness by Sharon Marcus, published by Sufi Press
Demeter Goes Skydiving by Susan McCaslin, published by University of Alberta Press www.uap.ualberta.ca
Onion Man by Katherine Mockler, published by Tightrope Books www.tightropebooks.com
What Really Happened Is This by Diane Hicks Morrow, published by The Acorn Press
Just Like her by Louise Dupre (trans. Erin Moure), published by Wolsak & Wynn www.wolsakandwynn.ca
The Pillow Books by Karen Mulhallen, published by Black Moss Press www.blackmosspress.com
Rebuild by Sachiko Murakami, published by Talon Books www.talonbooks.com
Origami Dove by Susam Musgrave, published by McClelland & Stewart www.mcclelland.com/poetry
Hooligans by Lillian Necakov, published by Mansfield Press www.mansfieldpress.net
Triage by Cecily Nicholson, published by Talon Books www.talonbooks.com
Love Cake by Leah Lakshmi Piepena-Samarasinha, published by TSAR books www.tsarbooks.com
Vox Humana by E. Alex Pierce, published by Brick Books www.brickbooks.ca
Contrary by Ruth Roach Pierson, published by Tightrope Books www.tightropebooks.com
Thirsts by Pearl Pirie, published by Snare Books www.snarebooks.wordpress.com
Redemption Rain by Jennifer Rahim, published by TSAR Books (www.tsarbooks.com)
Strong Bread by Giovanna Riccio, published by Quattro Books www.quattrobooks.ca
Grunt of the Minotaur by Robin Richardson, published by Insomniac Press www.insomniacpress.com
Post-Apothecary by Sandra Ridley, published by Pedlar Press www.pedlarpress.com
Be by Patria Rivera, published by Signal Editions www.signature-editions.com
Paramita, Little Black by Suzanne Robertson, published by Guernica Editions www.guernicaeditions.com
Unearthed by Janet marie Rogers, published by Leaf Press www.leafpress.ca
Croak by Jenny Sampirisi, published by Coach House Book www.chbooks.com
The Truth of Houses by Ann Scowcroft, published by Brick Books www.brickbooks.ca
Do Not Call Me By My Name by Lisa Shatzky, published by Black Moss Press www.blackmosspress.com
Is by Anne Simpson, published by LcClelland and Stewart www.mcclelland.com/poetry
Girlwood by Jennifer Still, published by Brick Books www.brickbooks.ca
Grace Shiver by Cathy Stonehouse, published by Innanna Poetry and Fiction www.yorku.ca/inanna
The Anatomy of Clay by Gillian Sze, published by ECW Press www.ecwpress.com
Oyama Pink Shale by Sharon Thesen, published by House of Anansi Press www.anansi.ca
Galaxy by Rachel Thompson, published by Anvil Press www.anvilpress.com
The Crystal Palace by Carey Toane, published by Mansfield Press www.mansfieldpress.net
Bright Bardo by Ilya Tourtidis, published by Libros Libertad www.libroslibertad.ca
echoic mimic by Lesley Trite, published by Snare Books www.snarebooks.wordpress.com
Sweet Devilry by Yi-Mei Tsaing, published by Oolichan Books www.oolichan.com
And See What Happens: The Journey Poems by Ursula Vaira, published by Caitlin Press www.caitlin-press.com
Apologetic for Joy by Jessica Hiemstra van der Horst, published by Goose Lane Editions www.gooselane.com
Gulf by Leslie Vryenhock, published by Oolichan Books www.oolichan.com
Startled Night by Elana Wolff, published by Guernica Editions www.guernicaeditions.com
Amphetamine Heart by Liz Worth, published by Guernica Editions www.guernicaeditions.com
When The Earth by Lisa Young, published by Quattro Books www.quattrobooks.ca
The Punctuation Field by Elizabeth Zetlin, published by Black Moss Press www.blackmosspress.com
Forge by Jan Zwicky, published by Gaspereau Press www.gaspereau.com
Ex Nihilio by Adebe D.A., published by Frontenac House www.frontenachouse.com
The Scare in the Crow by Tammy Armstrong, published by Goose Lane Editions www.gooselane.com
Come Closer by Leanne Averbach, published by Tightrope Books www.tightropebooks.com
Flesh In The Inkwell by Winona Baker, published by Leaf Press www.leafpress.ca
Giving Into Gravity by Elizabeth Barnes, published by In Our Words www.inourwords.ca
(made) by Cara Benson, published by BookThug www.bookthug.ca
Arrivals and Departures by Nina Berkhout, published by BuschekBooks www.buschekbooks.com
The Walnut-Cracking Machine by Julie Berry, published by BuschekBooks www.buschekbooks.com
Rain; road; an open boat by Roo Borson, published by McClelland and Stewart www.mcclelland.com/poetry
Flashlight by Laura Boss, published by Guernica www.guernicaeditions.com
The Days You’ve Spent by Suzanne Bowness, published by Tightrope Books www.tightropebooks.com
Ossuaries by Dionne Brand, published by McClelland and Stewart www.mcclelland.com/poetry
The Crow’s Vow by Susan Briscoe, published by Vehicule Press www.vehiculepress.com
Turning The Corner at Dusk by Jacquie Buncel, published by Wolsak & Wynn www.wolsakandwynn.ca
Aphelion by Jenna Butler, published by NeWest Press www.newestpress.com/catalog
The Semiconducting Dictionary (Our Strindberg) by Natalee Caple, published by ECW Press www.ecwpress.com
Inland Waterways: poems from a peaceable kingdom by Linda Cassidy, published by In Our Words www.inourwords.ca
Attenuations of Force by Loru Cayer, published by Frontenac House www.frontenachouse.com
Welling by Margaret Christakos, published by Your Scrivener Press www.yourscrivenerpress.com
Sweet by Dani Couture, published by Pedlar Press http://www.pedlarpress.com/
Curving The Line by Carmen Lenero (trans. Lorna Crozier), published by Leaf Press www.leafpress.ca
Gates by Paulette Dube, Published by Thistledown Press www.thistledownpress.com
Falling Blues by Jannie Edwards, published by Frontenac House www.frontenachouse.com
Fieldnotes, a forensic by Kate Eichorn, published by BookThug www.bookthug.ca
Ani by D’vorah Elias, published by South Western Ontario Poetry www.swontpoetry.org
Footsteps on the Ceiling by Baila Ellenbogen, published by Guernica Editions www.guernicaeditions.com
The Other Beauty by Karen Enns, published by Brick Books www.brickbooks.ca
The Blackbird Must Be by Dorothy Field, published by Sono Nis www.sononis.com
Histories Haunt Us by Triny Finlay, published by Nightwood Editions www.nightwoodeditions.com
the art of breathing underwater by Cathy Ford, published by Mother Tongue www.mothertonguepublishing.com
apologetic by Carla Funk, published by Turnstone Press www.turnstonepress.com
Lost Gospels by Lorry Neilsen Glenn, published by Brick Books www.brickbooks.ca
Hump by Ariel Gordon, published by Palimpsest Press www.palimpsestpress.ca
Winterkill by Catherine Graham, published by Insomniac Press www.insomniacpress.com
Moving by Elizabeth Greene, published by Inanna www.yorku.ca/inanna
Poets and Killers by Helen Hajnoczky, published by Snare Books www.snarebooks.wordpress.com
Interruptions In Glass by Tracy Hamon, published by Coteau Books www.coteaubooks.com
Open Door In The Landscape by Elizabeth Harvor, published by Palimpsest Press www.palimpsestpress.ca
Sew Him Up by Beatriz Hausner, published by Quattro Books www.quattrobooks.ca
Hallucinations in the Alfalfa by Griselda Garcia (trans. Hugh Hazelton), published by Wolsak & Wynn www.wolsakandwynn.ca
Sixty-Five Years Til Now By Victoria Hazelhurst, published by Engage Books www.engagebooks.ca
Falling Season by Beth Kope, published by Leaf Press www.leafpress.ca
Bleeding Light by Sheniz Janmohamed published by TSAR Books (www.tsarbooks.com)
Living Under Plastic by Evelyn Lau, published by Oolichan Books www.oolichan.com
Singing Me Home by Carol Lipszyc, published by Inanna www.yorku.ca/inanna
After The Words by Jennifer Londry, published by Hagios Press www.hagiospress.com
My Nature by Christine Lowther, published by Leaf Press www.leafpress.ca
White Shirt by Laurie McFayden, published by Frontenac House www.frontenachouse.com
Communion by Nancy Mackenzie, published by Ekstasis Editons www.ekstasiseditions.com
Memory’s Daughter by Alice Major, published by University of Alberta Press www.uap.ualberta.ca
Sonnets, by Camille Martin, published by Shearsman Books
Here, There and Somewhere Beyond by Sheila Martindale, published by South Western Ontario Poetry www.swontpoetry.org
Return From Erebus by Julia MacCarthy, published by Brick Books www.brickbooks.ca
For and Against by Sharon McCartney, published by Goose Lane Editions www.gooselane.com
Stone Dream by Madeleine Gagnon (trans. Andrea Moorhead), published by Guernica Editions www.guernicaeditions.com
O Resplandor by Erin Moure, published by House of Anansi www.anansi.ca
Active Pass by Jane Munro, published by Pedlar Press www.pedlarpress.com
Goodbye, Ukelele by Leigh Nash, published by Mansfield Press www.mansfieldpress.net
Martha in the Mirror by Renee Norman, published by Inanna www.yorku.ca/inanna
Stray Dog Embassy by Natasha Nuhanovic, published by Mansfield Press www.mansfieldpress.net
Seeing Lessons by Catherine Owen, published by Wolsak & Wynn www.wolsakandwynn.ca
Exhale, Exhale by Perissinotto, Cristina, published by Guernica Editions www.guernicaeditions.com
Been Shed Bore by Pearl Pirie, published by Chaudiere Books www.chaudierebooks.com
Cathedral by Pamela Porter, published by Ronsdale Press www.ronsdalepress.com
Recipes for the Red Planet by Meredith Quartermain, published by BookThug www.bookthug.ca
[sic] by Nikki Reimer, published by Frontenac House www.frontenachouse.com
Fallout by Sandra Ridley, published by Hagios Press www.hagiospress.com
Here Is Where We Disembark by Clea Roberts, published by Freehand Books www.freehand-press.com
Floating Bodies by Julie Roorda, published by Guernica Editions www.guernicaeditions.com
Vs. by Kerry Ryan, published by Avil Press www.anvilpress.com
Catchment Area by Jena Schmidt, published by Signature Editions www.signature-editions.com
My Father’s Hands Spoke In Yiddish by Karen Schenfield, published by Guernica Editions www.guernicaeditions.com
Deepwater Vee by Melanie Siebert, published by McClelland and Stewart www.mcclelland.com/poetry
Night Gears by Bren Simmers, published by Wolsak & Wynn www.wolsakandwynn.ca
I Do Not Think That I Could Love A Human Being by Johanna Skidsrub, published by Gaspereau Press www.gaspereau.com
Nobody Move by Susan Stenson, published by Sono Nis www.sononis.com
The Nights Also by Ana Swanson, published by Tightrope Books www.tightropebooks.com
In The Key Of Red by Eva Tihanyi, published by Inanna www.yorku.ca/inanna
So Large An Animal by Bibiana Tomasic, published by Leaf Press www.leafpress.ca
Traumatology by Priscilla Uppal, published by Exile www.exileeditions.com
Hard Feelings by Sheryda Warrener, published by Snare Books www.snarebooks.wordpress.com
An Auto-Erotic History of Swings by Patricia Young, published by Sono Nis www.sononis.com
* * *
Reviewers, reviews editors, critics and other poets: please take a look at this list and make an effort to spend some time with these texts. Spare some space in your publications. Make room for a review on your blogs. Read these books, write about them, advocate for them however you can. These writers deserve your time, your eyes, your minds. Let’s collectively work to close the gap.
I plan on looking at the distribution of coverage on other publications too, so check back here for more pie charts and conversation.
Things You Can’t Do When You’re Dead
— watch the buds on the trees open
— drink tea
— drink beer
— walk in your pyjamas to get warm croissants and coffee
— write down funny things your friends say
— pet a cat’s soft belly
— play the guitar
— go to concerts
— hide food in a bush outside of a concert
— have sex for six hours
— draw pictures
— make toast at four in the morning
— smell things
— wait for butter to soften so you can make cookies
— make friends with dogs in the park
— sing songs while you vacuum
— discover new music
— put together furniture from Ikea
— dip your toes in the too-cold lake
— listen to records in bed
— walk around the city
— read books in the park
— smile when the new bakery downstairs bring a tray of warm bagels into your office