Peter Gibbon wrote a fascinating post at the Conduit Canada blog about the Highway Book Shop that is well worth a read. Pete had been telling me about this store for years, but I was never able to get as far north as Cobalt. I regret it.
Recently John W. MacDonald posted a documentary on (mostly Ottawa) poets to Facebook that I’d never seen. Heard of Poets was filmed from January 2006 to January 2007 in Ottawa by Ben Walker and Josh Massey. It runs for a little over an hour, and showcases a fairly wide range of poets reading and speaking about poetry in their lives. The full list: Seymour Mayne, George Elliott Clarke, Mark Frutkin, Max Middle, Shane Rhodes, Oni the Haitian Sensation, AJ Levin, Jim Larwill, Pauline Michel, Terry Ann Carter, John Akpata, Drew Bernard, a.rawlings, Nicola Volpe, Melissa Upfold, Susan Robertson, Steven Brockwell, Bill Bissett, Paul Muldoon, Becky McKercher, Gustave Morin, Michael Dennis, Christopher Levenson, Danielle Gregoire, Jason Sonier, Anne Davison, jw curry, Gregory Betts, Greg, ‘Ritallin’ Frankson.
There is a great interview with Frank Newfeld on Nigel Beale’s Literary Tourist blog.
Jeff Blackman has a blog going now. Jeff is a smart and thoughtful guy, a great reader and an awesome poet. It is well worth keeping an eye on what decides to say on it.
The latest issue of ottawater is up now. I’ve got two strange, strange poems in there, plundered from Gerald Steven’s 1961 study Early Canadian Glass (that is about exactly what you think it is about). More interesting than my poems though, are all the great poems in there from other people: Gary Barwin, Jeff Blackman, Amanda Earl, Ben Ladouceur, Peter Norman, Pearl Pirie, Monty Reid, and loads of others. ottawater is always worth your time to read. Thanks as ever to rob mclennan for having me involved in it, but more importantly for continuing to do this kind of work year after year.
And speaking of which, rob’s above/ground press celebrates twenty years as an active chapbook press this year. Subscribe, buy some backlist. rob publishes first chapbooks by people, he publishes final chapbooks by people, he publishes chapbooks by people who are big international names and people who are small local names. There is always something interesting in subscription packages. There were some great titles last year (Lisa Robertson, Jay MillAr and Hugh Thomas stick out in my memory, but there were dozens). I hope I can keep Apt. 9 running for twenty or more years, or that I can have at least a fraction of the commitment and energy rob has sustained over two decades.