Here’s the cover for my upcoming book, Whiteout, due spring of next year from ECW. I hope you like it! I love it.
A whole bunch of poems from my new manuscript will be appearing in various journals this summer and fall. Pasture, out of New Zealand, will be publishing three poems, Event, from BC, will be publishing four, and the newly revived Metroverse (poetry on buses in St. John’s) will be publishing one of the aphorisms from Glimpse. There are also 37 aphorisms from Glimpse in the special aphorisms issue of Hotel Amerika (Chicago) — and one of those aphorisms is the all the text on the back cover, in flow-y script, like James Geary’s is on the front (pictured below).
I’m participating as a panelist in the Canada Reads Poetry project hosted online by the National Post and CBC Books. The project was generated in response to last summer’s 10th annual Canada Reads tournament, which very purposefully excluded poetry from the running. This contest runs a little differently, with each of the panelists offering an initial essay in defence of a book of poems, followed by an live chat online in which the panelists will take questions from moderators and the public. Then a public vote will decide “which poetry book Canada should read” together. Mostly this gives me a chance to highlight a book I think deserved a wider audience when it came out.
The panelists and books are:
Great list of books, any of which would be an interesting exercise in communal reading. At this point there are still two essays to come, and then the live chat is next Thursday at 2pm EST. Should be interesting to see how it goes!
I started a new multi-aesthetic web magazine called NewPoetry.ca. It’s designed to take the borders out of poetry. I hope you like it and will participate by sending your work to me and/or the editors listed at the site.
Happy news for Glimpse: the book is going into a second printing three months after its release! Sadly for poetry, this is a relatively rare thing these days. Make sure to buy up those first edition copies for posterity. You could stand to double your money within 100 years!
I’m the Writer in Residence at Open Book Toronto this month. Check there regularly to see what I’m up to. First up: the Questionless Books Interview. I interview a bunch of disparate books people (authors, editors, publishers, publicists, designers, booksellers, readers, bloggers, journalists, nfp types, etc.) about the future of books without ever asking a question. I hope you enjoy what I’m doing there and join and comment on the site.
My first book in New Zealand will be a limited edition hardcover selected available this August from Kilmog Press. Titled Exit Strategy, it’s comprised of poems from my middle three books, as well as a helping of new work. I am very pleased to show you one of the hand-printed covers and send you over to Kilmog to look at their beautiful wares.
Here’s the full cover, including jacket copy and sleeve recommendations, for Glimpse. I think it looks fantastic and I can’t wait to finally have it in hand. It’s funny how you can still get excited time after time by these things. I’ve been very lucky with covers (except for that first one… woof), and this is continuing the trend towards greatness in design. Thanks, ECW. Click on the image below to enlarge and read the text.
Well, it’s not really an “interview” so much as a single question answered in 150 words. Poet Jacob Mooney started something at the Torontoist called the “Optimisms Project“, in which he asked young poets to riff on why they are, well, optimistic about the future of poetry. Unbeknownst to the readership, he also asked a few, as he then referred to us in all our disgusting, aged glory, “older” poets to participate as well. Erin Moure, yours truly, and Sina Queyras have all now done it, despite our better judgment. Mine is, initially, perhaps not as earnest as one might like, but what do you expect? I’m old. With Poetry Month coming to a close, I thought it was time to take a retrospective look. Turns out there are some smart kids out there.
I am optimistic about the future of poetry in the same way I am optimistic about the future of everything: futures exist, even if they’re right on top of our nows. If poetry exists in space and time, it is effectively immortal and will continue to thrive in at least one of our branching, bubbling, bouncing universes. If apathy, hatred, laziness, and infighting dull it in this one, a moment from now, or just a second ago, another will spring up in which it elects governments of kindly peers and turns nuclear weapons into small rabbits that smell like berry-scented shampoo.
In a more concrete sense, I have my own inner universe for poetry in which it’s totally safe, and is populated with my own constellations of thought, admiration, accomplishment, and desire. And that, in some sense, is more than enough for me. Applications to live here will not be read or vetted, but you’re still welcome.