Grain of Salt: a new poetry Substack by me

January 14, 2022

So, ! started a Substack newsletter for anyone interested in my thoughts on poetry and my reviews of new books. The entire industry of reviewing is up in the air, with venues drying up. This is my attempt to address that in my own way. All the opinions are my own and you should really take them with a …


Interview: The Next Chapter

November 29, 2021

Shelagh Rogers is so easy to talk to that you find yourself pouring your guts out every time. Anyway, here she asks me some questions about my latest book, Problematica, and my new poetry school called Walk the Line.


New book: Problematica is born

September 8, 2021

Just popping in to say that my new selected edition (culled from my previous 6 books of poetry along with sections of uncollected and brand new poems) finally reached its publication date. You can get it wherever you get your books, but I’d encourage either an independent bookstore or ordering direct from the publisher at this link.

Here’s me reading a poem from it:


New Book: Pre-orders Open for Problematica

May 25, 2021

Problematica: New and Selected Poems 1995 – 2020 will be my first book in 4 years, covering 25 years of writing, and it’s launching this September.

Damn. Things are starting to get real. I have come to the point in my life when someone has asked me to do a selected edition of my poems. This means I am getting old. That said, it was sort of amazing to go through all that old work that seemed so disparate and find that there was indeed a through-line of poetic thought. I also added a healthy section of new poems.

Friend, and half-decent poet himself, Adam Sol generously provides a saucy introduction that I think matches my general lifelong aesthetic of seesawing between the grim and the humourous. Sol reviewed my third book, The Hunter, in the Globe and Mail back in 2003, and had nice things to say, so it seemed like a full circle to have him back looking at my poems. I am always very glad to have his eyes on my work, regardless of his assessment.

I hope you can pre-order this book at your local bookstore. If not, there is always Chapters, Amazon, and the other biggies. If you don’t have a local (like me) and must rely on delivery — but you don’t want to support the meatgrinder that feeds directly into the mouths of billionaires — try ordering from somewhere like McNally Robinson. Even better, order directly from the publisher.

Thanks for reading and looking forward to hearing from you about it.

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Hanging Out a Shingle: Walk the Line Poetry Courses

December 18, 2020

Hi all, I’ve decided to start my own pandemic business: poetry courses for all levels. We’ll learn the tools of poetry over an 8-week, online course in a combination of asynchronous discussions (sort of like a message board) and synchronous meetings (an optional one-hour Zoom once a week). Should be lots of fun! The first course is already more than half full and will start in January. It’s a great gift for someone who wants to either get started in poetry, get back into poetry, or would just like a better understanding of how these little machines work. Even if that someone is you. We’re all going to be stuck inside this winter anyway, so why not. Connect with peers and an experienced poet and editor (moi) and get those thoughts down on paper in a way that pleases both your brain and your heart. No nonsense, lots of fun, and a focus on real tools of the craft. Hope to see you there! Be sure to check out critic and Quill and Quire editor Steven Beattie’s article on the whole affair here.


Free Download: My first book

March 20, 2020

My first book, Carousel, was published 20 years ago right about this time. It was well received in reviews and sold pretty well, but hasn’t been seen on shelves in about 15 years. In prepping a selected edition that’s forthcoming, I reread all my old books and forgot how precocious and bad and great this one was. I kind of love the kid who wrote it. Fearless and dumb. I’ve lost contact with the original press, but they never gave me a contract or paid me anyway, so I’ve decided to re-release the book as a PDF for free download from this site. This book is so old, the original files I created it in won’t open in my word processor, so I had to retype it from scratch. Perfect distraction for the end-times of Covid-19, etc. Anyway, if you’re stuck at home and want to see the sort of thing a brash, 27-year-old kid wrote back at the turn of the century, this is the book for you! Click on the link below and it should download a PDF to your machine.




Publication: The Walrus

April 10, 2019

Forgot to post this a long time ago. My Muppet poem at The Walrus.




Publication: Short Circuits

May 30, 2018

There’s a follow-up to the aphorism collection Short FlightsShort Circuits drops this spring with a wider definition of what constitutes an aphorism. Lots of good stuff in here, including myself, Richardson, Rankine, Simic, Hirshfield, Manguso, and others.


Article: Dungeons & Dragons

February 12, 2018

Here’s an article I wrote on parenting and Dungeons & Dragons. One of the more personal things I’ve ever written, but it’s doing well enough at The Walrus’s website that they decided to put a slightly shorter version into the April print issue. Hope you enjoy.














Residency: Memorial University

December 21, 2017

My partner Elisabeth de Mariaffi and I will share the post of Writer-in-Residence this winter at Memorial University’s department of English (January to the end of April). A great chance to engage with the community there.

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