Archive for April, 2011


Reading: NL Book Awards Nominees Reading

April 29, 2011

I’ll be reading in support of the NL Book Awards, where my book Glimpse has been shortlisted for poetry. The awards are handed out bi-yearly, with this year being poetry and non-fiction.

What: NL Book Awards
When: May 17, 7:30pm
Where: The Ship Pub (265 Duckworth Street, St. John’s)

From the FB Page:

Come celebrate with the finalists for the 2011 Newfoundland and Labrador Book Awards!

2011 Rogers Communications Non-fiction Award Finalists:

• Glenn Deir
Sick Joke: Cancer, Japan, and Back Again (Breakwater Books, 2010), a quirky travelogue chronicling the author’s experiences with Japanese culture and medical culture.

• Greg Malone
You Better Watch Out (Knopf Canada, 2009), a memoir about a young boy who survives, among other things, a school run by the Christian Brothers, encounters with the bullies of New Gower Street and the perfect family.

• Rhonda Pelley
Island Maid: Voices of Outport Women (Breakwater Books, 2010), with photographs by Sheilagh O’Leary, the chronicle of a Newfoundland road trip taken by Pelley and O’Leary, this book documents with photos and words the thoughts and lives of women interviewed and photographed during their travels.

2011 E.J. Pratt Poetry Award Finalists:

• Tom Dawe
Where Genesis Begins (Breakwater Books, 2009), with artwork by Gerald Squires, a collaboration of two of Newfoundland’s foremost artists: Tom Dawe, a profoundly visual poet, and Gerald Squires, a profoundly poetic painter.

• George Murray
Glimpse (ECW Press, 2010), a sometimes-funny, sometimes-touching selection of 409 aphorisms, a form that straddles the line between poetry and philosophy, yet may be more accessible to the general public than either.

• Patrick Warner
Mole (House of Anansi Press, 2009), a collection of poems that is levity-laden in places and poignant in others, and reveals surprising meaning in the mundane moments and objects of daily life.


Awards: Glimpse Shortlisted for EJ Pratt Poetry Prize

April 18, 2011

Glimpse has been shortlisted for the EJ Pratt Poetry Prize. Nowhere to link to yet (last year’s winners here), but the press release says there will be readings from the finalists on May 17 at 7:30pm (location TBA) and a ceremony to announce the winner on May 18.

Other nominees for poetry are Pat Warner for Mole (Anansi) and Tom Dawe for Where Genesis Begins (Breakwater).


Event: Canada Reads Poetry

April 15, 2011

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!



April 8, 2011

I started a new multi-aesthetic web magazine called 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.


Event: Canada Reads Poetry

April 8, 2011

Last fall, during the annual “fiction love-in” that is Canada Reads on CBC, I complained that poetry wasn’t part of the equation there and the National Post called to ask if I’d be interested in doing a sort of shadow contest called “Canada Reads Poetry“. Well, it took a few months more, but it’s now coming to a head at the Post for National Poetry Month.

I’m defending Dionne Brand’s Inventory against a  bizarrely high-class level of other books and jurors. I think Inventory is one of the most salient, important books of the last 25 years, so I feel confident going in, but I’m also fully aware I’m up against four other very good readers defending four other very good books! Should be exciting.

Normally I wouldn’t join this kind of thing, but I actually like the Post’s books coverage and, having complained publically, and more, having been heard, I think it’s time for me to step up and do my bit. Look for my essay at the Afterword in the coming weeks.