Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Peter F. Yacht Club regatta/reading/christmas party!

lovingly co-hosted by Stephen Brockwell 
+ rob mclennan;

The Peter F. Yacht Club annual regatta/christmas party/reading

at The Carleton Tavern (upstairs)
233 Armstrong Avenue (at Parkdale Market)
Thursday, December 29, 2016
doors 7pm, reading 7:30pm

with readings from yacht club regulars and irregulars alike, including Claire Farley, Amanda Earl, Frances Boyle, Pearl Pirie, rob mclennan, Roland Prevost, Marilyn Irwin, Chris Turnbull, etc.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Cary Fagan reviews Carrie Olivia Adam's Grapple (2016)

Toronto writer Cary Fagan was good enough to provide the first review for Carrie Olivia Adam's Grapple (2016) over at his new Bodies and Words. Thanks much! You can see Fagan's post here. As he writes:
Carrie Olivia Adams, Grapple.  Ottawa: above/ground press, 2016.
abovegroundpress.blogspot.com
It is notoriously difficult to capture one art form in another; can one do more than search for clumsy equivalents, fractured reflections?  And yet when I read Carrie Olivia Adams’ Grapple for the first time, it was if I could see the movement and struggle of bodies in my mind.  Not only the words themselves but the placement of the lines, fragments across a wide page, evoked extension and constriction, stillness and action.
My first reading was without benefit of the “Notes on the Composition” which comes after the eight-page poem.  I did have the image on the cover, and two inside, to know this was a dance in words.  And the epigraph by Nawal El Saadawi told me that the poem was about movement and passivity, surrender and resistance.  But it was only upon reading the notes that I understood the poem to actually be a text that had accompanied a dance performance–a performance inspired (if that’s the right term) by the arrest of “a young African American man during a protest as part of Moral Mondays Illinois in Chicago in November 2015.”
The poem begins with two definitions of the title–“to stop the progress or movement of / (something)” and “to attract and hold the attention of / (someone or something).”  This apparent contradiction, or mirror-imaging, is carried on throughout, with “strength” linked to “vulnerability” and going “limp” being an “act of resistance / …an act of / strength”.  There is a particularly telling moment when
We cannot see your face                              you cannot see ours                                                                                                              pressed

                                                      But we are so close
These words seem to me both powerful, frightening, and almost beautiful.  On the poem’s next page, however, the poet becomes somewhat less nimble, writing in true, if sloganeering fashion, of a city that “forgets / the backs on which it is built”.  But then the poet becomes more suggestive again:
Tell us again how you know
how you submerged us
how we re-wrote the movement of sidewalk and street
how it bent up to meet us
grapple-2-1
These words were spoken to a dance created by Chicago choreographers Jamie Corliss and Lydia Feuerhelm, who were also the performers.  According to the “Notes,” the dance and the words were intended to “work with and against each other,” echoing the tension within the poem itself.  I certainly would have liked to see this performance in which “intimacy and aggression overlap” but the poem works well on its own, especially with the accompanying photographs.  It is a work that, while for the most part not allowing its political purpose to diminish its artistry, never forgets that purpose.

Friday, November 25, 2016

above/ground press contributes to the filling Station fundraiser

above/ground press has donated a whole MOUND of chapbooks to the filling Station magazine fundraiser! [there have been a number of fundraisers lately; did you see this one for Canthius?] Check the link here to bid on this magnificent collection (some of which are extremely rare), or even here for other items in their fabulous auction! The nineteen titles included in the above/ground press package are by Calgary poets, both former and current, produced by above/ground press over the past two decades. Most of these items are still available through the press, but a couple of them only through the recent "backlist/rarities" list.

The Appetites of Tiny Hands
Natalee Caple
1997

MY CITY IS ANCIENT AND FAMOUS
Julia Williams
2004

[Dear Fred]
derek beaulieu
2004

A, You're Adorable
George Bowering as "Ellen Field"
2004

"Calcite Gours 1-19," STANZAS #38
derek beaulieu
2004

Adolesce
ryan fitzpatrick
2005

The writing that should enter into conversation
Natalie Simpson
2005

& look there goes a sparrow transplanting soul [3 eclogues]
Emily Carr
2009

Further to Our Conversation
Robert Kroetsch
2011

@BillMurray in Purgatorio
nathan dueck
2013

Cursed Objects
Jason Christie
2014

Braking and Blather
Emily Ursuliak
2014

transcend transcribe transfigure transform transgress
derek beaulieu
2014

dealingwithit.gif
ryan fitzpatrick
2015

The Charm
Jason Christie
2015

Ins & Outs
Nicole Markotić
2015

10 Poems
Christian Bök
2016

ERASURE: a short story
Braydon Beaulieu
2016

REFRAMING PAUL CADMUS
John Barton
2016

Friday, November 11, 2016

“poem” broadside #340 : Quercus: “Nations hurled together so they might learn to know one another,” by Derek Beaulieu


Quercus: “Nations hurled together so they might learn to know one another”
by Derek Beaulieu
November 2016
above/ground press broadside #340

Derek Beaulieu
is the author of the collections of poetry with wax, fractal economies, chains, silence, ascender / descender, kern, frogments from the frag pool (co-written with Gary Barwin) and Please no more poetry: the poetry of derek beaulieu (Ed. Kit Dobson). He has also written 4 collections of conceptual fiction: a a novel, flatland, Local Colour and How To Write (Nominated for the W.O. Mitchell Award). He is the author of two collections of essays: Seen of the Crime and The Unbearable Contact with Poets. Beaulieu co-edited bill bissett’s RUSH: what fuckan theory (with Gregory Betts) and Writing Surfaces: fiction of John Riddell (with Lori Emerson). He is the publisher of the acclaimed no press and is the visual poetry editor at UBUWeb. Beaulieu has exhibited his work across Canada, the United States and Europe and is an award-winning instructor. Derek Beaulieu was the 2014–2016 Poet Laureate of Calgary, Canada. With rob mclennan, he edited the new anthology The Calgary Renaissance (Chaudiere Books).