Acclaimed writer Richard Rosenbaum’s short stories range in genre from realism to speculative, and stylistically from literary to experimental. In his stunning first collection of short fiction, Things Don’t Break, readers will discover stories about relationships, robots, videogames, the moon, giant evil chickens, and more.
“Things Don’t Break is an amazing piñata of a book. Crack it open and out will fly all kinds of strange and wondrous things (including a robot or two). A truly smashing collection of stories.”—Neil Smith, author of Boo
“Richard Rosenbaum knows the way people work—the way they love, the way they hurt, the way they break. These are stories that fire on all the emotional cylinders. A Pandora’s box of the strange and beautiful things that live inside us all.”—Ian Rogers, author of Every House Is Haunted
Richard Rosenbaum is the author of the novel Pretend to Feel (Now Or Never Publishing 2017), the novella Revenge of the Grand Narrative (Quattro Books 2014), and of Raise Some Shell (ECW Press 2014), a cultural history of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He is also a regular contributor to the popular culture analysis website Overthinking It. He lives in Toronto.
Join Tightrope Books at The Aga Khan Museum for our third annual “Meet Me/Writers on Rights” Human Rights poetry event. Co-hosted by Tightrope Books publisher Jim Nason and author Farzana Doctor and featuring readings related to human rights issues by acclaimed poets from some of Canada’s top independent publishers: Sheniz Janmohamed, Maureen Hynes, Soraya Peerbaye, Vivek Shraya, Moez Surani, Nyla Matuk, Sonnet L’Abbé, Gwen Benaway, Michael Fraser, and Ann Shin.
In her latest collection of poems, Karen Mulhallen takes us on a physical journey through the course of a year and on a spiritual journey through many lives. The beauty of birds, the amour fou of the inconstant lover, the rapture of the past in the history of Toronto Islands and of the city of Pompeii. This is a poet at the height of her art, crafting language and rhythm, to mirror the ebb and flow of the scene. A compelling and devastating group of poems.
“Through Mulhallen’s poems we enter ‘the mangled beauty of the world.’ In the small universe of her exquisite urban garden visited by hawks; in the large universe of her language where words, archaic and modern, sing, we share her elegiac apology to our despoiled planet and her need to celebrate the beauty of now, with love and longing.” —Rosemary Sullivan, author of Stalin’s Daughter
Photo by Michael Torosian
Karen Mulhallen was born in southern Ontario and has spent her life as a teacher, editor and writer. She has published eighteen previous books and numerous articles on the arts and culture. karenmulhallen.com
Lisa Richter’s Closer to Where We Began is a diverse collection of poetry that follows the speaker on a path of self-discovery. The collection navigates the tension between memory and imagination, between the personal and the political, and the primacy of sensual, sensory, lived experience. These dream-like poems not only concern themselves with the speaker, but with urban and natural environments, friends, family, and lovers, past and present. The poet explores overlapping/intersecting identities that shape and inform us, celebrating the importance of telling our stories as a means of bringing us closer to our authentic selves.
“Lisa Richter weaves time and place with grace and expertise throughout the poems in this her first collection, Closer to Where We Began. Sensual, delicate yet biting, these poems sweep forward and back with energy and insight proving ‘the heart is a finite muscle of blood and music.’ By following the rhythm of each poem’s unfolding we are led to a ‘deeper quiet.’ A rich and resonant book.”—Catherine Graham, author of Her Red Hair Rises with the Wings of Insects
‘”Invoke the light…” writes Lisa Richter, ‘the light that leaves nothing / in its wake that is cold or unkind.’ With a richness in metaphor and a clarity of vision, Richter deftly travels the reader through seasonal tapestries of nature, across many identities, into many cities, and inside the bounds of family. Yet losses, and the world’s coldness and cruelty are not ignored, but rather, their pains and truths explored poetically: ‘the tongue finds its muse in the most sour of ripenings.’ The confidence and tenderness of Richter’s voice, and her mastery of form, makes Closer to Where We Began a rich and compelling read.”—Maureen Hynes, author of The Poison Colour
“Richter excavates memory as a geography forged by the complexities of human relationships. To read her work is to be transported into an alternate landscape wherein each encounter has been dissected and reassembled with a simultaneously commanding and vulnerable acuity.”—Robin Richardson, author of Knife Throwing Through Self-Hypnosis
Photo by Matthew Burpee
Lisa Richter’s work has appeared in or is forthcoming in The Puritan, Minola Review, The Malahat Review, Canthius, and lichen, amongst others, and has been longlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize. Closer to Where We Began is her first full-length collection of poetry. Lisa lives and teaches English in Toronto.
This FREE evening includes readings by selected BCP 2016 contributors, followed by a reception (8:30-9pm). Copies on the anthology will be available for sale. Visit the IFOA event page for biographies and photos of the participating poets.
Featuring trusted series editor Christopher Doda and acclaimed guest editor Joseph Kertes, this eighth installment of Canada’s annual volume of essays showcases diverse nonfiction writing from across the country. Culled from leading Canadian magazines and journals, Best Canadian Essays 2016 contains award-winning and award-nominated nonfiction articles that are topical and engaging and have their finger on the pulse of our contemporary psyches.
Contributors: Carleigh Baker, Graeme Bayliss, Desmond Cole, Krista Foss, Don Gillmor, Wayne A. Hunt, Michelle Kaeser, Richard Kelly Kemick, Susan Olding, Richard Poplak, Michael Rowe, Kenneth Sherman, Antanas Sileika, Fred Stenson, Leona Theis, Elana Wolff.
Christopher Doda is a poet, editor and critic living in Toronto. He is the author of two books of poetry, Among Ruins and Aesthetics Lesson. His award-winning nonfiction has appeared in journals across Canada and he was on the editorial board of Exile Editions for over ten years.
Joseph Kertes’ first novel, Winter Tulips, won the Stephen Leacock Award for Humour. His third novel, Gratitude, won a Canadian Jewish Book Award and the U.S. National Jewish Book Award for Fiction. His most recent novel is The Afterlife of Stars.
Guest edited by Helen Humphreys, this ninth edition of Canada’s vibrant yearly anthology features the fifty finest Canadian poems published during 2015. The Best Canadian Poetry series, which thrives under the stewardship of acclaimed series editor, Molly Peacock, and assistant series editor, Anita Lahey, ushers readers into the heart of the diverse Canadian poetry scene. A must-read for anyone with a stake or interest in contemporary Canadian literature.
“Humphreys’ selections are a balanced mix of yearning and optimism, and she skillfully brings the solo works together in a collection as complex and satisfying as a symphony.” —Publishers Weekly
“For nine years, this series has been presenting the best of Canada’s published poems in an annual anthology, under the guidance of series editor and poet Molly Peacock… Best Canadian Poetry in English 2016 contains 50 bits of eternity, arranged alphabetically by author from James Arthur to Tara-Michelle Ziniuk.”—Merilyn Simonds, Kingston Whig-Standard
“From love and loss to the political, from formal to informal verse, the Best Canadian Poetry series offers an annual sampling of voices and experiences—a little slice of Canadiana that may be appreciated beyond borders as well.” —Lori A. May, Examiner.com
“The wide range of writers, forms and themes represented here make it a great jumping-off point for readers who might be interested in Canadian poetry but are unsure about where to start.”—Emma Healey, Globe and Mail
Helen Humphreys is the award-winning author of four books of poetry, seven novels, and three works of creative non-fiction. Her most recent works are The Evening Chorus (HarperCollins, 2015) and The River (ECW Press, 2015). She lives in Kingston, Ontario, where she is also the city’s Poet Laureate.
Anita Lahey is a poet, journalist, reviewer, and essayist. She is the author of The Mystery Shopping Cart: Essays on Poetry and Culture (Palimpsest Press, 2013) and of two Véhicule Press poetry collections: Out to Dry in Cape Breton (2006) and Spinning Side Kick (2011). The former was shortlisted for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry and the Ottawa Book Award.
Molly Peacock is a widely anthologized poet who writes biography, memoir, and fiction. Her newest work is Alphabetique: 26 Characteristic Fictions, with illustrations by Kara Kosaka. She is also the author of The Paper Garden: Mrs. Delany Begins Her Life’s Work at 72, both from McClelland and Stewart. Her forthcoming book of poetry is The Analyst, poems about psychoanalysis, poetry and painting, from W.W. Norton and Biblioasis. She is the subject of Jason Guriel’s monograph, Molly Peacock: A Critical Introduction.
BCP 2016 poets:
James Arthur • Joelle Barron • Hugo Beauchemin-Lachapelle (translated by Alexander Rock) • andrea bennett • Sheri Benning • Tim Bowling • Julie Bruck • Suzanne Buffam • Dani Couture • Lynn Crosbie • Kayla Czaga • Dorothy Field • Kim Fu • Michelle Good • Laurie D. Graham • Jane Eaton Hamilton • Steven Heighton • Jason Heroux • Gerald Hill • Amber Homeniuk • Maureen Hynes • Sally Ito • Amanda Jernigan • Kate Kennedy • M. Travis Lane • Jeff Latosik • Evelyn Lau • Randy Lundy • Sneha Madhavan-Reese • Lee Maracle • Stephen Maude • Cassidy McFadzean • David McGimpsey • Steve McOrmond • A.F. Moritz • Hoa Nguyen • Elise Partridge • Matt Rader • Rachel Rose • Armand Garnet Ruffo • Douglas Burnet Smith • Kilby Smith-McGregor • Karen Solie • John Steffler • Kate Sutherland • Sylvia Symons • John Terpstra • Souvankham Thammavongsa • Nick Thran • Tara-Michelle Ziniuk
cabana the big is a ribald, dystopian, post-apocalyptic tale of a new world order set up by businessman harold galloway, as documented by narrator Slim Reggie Canuck, galloway’s chosen chronicler. The novel’s protagonist, henry morgan, is a former physician who now rides with the big eight (galloway’s version of The Magnificent Seven). Presiding over the big eight is the phallic minotaur-in-a-Stetson, cabana the big. Slim Reggie Canuck’s hilarious, graphic narration makes cabana the big a cautionary allegory about the end of the Twenty-first Century.
“Slim Reggie Canuck is one of the most original and memorable creations in the annals of Canadian letters. He is one funny storyteller with a serious message about where our power-obsessed world is heading.”—Terry Fallis, author of The Best Laid Plans and No Relation
“cabana the big is commedia dell armageddon, theatre of the absurd, a B-plus movie directed by The Coens or Mel Brooks, make that Tarantino. Henry Morgan(stern) drops his capitals, while Carla and ma rosemary, insider bargirls at the abyss saloon, serve up intrigues and End-Days cardiac events, all reported by Slim Reggie with black humor, misogyny and misanthrope, marital breakdown and juicy pop references. Only poets get to be this funny!” —Linda Rogers, author of The Empress Letters
Photo: Becca Gilgan
Ron Charach is a Toronto psychiatrist and the author of nine collections of poetry, most recently Selected Portraits (2007) and Forgetting the Holocaust (2011). His poems and essays have appeared in most Canadian literary and medical/psychiatric journals.
In For All the Men (and Some of the Women) I’ve Known, Danila Botha explores the nuances and complexity of relationships, from love to betrayal. In these eighteen unforgettable stories, Botha creates characters so authentic, readers are convinced that they know them personally. As in her debut collection, Got No Secrets, Botha excels at blending literary techniques with popular zeitgeist. With her trademark honest and singular voice, Botha exposes the desire for human connection above all things. The collection is hopeful, fearless, and utterly relatable.
“Everyone in this book is alive. Painfully, nervously, ardently. This collection, (like Chekhov by way of Kathy Acker but utterly original), is truthful and dreamy, tough and tremulous; sad and aching, seductively, with hope.—Lynn Crosbie, author of Where Did You Sleep Last Night
“With an ear for poetry and a knack for tragedy, Danila Botha is an expert on yearning. These stories are for anyone who has ever loved and lost, but not let go.”—Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall, author of Ghosted
“For All the Men (and Some of the Women) I’ve Known is unlike anything I have ever read before. Unflinchingly honest in its examination of love in all its joyful, messy, agonizing, spectacularly beautiful glory, these stories seem to vibrate on their own emotional frequency. Danila Botha writes with a heartbreaking rawness and intensity that will continue to haunt you long after you’ve turned the final page.”—Amy Jones, author of We’re All In This Together
“I discovered [author Danila Botha] while I was reading books for the Danuta Gleed Literary Award specifically her delightful first story collection, Got No Secrets. These two stories are brand new, stories written in a gutsy, head-on, colloquial style about love, sex and mis-connection among the urban 20-somethings she knows so well. Her characters are all compulsively themselves, driven, probably always, to make a mess of things, but vulnerable, full of desire, and often touchingly witty.”—Douglas Glover, author of Elle
“A searing and beautifully forthright collection about the angst, chaos, tragedy and hope in the quest for love. A series of unique, riveting and perfect portrayals that pulls no punches. Reading these stories made me smile and made me want to smash things.”—Lisa de Nikolits, author of Between the Cracks She Fell
“For All the Men has Botha delivering smart prose that seamlessly balances humour, disappointment, and dysfunction… Botha is an incredibly fresh voice in Canadian literature, and this remarkably visceral and unforgettable collection feels like it’s only setting the stage for much more to come.”—Liz Worth, Quill & Quire
“I devoured this collection, and I hope Ms. Botha continues to hone her craft producing more stories with that healthy touch of realism that she has come to be recognised for.” —Miramichi Reader
“Each of these stories are real and honest, open and gut-wrenching, and Botha makes them jump out from the page into your mind. The characters are unforgettable. This book will stay with you for a long time, as you ponder your own understanding of love long after you have shut the last page.”—Laurie Burns, Atlantic Books Today
“Botha’s characters freely indulge in sex and drugs and copious amounts of alcohol in their quest to find succour or peace, though it becomes readily apparent that what they are most intent on discovering… is some sort of authentic connection with another human being… The author is undeniably familiar with modern urban ennui, and the stories in her collection have an admirable directness and grit.”— Steven W. Beattie, Globe and Mail
“A series of orchestral variations whose loops and iterations are made vital by the steady introduction of new elements… stories full of people who disappoint, or are disappointed, yet they rarely end on a note of despair, which in today’s Tinder-enabled relationship landscape seems almost like an act of subversion… She [Botha] has a fine talent…”—Emily Donaldson, Toronto Star
“Botha’s collection thoughtfully, tragically, and insightfully captures the peculiarities of modern relationships in the time of texting, online dating, and an unnerving urban detachment we’ve come to recognize as a normal thing.”—The Literary Lollipop
Photo: Ayelet Tsabari
Danila Botha is a fiction writer based in Toronto. Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, she has lived in Israel, and in Nova Scotia. Her first collection of short stories, Got No Secrets, was praised by the Globe and Mail, the Chronicle Herald and the Cape Town Times. It was also named one of Britannica’s Books of the Year (Canadian short stories), and was published in South Africa in 2011. Her first novel, Too Much on the Inside, was shortlisted for the 2016 Relit Award and won a Book Excellence Award for Contemporary Novel. Her sophomore collection of short stories, For All the Men (and Some of the Women) I’ve Known, was published in 2016 to rave reviews. It was also recently named a finalist for the 2017 Trillium Book Awards. She is currently working on her second novel and on a new collection of short stories. Read more on her website: www.danilabotha.com
Join us at the Halifax Central Library on Sunday, July 17 at 2pm for the second annual “Meet Me in… Writers on Rights’” human rights poetry event. Hosted by Tightrope Publisher Jim Nason and Canadian Parliamentary Poet Laureate, George Elliott Clarke, the event will feature readings related to human rights issues by acclaimed poets from some of Canada’s top independent publishers: Alice Burdick, Mark Callanan, Mary Dalton, Sheree Fitch, Michael Fraser, Carole Glasser Langille, Jennifer Houle, El Jones, Emily Pohl-Weary.
Winner of a 2017 Ippy Awards Regional Bronze Medal for Fiction!
Kelley Aitken’s compelling short fiction collection is united by a sense of place, the Canadian Shield. Her nine short stories traverse an area between land and water; near and far, between the uncontrollable and the veneer of civility. They reflect, Janus-headed, on Nature and human nature. Canadian Shield addresses that anxious paradox between our yearning for the wild and our need for security—a profound dilemma of our time.
“Loss and longing, love, betrayal, and hard-won heart, the souls in these stories are mirrored in the Canadian wild. This is travel over tough terrain—river, rock, and the inner landscapes of people who search—these stories will stay with you for a long time.”—Kim Echlin, author of Under the Visible Life and The Disappeared
“Aitken writes dense, layered stories that play with temporality and use the natural world as a mirror for the psyches of her characters… Aitken’s stories are dark, but tremendously insightful and empathetic. This is a smart, haunting collection.”—Alexander De Pompa, Broken Pencil
“Aitken’s exquisite prose takes us on a profound journey from camp to bush to canoe in a deeply moving reflection on our relationships with ourselves and our surroundings.”—Goodreads
Photo by Zenia Buzanko
Kelley Aitken is a writer, artist, and teacher. Her book Love in a Warm Climate (The Porcupine’s Quill, 1998) was nominated for the Commonwealth Prize, Best First Book. Kelley has lived in the Philippines, Ecuador, and various parts of Canada. Born in British Columbia, Kelley makes her home in Toronto where she teaches drawing at the Art Gallery of Ontario.
Opening with an aubade for the labyrinthian corners of Bombay’s largest slum, Tourist is a collection that is unafraid of shadows, and aims to unearth the unseen. Set across time and landscape—modern day Michigan, 1970’s Cambodia, WWI England, the kaleidoscopic mindscape of an Alzheimer patient—these poems draw us into lives that, initially, seem foreign, yet provoke our solidarity in the face of disorientation—a boy facing his first bankruptcy, an elephant facing destruction at the hands of poachers. The book culminates in ‘Beethoven Walks’, an elegiac war cry from a man who wades in and out of darkness like a modern day Odysseus, and the churning resilience that sets him free.
“Wakefulness is poet Lara Bozabalian’s traveling companion in her new collection, Tourist. Her lines are long with an inviting tendency to wander. Her similes are startling, her descriptions dressed to kill.”—Barry Dempster, author of The Burning Alphabet and Disturbing the Buddha
“With its lush imagery and eye for resonant detail, its rhythm born from Lara’s rich history in spoken word and performance, Tourist will more than satisfy your literary wanderlust.”—Carolyn Smart, author of Hooked and Careen
“Bozabalian’s travels, both geographical and imaginative, make for compelling reading. A refreshingly assured and original book.”—Alexandra Oliver, author of Meeting the Tormentors in Safeway and Let the Empire Down
“Lara Bozabalian is a poet with a deft understanding of emotional and physical distance. Wherever she places her readers in time or place, she is reliably available as an earnest, expansive guide. Tourist is full of curious, public-hearted poems.”—Jacob McArthur Mooney, author of Folk and Don’t Be Interesting
“Channelling Escher the artist/architect and his intricate alleyway… expresses hidden emotions… by means of a kaleidoscope.” Anne Burke, poets.ca
Photo by Alysia Dobie
Lara Bozabalian is an award-winning writer, and author of the bestselling collection of poetry, The Cartographer’s Skin. In both 2014 and 2015, Lara was named Toronto’s Best Poet in the Now Magazine Best of Toronto Poll. She has featured at TEDxIB and lectured, workshopped, and performed her work at several Canadian universities.