Author Archives: admin

Sitting Down with Ron Charach: The Story of cabana the big

A guest post by Luka Pajkovic

Ron Charach is a practicing psychiatrist and author based in Toronto, Ontario. He writes  poetry, with ten published collections, and is a Canadian letter-writer, with his work often published in The Toronto Star, The National Post, and The Globe and Mail, as well as American venues such as The New Yorker, The New York Times, and The Atlantic.

I recently had the chance to sit down and talk with Ron about his first novel, cabana the big, which was published through Tightrope Books last year.

RON: cabana the big is a dystopic, post-nuclear novel. Billionaire harold galloway sets up his little world in an ecosphere, and he sets it up like a grade B western. Of course, the novel predicts Trump coming to power, which is kind of nice.

LUKA: That’s interesting. It’s your first novel too, right?

It’s my first novel; but I’ve actually been writing prose as long as I’ve been writing poetry.

I’m also one of Canada’s main letter-writers. My letters largely comment on gun control, and of course, cabana is an outrageous gun book. They love guns in this book, galloway loves having the big eight, his ‘one-better’ version of the magnificent seven; he loves all that kind of stuff. It keeps him alive, it keeps him hopping; he’s the kind of guy who needs a fight in order to feel real, just like Trump does.

Yeah, this story seems like a dream for the gun-obsessed, the environment is built around carrying guns; and everyone sees guns as part of a person’s identity. I noticed a lot of it felt related to compensation and ‘dick-measuring.’

Absolutely, cabana is a very genital book, and Trump is a very genital president. He’s deeply misogynistic, but also deeply homoerotic. When Trump was running against the other Republican candidates he was just grabbing at their nuts. He was criticizing their manhood left, right, and center, and they didn’t know what to do. No one had ever done that. No one had behaved in public like that.

Very crude.

And galloway is a very deceptive, crude man in his own way. But what intrigued me about writing cabana was henry morgan. He used to be Dr. Henry Morganstern, but now he rides with the big eight. His psychology is intriguing because he went from being a doctor and poet, to riding with the eight. And really, we are all riding with the eight; all of us are colluding with the powers that be, which are moving in a fascist direction.

I noticed that idea does come up in the story; at a town hall meeting henry basically accuses all the townspeople of wanting to be a part of the eight.

That’s right, and it’s like these people who love Trump. They love the brash power he has to do whatever the hell he wants. It’s the American outlaw tradition, adulation of the outlaw.

Being a psychiatrist, I imagine that also has an influence on how you write.

It does, I spend my whole day listening to people talk. I know how people talk. Sometimes I’ll read in other books people talking, and I know nobody talks like that. I have an ear for the colloquial, an ear for dialects and accents. I love accents.

I also have a knowledge of psychodynamics, so hopefully what happens between my characters is recognizable to people. I hope they understand why my characters act this way.

I imagine writing characters is pretty interesting when you have so much insight into how real people think and behave.

Characters are based on real people, but you always put some of yourself into every character. I’m a bit like everyone in cabana, because I wrote it, I chose how to set everything up. I like to think I have empathy with my characters, that I understand them and their insecurities.

Like galloway being jealous of the bulge in henry morgan’s pants.

I hope people get a real hoot out of this book; I think it’s hilarious. But you have to be able to get into it.

Get into that bit of crudeness that’s part of the world.

And part of everyone’s unconscious. It’s going on in all our minds. I started writing cabana when I was eighteen or nineteen, that’s why it’s so raw and sexual. As a psychiatrist, I didn’t see the need to censor any of that, because that’s what our unconscious is all about. Cognitive psychologists have lined up with the psychoanalysts, and they say most of what people do is done for emotional reasons. They agree there is such a thing as the unconscious mind.

And that’s what everyone is saying about Trump, his reasons are emotional, and based on his desire to be the best and most powerful.

Definitely. Trump lined up very quickly with the NRA, and he’s refused to criticize various paramilitary groups. He’s going where the power is. It’s very disturbing. People are saying he’s looking for a war; he needs a war, to draw attention away from his other failures.

You can find cabana the big here.

Part two of this interview is here.

Posted in guestposts, News |

Catching Up with Trillium Book Award Finalist Danila Botha

Cover photo by Jowita Bydlowska

A guest post by Kathleen Anderson

The short fiction collection, For All the Men (and Some of the Women) I’ve Known, by Danila Botha is a finalist for the Trillium Book Award 2017, and I had the chance to chat with Danila about her nomination and her love of short storytelling. She was overjoyed when she learned that she was a finalist for the award, comparing the nomination to getting an incredible and unexpected present. “It’s wonderful for the book to be recognized like that, and it’s wonderful to be in the company of such incredible writers,” she said. “It’s an honour and I’m so thrilled.”

Our conversation about short stories sent Danila’s mind reeling with the many collections she’s read, as well as the long list of reasons that she loves the medium. “I really enjoy the economy of the form,” she said. “Every word and every sentence has to be quite meaningful. You sometimes have two or three sentences to tell a backstory, and I really like the challenge of that.”

The stories that make up For All the Men (and Some of the Women) I’ve Known, Danila’s second short fiction book, explore the complexity of love and relationships. Though there is connectivity between a few stories, each one holds the reader in a moment. We peer into the characters’ lives as they experience joy or confusion or heartbreak, and their emotions are real. The ability to pinpoint snapshots in time and draw the reader into individual moments of emotion makes short stories unique from longer fiction. “You can leave the reader in a place where they continue to wonder what happened to the character long afterward,” Danila said.

I asked Danila what writerly advice she would give if she could speak to her younger self. She had a long list: she’d tell herself to read a lot, remind herself to persevere through frustration and the many drafts that aren’t quite right, and assure herself that her work will be greeted by an incredibly warm and supportive community.

One of her key pieces of advice was about cultivating her own individuality as a writer and having confidence in her uniqueness. She said, “The things that are different about us, which can be scary because we love other people’s work for completely different reasons, are sometimes the things that are the most interesting about our work and the things that we should explore.” While she is captivated by the work of many other authors (for example, Etgar Keret’s ability to be simultaneously emotionally impactful and incredibly succinct, and Heather O’Neill’s “magical” metaphors), she insisted on the value of trusting her own instincts as a writer.

The Trillium Book Award nomination is an indication that her instinct has led her right. The book went through a long process to reach this point of celebration: from its initial inspiration that came from reading love-and-heartbreak-laden books, poems, and stories, such as Lynn Crosbie’s Liar; through her research process, where she spoke to people about their relationships; and through the writing process, sometimes frustrating, sometimes emotion-filled, but always underpinned with “an element of pure pleasure,” Danila said.

Now that the book has landed in the hands, eyes, and minds of its audience, Danila is effusively grateful for the encouraging and thoughtful response it has received. “You always feel a little bit vulnerable when something comes out, whatever it is,” she said, “especially when it’s emotional in nature. But people have been absolutely kind and supportive.”

You can find For All the Men (and Some of the Women) I’ve Known here.

Posted in guestposts, News | Tagged , , |

Tightrope Summer Short Fiction Launch

Join Tightrope Books on the first day of summer 2017 for the launch of two new short fiction collections: A Moose in the Dark by H.W. Browne and Things Don’t Break by Richard Rosenbaum. Readings by the two authors and special guest reader, Canadian Shield author Kelley Aitken.

June 21, 2017, 6:30pm, Supermarket Restaurant, 268 Augusta, Toronto.

 

 

Posted in News | Tagged , , |

June 13 Bryant Park Reading NYC

Publisher Jim Nason, Best Canadian Poetry Series Editor Molly Peacock and BCP poets Nyla Matuk & Kilby Smith-McGregor read at New York City’s Bryant Park on June 13 at 7pm.

Posted in News |

“Writers on Rights” Poetry Event: A First-Timer’s Impression #2

A special guest post about the May 14 “Meet Me in the Aga Khan Museum” event by Luka Pajkovic

“Meet Me at the Aga Khan/Writers on Rights” was my first time at a poetry reading, I went in not knowing what to expect, and I’m happy to say I was blown away. I had never really considered poetry readings before, I tend to read poems myself and leave it at that. But the poets I saw on the fourteenth read their works so passionately and with so much intensity that their words took on power and life that I don’t think I have ever seen captured on the page.

Vivek Shraya’s performance, where she sang lyrics from a range of black female artists, was incredible, and turned the reading into a concert. It was an experience that couldn’t be matched by just reading the poem. Hearing Vivek’s piece, as well as all the other poems, made me think about everything that is added to a poem when you hear someone read it. Especially if they read it with true feeling, like all the speakers at Sunday’s event seemed to do. Through their reading, every poem was filled with the emotions of its author. I think this carried over to the audience, and it influenced the way the poems were understood. I know it was like that for me at least.

Considering the heavy subject matter, human rights, and some recent events, things got pretty intense during more than a few readings. The audience even had to be reminded to breathe. Listening to these poets reminded me of the power that poetry can have, and how moving it can be; the tension and energy in the theatre was enough evidence to convince me.

The Aga Khan is a beautiful museum, and its auditorium made the perfect venue for such a powerful display of art and language. It was an amazing event, and well worth it when the only price of admission was being inside on a sunny day.

 

Posted in guestposts, News |

“Writers on Rights” Poetry Event: A First-Timer’s Impression #1

A special guest post about the May 14 “Meet Me in the Aga Khan Museum” event by Kathleen Anderson

The closest thing to a poetry event I’d ever been to was a small reading crammed into the corner of a library. I was excited to experience something more elaborate and hear from people whose work has and continues to make an impact, exploring different facets of human experience.

The event took place on a sunny afternoon inside the stunning Aga Khan Museum, and Amnesty International was present to provide information about human rights issues.

A poetry event on the topic of human rights demands seriousness, of course, but I wondered just how charged the environment would be. There were certainly intense and emotion-filled moments, but there were also jokes and smiles. The blending of these different emotions, for me, made the event even more valuable, a real expression of human experience.

I liked the effect of hearing different readers speak one after another because it revealed similarities and differences in the way people express their experiences creatively. The writers all talked about topics connected to human rights, but the poetry they chose to read was so interestingly varied: the type of poem, the content, the context (personal and political), and even the verbal expression.

The vocal element of the event really struck me. Hearing poetry spoken aloud is such a different experience than reading the off a page. I could hear the passion, the anger, the sadness. The words were brought to life.

For me, the most rewarding part of the event was that I couldn’t just sit in the audience and passively listen. The poems and the authors’ commentary on the link between art and activism made me think as I heard it. Then I spent my drive home turning the words and ideas over in my head. It’s fascinating to find an experience that doesn’t end when you leave the building.

 

Posted in guestposts, News | Tagged , , |

Things Don’t Break—Richard Rosenbaum

ISBN: 9781988040196

Pub date: Summer 2017


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

Click here to read “Wrong Side of Heaven” from Things Don’t Break.

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.

Posted in 2017, Short Fiction, Summer 2017, T, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , |

A Moose in the Dark—H.W. Browne

ISBN: 9781988040233
Pub date: Summer 2017

H.W. Browne’s debut short fiction collection, A Moose in the Dark, questions our ways of knowing. In a world where cathedrals, churches, and temples no longer bind communities, hers is a search for connectivity. Whether a moose prepares the way for old friends desperate to communicate, or a skull saves a child from drowning, Browne’s stories risk the intervention of the uncanny, and immersion in the elements.

“Heather Browne had been known to me as an award-winning poet, and more recently a much anthologized short fiction writer. She has a unique style, meticulously rendering each word for the strongest narrative while maintaining a parallel under voice. Her imagery is priceless. A Moose in the Dark is tight, deep, yet sexy; a pleasure to read, savour, and reread.”—Wayne Curtis, author of In the Country

“Aflame with characters in pursuit of connection and salvation, this fine debut collection is saturated with language that is, like all the best truth-telling, both a conflagration and an inundation: seductive, slippery, and sometimes a little shifty-eyed.”—Diane Schoemperlen, author of This Is Not My Life

“A Moose in the Dark explores the complex loyalties of husbands and wives, lovers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters. Browne offers a glimpse of the lives of ordinary people—a trucker, a shoe saleswoman, a school bus driver – illuminated briefly in the headlights, moments of disappointment, reconciliation and resignation. She writes those moments as they deserve to be written, in language rich with poetry and lightened by wit.” Kelly Cooper, author of Eyehill

“If you have a house, then there is always something to do—especially when the hours are stretching out in front of you like a long centre line on a dark night on a lonesome highway. In that time, civil dusk, that time just before it all goes black as pitch, you can make a homemade moose call and see what comes. Just as those were Heather Browne’s words, that moose call is exactly what she’s made, and so who comes to it? All those peculiar half-forgotten relatives who are just as human as we are—the quick and the dead, the old folks and the children, the long gone and now. Can Heather’s house stand up to all these visitors? If you run your hands over the wood, you will feel how well constructed it is, how she’s built it solid and sanded every beam. We don’t know if a moose will come or not, but we will. We can all live in Heather Browne’s house because that’s where we are already.”—Keith Maillard, author of Difficulty at the Beginning

“Communication, or the lack of it, is the theme of A Moose in the Dark, Heather Browne’s
debut collection of short stories, in which her characters strive to connect with one another and with the larger world, but for one reason or another do not… glimpses into the tragedies that lurk behind.”—Wayne Grady, Kingston Whig-Standard

“Contains stories that will—more frequently than not—leave you asking questions… which is a good indicator of the author’s short story writing skills. If you like the literary short story genre, then you will enjoy A Moose in the Dark.—Mirimachi Reader

H.W. Browne writes poetry and short fiction and received her Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of British Columbia. She has published several books of poetry, and her story, “Beach Glass,” was recognized as a notable short story by the judges for the 2014 Peter Hinchcliffe Fiction Award. A native New Brunswicker, she now lives in Ontario and continues mentoring creative writers, and of course, learning from the water.

Posted in 2017, M, Short Fiction, Summer 2017, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , |

Meet Me at The Aga Khan Museum

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.

Amnesty International will be at the event with information about human rights issues.

When: Sunday 14 May 2017, 1pm
Where: Aga Khan Museum, 77 Wynford Drive, Toronto.

 

 

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , |

Spring 2017 Poetry Launch

Join us on April 12, 7:30 pm at Glad Day Bookshop (499 Churst St) for the the launch of  our three spring 2017 poetry titles: Prosopagnosia by Ron Charach, Seasons in an Unknown Key by Karen Mulhallen, and Closer to Where We Began by Lisa Richter.

TR-Spring2017-PoetryBooksLaunch

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , |

Seasons In an Unknown Key

9781988040202 Seasons coverISBN: 9781988040202

Pub date: Spring 2017


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

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

Posted in 2017, Poetry, S, spring 2017 | Tagged , , , , |

Closer to Where We Began

9781988040189 Closer cover

ISBN: 9781988040189

Pub date: Spring 2017

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

“Richter’s first book traces an intimate diaspora… These are pieces of young mid-life when possibly a deeper consciousness of death and history twins with continued and reconfigured desires.”—Catherine Owen, Marrrow Reviews

“The poet admits rebellion… She is ‘Taking Stock’ of ghosts without stories… here are allusions to Robertson Davies’ Fifth Business and graffiti in Kensington Market; Where the Wild Things Are, poetry homage based on Evelyn Lau, Kate Braid, Theodore Roethke.”—Anne Burke, poets.ca

“Lisa Richter’s Closer To Where We Begin looks at our world through lucid dreams and then she writes it all down… these poems lit the place up. Richter has a sharp, laser type tongue, even if it often resides in her cheek.”—Michael Dennis, Today’s Book of Poetry

Photo by Matthew Burpee

Photo by Matthew Burpee

Lisa Richter‘s poetry has appeared in The Malahat Review, The Puritan, Literary Review of Canada, The Toronto Quarterly, Crab Creek Review, among other journals and anthologies. She was longlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize in 2015, and won first place in CV2 Magazine’s 2-Day Poem Contest in 2017. Closer to Where We Began is her first collection of poetry. She lives, writes, and teaches English as a Second Language in Toronto.

 

Posted in 2017, C, Poetry, spring 2017 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , |

Prosopagnosia—Ron Charach

proso test

ISBN: 9781988040226

Pub date: Spring 2017

Riffing on the neurological condition “prosopagnosia” (face blindness), the difficulty recognizing familiar faces, Ron Charach’s new collection of poems explores our struggle to recognize ourselves in others, and to remain recognizable to them across the boundaries of gender, race and religion, health and illness, love and indifference, celebrity and fandom, youth and advancing age.

Praise for Ron Charach’s poetry

“Ron Charach’s poetry—its expansiveness, its general extension of the boundaries (or so-called boundaries) of poetry, its political bite and pick-up from daily life—are all pleasures for the reader.”
Don McKay, author of Camber and Angular Unconformity 

“There’s a quirkiness of perspective in Ron Charach’s work which banishes the world of self-serving earnestness to the margins… I find myself thinking: if the social leg-hold traps we set for ourselves can’t be got free of, at least we can look down and laugh.”
Roo Borson, author of Cardinal in the Eastern White Cedar and Short Journey Upriver Toward Oishida

“Ron Charach is a metaphysical poet, if by metaphysical one means a poet concerned with the role of the human spirit in the great drama of experience. His concern with the complexities of humanity’s relationship to God and Nature make him a poet to be reckoned with.”
—John B. Lee, author of The Widow’s Land and The Full Measure

Ron Charach

Photo by Sean DeCory

Ron Charach is an author and practicing psychiatrist who lives in Toronto. He has lectured in both Canada and the United States on creativity. For sixteen years he hosted a column on medicine and poetry in The Medical Post, where he showcased the work of other physician/poets. His books are featured on the New York University website on the medical humanities and his medically related poems are taught in several medical humanities programs. He has published many letters in Canadian and American newspapers, most often on the subject of public safety.  His 2001 collection, Dungenessque, won the Canadian Jewish Book Award for poetry. Like his psychotherapy work with patients in the creative arts and sciences, Ron Charach’s poetry draws from the twin streams of literature and the healing arts.

Posted in 2017, P, Poetry, spring 2017 | Tagged , , , , , , |

Best Canadian Essays 2016 Launch

bce2016-booklaunch-23nov2016

Join Tightrope Books and editors Joseph Kertes and Christopher Doda for the launch of Best Canadian Essays 2016. November 23, 7:30pm, Dark Horse, 630 Queen Street East, Toronto.

Evening includes readings by selected BCE 2016 contributors, including Graeme Bayliss, Desmond Cole, Krista Foss, Susan Olding, Kenneth Sherman.

 

Posted in News, Uncategorized |

Best Canadian Poetry 2016 Launch

bcp2016-booklaunch-30nov2016_v7Join Tightrope Books, Series Editor Molly Peacock and Guest Editor Helen Humphreys for the Toronto Launch of The Best Canadian Poetry in English, 2016 at IFOA Weekly, November 30, Brigantine Room, Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto. Doors open at 7:00pm, event begins at 7:30pm sharp.

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.

Posted in News |

Best Canadian Essays 2016

9781988040110-bce-2016ISBN: 9781988040110
Pub date: Fall 2016


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.

Posted in Anthologies, Fall 2016, Non-fiction | Tagged , , , , , , |

Toronto Word on the Street 2016

WOTS 2016 TRB PosterOn Sunday, September 25 from 11am to 5pm, come and meet the Tightrope team and some of our wonderful authors at the 2016 Toronto Word on Street Festival at Harbourfront Centre. We’re in booth 524.

The following authors will be available for book signings and meet & greets in the Tightrope Booth for stints of up to one hour starting at the approximate times listed below.

Danila Botha: 2pm

Marnie Woodrow: 2:30pm (Marnie reads in the Toronto Book Awards tent at 1:30 pm)

Michael Fraser: 2:45 pm (Michael reads in the Vibrant Voices tent at 4:15pm)

Kelley Aitken: 4:45pm

Sandra Kasturi: 1pm

Kirsteen MacLeod: 11pm

Myna Wallin: 3pm

Elizabeth Ukrainetz: 11 am

Heather J. Wood: various times throughout the day

Jim Nason: various times throughout the day

Ursula Pflug: 3pm

Other authors may also appear throughout the day.

 

Posted in News | Tagged , , |

The Best Canadian Poetry in English, 2016

BCP2016 cover
ISBN: 9781988040103
Pub date: Fall 2016


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

 

Posted in Anthologies, B, Best Canadian Poetry, Fall 2016, Poetry, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , |

cabana the big—Ron Charach

9781988040127

ISBN: 9781988040127
Pub date: Fall 2016

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

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.

Posted in C, Fall 2016, Novels, specfic2016 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , |

The Myth in Distance—Charlene Challenger

9781988040134

ISBN: 9781988040134
Pub date: Fall 2016

The sequel to Charlene Challenger’s Aurora Award-nominated young adult novel, The Voices in Between, begins three years after heroine Adoni first followed Ritter, a piper, to the place known as the In-Between and defied its sinister overlord, Ansgar. Unable to find her way back, Adoni has given up the thought of ever rescuing the children she left behind. When she is finally reunited with Ritter, she coaxes him to unlock the portal, and together they return to the piper colony known as The Welcome. But they’re disturbed to discover their once-arresting world has been decimated by the vicious Sylvester and his changeling army. Neither Ritter nor Adoni is prepared to wage war against him. Their only weapon is the violent, devastating voice Adoni left the In-Between with all those years ago, but she soon learns that a weapon is only a weapon if you know how to use it.

The Voices in Between introduced us to spirited, sad Adoni and the world of the In-Between, with its haunting melodies and dark magic. In The Myth in Distance, years have passed and much has changed, in both of Adoni’s worlds. It was a delight meeting familiar characters again, and a thrill watching this new story unfold. Peril and passion; friends and changelings and a nightmarish villain—and Adoni at the centre of it all, struggling with identity and power, choice and regret and hope. Kudos to Challenger, whose voice, like Adoni’s, is only getting  stronger.”—Caitlin Sweet, author of The Door in the Mountain

“Luckily for us all, Challenger has given us a stirring encore to the tale she started in The Voices in Between, and has done so brilliantly, with feeling. Her words, her characters, sing on the page, and thrill you to your bones until the final note. Sonorous, moving, and with an authenticity rarely seen. Or heard.”—S.M. Beiko, author of The Lake and the Library and Scion of the Fox

“Urban fantasy with a strongly evoked Canadian setting, that is lyrically composed, and doesn’t shy away from difficult outcomes, The Myth in Distance is a satisfying conclusion to the saga of the In Between. Recommended.”—Ellen Wu, CM Magazine

Charlene Challenger author photo

Photo: Christine Baldacchino

Charlene Challenger is a graduate of the Ryerson Theatre School. Her first book, The Voices in Between, was shortlisted for an Aurora Award and longlisted for a Sunburst Award. She lives in Toronto with her husband, son, and their adorable dog, Omi.

Posted in Charlene Challenger, Fall 2016, M, Novels, specfic2016, Teen Titles, young adult | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Fall 2016 Fiction Launch

TR-SupermarketBookLaunch-28Sept2016Join the Tightrope team for the launch of three new fall fiction titles: Danila Botha’s For All the Men (and Some of the Women) I’ve Known, Ron Charach’s cabana the big and Charlene Challenger’s The Myth in Distance.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016, 6:30 pm, Supermarket Restaurant and Bar, 268 Augusta Avenue in Kensington Market.

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , |

For All the Men (and Some of the Women) I’ve Known—Danila Botha

For All the Men cover

Cover photo by Jowita Bydlowska

ISBN: 9781988040080
Pub date: Fall 2016

Finalist for the 2017 Trillium Book Award!
Shortlisted for The 2017 Vine Award Award for Canadian Jewish Literature in the Fiction category!
Shortlisted for the 2017 ReLit Award!


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

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

 

Posted in Award Nominees & Winners, F, Fall 2016, Short Fiction, Trillium, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Summer Short Fiction launch

Launch Pic
Join Tightrope Books on the summer solstice in launching Kelley Aitken’s second short story collection, Canadian Shield, and Kirsteen MacLeod’s debut collection, The Animal Game.

June 21, 6:30pm, The Central, 603 Markham St, Toronto.

Posted in News |

BCP Morning Glory Contributors

TR_BCP2016_MorningGlory_details

*$25 special Morning Glory attendance price for Best Canadian Poetry Contributors

Event date: Sunday, May 15, 2016, 11 am at The Wickson Social, 5 St Joseph Street, Toronto.



*Your event contribution includes coffee, tea and brunch hors d’oeuvres, a copy of The Best Canadian Poetry 2015 (guest edited by Jacob McArthur Mooney), the witty company of poets and the grateful company of the editors and publisher of this anthology, now in its ninth year. Your contribution will help to ensure the long and happy life of this cherished Canadian poetry annual.

Posted in Uncategorized |

Meet Me in Halifax

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.

MeetMeInHalifax_Poster-web-2

 

 

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |