PRICE: $16.95 – Special sale to celebrate the book’s many award nominations and wins!
Winner: 2013 Margaret and John Savage First Book Award
Shortlisted: 2013 Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Prize
Shortlisted: 2013 Relit Award in the Novel Category
Shortlisted: 2014 PEI Book Award for Fiction
CBC Literary Award finalist Keir Lowther makes his debut with a novel that revolves around loved ones dead and alive, family or otherwise that haunts the modern psyche of one young boy, trapped in the grotesque world that surrounds him. Written in a creepy, deadpan, dark spiritual tone that will light a powder keg in the lukewarm waters of Canadian fiction. Dirty Bird is a family dystopia saga of anxiety and misplaced love, carved out in the spirit of spooky tradition of writers such as Tony Burgess, Joey Comeau and Lisa Foad.
“Keir Lowther’s Dirty Bird gets between your teeth. It leaves silt in your bed sheets and second-hand smoke in your hair. It’s a neo-Canadian gothic tale of dysfunction, hallucination, and denial. It will make you feel sick, weak all over, but you’ll love it. You’ll crawl around for days after finishing it, wishing for more. This book breaks into your brain – but you’ll have to read it to know what that really means.” —Liz Worth author of Treat Me Like Dirt
“This debaucherous debut from Keir Lowther does not deal in pig-tailed orphans or raspberry cordial. Instead it delivers a darkly gothic PEI—made of grit, grime, and grotesquerie—in which the wronged dead crawl from their graves to track mud across your clean kitchen floor. Dirty Bird is a devilish, desperate plea from one very disturbed little boy who spends his summer longing for Happy Meals and coming of age among adults with human hearts and savage, animalistic appetites. This book reminds you of every bad thing you ever did and shames you for it. Dirty Bird will raze your brain and haunt your dreams and leave you begging for more.”—Matthew J. Trafford, author of The Divinity Gene
“There are serene moments in the book that breathe clean air into its dirty pages. But it’s the dirty moments that earn Lowther his ribbon; his ability to make small town tragedies new again, and make innocence unnerving, and his knack for writing about an off-kilter family from a tiny island out east that leaves us feeling bad on the inside.”—Colin Brush, Broken Pencil
Keir Lowther lives in Prince Edward Island with his wife, daughter and dog. His great grandfather was Lucy Maud Montgomery’s first cousin.
Price: $13.95 – special sale price!
Pub Date: Spring 2010
Winner of the LAMBDA award and the Gerald Lampert Award!
Fearless and insightful poems that illuminate one woman’s experience of chronic illness, relationships and gender identity, and solitude.
Anna Swanson’s poetry leads you through a life that tries to deal with a misunderstood illness, a gradual acceptance of one’s sexuality, and a sometimes onerous relationship with nature. Her writing is as honest as it is complex, and it attempts to reconcile an identity that has been distorted by illness through a profound analysis of memory and individual meaning. With poems that run the gamut from fearful to the absurd, that are at once deep and pithy, Anna Swanson proves in The Nights Also that she is a brave new voice in Canadian poetry.
Click to read an excerpt from The Nights Also.
Anna Swanson studied creative writing at the University of Victoria and the Memorial University of Newfoundland. Her poetry has appeared in PRISM International, The Antigonish Review, The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2008, and numerous other literary journals. She has paid the rent by planning festivals, selling books, serving drinks, making maps, walking on stilts, bowling with teenagers, writing press releases, and watching for forest fires. She now lives in Vancouver, BC, and works as a children’s librarian.
Praise for The Nights Also:
“There are the nights, yes, but in this startling debut collection ‘each day is a / thin steel catwalk of light’ and ‘the sun makes its arc across the mouth’ . . . Each word and image is freshly forged. The poems are smart, original, and daring, the footwork so assured that Anna Swanson dances with the future with no missteps. This is a strong new voice that reaffirms my faith in the heartbeat and vision that poetry can give us.”—Lorna Crozier
“As meditations on illness, these are extraordinary—sad, undermining, and, sometimes, spiked with a sense of humour.”—Tim Lilburn
“‘Oh dear body,’ Anna Swanson writes in her impressive debut collection, ‘How did we get here?’ How indeed? Throughout The Nights Also, Swanson asks: What does it mean to be frail and human. What is illness? Health? Gender? Memory? Love? And though Swanson doesn’t (thank God) arrive at any definitive answers, her skill and delight in exploring life’s mysteries and complexities are palpable. These poems—intelligent, passionate, and beautifully executed—announce the arrival of a gifted poet, one I hope we’ll be hearing from for years to come.’—Patricia Young
“Swanson’s narratives are sympathetic and her gestures towards self-advocacy are inspiring. Her speaker is highly personable, with straight-forward language. Having executed the realm of the autobiographically-oriented first collection with panache, I am eager to see what she will take up in subsequent work.”—Angela Hibbs, Broken Pencil
PRICE: $17.95 – special holiday sale price to celebrate Morro & Jasp’s 2014 Canadian Comedy Award win!
Inspired by the award-winning show Morro and Jasp: Go Bake Yourself, this comedic, multifaceted, and interactive book involves comics, stories, poetry, illustrations, photographs, pie charts and over 130 recipes. Clown sisters Morro and Jasp take readers on a journey through their tastiest recipes, their most intimate thoughts, and their deepest desires as they explore how different foods connect to our different moods. With easy-to-make recipes as well as fun challenges to any reader’s culinary craftsmanship, Eat Your Heart Out is an entertaining guide to help people learn how to love playing with their food again.
“Sure to put a smile on your face”—Milwaukee Public Library
Morro and Jasp are a Toronto-based, award-winning comedy duo with extensive training in Pochinko-based clown work. They have performed in a number of fundraisers and charity events including the Ronald McDonald House and Sick Kids Hospital, as well as the Toronto Clown Festival, the Human River Walk, and numerous activities for Canada Day.
Longlisted for the Edge Hill Prize
Written in original, humorous, and innovative ways, these 11 richly
varied stories expose the risks in finding shelter in unaccommodating
places. Exploring the precarious lives of an accident-prone Chinese
construction worker with a dark secret, a fatally ill Canadian artist
who remains in Beijing after the 2008 Olympics, a grieving barber who
makes a gruesome discovery about his Czech lover, and a couple who make a shocking, last-minute decision about their adoptive child, these unforgettable narratives—both dark and emotional—travel from China to Canada and Europe to convey vivid descriptions and a nostalgic appeal.
In 2012, Royston Tester became Associate Editor for Hong Kong-based Cha: An Asian Literary Journal. He organized the launch of Cha in mainland China on 31st August 2009 in Beijing. Prior to his appointment, he was a frequent contributor to the journal. His first collection of short fiction, Summat Else (Porcupine’s Quill) is set in England, Spain, and Canada. It explores the coming-of-age of Enoch Jones. Tester’s work has appeared in Asian, Canadian and U.S. journals and anthologies. Two stories, “Seriously” and “Face” were shortlisted for the 2006 CBC Literary Awards. Tester has been jury member for the Commonwealth Fiction Prize, and first reader for the Writers’ Union of Canada “Short Prose Competition for Developing Writers.” In Canada, he has taught ESL at McMaster University, and fiction-writing at the Humber School for Writers, Toronto. In China, he has been a frequent writer-in-residence at the Red Gate Gallery, Beijing.
Pub Date: Fall 2011
Price: $13.95 – special sale to celebrate Ashley Little’s appearance on the 2015 Dublin Impac Award longlist for her second book, Anatomy of a Girl Gang.
Shortlisted for the 2012 ReLit Award for best novel.
In this crackling debut, Ashley Little creates a new anti-hero — one whose audacity is matched by his vulnerability. PRICK is narrate by twenty-one year old Anthony “Ant” Young: an artist, an asshole, and an anti-hero. After fleeing a violent home life in Calgary, Ant moves to Victoria, BC, where he earns his tattooing apprenticeship under Hank the Tank, a founding member of the powerful Lucifer’s Choice motorcycle gang. Under Hank’s guidance, Ant learns the craft and business of tattoo, but he is also exposed to a vicious and frightening criminal underworld. Written in intense, rapid-fire bursts, PRICK explores themes of addiction, desire, and remorse. As Ant’s life stumbles out of control, he struggles to hold on to the one thing he really cares about. Ashley Little follows in the footsteps of Bret Easton Ellis and Heather O’Neill in this unforgettable, disturbing and darkly funny tale.
Ashley Little received a BFA in Creative Writing from the University of Victoria. She won the 2008 Okanagan Short Story Contest. Her work has appeared in Broken Pencil, The Danforth Review, Room and the anthology Writing Without Direction: Ten and a Half Stories by Canadian Authors Under Thirty (Clark-Nova, 2010). She lives in BC’s Okanagan Valley where she is completing her MFA. http://ashleylittle.com
Praise for Prick: Confessions of a Tattoo Artist
“Fearless, the straight stuff! An arresting look at the world of tattoo; graphic as a freshly embroidered skull on virgin skin. Via the morally ambiguous point of view of an eager young apprentice, PRICK is an entree to a world not often seen and even less understoof. With wistful shades of Willie Vlautin and al the grit of Charles Bukowski, Ashley Little lushly demonstrates that hers in an important new voice in unflinchingly real storytelling.” – Dennis E. Bolen, author of Kaspoit!
“Prick is a screeching hell ride down damnation alley…Like a car wreck to the morbidly inquisitive, or a brilliant dragon tattoo on alabaster flesh, Prick is a beautifully disturbing tale revealing the morally mangled soul of a young man.”—The Toronto Review of Books
Price: $16.95 special sale!
Long-listed for the B.C. national non-fiction award!
Tumbling into adulthood as the world falls into post 9–11 madness, Samantha Bernstein vividly depicts a generation raised in the ruins of Baby Boomer idealism. The daughter of a hippie mom ground down by life in a relentless film industry, and an absent, famous poet father, Samantha enters her twenties outraged by the legacies of her predecessors. In emails chronicling five years, she writes toward a vision that reconciles history with the possibility of an ethical and hopeful future. Creating collectives that are at once joyous and politically engaged, the characters in this memoir accept loss, acknowledge fear, and fight cynicism. Exultant and poignant, caustic and tender, Here We Are Among the Living invites readers to look carefully at the world – to believe the choices we make matter, and that to love is the most important choice of all.
“In the book, written in five years’ worth of emails to her nearest and dearest, Bernstein details her life as a young woman falling in love and deciding what to do with the boundless energy of her youth. She also happens to be the youngest daughter of a Canadian literary luminary, the poet Irving Layton, and though he had next to no part in raising her, the psychic weight of his absence in her life and presence in the literary canon leaves a deep impression on Bernstein’s spirit. By virtue of both her youth and her DNA, Bernstein embodies a curiosity and lust for life. And she is, of course, a writer. By the terms she has explicitly set for the work, Bernstein’s memoir is a success.”—The National Post
Samantha Bernstein’s poetry and prose has appeared in various publications, including Exile Literary Quarterly, The Fiddlehead and the anthology TOK 3: Writing the New Toronto. Samantha is a doctoral student at York University; her dissertation explores relationships between ethics and aesthetics. Sam and her husband play in Samba Elegua, a community drum orchestra that on any given day you might see dancing down a Toronto street.
Price: $14.95 special sale!
Pub Date: Fall 2011
The outstanding success of The Best Canadian Poetry in English series continues in 2011 with guest editor Priscila Uppal.
The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2011 proudly continues a series that kicked off with a bang in 2008 and thrives under the stewardship of esteemed editor Molly Peacock and a different acclaimed poet guest editor each year.
This year Priscila Uppal chose the fifty best Canadian poems published in Canadian online and print literary journals in 2010. With this anthology, readers– often baffled by the proliferating poems and poets– are able to tap into the remarkable and vibrant Canadian poetry scene.
About the Guest Editor
Priscila Uppal is a poet, novelist, and York University professor. Her publications include Ontological Necessities (shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize), Traumatology, Successful Tragedies (Bloodaxe books, UK), Winter Sport: Poems (written as Canadian Athletes Now poet-in-residence for the Olympic and Paralympic Games) the novels The Divine Economy of Salvation and To Whom It May Concern, and the study We Are What We Mourn: The Contemporary English-Canadian Elegy. Time Out London recently dubbed her “Canada’s coolest poet.” Visit priscilauppal.ca
About the Series Editor
Molly Peacock is the author of six volumes of poetry, including The Second Blush; a memoir, Paradise, Piece by Piece; and a one-woman show in poems, “The Shimmering Verge.” She is a contributing editor of the Literary Review of Canada and a faculty mentor at the Spalding MFA Program. Her latest work of nonfiction is The Paper Garden: Mrs. Delaney Begins Her Life’s Work at 72, which was nominated for BC’s National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction.
Praise for The Best Canadian Poetry series
“Some of us can only afford a half a dozen or so subscriptions to literary magazines, so the publication of The Best Canadian Poetry in English, now in its third year, is a welcome event.”
– Maxianne Berger, Rover Arts
“This would be an excellent book for the academic and the casual poetry fan who wants to dust off the rust in their CanLit poetry ligaments.”
– Michael Peckham, Broken Pencil
“The collection is a unique glimpse at a diversity of poets, from Ottawa’s David O’Meara to Margaret Atwood to the reverend P.K Page.”
– Cormac Rae, Ottawa Xpress
Price: $14.95 special sale!
Continuing in a long-established tradition of poetry excellence, this collection of 50 poems is culled from Canadian literary magazines and journals. The handpicked selection includes the best, and most current, representations of the vibrant Canadian poetry scene. This distinguished volume offers both a convenient introduction to contemporary poets in Canada and a collectible yearbook for seasoned poetry readers, distilled by the esteemed editorial tastes of a new guest editor and an accomplished poetry editor.
Molly Peacock, a poet and a creative nonfiction writer, is the author of The Paper Garden: Mrs. Delany Begins Her Life’s Work at 72 (2010) and six books of poetry, including The Second Blush (2008) and Cornucopia: New & Selected Poems (2002). Among her other works are a memoir called Paradise, Piece By Piece (1998) and How To Read A Poem and Start A Poetry Circle (1999). She is the editor of a collection of creative non-fiction, The Private I: Privacy in a Public World (2001) and the co-editor of Poetry in Motion: One Hundred Poems from the Subways and Buses (1996).
Carmine Starnino has published four critically acclaimed volumes of poetry, including This Way Out (2009), which was nominated for the Governor General’s Award. His other books include A Lover’s Quarrel (2004), a collection of reviews and essays, and The New Canon: An Anthology of Canadian Poetry (2005), which he edited. His most recent book is Lazy Bastardism: Essays and Reviews on Contemporary Poetry (2012). Starnino lives in Montreal, where he is poetry editor for Vehicule Press and a senior editor for Reader’s Digest Canada.
“Bravo: a Canadian first. Tightrope Books releases its first annual roundup of poetry from Canadian journals, revealing what poets are up to in their proverbial basements, garrets and broom closets from coast to coast to coast. Buy it, or borrow it, but do read it.” – Arc Poetry Annual, Paul Tyler
“The collection is a unique glimpse at a diversity of poets, from Ottawa’s David O’Meara to Margaret Atwood to the revered P.K. Page.”—Cormac Rae, Ottawa Xpress
Price: $10.00 special sale price to celebrate Carla Drysdale’s Earle Birney Poetry Prize win!
Pub Date: Fall 2009
Carla Drysdale’s poems in Little Venus challenge the reader, tackling the hard subjects of child abuse, sexual exploitation and the failure of some families.
The character of Little Venus runs through the poems burning with rage and want in an incendiary chant that the reader can’t ignore. Little Venus is a haunting collection that will stay with readers long after the last page is turned.
Click to read an excerpt from Little Venus.
Carla Drysdale was born in London, Ontario and was educated at Ryerson university in Toronto as well as Sarah Lawrence College in New York. Her poems have appeared in Canadian and US journals, including the Literary Review of Canada, Canadian Literature, the Fiddlehead, Global City Review, Confrontation and LIT. She lives in France and is the winner of the 2014 Earle Birney prize.
Price: $14.95 – sale price
Pub Date: 2009
Fortune Cookie is a diary-style novella set in Montreal during the turbulent year of 1989. The book follows Robin through her growing disenchantment with the aimless life of a twenty-something who hasn’t yet found herself in a world that is changing as fast as she is. This subversively feminist work, aimed at young women, is told in first-person vignettes – written in the informal and often humourous voice of 24-year-old Robin. Robin’s vignettes are at times intercut with news headlines, highlighting the political and social events of the year – including Tiananmen Square, the fall of the Berlin Wall and Montreal Massacre.
“Emotionally profound and politically charged, Fortune Cookie is an uplifting treat.”—The Link
“Heather J Wood’s Fortune Cookie is my annual end-of-the-year read—as classic a tale for me on December 31st as Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is on December 24th.”—Charlene Challenger, author of The Voices in Between
Montreal-born Heather J. Wood‘s work has appeared in journals and in the Tightrope Books’ anthologies: In the Dark: Stories from the Supernatural, and IV Lounge Nights. Heather’s chapbook, Barbies, Breasts and Bathing Suits, was published by Press On! in 2007. She lives in Toronto with her husband Kurt and two cats.
Click here to read an excerpt from Fortune Cookie.