The Best of the Best Canadian Poetry in English takes the pulse of Canadian poetry with ninety superb poems that have excelled—twice—at the test of “the best.” With poems chosen from the first nine volumes of this landmark series, this special tenth-anniversary edition highlights a vibrant variety of subjects from romance and family to ecology and the economy—not to mention blizzards and bears. Ranging from iconic poets Michael Ondaatje, Anne Carson, George Elliott Clarke, and P.K. Page to notable upstarts, the anthology includes an index for readers, notes from the poets, an illuminating analysis of Canadian poetics by series editor Molly Peacock, and provocative excerpts from past introductions by guest editors Stephanie Bolster, A.F. Moritz, Lorna Crozier, Priscila Uppal, Carmine Starnino, Sue Goyette, Sonnet L’Abbé, Jacob McArthur Mooney, and Helen Humphreys.
For a full list of The Best of the Best Canadian Poetry contributors, visit the Best Canadian Poetry Series site.
“A collection as complex and satisfying as a symphony.” —Publishers Weekly
“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
“Bits of eternity, arranged alphabetically.”—Merilyn Simonds, Kingston Whig-Standard
“Canada’s most eloquent, profound, humorous and meditative writers, ranging from the seasoned and well known to the new and upcoming.” —Eric Schmaltz, Broken Pencil
“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
“Buy it, or borrow it, but do read it.”—Paul Tyler, Arc Poetry Magazine
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. Anita is a former editor of Arc Poetry Magazine, and posts occasionally on her blog, “Henrietta & Me: People and other wonders found in books.”
Molly Peacock is a widely anthologized poet and writer. Her seventh volume of poetry is The Analyst, poems about psychoanalysis, poetry, and painting, from Biblioasis. Her recent book of tiny tales is Alphabetique: 26 Characteristic Fictions, with illustrations by Kara Kosaka; she is also the author of a biography, The Paper Garden: Mrs. Delany Begins Her Life’s Work at 72, and a memoir, Paradise, Piece by Piece, all from McClelland & Stewart.
“The house of the essay has many mansions and every door here opens onto one worth entering.” —Toronto Star
Contributors: Peter Babiak, Deni Ellis Béchard, Matt Cahill, Jane Campbell, Leonarda Carranza, Francine Cunningham, Larissa Diakiw, Alicia Elliott, Suanne Kelman, John Lorinc, Lauren McKeon, Susan Peters, Russell Smith, Joanna Streetly, Richard Teleky, Jane Edey Wood.
Christopher Doda is a poet, editor and critic living in Toronto. He is the author of three books of poetry, Among Ruins, Aesthetics Lesson, and Glutton for Punishment: Hard Core Glosas. His award-winning non-fiction has appeared in journals across Canada and he was on the editorial board of Exile Editions for over ten years.
Marina Nemat was born in 1965 in Tehran, Iran. After the Islamic Revolution of 1979, she was arrested at the age of sixteen and spent more than two years in Evin, a political prison in Tehran, where she was tortured and came very close to execution. She came to Canada in 1991 and has called it home ever since. Her memoir of her life in Iran, Prisoner of Tehran, first published in 2007, was an international bestseller. In 2007, Marina received the inaugural Human Dignity Award from the European Parliament, and in 2008, she received the prestigious Grinzane Prize in Italy. In 2008/2009, she was an Aurea Fellow at University of Toronto’s Massey College, where she wrote her second book, After Tehran: A Life Reclaimed, which was published by Penguin Canada in 2010.
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
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.
PRICE: $17.95—special sale price!
Jacob McArthur Mooney, this eighth edition of Canada’s vibrant yearly anthology features the fifty finest Canadian poems published during 2014. The Best Canadian Poetry series, which thrives under the stewardship of acclaimed series editor Molly Peacock and assistant 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.
“No matter what your tastes, there are some poems here you’ll really like… 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
“The Best Canadian Poetry series offers an annual glimpse of poetry published across Canada, complete with a diverse sampling of voices and experiences that may be appreciated beyond borders.”—Lori A. May, examiner.com
“Readers will find this edition replete with new and memorable verses that will welcome them into the wilds of poetry.”—Publishers Weekly
Jacob McArthur Mooney’s second collection, Folk (McClelland & Stewart, 2011), was nominated for the Trillium Book Award in Poetry and the Dylan Thomas Prize. Work from his forthcoming third collection (M&S, 2016) has been shortlisted for a National Magazine Award, won the Arc Magazine Poem of the Year and Prairie Fire Bliss Carman Awards, and been included in the 2012 and 2013 editions of Best Canadian Poetry in English. He lives with his wife and son in Toronto where he hosts and co-directs the Pivot Reading Series.
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. Anita is a former editor of Arc Poetry Magazine, and posts occasionally on her blog, Henrietta & Me: People and other wonders found in books.
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. Her latest book of poetry is The Second Blush (all from McClelland and Stewart). Her poetry is the subject of Jason Guriel’s monograph, Molly Peacock: A Critical Introduction (Story Line Press, 2014).
This short fiction collection examines the serendipity and spontaneity of history through stories about love, family, and art. Bruce Meyer offers a view that is both personal and panoramic in these heartfelt and surprising stories. The book features the post–WWI novella “A Chronicle of Magpies,” which tells the story of one family’s struggle to build their own paradise, a home and lakeside resort, in the gothic Canadian wilderness. The engrossing novella is the centerpiece to a rich collection of shorter narratives, which are told with the same keen eye and subtle lyricism.
“History and families, along with the events that inform both, lie at the heart of Bruce Meyer’s accomplished collection, A Chronicle of Magpies. These are stories that reach into the past to inform the present, and along the way help us do the same.”—Andrew Pyper, author of The Demonologist
“A haunting portrayal of Canadian families throughout time”—amazon.ca
“Meyer captures perfectly what it meant to be a Canadian at war and at home”—goodreads.com
Bruce Meyer is the award-winning author of forty-five books of poetry, short fiction, non-fiction, and literary journalism. His most recent books include the forthcoming Arrow of Time (2015), The Obsession Book of Timbuktu (2014), Testing the Elements (2014), and The Seasons (2014), which won an IPPY Medal and was short-listed for the Indie-Fab Award. With Barry Callaghan he published the groundbreaking anthology, We Wasn’t Pals: Canadian Poetry and Prose of the First World War (with an afterword by Margaret Atwood). His spoken word work includes the CBC’s bestselling CD series, The Great Books and Great Poetry. His non-fiction volume The Golden Thread: A Reader’s Journey Through the Great Books was a national bestseller in 2000. He was the inaugural Poet Laureate of the City of Barrie and is professor of Creative Writing and Communications at Georgian College and Visiting Professor of Literature at the University of Toronto’s Victoria College. He lives in Barrie, Ontario.
PRICE: $14.95-special sale price!
Longlisted for the Edge Hill Prize and The Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award!
In settings as varied as industrial England, the Syrian desert, urban Morocco, rural “expat” Spain, Canada’s West coast, and the China–Vietnam border, Royston Tester explores the very human struggles of people caught between cultures, social classes, lovers, family members, and sexualities. In “Dotty,” a young Canadian woman on a work-stay program in a Cornish village tries to make sense of her affair with an Italian factory owner. In “Who Knows Where,” two Canadian daughters grapple with their drug-addled mother whose lovemaking is haunted by the ghost of a stillborn baby. In “Face,” a lovesick Chinese Canadian student lays down the law to his ambitious father over a dinner of monkey brains. In unforgettable, stripped-down prose, the stories in this book observe, with an unflinching eye, those who dare to take steps further.
“You Turn Your Back is a vigorous and daring exploration of the limits of form and character. It is a demanding work, often asking the reader to witness and engage with situations of emotional duress and physical violence. It is also a work that rewards.”—Kerri Lu, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal
Royston Tester is the award-nominated author of the story collections Fatty Goes to China and Summat Else. His short fiction has appeared in North American, Asian, and European publications.
PRICE: $17.95 – special sale price!
Continuing in a long-established tradition of poetry excellence, the fifty poems in this seventh annual collection are culled from Canadian literary magazines and journals. Sonnet L’Abbe’s handpicked selections include the best, and most current, representations of the vibrant Canadian poetry scene. This distinguished volume includes poets John Barton, Marilyn Bowering, Nicole Brossard, Jan Conn, George Elliott Clarke, Jason Guriel, Sue Goyette, Don McKay, Susan Musgrave, Michael Ondaatje, Carmine Starnino, Karen Solie and many more.
“No matter what your tastes, there are some poems here you’ll really like… L’Abbé has done impressive work. ”—The Globe and Mail
“The Best Canadian Poetry represents notable poems published in years past, but it also reminds us of all the goings-on in literary culture across a nation”—Lori A. May, Poets Quarterly
Guest editor Sonnet L’Abbé, Ph.D. is the author of two collections of poetry, A Strange Relief and Killarnoe, both published by McClelland and Stewart. She was the 2017StartsNow! Artist-in-Motion in 2013. She is now at work on Sentient Mental Flower Book and Sonnet’s Shakespeare, her third and fourth collections of poems, and on a book about the plant-mind metaphors in the work of American poet Ronald Johnson. L’Abbé has reviewed fiction and poetry for the Globe and Mail, and has taught writing at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies and at the University of British Columbia. She will be the 2015 Edna Staebler Writer-In-Residence at Wilfrid Laurier University.
Assistant series editor 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. Anita is a former editor of Arc Poetry Magazine.
Series editor 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. Her latest book of poetry is The Second Blush (all from McClelland and Stewart). Her poetry is the subject of Jason Guriel’s recent monograph Molly Peacock: A Critical Introduction (Story Line, 2014).
Price: $15.95—special sale price!
Roxanna Bennett’s debut collection of precisely crafted poems examines connection and consequence. The poems in The Uncertainty Principle reveal the aftermath of events both at an atomic and human scale, from the domestic intimacy of a dysfunctional family to the wreckage of an atom bomb.
The more than 70 stories in I Am Currently Working on a Novel are as diverse as a telephone conversation or your average ocean. There are stories set in Hollywood, London, and the bottom of the sea. There are also pieces about ghosts, robots, love, Pointillism, death, and immortality. Though seldom longer than a few pages, there is more mystery, sadness and sheer mania in Rolli’s slimmed-down fictions than a whole shelf-full of standard novels.
“As dazzling as they are brilliant, these stories are bursting with life. They sing. And they’re very funny too.”—Nik Perring, author of Freaks
“Because this is a magic book, as you absorb its people you begin to realize that the real people around you are and have always been impossible.”—Brian Conn, editor of Birkensnake
“Rolli’s eccentric, whimsical stories exhibit a style and a brand of comedy all his own. There is much to love about this collection for a general audience, but these stories will be most rewarding for Rolli’s fellow writers and artists.” — pankmagazine.com
“The seventy-five stories in mononymous author Rolli’s new flash-fiction collection, I Am Currently Working on a Novel, waver between whimsical and bleak. The best ones are both.”—heavyfeatherreview.com
“Rolli’s imagination is admirable, and his ability to make so much happen in so few words is deeply impressive. Each one of the stories in I Am Currently Working On A Novel is finely-crafted, a miniature triumph.” —neonmagazine.co.uk
Saskatchewan resident Rolli is a writer, cartoonist, and the author of God’s Autobio, Plum Stuff, Mavor’s Bones and Dr. Franklin’s Staticy Cat. His cartoons appear regularly in Reader’s Digest. He lives in Regina, SK.
Divided into “exhibitions” corresponding roughly to various rooms in the Leonardo da Vinci Museum in Milan, this stunning poetry collection explores the legacy of da Vinci’s inventive imagination in various areas, such as war, medicine, sound, and aviation. The poems reflect how the 20th century was shaped by da Vinci’s work and theories, which are still being explored today.
“Jeffrey Round asks a big question: ‘What does infinity know?’ In a poetry collection with da Vinci at its core, themes of invention dovetail with themes of memory and loss.”—Jim Nason, author of Narcissus Unfolding
“There is food for thought throughout this collection.”—Amos Lassen, reviewsbyamoslassen.com
“Poetry requires a light touch, of knowing what to leave out, what not to over-explain. Jeffrey’s poems are easy to read, but not simple… a classy book of poetry.”—Paul Bellini, mygaytoronto.com
Jeffrey Round is an award-winning writer, director, and playwright. He is the author of A Cage of Bones, The Honey Locust, The P-town Murders and the Lambda Award-winning Lake on the Mountain. He founded a multimedia theater company, Best Boys Productions, and his full-length stage play, Zebra, won the Gay and Lesbian Appeal’s “Right to Privacy Award” and was nominated for a Pink Trillium for Best Play. He founded the Church-Wellesley Review, Canada’s first print journal for LGBT creative writing. He lives in Toronto.
PRICE: $15.95—special sale price!
Adoni is a teenaged girl who lives in a downtown apartment with her mother, an emotionally and physically abusive woman who drinks too much. One evening, Adoni finds herself drawn to the enchanting voice of a man singing in the alley beneath her bedroom window. The man, Ritter, brings Adoni to the Welcome, a northern colony of the In-Between world, where young people who have been rescued from harm are kept safe by their sworn immortal protectors, the pipers. But when the Welcome is attacked by changelings—led by the vicious and charismatic Sylvester—and a centuries-old grudge spills over the edge and threatens to destroy the colony and everyone who lives there, Adoni must find the strength and courage within to stop the oncoming war. This stirring LGBTQ-positive coming-of-age fantasy novel accurately portrays issues such as domestic violence and emotional abuse, as well as cultural and sexual identity.
“In The Voices In Between, Challenger has created a brilliant urban fantasy haunted by a melody line and dark secrets that cut beneath reality. Her words sing on the page, weaving a world that draws you in with its claws and refuses to let go. Captivating, intriguing, and most of all musical, Challenger sets the stage for a series whose insistent voice will continue whispering into your ear long after you’ve turned the final page.” —S.M. Beiko, author, The Lake and the Library
“Brave, wrenching loving, wise—and absolutely breathtaking. I have not read a debut novel more clear-eyed and heartfelt than The Voices in Between.”—Leah Bobet, author of Above
“The descriptive passages are lyrical and make powerful use of metaphor”—Resources Links Magazine
“The Voices in Between is an ambitious and sophisticated fantasy, written with evocative, brooding beauty. Challenger makes words on a page caress the ear like music or jar against the soul with a chilling and suspenseful grip.” —Ellen Wu, Canadian Review of Materials
“The Voices in Between snatched my attention straight away with its unusual, atypical heroine… I found the book beautifully written and smart. There is something poetic and enchanting in the In-Between with its snowy landscape and its Christmas air… I sincerely enjoyed The Voices In Between and I highly recommend it.”—Angelique, Maple Books
The book is about so many things….making choices, finding your identity, fitting in, anger, manipulation, dealing with abuse (bullying). It is a great journey that brings forward many social issues that our young generation faces on a daily basis. I’m eagerly awaiting book two!!—lostintherain.com
“shows remarkable wisdom, with fluid prose and masterful plotting that hit all the right notes at just the right times. A multi-tiered accomplishment in YA fiction, the heroine and heroes are anything but typical, with remarkable diversity representative of the city in which it’s based.”—amazon.com customer review
Charlene Challenger is a writer, a graduate of the Ryerson Theatre School, and the first recipient of the Gladys Shibley Mitchell Scholarship Award. She lives in Toronto with her husband and son. Tightrope Books published the sequel to the The Voices in Between, The Myth in Distance, in the fall of 2016.
PRICE: $11.95 sale price!
What has happened to Bret Easton Ellis ego? Why does Ferran Adrià reject the gastronomy its said he invented? Who was the novelist that punched her poet husband in the face? Why is David Sedaris broken in the wrong way? When is it comforting to eat spleen? In Magical Narcissism, award-winning Canadian journalist and critic Shaun Smith investigates all these questions and many others as he pursues his two great loves: books and food.
In dozens of pieces, Smith tackles works by such luminaries as Steve Martin, Joan Didion, Douglas Coupland, Iain Banks, Christopher Hitchens, Heston Blumenthal, Susur Lee, Jennifer McLagan, Bonnie Stern, Jeffrey Steingarten, and A.A. Gill. He takes us to pig roasts in southern Ontario and northern Spain. He wonders why people want books defaced by author autographs. He sings the praises of invention. And he laments a dearth of donuts.
Sometimes caustic, sometimes celebratory, always entertaining, the works in this volume represent the best from fifteen years of writing for such outlets as the The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, CBC.ca, Quill & Quire, and many others. Books and food are not really so disparate, writes Smith both provide sustenance and, if you’re lucky, gratification, and both can—and in my case usually do—elicit strong opinion.
Shaun Smith is a novelist and award-winning journalist in Toronto, Canada. His young-adult novel Snakes & Ladders was published in 2009. As a journalist he has published hundreds of articles and reviews on books, food and other subjects with such publications as The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, CBC.ca, Toronto Life, Quill & Quire, Chatelaine, and ELLE Canada. A former chef, he cooked in such noted kitchens as Scaramouche, The Senator, The Rosedale Diner, and David Wood Food Shop. Since 1995 he has worked widely as a book reviewer and publishing commentator, and also as a cookbook columnist, food writer, restaurant critic, and cookbook reviewer. In April 2011, he was inducted as a Fellow into the Ontario Hostelry Institute in recognition of his work as a food writer, book reviewer and commentator. Hervé This is a chemist who works for the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique at AgroParisTech in Paris, France, whose main area of scientific research is molecular gastronomy. He is the author of numerous scientific publications and several books on the subject.
PRICE: $10 special sale price
Kelly Ward’s debut collection of stories teems with characters just on the fringe of the mainstream, and each story examines the mundane and abject sides of normalcy. A middle-aged woman spends her life in the slot machine pit of a rural casino where she navigates her misplaced affections for two men: one a lifelong gambler and couch-surfing cad, the other a kid in his early 20s who makes her forget her own age and place in the world. Twenty-something newlyweds Asa and Maria attempt to conceive for the first six months of their marriage. When her apparent dream of becoming a mother doesn’t pan out quickly, Maria distances herself from Asa. A septuagenarian utilizes younger shoppers as pawns to make her weekly grocery-store jaunt that much easier to navigate. Each of Keep it Beautiful‘s characters find humor and beauty in unlikely places, while often playing victim—or at times accomplice—to their circumstances.
“Ward’s marginal characters—geriatric shoplifters, lovelorn gamblers, Zellers employees, OCD municipal workers—are curious curiosities. Ward lifts the everyday and everyman and transforms absurd disappointments and fragmented joys of the quotidian to reveal a fresh, intimate compassionate perspective, as all gifted writers do.”—Ibi Kaslik, author of Skinny and The Angel Riots
“Ward favour[s] shorter stories that provide just enough information to comprehend their characters’ motivations and morality, while simultaneously refusing to explain things in a blandly expository manner.”—The National Post
“Keep It Beautiful is full of characters both odd and endearing and makes for fantastic summer reading for short story lovers.”—Open Book Toronto
“The author’s deft facility with character and her willingness to trust her readers by infusing her stories with just the right degree of contingency mark her as an author to watch.”—Steve W. Beattie, 49th Shelf
“Observant and compassionate to the end”—goodreads.com
Kelly Ward is a freelance writer and editor whose fiction, poetry, and journalism have appeared in various publications across Canada, including Existere, Matrix Magazine, SubTerrain, Taddle Creek, Word Magazine, and various other literary journals. Her story, “A Girl And A Dog On A Friday Night,” was longlisted for the 2017 Journey Prize. She lives in Toronto.
Being married is one thing, but being married to Bret “Hitman” Hart—former five-time World Wrestling Entertainment Champion—is another. In her vibrant and honest memoir, Hart’s ex-wife and the mother of his four children chronicles the ups and downs of balancing life with a superstar husband in the circus world of professional wrestling. Beginning with Julie’s teen years and early romance with Bret, the story follows the couple’s marriage, children, divorce, and continued presence in each other’s lives, culminating in Julie’s growing role as one of the new matriarchs of the ever-expanding Hart family in Calgary. Vividly detailed and humorous, this authentic account of Julie’s life as an individual, wife, mother, sister, and friend is told by, quite arguably, the Hitman’s toughest opponent and greatest ally of all time.
“Hart Strings, at its heart, is a tale of survival… a tale of life away from the big arenas and the bright lights, and it’s certainly compelling reading”
Julie Hart is a former stroke group facilitator at the Calgary Foothills Hospital and has been a speaker for brain injury awareness, a fundraiser for the Winnipeg Children’s Hospital, and an overseas coordinator and operations specialist for the Love of Children’s Society of Alberta. She lives in Calgary, Alberta.
PRICE: $14.95—special sale price
Teetering on the brink of longing and the downtrodden, Julie Cameron Gray’s poetic debut explores isolation and the distance between human understanding and human experience. Her poems showcase the relationship between people and their work, urban living and the fringe existence of “wild” animals, the flaws that relationships tend to encompass despite best intentions, and the mysteries inanimate objects hold. Tangle is a verdict, a web of dysfunction, and an alibi.
“Julie Cameron Gray has achieved something crucial, but too rare, in today’s world of rapid change: how to be true to a sense of the new through an energizing sense of continuity with the imaginative richness of the past. . . . If we value zestful continuity as part of an allegiance to exploration and change, Julie Cameron Gray is a poet to watch.” —Roger Nash, author, Something Blue and Flying Upward
“This is a compact collection of distilled, mature poetry.”—Anne Burke, League of Canadian Poets
“All in all, a delightful read”—goodreads.com
Julie Cameron Gray is the author of the chapbook Coordinating Geometry, and her poetry has appeared in Carousel, Contemporary Verse 2, Event, Fiddlehead, and PRISM International as well as the anthology Best Canadian Poetry in English 2011.
PRICE: $15.95 special sale price—save $6!
In this compelling anthology of hospital-and medical-industry themed writing, essays explore various topical subjects, including health care, the aged, families, doctors, mortality, fatality, and the growing concern for safety, service, and well-being. Featuring contributors from a wide range of connections to medical drama—patients, loved ones, and providers being the most prominent—this collection will appeal to those in the medical profession as well as patients and their family members.
In the anthology’s foreword, Tabatha Southey writes, “These are travelogues to a land we seldom plan on touring, a land we skirt, but that we must visit and which is in fact extraordinary.” Serious, sad, light, funny, and sometimes all of these at once, the wisdom of these stories will find resonance with practitioners, students, and anyone interacting with the healthcare system.
“With Mess, Devaney and Molenhuis have shone a spotlight where many of us still fear to tread, doing patients an enormous service in illuminating their experiences with the potential of changing our healthcare system for the better, and also creating an emotional and most compelling read.”—Kerry Clare, Pickle Me This
“This book is a rare gem of contemporary scholarship…whether patient, family member or professional, whether scholar or member of the general public: Read this book.”–Kathryn Church, Director of Disability Studies at Ryerson University
Julie Devaney is the author of My Leaky Body. She was named one of the Women Health Heroes by Best Health Magazine in 2011, has received national media attention on CBC’s White Coat Black Art’s “Talking Back” episode, and has been profiled in Abilities Magazine, Chatelaine, and The Toronto Star. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.
Dave Molenhuis is a journalist and the national chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. He lives in Ottawa, Ontario.
PRICE: $10 – special sale price!
A modern-day Greek tragedy, I Thought I Would Be Happy revolves around Marco Morelli, an aspiring filmmaker with a passion for heights. Set in New York, Toronto, and on top of Mount Olympus, this sexy, vivid novel weaves mythology with current events. It will especially interest academics, members of the gay community, and film and art lovers.
“To accept happiness, will you accept its terror? I Thought I Would Be Happy provides absorbing terrain in which to ponder the question. Surreal and fragmented memories slowly reveal the courage it takes to accept change in others — to realize you have shared the intimacy of strange travel together. In a work haunted by both cruelty and kindness, Jim Nason shows how our undoing can also be our extreme good luck.”—Daniel Allen Cox, author of Krakow Melt
Jim Nason‘s award-winning poems, essays, and stories have been published in literary journals and anthologies throughout the United States and Canada, including The Best Canadian Poetry in English. He is also the author of a novel, The Housekeeping Journals, and a short-story collection, The Girl on the Escalator. He lives in Toronto.
Like I Care is set in Vancouver a year or two into the future, when everything is just like it is now, apart from the invasion of monsters from Japanese Horror movies, the frequent earthquakes, and the army of scooter-riding Yé-Yé girls taking over the streets. The characters include a couple of families who live in an upscale suburb. Arnold is a struggling real-estate agent who is going through a divorce from Katherine, who believes she is Princess Diana. Their daughter, Christiana, is an aspiring model. Lawrence, their neighbour, has retired from his civil service career and is now a consultant who specializes in writing pointless mission statements. He’s plotting an affair with a young woman who belongs to a cannibal cult led by a chef who has created the perfect Canadian cuisine—eating the corrupt. Lawrence’s blended family includes Dorothy, his wife, and her son Thomas, who has dropped out of university and discovered that his true vocation is watching daytime TV. They’re all about to be transformed through the influence of legendary New-Age financier and evangelist of globalization Mitchell Mobius. Thomas becomes his evil twin, Raoul, and joins Mobius in founding a company that markets obsolete trends. Christiana is transformed into a media icon without her knowledge or consent. Arnold also jumps on the Mitchell Mobius bandwagon and finds himself in Taiwan just in time for the invasion. Fear, uncertainty, disinformation: that’s the mantra of the 21st century, and Arnold and his friends are living it to the hilt.
“A fast moving (and fast reading!) romp of a novel… smart, funny, and enjoyable…“—Necessary Fiction
“…a masterful piece of storytelling, with well-drawn characters and imagined situations that seem all too real”—The Saskatoon Star-Phoenix
“Guppy sharply evokes character and milieu in dialogue and prose that are skillfully-shaped.”—The Vancouver Sun
Stephen Guppy is the author of several books including The Fire Thief (novel) The Work of Mercy (stories), Understanding Heaven (poems) which was shortlisted for the BC Book Award/Dorothy Livesay Award for Poetry.
Price: $14.95—special sale price!
3rd place winner—2013 Elgin Awards/2013 Rhysling Award Nominee
Sandra’s first collection, The Animal Bridegroom featured an introduction by Neil Gaiman and has sold out. This collection expands on her themes of abject romances, deformed fairy tales gone and the astonishing delights of life in glorious 21st century. Her latest poetry book fuses nature’s continuous emotional offerings, our desire to understand ourselves with our passion to be free, devoid of the burden of modern thought.
Sandra Kasturi is a writer, publisher, book reviewer and Bram Stoker Award-winning editor. She is the co-owner with her husband, writer and publisher Brett Alexander Savory, of the World Fantasy Award-nominated press, ChiZine Publications. She managed to snag an introduction from Neil Gaiman for her previous poetry collection, The Animal Bridegroom.
Praise for Come Late to the Love of Birds
“Beautiful poems in a jewel box of a collection. You should slow down and take the time to read it.”—Madeline Ashby, author of Company Town
“Her words are imbued with complexity, multiplicity, and a deep interplay of meanings. Her poetic art is simultaneously completely natural and wholly transcendent.”—Derek Newman-Stille, Speculating Canada
“Stunning turns of phrases”—Diane Severson, Amazing Stories
“Kasturi catapults her readers into a parallel universe where dreams shape reality. Beware! She’s a powerful trickster who infuses the everyday with beauty, lust, changelings and not-so-benevolent magic.”—Emily Pohl-Weary, author of Not Your Ordinary Wolf Girl
“Sandra Kasturi’s poetry collection, Come Late to the Love of Birds, is a dazzling journey through a mind awake, an eye alive, and a voice remarkably adept. There is great music here, and magic, and many impossible things you didn’t believe before you read them.”—Patrick O’Leary, author of The Gift and The Black Heart
“Sandra Kasturi’s poems in Come Late to the Love of Birds manage to have both the charm of a particularly beautiful and bright child, while at the same time the grinning bite of a bad seed. A sympathy for roasting birds, a send-up of mythology, the haunted dignity of a hawk—everything she writes has a touch of melancholy about it, but it’s the toy melancholy of the curious and optimistic. How I’d love to be a subject in her world. These poetic tales are funny, absurd, sad, portentous, and completely brilliant. I shall look twice when I next see a bird. I too, have come late to the love of birds—but now I adore them.”—Susie Moloney, author of A Dry Spell and The Thirteen
Praise for The Animal Bridegroom
“The Animal Bridegroom is a wonderful showcase for Sandra Kasturi’s work—she has a lot to say and hundreds of ways to say it. Filled with poetry of sheer, spinning invention and genuine passion, none of it comfortable or conventional, this long-awaited book is a genuine pleasure to read.”—Peter Straub, author of A Dark Matter and Mrs. God
“Sandra Kasturi’s magical poems transform the ordinary into the surreal and exotic.”—Phyllis Gotlieb, author of Birthstones and Red Blood, Black Ink, White Paper
Unique and informative, these essays take a hard look at the state of Canadian literature today by exploring independent publishing, the awards culture, and the commercialization of even the most un-commercial of books. Delving into the political issues driving Canadians, including the tar sands in Alberta and the future of the railway system, this collection also discusses timely topics such as sexuality in the cyber world, the ongoing discoveries of the science world, and immigration. With contributions from Ryan Bigge, Kim Fu, George Fetherling, Alexandra Molotkow and Stephen Henighan, this volume promises to be one on the most entertaining and thought provoking edition yet.
Christopher Doda is an award-winning critic, editor, and poet. He is the author of the collections of poetry Among Ruins and Aesthetics Lesson. His poems and reviews have appeared in journals and magazines across Canada and he was an editor at Exile: The Literary Quarterly for five years. He is currently the review editor for the online journal Studio.
Ray Robertson is the author of six novels—Home Movies, Heroes, Moody Food, Gently Down the Stream, What Happened Later, and David—as well as two collections of non-fiction, Mental Hygiene: Essays on Writers and Writing and, most recently, Why Not? Fifteen Reasons to Live, which was short-listed for the Hillary Weston Writers Trust Prize for Non-Fiction, long-listed for the Charles Taylor Prize for Non-Fiction, and was a Globe and Mail Best Book of 2011.
PRICE: $15.95 – special sale price!
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
“I’ll never forget this book… So real and gritty.”—goodreads.com
“We need more writers like Keir Lowther”—libeery.tumblr.com
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.
“A magnet, I think, for the many people who would like to know contemporary poetry”—A.F. Moritz, Griffin Poetry Prize winner
“From traditional verse to prose poems, from tight couplets to drawn out block stanzas, inclusive of free verse and the occasional rhyme, the selections of The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2012 are vast and varied, complex and delightful, and representative of the multi-faceted voices arising coast to coast.”—Lori A. May, Lonely Offices
“A remarkable collection of poems from some of Canada’s best poets”—goodreads.com
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). She is 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.