Opening with an aubade for the labyrinthian corners of Bombay’s largest slum, Tourist is a collection that is unafraid of shadows, and aims to unearth the unseen. Set across time and landscape—modern day Michigan, 1970’s Cambodia, WWI England, the kaleidoscopic mindscape of an Alzheimer patient—these poems draw us into lives that, initially, seem foreign, yet provoke our solidarity in the face of disorientation—a boy facing his first bankruptcy, an elephant facing destruction at the hands of poachers. The book culminates in ‘Beethoven Walks’, an elegiac war cry from a man who wades in and out of darkness like a modern day Odysseus, and the churning resilience that sets him free.
“Wakefulness is poet Lara Bozabalian’s traveling companion in her new collection, Tourist. Her lines are long with an inviting tendency to wander. Her similes are startling, her descriptions dressed to kill.”—Barry Dempster, author of The Burning Alphabet and Disturbing the Buddha
“With its lush imagery and eye for resonant detail, its rhythm born from Lara’s rich history in spoken word and performance, Tourist will more than satisfy your literary wanderlust.”—Carolyn Smart, author of Hooked and Careen
“Bozabalian’s travels, both geographical and imaginative, make for compelling reading. A refreshingly assured and original book.”—Alexandra Oliver, author of Meeting the Tormentors in Safeway and Let the Empire Down
“Lara Bozabalian is a poet with a deft understanding of emotional and physical distance. Wherever she places her readers in time or place, she is reliably available as an earnest, expansive guide. Tourist is full of curious, public-hearted poems.”—Jacob McArthur Mooney, author of Folk and Don’t Be Interesting
“Channelling Escher the artist/architect and his intricate alleyway… expresses hidden emotions… by means of a kaleidoscope.” Anne Burke, poets.ca
“There is something about Lara’s writing that is magical to me.”—goodreads.com
Lara Bozabalian is an award-winning writer, and author of the bestselling collection of poetry, The Cartographer’s Skin. In both 2014 and 2015, Lara was named Toronto’s Best Poet in the Now Magazine Best of Toronto Poll. She has featured at TEDxIB and lectured, workshopped, and performed her work at several Canadian universities.
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Shortlisted for the 2016 ReLit Award!
Twenty years after a horrific captivity, Magda’s perfect life begins to crumble. Helpless to the resurgence of memory, she collapses inward. Through a haze of desire frighteningly evocative of the attack, she desperately attempts to fit together the bits and pieces of self, which existed before and after. The Theory of Light at Midnight is the story of the disintegration of personality, and one woman’s attempt to reconstruct integrity with the truth of brutality intact.
“In this series of ‘broken cantos,’ language buckles under the weight of a body’s knowing, giving voice to a novel which sings its gorgeous dissonance. Like a rare piece of music, this writing moved me to tears. It is an astonishing work. Magda’s experience of childhood violence reverberates throughout her life and words—and into the bodies of readers who hold this book in their hands. The Theory of Light at Midnight not only describes trauma, it renders it actual through Ukrainetz’ extraordinary prose.—Marianne Apostolides, author of Sophrosyne
“Surreal. Dreamlike. Childhood trauma and adult aftershock transformed into art.” —Mary Lou Dickinson, author of Would I Lie to You? and Ile D’Or
“A poet as well as a prose writer, Ukrainetz has a handle on language”—Quill & Quire
“A deftly crafted and compelling read from beginning to end… destined to become a literary classic.”—Midwest Book Review
“The Theory of Light at Midnight brings Ukrainetz back into the world of Canadian fiction. The novel is a temporally and structurally fragmented look at the inner life of a woman… Ukrainetz deftly steps outside of time and linear structure… conveying a strong sense of Magda’s central struggle.”— David Burgess McGregor, Winnipeg Review
“Elizabeth Ukrainetz’s writing shows brief glimpses of life on the other side of a window painted with vivid colours and designs. Language in her work is at the forefront.”—Room
“Language, for Elizabeth Ukrainetz, is a goal in itself. In The Theory of Light at Midnight, it is the poetic prose that draws the reader’s attention.”—Herizons
Elizabeth Ukrainetz writes prose and poetry. Her work has appeared in several anthologies and journals over the years, including The Malahat Review, Fiddlehead, and Grain. She’s published two books with Exile Editions, Baby, I Love You: Stories and Minor Assumptions. Visit her website at eeukra.net
Finalist for the 2016 English Language Trillium Book Award!
Longlisted for The Frank O’Connor Short Story Prize!
Janette Platana’s cheerfully disturbing, gleefully outraged, and chillingly beautiful stories break open the lives of apparently ordinary people who struggle and sometimes succeed in living without compromise, refusing to sacrifice the world they sense to the world they see, and where things can be true without ever being real. The range of this accomplished and poetic voice may cause vertigo, owing, as it does, as much to the Clash to Stephen King, to Caitlin Moran as to Flannery O’Connor, and something to David Sedaris. A Token of My Affliction will make you laugh while breaking your heart wide open.
“Wild, witty and thought-provoking…”—Michelle Berry, author of Interference
“Janette Platana’s writing is brave and vivid and full of tender sacrilege.”—David Bergen, author of The Time in Between
“Platana questions where choices originate from and what factors make us choose certain paths and not others.”—Derek Newman-Stille, Speculating Canada
“So funny. So perfect; so true. I really haven’t got one negative thing to say about this book. You should read it. Janette Platana is one of our best.” —Richard Rosenbaum, Broken Pencil
“This is an impressive collection of short stories.”—goodreads.com
“This collection is as brilliant as it is terrifying… For Janette Platana, to have an affliction is to be a person… I highly recommend this book.”—Evelyn Deshane, The Rusty Toque
“I’ve never read anything quite as raw as Janette Platana’s first collection of short stories, A Token of My Affliction… if this is only Janette Platana’s debut collection, then we’ve all got a whole slew of incredible stories coming our way.—galaxyquill.com
“A magnifying glass that you hold up to an assortment of lives that look a lot like your own, and through that magnifying glass you see all the fascinating and horrible microscopic entities crawling over the surface and within the minuscule cracks of those lives.”—Andrew Forbes, 49th Shelf
Janette Platana’s poetry and fiction have appeared in literary magazines across Canada, in the U.S., and in Turkey. Originally from Saskatchewan, and with a background in indie bands and improv comedy, she now lives and writes in Peterborough, Ontario. Her short story, “Dear Dave Bidini,” won This Magazine‘s 2009 Great Canadian Literary Hunt. A Token of My Affliction is Janette’s debut collection of short fiction.
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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.
The Tel-talk project brings together artists of varying backgrounds, from across the country, to perform in and or animate a telephone booth in response to themes surrounding public spaces, and the disappearance of traditional phone booths. Artists and writers were
invited to contribute a site-specific installation, artwork, or short work of fiction, which references a unique telephone booth location. The installations began in September 2011 and continue through to July 2012. Over the last nine months, each installation was announced and documented on the Tel-talk blog (http://tel-talk.blogspot.ca/)
The Tel-talk project culminates in an exhibition of various works and photo documentations at the Telephone Booth Gallery in Toronto’s Junction neighbourhood along with a book launch which outlines contributions to the project in (phone) book form under the Tightrope Books imprint. The project continues online with an open invitation to artists and writers to make their own art interventions.
Selected artists and writers (Tel-talkers) include: Barry Callaghan, Dyan Marie, Julie Voyce, Lizz Aston, Jessica Westhead, Otino Corsano, Tim Laurin, Sheila Butler, Steven Tippin, Stuart Keeler, Tara Cooper, Terry O’Neill and many more. Full list of participants and online: http://tel-talk.blogspot.ca/
About the Editors
Paola Poletto is an artist, writer and arts administrator. She is co-editor of Boredom Fighters! (Tightrope Books, 2008), Ourtopias: Cities and the Role of Design (Riverside Architectural Press, 2008); and co-founder/editor of Kiss Machine (2000-5), which included a girls and guns issue with traveling exhibition to artist run centres in Eastern Europe. In 2009, Paola was guest curator of fashion no-no (Queens Quay Gallery, Harbourfront Centre). She has also held curatorial and programming positions at Toronto’s Italian Cultural Institute (1993-98), Design Exchange (2000-2008) and the City of Mississauga’s Culture Division (2008-).
Liis Toliao burned a Barbie doll in her first short film, which she presented as part of a larger performance piece at the age of 16. She has since been many things including, but not limited to: l’m editor, construction worker, administrator, fashion merchandiser, photographer, Sunday driver, graphic designer, fairweather optimist and occasional daydreamer. Tel-talk represents her first foray into curation and programming. When speaking about Tel-talk she says: “I’m interested in finding the awe and wonder in simple moments and common-place objects. Through this project, I hope people re-discover the telephone booth. They’re beautiful spaces.
Yvonne Koscielak is an art advisor, cultural worker and creative producer. She received her Master’s in Art Business from the Sotheby’s Institute – New York, and her HBA from the University of Toronto, and has held curatorial and consulting positions throughout New York and Toronto where her brief included acquisition and de-accession of many notable corporate and private art collections. Yvonne specializes in Modern and Contemporary art and can regularly be found spending the afternoon at a local art gallery or cashing in her travel points to avoid missing the latest art fair or museum exhibition.
The poems in this collection are erotic and wry, a first hand tour through the world of today’s woman for whom desire is no longer a dirty word.
Wallin’s poems explore where the sensual woman has been and where she s going. If Candice Bushnell was a poet, these are the sort of poems she would write.
Praise for A Thousand Profane Pieces:
“Wallin’s book is exhilarating: a dollop of sugar-coated acid. Its subtitle should be, Love and the Older, Single Woman: The persona has been hurt, has snapped back, but vows her vulnerability … The tone? Ms. Sylvia Plath Atwood: Satire and Cynicism for the Discriminating Reader. Wallin’s wit exudes wisdom and wrath. Perfect.”—George Elliott Clarke, author of Whylah Falls
Myna Wallin is an author and editor in Toronto. Her poetry and prose have appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including The Algonquin Square Table Anthology, Contemporary Verse 2, Existere, Eye Weekly, Kiss Machine, Literary Review of Canada, Matrix, Misunderstandings Magazine, Nod, Surface and Symbol, Taddle Creek, and Word: Canada’s Magazine for Readers and Writers. She is also the author of Confessions of a Reluctant Cougar. www.mynawallin.com
In their final year of high school, fate deals friends Aaron Fenn and Dean Higham two very different hands. Years later an adult Dean, now a successful Toronto condo salesman, wonders how to remake the past after a chance encounter with Aaron’s sister.
Unflinching and mordantly funny, this novel about blind loyalty, first girlfriends, bowling alleys, big hair bands, petty crime and betrayal is an evocative, unforgettable kind of love story.
“I do recommend you read this book”—Rebecca Rosenblum, Rose-Coloured Reviews
“I would read more by this author. Way to go for a first novel.”—goodreads.com
Andrew Daley is the editor of Taddle Creek Magazine in Toronto. His work has appeared in several magazines including Kiss Machine. This is his first novel.