Canadian Shield—Kelley Aitken

9781988040097ISBN: 9781988040097
PRICE: $21.95

Winner of a 2017 Ippy Awards Regional Bronze Medal for Fiction!




Kelley Aitken’s compelling short fiction collection is united by a sense of place, the Canadian Shield. Her nine short stories traverse an area between land and water; near and far, between the uncontrollable and the veneer of civility. They reflect, Janus-headed, on Nature and human nature. Canadian Shield addresses that anxious paradox between our yearning for the wild and our need for security—a profound dilemma of our time.

“Loss and longing, love, betrayal, and hard-won heart, the souls in these stories are mirrored in the Canadian wild. This is travel over tough terrain—river, rock, and the inner landscapes of people who search—these stories will stay with you for a long time.”—Kim Echlin, author of Under the Visible Life and The Disappeared

“Aitken writes dense, layered stories that play with temporality and use the natural world as a mirror for the psyches of her characters… Aitken’s stories are dark, but tremendously insightful and empathetic. This is a smart, haunting collection.”—Alexander De Pompa, Broken Pencil

“Aitken’s exquisite prose takes us on a profound journey from camp to bush to canoe in a deeply moving reflection on our relationships with ourselves and our surroundings.”—Goodreads

Photo by Zenia Buzanko

Kelley Aitken is a writer, artist, and teacher. Her book Love in a Warm Climate (The Porcupine’s Quill, 1998) was nominated for the Commonwealth Prize, Best First Book. Kelley has lived in the Philippines, Ecuador, and various parts of Canada. Born in British Columbia, Kelley makes her home in Toronto where she teaches drawing at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Posted in Award Nominees & Winners, C, Catalogue, Short Fiction, Summer 2016 | Tagged , , , , , , , |

Ghost Sick—Emily Pohl-Weary

ISBN: 9781926639826

PRICE: $16.95—special sale price!

Winner of the 2016 Fred Cogswell Award for Excellence in Poetry!




When a Christmas Eve shooting devastated Emily Pohl-Weary’s community, she began to hunt through the numbness and grief for some understanding and hopefulness about the future. In the tradition of Carolyn Forché, Ernesto Cardenal, and Shu Ting, Ghost Sick is a poetry of witness. It chronicles the impact of violence on an inner-city Toronto neighbourhood, the power of empathy, and the resilience of the human spirit.

“A hard, sad, and beautifully necessary collection of poems. A book that helps us claw our way back from the edges of our own teetering lives.”—Susan Musgrave, author of A Man to Marry, A Man to Bury

“Ghost Sick focuses on violence and its personal cost in a Toronto neighbourhood, starting from the writer’s childhood to the present, the wasted lives, the pain and loss of her own and those of people dear to her.”—Marge Piercy, New York Times bestselling author of Gone to Soldiers

“These are not easy poems to forget, so take a deep breath, and plunge right in. The world will not look the same when you re-emerge, but the rewards are immense: you come away from these poems open to possibility, hopeful for change, and knowing you are not alone in that struggle.”—Carolyn Smart, author of Hooked

“Pohl-Weary’s gritty vernacular got game, got street cred. Like Holocaust witness poet Paul Celan, Pohl-Weary checks tabloids, billboards, newsflashes, for the language to bespeak domesticated violence.”—George Elliot Clarke, Halifax Chronicle-Herald

“The poems in Ghost Sick coalesce into a very strong, coherent collection that should be read from cover to cover . . . this is a book that looks forward towards a better city, better citizens, and a better society.” —Andrew Woodrow-Butcher, Broken Pencil

“Ghost Sick takes your breath away and leaves you wanting more. A great read that makes you think about what it means to bear witness to tragedy.”—Christine Smith (McFarlane), Shameless Magazine

“A nuanced, wrenching and ultimately heart-opening poetry collection that took eight years to write—nearly a decade of trying to grapple with the shooting death of a young man in her Parkdale neighbourhood.” —Yukon News

Ghost Sick by Emily Pohl-Weary is a collection of poems that witness. They are testimony, commentary, and emotional responses to the crime, drugs, loss of innocence and more in a Toronto neighborhood and other places where lives are wasted and lost too easily.”—Serena Agusto-Cox, Savvy Verse and Wit

Emily Pohl-Weary is an award-winning author, editor, arts educator, and academic. She is the author of several books, including the emily-pohl-wearynovels A Girl Like Sugar and Strange Times at Western High; the young adult novel Not Your Ordinary Wolf Girl; the poetry collection Iron-on Constellations; and the biography Better to Have Loved: The Life of Judith Merril, which won a Hugo Award for Best Related Book.

Posted in Award Nominees & Winners, emilypw, G, Poetry, poetrysale, special holiday sale, spring 2015, Valentine Sale, Winter 2015 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

A Token of My Affliction-Janette Platana

ISBN: 9781926639758
Price: $16.95—special sale price

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

platana

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.

Posted in Award Nominees & Winners, Holiday Fiction Sale, Short Fiction, short fiction sale, T, Trillium, Valentine Sale, Winter 2015 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Dirty Bird – Keir Lowther

Dirty BirdISBN: 9781926639529

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

Keir LowtherKeir Lowther lives in Prince Edward Island with his wife, daughter and dog. His great grandfather was Lucy Maud Montgomery’s first cousin.

Posted in 2015 sale, Award Nominees & Winners, Catalogue, D, Fall 2012, Feb 2015 sale, Holiday Fiction Sale, Novels, Valentine Sale | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , |

Got No Secrets | Danila Botha

Got No Secrets, by Danila BothaISBN: 9781926639086
Price: $13.95 – special sale price!
Pub Date: 2010




A startling and original new voice that owes as much to Black Flag and Bikini Kill as it does to J.D. Salinger and Heather O’Neill. A South African copywriter is transplanted to the urban jungle of Manhattan. A recovering rape victim tries to resume a normal life. A Toronto nurse cuts herself to fill her emptiness. In Got No Secrets, Danila Botha takes us into the private lives of twelve different women, with only one question in mind: What if these women were you? From addiction to abuse, from childhood to suicide, from Hillbrow, Johannesburg, to downtown Toronto, Botha’s prose is compassionate, provocative, often funny, and always fearless.

“Intensely original and fantastically written.”—The Literary Lollipop

“Danila Botha is an emerging literary lioness on Canada’s literary landscape… Got No Secrets packs an emotional wallop…powerful and poignant…an honest and freshly forthright debut that is filled with the headaches and heartburns of youth gone awry…”—The Halifax Chronicle Herald

“Danila Botha’s debut collection of short stories makes the personal political. With clear diction, Botha’s prose packs a punch. There’s no skirting the issues, masquerading behind metaphor or dancing between the lines.”—The Coast

“The writing is stark, honest and stripped-down, making no excuses, just like the classic punks that see frequent mention throughout. The question that Got No Secrets asks is: exactly where does bad parenting end and self-determination begin?”—Broken Pencil

“Botha’s story telling technique seamlessly blends tragedy and humour, making this collection a must have”—Reading the Rails, Toronto Word on the Street

Click here to read an excerpt from Got No Secrets.

Danila Botha was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. She volunteered with Na-me-res, an organization benefiting the homeless, which inspired many of the stories in Got No Secrets. Her writing has appeared in 24 Hours, Yoink! Magazine, and NOW. She lives in Toronto. http://www.danilabotha.com

Posted in Catalogue, G, Holiday Fiction Sale, secondbooksale, Short Fiction, Spring 2010, Valentine Sale | Tagged , , , , , , |

Somewhere to Run From | Tara-Michelle Ziniuk

Somewhere to Run From, by Tara-Michelle ZiniukISBN: 9780978335182
Price: $5—special sale!
Pub Date: 2009

Longlisted for the 2010 ReLit Award




Tara-Michelle Ziniuk’s second collection of poetry is dangerously sarcastic, Toronto-local, bitter, sweet, and bruising in its honesty. Challenging the notions of what a girl runs from, both literally and figuratively, Somewhere to Run From takes on complex settings from which to depart: poverty, pop and sub-culture, madness and normative sexuality among these locations.

“Tara-Michelle Ziniuk produces another undeniably readable, attractive little book of spare, plainspoken poetry… chock full of sarcasm, cleverly slurred confessions, and the broken-bottle-sharp perceptions of a hurt, vulnerable narrator.” Spencer Gordon, Broken Pencil

“A wonderful example of the range of contradictory thoughts and feelings Ziniuk’s Somewhere to Run From will inspire”—goodreads.com

Click to read an excerpt from Somewhere to Run From.

Tara-Michelle Ziniuk is a Montreal-born, Toronto-based author, performer and activist with an extensive background in community radio. She has been published in magazines and anthologies across North America and is a regular contributor to NOW, Broken Pencil Magazine, and Herizons as well as writing for This, $pread, HOUR and others. Her first book, Emergency Contact, was released with McGilligan Books in 2006 to wide critical acclaim and was taught through the English Department at York University.

Posted in Award Nominees & Winners, Catalogue, Poetry, poetrysale, Pride Sale, S, special holiday sale, spring 2009 | Tagged , , , , |