Best Canadian Essays 2014

ISBN: 9781926639840

PRICE: $15.95—special sale price!




Featuring a trusted series editor and a new guest editor, this sixth continuation of the annual assemblage of essays showcases diverse writing from across Canada. Culled from leading magazines on diverse topics such as art, film, literature, music, culture, politics and history, The Best Canadian Essays 2014 contains award-winning and nominated nonfiction articles that are topical and engaging and have their finger on the pulse of our contemporary psyches.

“Best Canadian Essays 2014 should find a place of honour in your travel bag, on the deck at your camp, by the reading window in your breakfast nook, at your bedside table.”—Michael Sobota, Chronicle-Journal.

“Who doesn’t like a buffet? How about one with quality selections and deep flavours? I’m a fan of anthologies and The Best Canadian Essays is a smorgasbord of topics and exceptional writing.”—June Chua, Rabble.ca

 “The individual contributions in Best Canadian Essays transcend simple reportage and reach the level of art. Each one has something distinctive and informative to say. Take heed.”—Jennifer Curtis, Quill & Quire

Christopher Doda is a critic, editor, and poet. He is the author of the collections of poetry Aesthetics Lesson and Among Ruins, and his poems and reviews have appeared in journals and magazines across Canada. He is the book review editor for the online journal Studio.                                              

Natalie Zina Walschots is a poet and a music journalist. Her first book of poetry, Thumbscrews, won the inaugural Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry. Her poetry has appeared widely in literary magazines including Broken Pencil, Carousel, Matrix, Open Letter, and Rampike. She was formerly the managing editor of Filling Station and Dandelion magazines. She lives in Montreal.

 

 

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Best Canadian Essays 2014 Joint Launch

Dundurn Press & Tightrope Books cordially invite you to the launch of Cover Before Striking, short stories by celebrated author Priscila Uppal and Best Canadian Essays 2014 edited by Christopher Doda with guest editor Natalie Zina Walschots. Monday, February 2, 2015 – 7:00pm, Monarch Tavern, 12 Clinton Street, Toronto, ON  M6J 2N7

With readings by Priscila Uppal, Christopher Doda and selected Best Canadian Essays contributors including Daniel Scott Tysdal, Ann Shin, Richard Teleky, Aaron Broverman.

In advance of the event, check out Donna Bailey Nurse’s great piece, Priscila’s Uppal’s Closet!

 

 

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Excerpt from Boredom Fighters, “Introduction”

Boredom Fighters, “Introduction”

Hello. There are a few things that seem to pop for us:

1/ pushing comic graphics to excess (lots of bubbles, lots of booms and lots of non-words)
2/ overwhelmingly gendered perspectives and narratives
3/ politically engagement (we are thinking of the environment-all the time)

We were reading an articles today written by psychologist Pierce J. Howard (Director of Research at the Centre for Applied Cognitive Studies), when two things struck us:

1/ “Moods are temporary. When an emotional state is permanent, as in continual sadness [or boredom – we’re interchanging the mood], that is a trait, not a mood. Typically, such traits cannot be changed without pharmaceuticals, surgery or therapy.”

He goes on to say that moods can be managed … with a simple five minute outdoor walk, among other things (we need light, air, exercise, change of pace)…

2/ Howard suggests that the probable cause of boredom is that a task is too easy.

If boredom becomes a trait, we surmised, then mothers smash sons with vacuum cleaners, schools soporificize students in greasy cafeterias, governments crush the rebellious with plasma screens. Strangely, it’s the ‘easy talk’ that causes boredom and yet there is nothing more difficult to manage than having nothing to do. Of course, we believe it is obscene and unethical to be without ‘doings.’ Just yesterday we received a letter from neo-Situationalist who said, “I remind you both that ‘Boredom in Counter-Revolutionary’.”


For more information about Boredom Fighters or to purchase the book, please click here.

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Excerpt from The Mourner’s Book of Albums, by Daniel Scott Tysdal

WHAT IS MISSING

The night after the boy was kidnapped a group of teens got high and formed the Ministry of Pre-Emptive Memorials. The Minister of Stuffed Animals, The Minister of Flowers, and the Minister of Signed Letters and Anonymous Poems embarked with the others in pairs to locate the goods they’d been assigned to gather. Their work was finished by dawn, and they photographed it, though the memorial lacked the contribution of the Minister of Wreaths (who had been arrested lurking naked in the meat section of an all-night supermarket). The memorial did not bear witness to the boy. What the friends had prepared was meant to brace the world against a calamity yet to come. To keep it ready. Continue reading

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Launch for Jim Johnstone’s Sunday, the locusts

Sunday, the Locksts, by Jim JohnstoneMarch 24, 2010, 6:30 – 9:30
The Ossington
61 Ossington Ave
Toronto, ON

Join Tightrope Books for the launch of Jim Johnstone’s new poetry collection: Sunday, the locusts, with illustrations by Julienne Lottering. There’s more! Readings from Daniel Scott Tysdal (The Mourner’s Book of Albums, 2010) and Kathryn Mockler (Onion Man, forthcoming fall 2011).

A long poem that probes love and loss in fragments of verse and hybrid-media collage, Sunday, the locusts is a post-apocalyptic tour-de-force. Drawing  on a variety of disciplines including developmental biology, geology and philosophy, Jim Johnstone and Julienne Lottering blur linguistic boundaries to create a unique collaborative text. Hymn, map, portent—Sunday, the locusts warns against inevitable extinction while also revelling in the vivacity of personhood.

Jim Johnstone (b. 1978) is a writer and physiologist in Toronto. He is the author of two previous collections of poetry: Patternicity (Nightwood Editions, 2010) and The Velocity of Escape (Guernica Editions, 2008). His poems have been published in several Canadian magazines, including Descant, enRoute, The Fiddlehead, Grain, Maisonneuve, The Malahat Review, and PRISM International and anthologized in The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2010. He is the founder and editor of Misunderstandings Magazine and poetry editor of Cactus Press.

RSVP on Facebook!

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The Mourner’s Book of Albums | Daniel Scott Tysdal

ISBN-13: 978-1-926639-20-8
Special Sale Price: $11.95
Pub Date: Fall 2010

Longlisted for the 2011 ReLit Award




An unconventional and profound mixed-media poetry collection that blends traditional and avant garde forms to explore remembrance, grief, and mourning. Daniel Scott Tysdal follows up his first award-winning collection of poetry with The Mourner’s Book of Albums, an emotionally striking and formally ambitious exploration of the elegiac tradition and the twenty-first-century attitude to remembrance and grief. Encountering a wide range of arresting events—from a best friend’s suicide to the war in Afghanistan, from improvised memorials to the plastinated corpses of Body Worlds—these innovative poems survey the forces and forms that shape what and how we mourn. The sonically lively lines, the vivid images, and the richly textured voices of the The Mourner’s Book of Albums are composed in a variety of traditional and unconventional forms—the lyric, the ballad, the graphic poem, and the fabricated document, to name a few—as a means of grappling with the many acts and practices that link the living and the dead. Tysdal compiles the albums, however fluid and fragile, that hold them together.

Click to read an excerpt from The Mourner’s Book of Albums.

Praise for Predicting the Next Big Advertising Breakthrough Using a Potentially Dangerous Method:

“Daniel Scott Tysdal’s poetry is an exhilarating mix of pop culture, philosophy, mythology, and visual art. Here is a poet who possesses the rare combination of experimental instinct and communicative acuity. Read this book for its confident virtuosity, its innovative spirit, and its surprising generosity.”—Jon Paul Fiorentino

“Tysdal recognizes and deconstructs—playfully—the patented absurdity of conventional language. He employs academic, literary, and pop cultural terms, references, discourses, and images to underscore the implicit argument here that standard semantic structures—rhetorics—obscure truth and, thus, Justice. Yet, for all their high-minded, critical jouissance, the lyrics are lively with accessible puns, jokes, games, and satire.”—George Elliot Clarke, author of Whylah Falls

“Tysdal at his best creates a complex, multidimensional, and often contradictory layering of thought and feeling; this tremendously rich, inventive, and energetic book is a most auspicious debut.”—Malcolm Woodland, “Letters in Canada 2006: Poetry,” University of Toronto Quarterly

Daniel Scott Tysdal is the author of Predicting the Next Big Advertising Breakthrough Using a Potentially Dangerous Method (Coteau 2006), which received the ReLit Award for Poetry (2007) and the Anne Szumigalski Poetry Award (2006). His work has appeared in a number of Canadian literary journals and has earned him both an honourable mention at the 2003 National Magazine Awards and a place in the finals of the CBC’s 2005 National Poetry Face-Off. He teaches creative writing and English literature at the University of Toronto, Scarborough.

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Boredom Fighters | Ed. Jake Kennedy & Paola Poletto

Boredom Fighters, edited by Jake Kennedy and Paola PolettoISBN-10: 0978335155
ISBN-13: 9780978335151

Price: $10.00
Pub Date: 2008

This collection of graphic poems brings together eighteen works that fall somewhere between a graphic novel and poetic verse.

Participating authors reside across the country and include Derek Beaulieu, Christian Bok, Stacey May Fowles and Marlena Zuber, Tim Gaze, Jake Kennedy, Mark Laliberte, Donato Mancini, Kevin Mcpherson Eckhoff, Gustave Morin, Marc Ngui, Paola Poletto, Daniel Scott Tysdal, Jen Pickering, and Sally McKay.

Their poems tackle the broad topic of boredom: Is boredom a symptom of the absence of love? Does it suggest our present task is too easy?

Inside, graphic doesn’t always trump poetry and thus the ultimate tug of war is in the most captivating sense a real yawnyarn between word and image. We like images and we like words.

With epigonic respect to Dada and concrete poetry and with of-the-moment admiration for the graphic novel we’d like to think (we do think!) editors Jake Kennedy and Paola Poletto have collected something other. They are also flatlanders, mandalas, leg chewers, leaf-shakers, dogs, televisions, bricks, calligraphy, typefaces, remote controls, emblems, tazers, lightning bolts, hotels, and sinking cities. All of them sticking intrepidly an unwavering index into the hirsute gargoyle ear-well of boredom.

Click to read an excerpt from Boredom Fighters.

Jake Kennedy is a poet, prose writer, and teacher. His work has appeared in a number of literary journals and anthologies. His chapbook, Hazard, is published by BookThug. Jake currently teaches in the English Department at Okanagan College.

Paola Poletto is an arts administrator, mixed media and installation artist, writer and curator. Artist-led projects have included Kiss Machine Magazine (co-founding publisher since 2000), Inflatable Museum (on-line exhibit 2001-2004), Girls and Guns (travelling exhibit Toronto-London, 2003; Budapest-Albania-Montenegro & Serbia, 2004), and Robot Landscapes (exhibit Toronto, 2004). She is senior director of programs at Design Exchange, Canada’s national centre for design (www.dx.org), where she oversees youth programs, professional programs, exhibitions, museum collection and research. She is also the director of digifest (www.dx.org/digifest), a festival of design and media culture produced by Design Exchange in partnership with the Ontario Science Centre and Harbourfront Centre.

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