The Mourner’s Book of Albums | Daniel Scott Tysdal

ISBN: 978-1-926639-20-8
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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Somewhere to Run From | Tara-Michelle Ziniuk

Somewhere to Run From, by Tara-Michelle ZiniukISBN: 9780978335182
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, S, spring 2009 | Tagged , , , , |

The Days You’ve Spent | Suzanne Bowness

The Days You've SpentISBN: 9781926639109
Pub Date: 2010


Poems that reflect the individual’s experience in the urban jungle, combining observation and insight that every city dweller will recognize. The city, at once benevolent and indifferent to its residents, is the inspiration for this debut collection of poetry by Suzanne Bowness. In the first poem, a young woman arrives in the big city, where “in the beginning, anonymity is everywhere,” and wonders what her life there will bring. Using this new arrival as her starting point, Bowness moves on to develop urban themes of anonymity and collectivity alongside individualist themes of freedom, loneliness, and growing self identity. Part private reflection, part love letter to the metropolis, The Days You’ve Spent pulls back the curtain on city life, finding beauty in neon signs and profundity in laundromats. In these poems, the individual and the city interweave, and urban immersion becomes an essential element in personal growth.

“What a joy to spend days with The Days You’ve Spent by Sue Bowness. Excellence is her standard, structure and musicality her method, narrative spiced with whimsy her mode. Even while wondering its worth getting out of bed to face the day, Bowness flourishes imagery flooded with light. Here are poems that intrigue, provoke, entwine, and always shine.”—Molly Peacock, author of The Second Blush

“She [Sue Bowness] is a bard of whimsical domesticity, very much like Molly Peacock, whose endorsement graces the back cover.”—George Elliot Clarke, The Chronicle-Herald

Suzanne (Sue) Bowness is a writer and editor whose poems have appeared in the Literary Review of Canada and Pagitica. Her play The Reading Circle won first place in the 2006 Ottawa Little-Theatre One-Act Playwriting Competition. She has a PhD in English from the University of Ottawa.

Posted in Catalogue, D, Poetry, Spring 2010 | Tagged , , , , , |

Contents of a Mermaid’s Purse | Phoebe Tsang

Contents of a Mermaid's Purse, by Phoebe Tsang
ISBN: 9781926639062
Pub Date: Fall 2009


Poems that are like incantations, love spells spoken in a young lyrical voice. Contents of a Mermaid’s Purse’s poems are an existential exploration of love and mortality via fairytales and nature. Travelling freely among the shattered confines of identity and gender, travel and environment, the dreamlike narrative unfolds in lyric language, telling of love lost and found, and mythologies that inform the journey with passages in the rhythm of fairytales.

Click to read an excerpt from Contents of a Mermaid’s Purse.

Phoebe Tsang was born in Hong Kong, grew up in England and currently resides in Canada. She is the author of the poetry collection Contents of a Mermaid’s Purse (Tightrope Books), due to be launched 05 November 2009. Phoebe’s poetry can be found in the anthologies Garden Variety (Quattro Books) and Not a Muse (Haven Books). Journal credits include Asia Literary Review (Hong Kong), Atlas02 (UK & India), Brand (UK), Room and  Freefall (Canada). Her chapbooks are Solitaires (Lyricalmyrical Press, 2006) and To Kiss the Ground (Press On! 2007). A professional violinist, she is a multi-genre artist who holds a BSc in Architecture from the University of London.

Posted in C, Catalogue, Fall 2009, Poetry | Tagged , , , |

Monster | David Livingstone Clink

Monster, by David Livingstone ClinkISBN: 9781926639185
Pub Date: Fall 2010


Monster is a poetry book that Pandora would want to open, containing poems that Eve would bite into. In a sophomore collection that is bound to cause a stir, David Livingstone Clink takes you on a journey into the belly of the beast, a journey that is both dark and surreal, strange and unusual, a departure from the safe neighbourhoods where people don’t lock their doors at night. But all is not dark! There are the unusual and surreal places that bend your mind, that make you look at things you thought you knew but in a different light, and there is humour. But there is also elder abuse, infidelity, molestation, murder, suicide, serial killers and shapeshifters, six-legged dogs and bodies hanging from barn rafters, spiderwebs and fallen cities, steampunk airships muscling into the night, and always the shadows helping us define our shape, how we feel, and, ultimately, who we are.

Click to read an excerpt from Monster.

“Clink’s use of language and poetic form in Monster creates a surreal malaise that readers will swim in, searching for an exit but enticed to stay to uncover the dark truth about themselves.  A dark truth that is worth knowing so that they can move beyond it to a more mindful life.  Another winner in poetry.”—Serena Agusto-Cox, Savvy Verse and Wit

Praise for David Clink’s Eating Fruit Out of Season

“When I picked up Eating Fruit out of Season, Clink’s first full-length poetry collection, I expected mostly to laugh and be amused. Instead, I felt nearly the entire spectrum of human emotion. Clink writes with an earnest necessity I didn’t know was in him.”—Jacob Scheier, Prairie Fire

“Clink’s debut suggests the possibility of a less isolated and obscure voice for the contemporary poet.”—Maurice Mierau, Winnipeg Free Press

“Nowhere in Canadian poetry will the prosaic mind discover verse so barbed and ironic as in this text, while inspired intellects must find it a source of prophetic nostalgia and exquisite, fleshed-out wisdom. Herein is Ontario pastoral and Space-Age romanticism, both scrutinized by a poet who inks truth that is satire.”—George Elliott Clarke, author of Whylah Falls

“I found reading Eating Fruit out of Season to be like, well, like eating fruit out of season—unpredictable, intriguing, not every bite to my taste, but I didn’t want to stop eating.”—Maureen Scott Harris, author of Drowning Lessons

David Livingstone Clink’s poetry has appeared in The Antigonish Review, CV2, The Dalhousie Review, The Fiddlehead, Grain, Literary Review of Canada, The Prairie Journal, and in ten anthologies, including I.V. Lounge Nights, Garden Variety, Imagination in Action, and Tesseracts XIV. He edited the poetry anthology, A Verdant Green. His first book of poetry was Eating Fruit Out of Season. He lives in Toronto.

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