Jake recently got to Cormorant, and my little beast, and you can read his generous notes (including a silaron plug) here.
It looks like it will be a very strong year for Canadian poetry titles, with new books by Ken Babstock, Matt Rader, Lorna Crozier, Susan Musgrave, Nick Thran, Jake himself, and just about every other poet who ever lived and breathed on Planet Earth. As is usually the case, Anansi and Nightwood are leading the charge, with a number of other strong presses right behind them. No word yet from one of my favourites, Gaspereau Press, though they are probably still shoveling themselves out from under the mountain of ME EAT GILLER NOW!!! hate mail.
It's actually sort of terrifying (I'd like to say thrilling, I really would, but terrifying is what keeps coming to mind) how many poetry books come out each year. Jake's list already includes 36 titles, and probably excludes more titles than it includes (in BC alone I can think of Arsenal Pulp, Anvil, Caitlin, New Star and Mother Tongue presses - all not covered in Retail 2011 - atleast not yet). Oh, and Jake's list doesn't include reissues, selected/collecteds, and anthologies...
No, no, it's wonderful that there are so many books. It really is. I'm publishing my first book this spring from a press that's making its return to poetry, so I'm not about to declare the volume of titles a problem. I just like believing in a fantasy where I have a hope of one day getting my head around "poetry in Canada", or at least coming close. Lists like this drive home the fact that if I ever thought I was almost there, I was fooling myself. It's probably a good lesson.
This is the kind of thing I love blogs for - finding the obvious, glaring omissions in your community and using a little corner of the internet and a bit (ok, a lot) of spare/stolen time to fill the void.
So thanks, Jake, for all the work. Keep it up.