"Lyric" is in the mail!

My new chapbook is in the mail! If you ordered a copy, expect it to arrive soon! Hurrah!

While I'm posting, two interweb-things:

1. How Pedestrian is posting some great Nick Thran poems and readings this week. Check it out here.

2. Join the Poetry Pipeline! It's an online poetry-protest of the Northern Gateway Pipeline, organized by Christine Leclerc. Elizabeth Ross conducted an interview with Leclerc about the project, and you can read that here.

Krissy Darch's "her body is the land", previously published at OGOV, is already part of the pipeline. Maybe you should add a poem?

Now go play in the snow, you crazy kids!


two launches

Is November the new April? Nine readings in two days last week, and two books being launched in the next two days (on top of that, I'm pretty sure I'm missing as many readings as I'm finding - these two were hidden away on Facebook, for instance). Personally, I'd prefer November to April - in November, no one ever looks out the window and wishes they were out playing in the sun. THIS IS BECAUSE THERE IS NO SUN IN NOVEMBER.

Anyway, the details:

Launch of bill bissett's "time"
Wednesday, November 24m 8:00 PM - 11:30 PM
The Anza Club
3 West 8th Ave, Vancouver
Featuring: bill bissett, George Bowering, Gary Thomas Morse, and more!

Launch of Catherine Owen's "Seeing Lessons"
Thursday, November 25th 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Cafe Montmartre
4362 Main St., Vancouver
Featuring: Catherine Owen and Ray Hsu

an age of creative writing

Jarrell’s “age of criticism”—the literary climate of the Forties and early Fifties—is not our age. Quite the contrary. Today, criticism is out. Blogs and letters columns are in. When a negative review appears, wounded poets fire off blistering e-mails to the offending magazine (it might be this one)—no matter if the wronging critic was right! It’s possible to imagine, in more melancholy moments, that the once-vital culture of literary criticism has devolved from pointed, perspicacious, well-reasoned articles into huffy Letters to the Editor. Whatever the case, “the elucidation of works of art and the correction of taste” (Eliot’s famous phrase) is not an occupation that interests most contemporary poets; essays and reviews no longer figure as part of a poet’s project. If Jarrell envisioned a critical age, ours is an Age of Creative Writing, and creative writing is in many ways allergic to criticism (except occasionally as an agent of career advancement or generic boosterism). In part, this may be because so many poets’ livelihoods now depend on getting along. Poets are expected to play nice—in universities, on prize committees, in magazines, online. Critics, by contrast, are seen as the black-raincoat kids, skulking and scowling at the edges of the high-school dance.

- David Yezzi, in his essay "The Rest is Criticism" from the Contemporary Poetry Review website.


just in case you want to go to a reading RIGHT NOW... or maybe tomorrow...

Also note the two other readings going on tonight that I mentioned in a previous post. Oh, and this is on, too. Then three more readings tomorrow. Major fun times can be had if only someone would invent that time machine already. Enough talk, scientists! I want results!!!

W2 Real Vancouver Series
Wednesday, November 17th, 7:45 PM
W2 Storyeum
151 West Cordova Street, Vancouver
Featuring: Gillian Jerome, Heather Haley, Dennis E Bolen, and more!

Poetry Around the World Reading
Thursday, November 18th, 6:30 – 8:30 PM
Renfrew Public Library
2969 East 22nd Avenue, Vancouver
Featuring: Alejandro Mujica-Olea, Alara Bretanne, Jacqueline Maire and Lilija Valis

OCW Issue 5.2 Launch Party
Thursday, November 18th, 8:30 PM
156 W Hastings, Vancouver
Featuring: Daniel Zomparelli, Shannon Rayne, and more!
$10 (includes a copy of the new issue)

Respondency West
Thursday, November 18th, 8:00 PM
The People's Co-Op Books
1391 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
Featuring: Kim Minkus and Kevin McPherson Eckhoff

Drash: Jewish Writing from the Rainy Cities Launch
Sunday, November 21st, 1:30 - 3:00 PM
Jewish Community Centre
41st and Oak Street, Vancouver
Featuring: Diane Tucker and more!

Short Line Reading Series
Tuesday, November 23rd, 6:30 PM
The Railway Club
579 Dunsmuir Street, Vancouver
Featuring: Ashok Mathur, Glen Lowry, and Ayumi Kai


visible verse adds a digit

Everyone's favourite video poem festival is back for its tenth(!) year, at the Pacific Cinematheque. It will run on November 19th and 20th, with the shows starting at 7 PM each night.

If you haven't experienced it before, here's the blurb:

Pacific Cinémathèque and Vancouver poet, author, musician and media artist Heather Haley celebrate 10 years of Visible Verse! First presented at Pacific Cinémathèque in 2000, when the event was known as the Vancouver Videopoem Festival, Visible Verse is a special annual program devoted to video poetry (also known as poetry film or cine-poetry), a hybrid creative form that integrates verse with media-art visuals produced by a camera or a computer. This year, to celebrate its 10th anniversary, Visible Verse features an expanded two-day festival program made up of screenings (including both retrospective and current works), live spoken-word/poetry performances, and a panel discussion.

More info here. And to get you excited, both about the festival and about trees (and yes, I mean "excited" in that way) here's a video by Heather Haley herself:


purdy update + christmas ideas

From the A-Frame Trust:

The Al Purdy A-frame Trust is now well past the $100,000 fundraising mark, but we still have a long way to go, and you can help.

Al Purdy was well known in the bookselling community. Al was a book junky. Yes, he wrote books and yes, he was a voracious and eclectic reader, but Al also was an avid book collector. He was always looking for a great deal or a good trade. Sometimes he would send booksellers packages marked “books” that actually contained bottles of his notorious wild grape wine.

Booksellers coast to coast are supporting the Al Purdy A-frame Trust in many different ways. David Sweet in Picton organizes fundraising readings/events. David Mason has given generously of his time and expertise as we sort through Al’s books and papers in order to ensure the literary estate is well protected. Greenley’s in Belleville supported the recent event at the Belleville Public Library. Many other booksellers are supporting the A-frame project in various ways.

December is coming and if you have book lovers and Purdy fans on your gift list you can support the Al Purdy A-frame Trust and your local bookseller by buying and giving The Al Purdy A-frame Anthology. All contributors donated their works and all profits go to the Trust.

Other gift suggestions:

* Give copies of the Al Stein broadside. It includes the famous Purdy Privy recently discussed in the Globe and Mail and on CBC. $125 plus $10 shipping.

* Give the Purdy Package — one copy of The Al Purdy A-frame Anthology that will be mailed to your gift recipient along with a letter announcing your donation in the recipient’s honor. For $125 a copy of the anthology will be mailed with the donor letter and you will be issued a tax receipt for $100.

To make arrangements for Purdy gift giving or for more information, contact Jean Baird at jeanbaird(at)shaw.ca

p.s. You can now also buy signed copies of Purdy's Sex and Death.



I've posted a poem from my chapbook of Ghana poems, Child of Saturday, over at One Ghana, One Voice:


The posting also includes a short Q+A with Prince Mensah about some of the themes of the poem. That can be read here.


some november readings

The Heart Does Break @ the Robson Reading Series
Wednesday, November 10th, 7:00 PM
UBC Library/Bookstore at Robson Square
800 Robson St., Vancouver
Featuring: Stephen Collis, Joan Givner and Anne Stone

TWS Reading Series
Friday, November 12th, 7:00 PM
Take 5 Cafe
429 Granville St.
Featuring: Heidi Greco, Gurjinder Basran, Bonnie Nish and more!

Spoken INK Reading Series
Tuesday, November 16th, 7:30 PM (Sign-up at 7:00 PM)
La Fontana Cafe
101-3701 East Hastings (at Boundary), Burnaby
Featuring: David Glyn-Jones and Elizabeth Elwood

Lorna Crozier Reading
Wednesday, November 17th, 5:00 - 6:00 PM
Graduate Student Centre Penthouse, Thea Koerner House
6371 Crescent Road, Vancouver (UBC Campus)
Featuring: Lorna Crozier

Play Chthonics
Wednesday, November 17, 7:30 PM
Graham House at Green College
6201 Cecil Green Park Road, Vancouver (UBC Campus)
Featuring: Phinder Dulai and Daniel Heath Justice


update feat. what appears to be a movember pledge, but is really just laziness

Posting on silaron has been slow of late. This is because things have been happening, people. A small example: signing chapbook covers!

My covers for Lyric have been signed and sent back to the press. Chapbooks should be arriving soon! Hurrah!

More examples of things happening to come...


on "pretty-good", "very-good" and "great" writing

As readers, each of us will necessarily put different books into each of these categories, and we may even change our minds about certain books over time. So I never give my students the once-over and think that only those who comprise the top two categories can or should be encouraged. There are many paths to a writing life; those paths twist and turn and are haunted by the cruelties of subjectivity, along with the inevitably erratic application of our gifts. I can forgive anyone’s so-called mediocrity, mine included, as long as the writer herself is not satisfied with it.

- Sonya Chung, on teaching creative writing, in an essay at The Millions. You can read the whole thing here.