New Star Blogs

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It’s been a while since Michael Turn-er last read in Toron-to. And to make up for it this month, the eclec-tic artist and writer has a slew of events lined up in the city that might nev-er win the Stan-ley Cup, if they can’t man-age it in the next cou-ple of sea-sons.

Turn-er will be doing a talk at OCAD Uni-ver-si-ty dur-ing the day on Mon-day Jan-u-ary 21st, and lat-er that evening, par-tic-i-pat-ing in Frost-bite: A Lit-er-ary Ice-break-er of an Evening, which is also a fundrais-er for Nellie’s Shel-terAnoth-er Sto-ry Book Shop will be on hand to sell books, includ-ing 9x11.

Oth-er Frost-bite read-ers include Erin Moure, author of Sit-ting Shi-va on Minto Avenue, by Toots, and nine oth-er authors. The fol-low-ing evening on Tues-day, Jan-u-ary 22nd, Michael Turn-er will per-form at the Art Bar Read-ing Series, one of Canada’s most cel-e-brat-ed series and a great oppor-tu-ni-ty to get a signed copy of Turner’s new poet-ry book. 

For a quick refresh-er course on the poet’s first poet-ry title in near-ly a quar-ter cen-tu-ry, let’s take a look at some recent reviews.

In her Geor-gia Straight review oF  9x11 and oth-er poems like Bird, Nine, X and Eleven, Shazia Hafiz Ramji writes: “In unpre-ten-tious and straight-for-ward prose, Turn-er guides us into con-fronting the con-fu-sion and cacoph-o-ny of the city, plac-ing facts and speech beside images tuned in to cri-tique,” con-clud-ing apt-ly that “Turner’s frank, hum-ble, and humor-ous voice trans-ports us through the dif-fi-cult present of hous-ing in Van-cou-ver, while con-sid-er-ing the inti-mate work that goes into build-ing rela-tion-ships and the last-ing mag-net-ism of nar-ra-tive and speech.”  

In his review, poet / edi-tor / cura-tor / crit-ic rob mclen-nan wrote: “In short, sharp lyric turns, Turn-er blends the dai-ly mun-dane with the hor-rif-ic, artic-u-lat-ing how eas-i-ly such ter-ror becomes mut-ed, pre-sent-ed and even-tu-al-ly dis-missed, writ-ing out wars in oth-er places, and left far behind, yet with a vio-lence that often per-se-veres; car-ries through, is car-ried, and con-tin-ued.”

Jonathan Ball of the Win-nipeg Free Press calls Michael Turn-er “a nation-al trea-sure”, declar-ing it “bril-liant, strange, dark and even fun-ny,” and filled with “stark ele-gance.”

 


 

 

Homage to Bromige

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It might have been one of the most suc-cess-ful author-less book tours ever. David Bromige’s recent-ly con-clud-ed Always Already Posthu-mous World Tour in sup-port of if wants to be the same as is: Essen-tial Poems of David Bromige, with stops in Sebastopol, San Fran-cis-co, Philadel-phia, New York, Wash-ing-ton, and Van-cou-ver, fea-tured dozens of read-ers. But Bromige’s own cameos were lim-it-ed to doc-u-men-tary film footage.

Bromige’s unavoid-able absence (he left the build-ing in 2009) pre-sent-ed the con-di-tions for cov-er per-for-mances — com-mon enough in music, sad-ly less a fea-ture of poet-ry world. Just as with a musi-cal com-po-si-tion you can’t real-ly get to know it until you’ve lis-tened to a few dif-fer-ent inter-pre-ta-tions, you don’t know a poem at all until you’ve had a chance to hear it: and, as with a music, every read-er brings their own under-stand-ing. Four dozen read-ers, rang-ing in age from some-teen to sev-en-ty-some-thing-some-thing, read from Bromige’s work in the course of his book tour.

Steven Lavoie pro-vides an account of the pro-ceed-ings at the Sebastopol Cen-ter for the Arts, which kicked off the tour, as well as the Alley Cat Books event in San Fran-cis-co, over at The New Black Bart Poet-ry Society’s Parole Blog. Sebastopol read-ers includ-ed Gillian Cono-ley, Jon-ah Raskin, Cole Swen-son, and Pat Nolan, who has now pub-lished what might be the first prop-er deep dive into the Bromige col-lec-tion in the newest Poet-ry Flash. Film mak-er (and cov-er por-trait pho-tog-ra-ph-er) James Gar-ra-han’s 2009 doc-u-men-tary about Bromige was also giv-en an air-ing in Sebastopol.

The San Fran-cis-co read-ing at Alley Cat Books a cou-ple of nights lat-er was dis-creet-ly record-ed some-o-ne-orother, and is now re-live-able in all its glo-ri-ous widescreen MP3 splen-dour on the Penn Sound site.  You’ll be hear-ing Nor-ma Cole, Lyn Hejin-ian, Max-ine Cher-noff, Paul DeBar-ros, Jean Day, Nor-man Fis-ch-er, Kath-leen Fras-er, Susan Gevirtz, Bar-ry Gif-ford, Opal Nations, Michael Palmer, Stephen Rat-cliffe, and Kit Robin-son read from Bromige’s work.

The Philadel-phia launch at Kel-ly Writ-ers House fea-tured Charles Bern-stein, Rachel Blau Dup-lessis, Steve Dolph, Ryan Eck-es, Eli Gold-blatt, George Economou, Chris McCreary, Tom Man-del, Jason Mitchell, and Orchid Tier-ney. PennSound is the place to be for that one too.

The Poet-ry Project launch in New York, New York fea-tured Bruce Andrews, Steve Ben-son, Charles Bern-stein, Lee Ann BrownBri-an Car-pen-terAbi-gail Child, Nada Gor-donMichael Got-tlieb, Eri-ca Hunt, A.L. Nielsen, Stan Mir, Nick Piom-bi-no, and James Sher-ry. Was it record-ed? Yes; yes, it was. In two parts, for greater ease of diges-tion; check ?em out, here, and here.

The if wants to be the same as is-mania may have been what pro-vid-ed the impe-tus for them to fea-ture one of Bromige’s poems on their web-site: “Poem for friends”.

The Wash-ing-ton launch took place at the superfine Bridge St. Books, fea-tured K. Lor-raine Gra-ham, Ryan Walk-er, Buck Downs and Rod Smith, and the evi-dence for that evening can be found here.

The tour wrapped in Van-cou-ver, at the People’s Co-op Book-store, and read-ers includ-ed Fred Wah (who pub-lished Bromige’s first book, The Gath-er-ing), Mered-ith Quar-ter-main, Peter Quar-ter-main, George Bow-er-ing, Clint Burn-ham, Macken-zie Ground, Paul DeBar-ros, Anakana Schofield, and David’s son Chris and grand-daugh-ter Joni. Expe-ri-ence it for your-self; the launch is record-ed on Youtube’s, but also on the Penn Sound site,  where inci-dent-ly you’ll find a trove of Bromige read-ings &c., dat-ing back to the 1960s! There’s a pho-to gallery from the Van-cou-ver event here.

online slot machines real money no depositMudflat Dreaming in the headlines

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Jean Walton’s Mud-flat Dream-ing has been get-ting some buzz as of late.

In a recent inter-view on the Com-men-tary with Joseph Plan-ta, the author revealed insight into why she had to tell the sto-ry of these com-mu-ni-ties: “I want-ed to write some-thing that would take me back to that peri-od of the 1970s in the sub-urb of Van-cou-ver (Sur-rey) and when I was doing that I came across these films that were just gems of win-dows into that peri-od of time.”

In addi-tion to describ-ing Mud-flat Dream-ing as “a beau-ti-ful book,” com-mend-ing the author on her abil-i-ty to draw out the emo-tion-al real-ism of that time, Plan-ta praised Wal-ton for “evok-ing nos-tal-gia, even the pain of nos-tal-gia some-times that one feels towards a place that is famil-iar to them.”  Plan-ta described the book in his intro-duc-tion to their chat as “[o]ne of the more fas-ci-nat-ing books out now”.

Have a lis-ten at the entire inter-view here.

The Geor-gia Straight recent-ly pub-lished an excerpt of the book on their web-site which has been gar-ner-ing a lot of atten-tion from those curi-ous at see-ing Van-cou-ver in 1970 as it relates to this country’s ongo-ing hous-ing cri-sis in the present.

And one more nod came with a men-tion in the Talk of the Town sec-tion of the Van-cou-ver Sun about her recent launch. It’s quite impres-sive how long the author had been work-ing on the book pri-or to pub-li-ca-tion and we can’t wait to see what 2019 brings Jean and Mud-flat Dream-ing when she returns for more events.

From the Gare centrale to the Pacific Central: Toots on the shortlist for Vancouver and QWF prizes

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Cana-di-an pub-lish-ing is not known for its chore-og-ra-phy. How-ev-er, fes-ti-vals and launch-es do often try their best to not step on each other’s toes dur-ing the fren-zy of each sea-son. So Erin Moure’s recent pres-ence in bi-coastal short-lists for region-al awards seems overt-ly quixot-ic. As pre-vi-ous-ly report-ed on these pages, Moure’s 2017 non fic-tion book Sit-ting Shi-va on Minto Avenue, by Toots got a QWF nom-i-na-tion. And we got all excit-ed about that.

Well, fast-for-ward less than a month and it’s hap-pened again. This time, here in British Colum-bia of all places! We feel torn in excite-ment in two direc-tions, and the author her-self couldn’t be more pleased.

Sit-ting Shi-va is the sto-ry of a man with-out pub-lic record, or at least, by today’s “Google Search” stan-dards, a civic phan-tom. Moure, the acclaimed award-win-ning poet and trans-la-tor, a ver-i-fied Can-Lit icon, only slight-ly demys-ti-fies the almost Holy act of cre-at-ing this book in but a week.

The text was cleaned up some, copy-edit-ed, some new-ly remem-bered things were added, and I added the research his-to-ry at the end. It turns out — I should have known but I didn’t till lat-er — that the mem-o-ries of a lit-tle man actu-al-ly hold the his-to-ry of cities, Van-cou-ver and Mon-tre-al, and of peo-ples, and of colo-nial-ism and its gen-er-a-tional trau-mas, and of a class of peo-ple that always got the short end of the stick in every-thing but that still had dreams and loves and joys and per-cep-tions and striv-ings and appre-ci-a-tion for life and respect for oth-ers. I learned so much from that lit-tle man.”

It’s a note-wor-thy occur-rence, we think, for a BC pub-lish-er to have book by a Mon-tre-al author (who lived 11 years in Van-cou-ver from 1974–1985) to get nom-i-nat-ed in both cities of the book’s ori-gin. Moure is appre-cia-tive of the recog-ni-tion. She’s clear-ly proud. To use a worn out word from the cur-rent zeit-geist, the hap-pen-stance of Toots sto-ry becom-ing a full-fledged and now dou-ble-award nom-i-nat-ed book seems almost ran-dom — slight-ly larg-er than a mere writ-ing exer-cise one morn-ing. Moure only slight-ly dwells on the books ori-gin and rather pri-vate ini-tial recep-tion. “Peo-ple who have since read that book say they learn some-thing about why I am the way I am too from that book. They see it. Maybe the book thinks like my brain does.”

The vic-tor will be announced at a pub-lic cer-e-mo-ny at the VPL on Decem-ber 8th. 

Bonus fun. Here is a link which is men-tioned at the end of Moure’s book. The author says Paul looked like Dean Mar-tin on a cer-tain album cov-er. Also, the NFB film Pier-rot à Mon-tréal which the book speaks of, as Paul was most like the guy who puts up the num-bers in the dance con-test.

Sit-ting Shi-va on Minto Avenue is a book of sor-row that bears com-par-i-son to the great ones, among them Didion’s The Year of Mag-i-cal Think-ing, White’s Once and Future King, Milton’s “Lyci-das,” and, recent-ly, a slim but not slight vol-ume of poet-ry, City Poems, by foren-sic reporter Joe Fior-i-to, who mourns The Invis-i-ble Ones.” The Mala-hat Review

A brief excerpt:

Before I’d met him and before he’d had a steady job at CN as a wait-er then stew-ard, he’d had unem-ployed peri-ods of bad alcoholism,and he had sto-ries of the pros-ti-tutes and police, and of police mis-treat-ment of the poor and intox-i-cat-ed. Of being in the drunk tank and the police hos-ing them down because one per-son was shout-ing, and the impos-si-bil-i-ty of fight-ing against the force of water, being pushed across the floor by it. Then let out, lat-er, into the icy cold, with wet clothes.

Sit-ting Shi-va on Minto Avenue, by Toots is the sto-ry of a man who had no obit-u-ary and no funer-al and who would have left no trace if it weren’t for the woman he’d called Toots, who took every-thing she remem-bered of him and — for sev-en days — wrote it down.   Erín Moure, a poet who once lived in Van-cou-ver, begins this “work of the imag-i-na-tion” (“minto,” in Gali-cian, means “I’m lying”) with a quote from Judith But-ler about those per-sons who have “come to belong to the ungriev-able,” though there may be some that grieve them.  In record-ing the tale of the lit-tle man, through mem-o-ries and Google search-es, the book gives a glimpse into an entire era of urban Cana-da, from Vancouver’s Down-town East-side and Main Street and Chi-na-town to a long–ago Mon-tre-al between the Great Depres-sion and Expo ’67.

Read a review of this book on rob mclennan’s blog.
Read a review of this book from The Mala-hat Review

Sit-ting Shi-va on Minto Avenue, by Toots
Erin Moure
160 pages, 6×9 inch-es
Price: $21 CAD · $19 USD
ISBN: 9781554201419

The Big Note: ‘Big, beautiful, and smells great!’

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It’s been a lit-tle over six months since Charles Ulrich dropped The Big Note on Zappa’s uni-verse last Mother’s Day. With August’s sec-ond print-ing — which like the first tru-ly deserves the epi-thet “big”; more than one tree had to go to make way for this suck-er — dwin-dling faster than the polar ice-caps, it’s high time to study this phe-nom-e-non clos-er, in order to try to bet-ter under-stand its root caus-es.

The first thing that jumps out is that The Big Note sto-ry has been com-plete-ly over-looked by MSM. So far, no Time or Rolling Stone cov-er (or even men-tion! (I guess they don’t have as much room to fit the news they print as they used to). Not once has it lead Reg-is and Kathy, or even Cana-da AM. No half-hour CNN News Spe-cial devot-ed to it. Not just Christo-pher Lehmann-Haupt, or Michiko Kaku-tani: the entire New York Times has main-tained a silence about what might be the biggest Zap-pa news sto-ry in a quar-ter of a cen-tu-ry.

Nor have their been any well-attend-ed author sign-ings, whether at the Grand Open-ing of Indigo’s enter-prise flag-ship store in Short Hills, New Jer-sey, the Lab-o-ra-to-ry State; nor at the roll-out of the new-con-cept Barnes & Noble in Ver-non Hills, Illi-nois. The nev-er-planned cross-Cana-da tour was can-celled after a sin-gle show, the sold-out August 24 event at Lanalou’s Restau-rant in Van-cou-ver, BC, where an une-bri-at-ed Charles Ulrich tossed his U47 into the roil-ing crowd and swore that he would nev-er set foot in a tour bus again, unless it was going to Bad Dober-an next sum-mer.

So far the only crack in the main-stream Wall of Silence has been Char-lie Grimes’s review of The Big Note in the Decem-ber issue of Down-beat, down-load-ing into mail-box-es across these great lands of ours this month. And just in case Down-beat’s read-ers miss the point, we also have our own nifty, tough & bitchin’ ad on p. 85 of the same issue (and, for your view-ing plea-sure, repro-duced here as well). S’cool, you know. Down-beat was, like, the dad-dy-o of music mag-a-zines the first time Jann Wen-ner was wear-ing dia-pers.

And, local-ly, the review-er for the local under-ground news-pa-per the Geor-gia Straight has been one of the first, but not the only one, to point to the gen-er-al lessons that FZ’s music holds for all those lucky enough to have been born with prop-er ears. “[W]ill thrill ded-i-cat-ed musi-cians and musi-col-o-gists alike,” their writer Mar-tin Dun-phy con-clud-ed.

But the real work of the mar-ket-ing depart-ment was laid down decades ago, as Charles Ulrich estab-lished him-self as an author-i-ty on all mat-ters relat-ing to Zap-pa and the Moth-ers. It all start-ed out on the old usenet, in a dis-cus-sion forum going by the name of alt.fan.frank-zappa. One-time affz denizen Russkiy_To_Youskiy remem-bers it thus-ly:

Well, I didn’t even know he had a book out. Lol… Basi-cal-ly, back in the day of the FZ news-group, there was a lot of just ran-dom info going around. For exam-ple, con-certs, set lists, and bootlegs that nobody knew about. A whole oth-er of guys were in search of info in one par-tic-u-lar aspect, and they were relent-less in pur-su-ing any-thing they could get, and they shared it with every-one. Ulrich start-ed the process of col-lect-ing and col-lat-ing all that info that every-one else was gath-er-ing. Guys like Roman start-ed the FZ lyrics page from the info he got from news-groups, which was essen-tial-ly crowd-sourced info, and then Ulrich incor-po-rat-ed all that info into his stuff. Rob-bert Heed-erik start-ed St. Alphonso’s Pan-cake home-page, and that was anoth-er huge and infor-ma-tive web-site from info gleaned from the news-group. I think, and I’m not sure right now, that St. Alphonso’s is gone, but Ulrich backed every-thing up and includ-ed it in his site. Vladimir Sove-tov’s Arf.ru is still up, and that was anoth-er exten-sion of the news-group to col-late huge amounts of info. Not sure if the-big-note web-page is still up, but that was a real-ly cool site too. A few oth-er peo-ple you can try look-ing up for sites and info are Patrick Neve, Jon Nau-rin, and Johan Wik-berg. Those guys were real-ly the ones who start-ed the FZ news-group, were the stew-ards of it, and a lot of info that we have now is because of those guys. There were quite a few sites in geoc-i-ties and there was a Frank Zap-pa web ring (if you remem-ber web rings), but off the top of my head I can’t real-ly remem-ber any specif-i-cal-ly. Im sure that if I look through my Netscape book-marks I still have them in there… ok, I’m feel-ing pret-ty old talk-ing this shit now… lol… At any rate, most of all that stuff went into plan-et of my dreams site, iirc.

(The “plan-et of my dreams” site that R2Y men-tions is Ulrich’s own web-site, The Plan-et Of My Dreams, which has its own spe-cial 1994 charm.)

A ves-ti-gial affz lingers on as part of the Google Groups empire, and sure enough, the ves-ti-gial lizard brain of the inter-net respond-ed to the stim-u-lus of the appear-ance of their old friend’s long-await-ed book.

Indeed, it is deep-est reach-es of the inter-net that most of the crit-i-cal recep-tion of The Big Note has been tak-ing place. Nowa-days, the biggest on-line FZ dis-cus-sion fori have names like Zappateers.com and the demi-offi-cial Zappa.com. The Zap-pateers dis-cus-sion thread that greet-ed the announce-ment of Charles’s book is kin-da fun.

One of the more detailed reviews so far is John Corcelli’s over at Crit-ics at Large (co-found-ed and edit-ed by Kevin Cour-ri-er, author of his own quite fat FZ book, who we are sad-dened to learn, left the firm last month). Sez Cor-cel-li, “.. . brings, for me, a renewed appre-ci-a-tion for Zappa’s col-lect-ed works and how to lis-ten to them. .. . suc-ceeds by defin-ing every-thing about the com-pos-er in pre-cise detail, and frankly I wouldn’t have it any oth-er way. The Big Note is a beau-ti-ful-ly ren-dered, 3-dimen-sion-al guide-book for the ages.” But you can read Corcelli’s review for your-self.

Amazon’s page for The Big Note is actu-al-ly pret-ty infor-ma-tive too, once you get past the publisher’s own b.s. Twen-ty-three cus-tomer reviews, not one less than 5 out of 5 stars. They’ve even heard about it over on Goodreads; just two reviews so far, but they’re both 5-star reviews too.

Mean-while, there are lit-tle dis-cus-sion threads pop-ping up all over the inter-nets.  More Red-di-ta-tion: “Most amaz-ing Zap-pa book there ever was!And over on the oth-er-wise-con-tro-ver-sial Steve Hoff-man forums, more respect for Ulrich’s amaz-ing achieve-ment., as well as our favourite com-ment about it so far: “The Big Note is big, beau-ti-ful, and smells great!”

Enough! You’ve con-vinced me!” we hear you cry.  “Where can I get my hands on a copy of The Big Note, before it’s com-plete-ly sold out, and each copy has become a high-ly sought-after rar-i-ty that I will no longer be able to afford?”  Ah, yes, well for-tu-itous-ly there are still a few copies left, and you might find one of them rat-tling around on the shelves of these pur-vey-ors of actu-al-print-ed books: Munro’s in Vic-to-ria, BC; McNal-ly Robin-son Book-sellers on the lone-some prairie; Pulp-fic-tion, the People’s Co-op Book-store, and High Life Records in Van-cou-ver, BC; Type Books in TO; Nov-el Idea in Kingston; that pre-vi-ous-ly men-tioned lit-tle ma-and-pa out-fit that start-ed in a garage in Seat-tle; and our own charm-ing, vin-tage web-site.

MONTREAL WRITER ERIN MOURE NOMINATED FOR QWF AWARD

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Gov-er-nor General’s Award-win-ning writer Erin Moure is short-list-ed for the QWF’s pres-ti-gious Mavis Gal-lant Prize for Non-Fic-tion for her book Sit-ting Shi-va on Minto Avenue, by Toots (New Star Books, 2017). The book tells the sto-ry of a man who had no obit-u-ary and no funer-al and who would have left no trace if it weren’t for the woman he’d called Toots, who took every-thing she remem-bered of him and — for sev-en days — wrote it down.  I just knew he didn’t deserve to van-ish,” Moure recent-ly said. In record-ing the tale of the lit-tle man, through mem-o-ries and Google search-es, the book gives a glimpse into an entire era of urban Cana-da, from Vancouver’s Down-town East-side and Main Street and Chi-na-town to a long–ago Mon-tre-al between the Great Depres-sion and Expo ’67.

Erín Moure, a Mon-tre-al poet and trans-la-tor, who once lived in Van-cou-ver, begins this “work of the imag-i-na-tion” (“minto,” in Gali-cian, means “I’m lying”) with a quote from Judith But-ler about those per-sons who have “come to belong to the ungriev-able,” though there may be some that grieve them. Erín Moure’s most recent book of poems is Plan-e-tary Noise: The Poet-ry of Erín Moure, edit-ed and intro-duced by Shan-non Maguire (Wes-leyan Uni-ver-si-ty Press). No one alive now knows who Toots is.

The author of numer-ous books says she worked obses-sive-ly in a short span of time to pro-duce the first draft of Sit-ting Shi-va.  “All I did was write for sev-en days in grief and pan-ic to sal-vage every mem-o-ry I had of the lit-tle man so he would not dis-ap-pear. He lived in but did not par-tic-i-pate in our mar-ket-dri-ven economies and soci-ety of con-sump-tion and accu-mu-la-tion; he just lived in a remark-able atten-tion-al-i-ty to oth-ers and to spaces, and man-aged his dis-ease as best he could. Friend-ship meant some-thing to him, human-i-ty did; he under-stood it.” The author is pleased the work is get-ting recog-nised. “I am sur-prised and glad that it can mean some-thing to oth-ers, who nev-er knew Paul. But who live in the world espe-cial-ly of Van-cou-ver or of Mon-tre-al and who recog-nise the his-to-ries.” As for awards for books, Moure admits to not pay-ing that much atten-tion to short-lists in gen-er-al. “But in the fall I am aware of the awards as their pub-lic-i-ty reach-es me and I do enjoy cel-e-brat-ing the wide range of amaz-ing books that come out of Que-bec each year — so in that sense, I do look for-ward to that joy and pres-ence.”

The short-list comes as a hap-py sur-prise to the Mon-tre-al author who used to call Van-cou-ver home. “I am very hum-bled that it meant enough to a jury of folks who nev-er knew Paul émile Savard to short-list it for the Mavis Gal-lant Prize in Mon-tre-al, which is one of its cities.” Oth-er final-ists for the award are Robyn May-nard — Polic-ing Black Lives: State Vio-lence in Cana-da from Slav-ery to the Present (Fer-n-wood Pub-lish-ing) Judi Rev-er — In Praise of Blood (Ran-dom House Cana-da). The QWF Awards Gala takes place on Tues-day Novem-ber 20th, 2018 in Mon-tre-al. For tick-et infor-ma-tion, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sit-ting Shi-va on Minto Avenue, by Toots
Erin Moure
New Star Books (Van-cou-ver)
Non-Fic-tion
160 pages
Octo-ber 2017

Erin Moure a finalist for the QWF’s Mavis Gallant award

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Sit-ting Shi-va on Minto Avenue, by Toots, poet / trans-la-tor Erin Moure’s first work of cre-ative non-fic-tion, is a final-ist for this year’s Mavis Gal-lant Prize offered by the Que-bec Writ-ers Fed-er-a-tion.

Moure’s book com-mem-o-rates an old friend and for-mer lover, the news of whose death inspires this work of mourn-ing and mem-o-ry.  Mid-cen-tu-ry Mon-tre-al and ear-ly 1980s Van-cou-ver are both pow-er-ful-ly evoked in Sit-ting Shi-va on Minto Avenue, by Toots.

The Mavis Gal-lant Prize for Non-Fic-tion is named after the Mon-tre-al-born, Paris-based short fic-tion writer who died in 2014.  Oth-er final-ists are Robyn May-nard for Polic-ing Black Lives and Judi Rev-er for In Praise of Blood.

The QWF’s announce-ment can be found here.  Win-ners are announced at the QWF’s annu-al gala on Novem-ber 20.  Tick-ets are avail-able here.

Mudflat Dreaming Launches in Vancouver (and Vancouver Island)

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In the dog days of sum-mer, the crew at New Star Books began to put togeth-er the first of what we hope are many events in regard to the cel-e-bra-tion of Mud-flat Dream-ing: Water-front Bat-tles and the Squat-ters Who Fought Them in 1970s Van-cou-ver, a book, in many ways, decades in the mak-ing, which tells the sto-ry of two com-mu-ni-ties on Vancouver’s water-front fringes in the 1970s. So, now, as we enter into the busy month of Octo-ber, we are pleased to announce with great excite-ment our part-ner-ship with two fan-tas-tic orga-ni-za-tions who are help-ing launch Jean Walton’s excit-ing new book. The Wild Bird Trust of BC will present Jean Wal-ton in con-ver-sa-tion on Sat-ur-day, Octo-ber 13th, from 1–3pm. The event is free and takes place at Cor-ri-g-an Nature House, Maple-wood Flats 2649 Dol-lar-ton High-way, North Van-cou-ver on the Unced-ed Tsleil-Wau-tuth Ter-ri-to-ry.

The event will guar-an-tee a live-ly in dis-cus-sion and gen-er-al vibe, with refresh-ments to enjoy (com-pli-men-ta-ry) and books avail-able for pur-chase. Don’t for-get to get yours signed by the author. The event will begin with remarks by Irwin Ostindie, Pres-i-dent, Wild Bird Trust of BC which oper-ates Maple-wood Flats. An option-al walk to view the Flats and Coast Sal-ish Art-work by Ocean Hyland will also take place fol-low-ing the talk.

For those on Van-cou-ver Island, ear-li-er in the week on Thurs-day, Octo-ber 11th, Courte-nay and Dis-trict Muse-um will be host-ing a lec-ture by Jean Wal-ton on her expe-ri-ence grow-ing up near these com-mu-ni-ties and what went into com-plet-ing her book. The event is $5 for His-tor-i-cal Soci-ety mem-bers, $6 for non-mem-bers (plus GST). The muse-um rec-om-mends pur-chas-ing your tick-ets in advance. Books will be on sale at the muse-um gift shop.

 

As a teenag-er, Jean Wal-ton lived just up the hill from Bridgeview, but it was only much lat-er that the author learned about the strug-gle embroil-ing her near neigh-bours, as well as its con-nec-tion to the Maple-wood Mud-flat squat-ter com-mu-ni-ty ––– not to men-tion Mal-colm Lowry and Habi-tat 76.   “Orig-i-nal-ly, I just want-ed to write some-thing set in the time and place where I came of age, in the sev-en-ties in the vicin-i-ty of Van-cou-ver- part-ly because I loved the idea of com-bin-ing fam-i-ly vis-its with research for a cre-ative project.”

Jean Wal-ton found her way, cre-ative-ly into these sto-ries is through a few doc-u-men-tary films made at the time about Bridgeview and Maple-wood, as well as Robert Altman’s break-through fea-ture film, McCabe and Mrs. Miller, shot just a few miles up the moun-tain-side from the Maple-wood Mud-flats.

Alexan-der Vasude-van, author of The Autonomous City, calls Mud-flat Dream-ing “a won-der-ful-ly evoca-tive account of the var-ied ways in which an alter-na-tive Van-cou-ver was imag-ined, con-struct-ed and lived by its res-i-dents in the 1970s.”

Mud-flat Dream-ing is the per-fect Christ-mas gift. And no it’s not too late to be think-ing about hol-i-day shop-ping! For more infor-ma-tion on these events, please vis-it us on Face-book and fol-low us on Twit-ter.

 

author Jean Wal-ton

ReUPDATED: October 12 at the People’s Co-op :: David Bromige if wants to be the same as is Vancouver launch

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Hav-ing wend-ed its way through Sebastopol and San Fran-cis-co last month, and Philadel-phia, New York, and Warsh-ing-ton, DC this week, the David Bromige Always-already 2018 Posthu-mous World Tour bus returns to the west coast for its sec-ond leg, and final stop, Fri-day, Octo-ber 12 at the People’s Co-op Book-store in Van-cou-ver.

Bob Perel-man, part of the edi-to-ri-at (with Jack Krick and Ron Sil-li-man) that assem-bled if wants to be the same as is:  Essen-tial Poems of David Bromige, will be at the Van-cou-ver launch.  This will be the first Van-cou-ver vis-it in a looooong time (33 years?) for Perel-man, poet, teacher and crit-ic and known asso-ciate of the noto-ri-ous LCW gang.  He also has an extend-ed cameo in if wants to be the same as is as a Fig-ure addressed off stage.

George Bow-er-ing, who sup-plies an intro-duc-tion to his late (2009) poet-ry pal Bromige’s col-lec-tion, Fred Wah, who pub-lished Bromiges’ first book, Christo-pher Bromige, Peter Quar-ter-main, and Clint Burn-ham are among the con-firmed read-ers &c.

We can now reveal a few more read-ers: Mered-ith Quar-ter-main, Macken-zie Ground, Anakana Schofield, and up from Seat-tle, Paul DeBar-ros.

The launch, which is a free event, gets under-way at 7 PM.

 

Michael Turner launches 9 x 11 on 9/11 at Massy Books

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It’s that time of year when books begin to launch like there’s no tomor-row. So, with that in mind, why not join us at Massy Books on Tues-day, Sep-tem-ber 11th at 7pm for the launch of Michael Turner’s new poet-ry col-lec-tion, 9×11 : and oth-er poems like Bird, Nine, x, and Eleven

Dodie Bel-lamy has this to say about Michael’s first poet-ry book in two decades: “Read-ing Michael Turner’s extra-or-di-nary 9x11 I was remind-ed of Christa Wolf’s Acci-dent, how glob-al cri-sis inten-si-fies the dai-ly — except that in Turner’s/our cur-rent state dis-rup-tion has become the new norm. Dis-rup-tion both ter-ri-fies and excites the poet — the stacked monot-o-ny of sky-scrap-ers is bro-ken both by the hor-ror of peo-ple leap-ing out of build-ings and by Mallarme’s thrilling aban-don-ment of ver-ti-cal struc-ture in “Un coup de des jamais n’abolira le hasard” (1897). All the reflec-tions and con-tem-pla-tive rhymes add up to a holo-graph-ic text that begs repeat-ed read-ing. “9 x 11” is a date, a dis-as-ter, and the mea-sure-ments of the poet’s room. For Turn-er archi-tec-ture is a form of poet-ic div-ina-tion, and poet-ry is a form of archi-tec-ture. Liv-ing in a city, com-mu-ni-ty is inevitable — cof-fee house / apart-ment build-ing / poet-ry peers — and despite his cau-tion, Turner’s tense heart proves very big.”

Come on out for some deli-cious snacks, live-ly guests and a great evening of poet-ry and oth-er enjoy-able sur-pris-es. Massy Books is locat-ed at 229 E Geor-gia Street (604–721-4405). Books will be on sale and why not get your signed by the author? Michael Turn-er is the author of books such as Com-pa-ny Town (1991), Hard Core Logo (1993), Kingsway (1995), Amer-i-can Whisky Bar (1997) The Pornographer’s Poem (1999) and 8x10 (2009).

Read this great inter-view Read Local BC did with Michael Turn-er in which the author dis-cuss-es his rela-tion-ship with his work and poet-ry. “I have come to trust poet-ry, but for so long I had a disin-gen-u-ous rela-tion-ship with it.”