Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thursday Poetry Round-Up

Since the weather has started to cool down in the past couple days, and the leaves are beginning to turn colour and loosen from their branches, and there's an undercurrent of wood smoke in the breeze, I'd be lying if I said it didn't all put me in a contemplative mood. So, with the spirit of contemplation in mind, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to bring a few recent poetry notices to your attention. 

A couple weeks ago, Catherine Owen's The Marrow Review did a nice roundup of two of our poetry books chosen completely at random: Meeting the Tormentors in Safeway by Alexandra Oliver and Meniscus by Shane Neilson. Oliver's 2013 Pat Lowther Award-Winning Canadian debut gets a favourable nod for its "sing-songy, Philip Larkinesque, rhyming, mannered, smart, continental and often quite droll" lyrics while Shane Neilson's "sophisticate and slant" musicality  in Meniscus is praised for its "bleeps & grinds & mellifluous witnessings to loss." Owen is especially fond of Meniscus for its controlled yet intense exploration of "elegy, insanity, injury and adoration."

Susan Gillis has been doing some great work on her newish blog Concrete & River of late, and this past week saw the posting of a short but fascinating exchange between her and Amanda Jernigan. Jernigan describes the various ways in which localized speech, a magical house of books in Virginia, and the life-altering experience of motherhood have informed her work and vision over the years. You can read the full exchange here. Jernigan's Groundwork was a 2011 Best Poetry Book, and her 2013 Cormorant follow-up, All the Daylight Hours, was a National Post Canadian Poetry Book of the Year for 2013.

Catherine Chandler's sonnet "Coming to Terms" received a Laureate's Choice Award earlier this month in the Great River Shakespeare Festival, Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest (Winona, Minnesota). It was singled-out among over 400 submissions by poets from thirty-six U.S. states and seven countries. The poem, which also won the 2010 Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award, appears in Chandler's Glad and Sorry Seasons. See why Eric Ormsby says there is "no form of which Catherine Chandler is not a master, from quatrains and Sapphics to ballads and pantoums. She is an especially brilliant sonneteer." 

And finally, Kerry-Lee Powell's Inheritance, which is our lead fall poetry title and which is making its way through the printers at Coach House as we speak, is a 49th Shelf Most Anticipated Fall Poetry Book. Kerry-Lee's fiction has won her a two book deal with Harper Collins as well as accolades from the likes of Nathan Englander and Junot Diaz, and her poetic debut is a fierce and moving one. It should definitely be on the radar of all lovers of Canadian Poetry.

And now back to my coffee and weltschmerz.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

"One of Canada's Most Daring and Dynamic Independent Presses" Turns Ten!

If you've seen the September issue of  Quill & Quire, you'll know that this fall represents a  watermark for us at Biblioasis: it marks our tenth anniversary as independent publishers. To celebrate, we'll be hosting a series of retrospective features and launches in Eden Mills, Montreal, Toronto, Waterloo, Windsor, and Fredericton. In addition of featuring a stupendous sampling of our list to date, and sometimes serving as the launches for such new fall titles as Kathleen Winter's The Freedom in American Songs and Diane Schoemperlen's By the Book, each event will feature a unique lineup of readers as well as panel discussions with guest-hosts, not to mention book giveaways and other festivities. 

The dates as well as event pages for the various events are listed below. Come tilt at windmills with us!

Eden Mills:

Sunday, September 14th, 2:00-4:30PM
Chapel Street, Eden Mills 

Featuring readings from C.P Boyko, Diane Schoemperlen, K.D. Miller and Ray Robertson, and Dan Wells in conversation with Leon Rooke and John Metcalf


Monday, September 22nd, 7:00PM
Atwater Library, 1200 Atwater Avenue
Co-presented by QWF

The launch of The Freedom in American Songs by Kathleen Winter and Alphabet by Kathy Page, and featuring readings from Quebec writers Robyn Sarah, Alice Petersen, Norm Sibum, Joshua Trotter, Catherine Chandler, and Mauricio Segura, as well as a panel discussion.


Wednesday, September 24th, 7:30PM
Harbourfront Center, 235 Queens Quay West
Co-presented by IFOA 

The Toronto launch of The Freedom in American Songs by Kathleen Winter, By The Book by Diane Schoemperlen, and Inheritance by Kerry-Lee Powell; it will also feature readings from Alexander MacLeod, John Metcalf, K.D. Miller, Kathy Page, Ray Robertson, Leon Rooke, and Rebecca Rosenblum, as well as a panel discussion.


Thursday, September 25th, 7:00PM
The Jazz Room, Heuther Hotel, 59 King Street North 
Co-presented by Words Worth Books

Featuring readings from Amanda Jernigan, Alexander MacLeod, John Metcalf, K.D. Miller, Kerry-Lee Powell, and Ray Robertson. 


Friday, September 26th, 7:00PM
Capitol Theatre, 121 University Ave West 
Co-presented by Bookfest Windsor

Featuring readings from Marty Gervais, Alexander MacLeod, John Metcalf, K.D. Miller, Ray Robertson, and Paul Vasey, to be followed by a panel discussion hosted by Bob Steele of CBC Windsor.


Saturday & Sunday, October 4th & 5th,  All Day
UNB, Memorial Hall 
Presented by UNB Poetry Weekend 

Featuring readings from Kerry-Lee Powell, Zachariah Wells, Shane Neilson, Joshua Trotter, and Richard Norman. Hosted by Ross Leckie.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Biblioasis is Hiring

Are you interested in working for Biblioasis? We're currently hiring a full-time in-house publicist. If you're interested, check out the job description below, and email Dan Wells ( with you resumé and cover letter. Applications will be accepted until September 15th.

  • plan and implement national and international publicity strategies for 16-20 books annually, including electronic pitches, review copy mailings, and related follow-up
  • build and manage relations with key media throughout North America
  • write and tailor catalogue copy for different markets
  • write and update press releases and pitches
  • manage and update bibliodata and other electronic feeds to keep information about our books current
  • liaise with bookstores to promote our books, arrange author signings, and secure event coverage in area media
  • use social media to promote press, authors and books
  • submit books for appropriate awards programs
  • create and implement special promotions and co-op for key titles
  • help plan author receptions, book launches, and trade show appearances
  • write funding applications and grants which pertain to marketing, sales and author travel
  • oversee updates on the Press’s website 
  • serve as a spokesperson for the press
  • liaise with sales forces in Canada and the United States
  • field author queries and help handle author relations
  • solicit blurbs and endorsements
  • solicit direct sales 
  • other duties as assigned
  • excellent verbal and written communication skills 
  • highly organized with exceptional attention to detail under tight deadlines
  • strong knowledge of Microsoft Office and social media outlets/technology
  • strong interpersonal, organizational, and problem-solving skills are essential
  • the ability to prioritize and work on numerous tasks simultaneously and the ability to work with minimal supervision is required.
  • must be able to travel via any means necessary and must have a valid driver’s license and passport; overnight and occasional weekend and week-long travel will be required.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Ondjaki in the Times Literary Supplement

Hey all. Happy to report that rumour became reality this weekend, with a thoughtful review running in Friday's Times Literary Supplement for Granma Nineteen and the Soviet's Secret. You won't be able to find it online, but here are the highlights:

"As with Ondjaki's other novels—including Bom dis camaradas (2001; Good Morning Comrades) and Os Transparentes (2012)—this is a strangely deceptive read. Although the narrative often feels rather whimsical, Angola's long history of colonialism and conflict, its various foreign allies and enemies, and the extraordinary suffering of its population, are menacingly present ... a brave and highly political work."

The piece—written by Lara Pawson, former BBC correspondent to Angola—also does a good job of providing an historical context for Ondjaki's novel, and it draws forward the aspects of it that linger deliberately in the background. Want to see the whole thing? Feel free to drop us an email, and we'll arrange for you to see it. 

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Biblioasis leads off Quill & Quire's 2014 Short Fiction Fall Preview

In their new Fall Preview for Short Fiction and Crime Fiction for 2014, Quill and Quire opens with and devotes a whole paragraph to yours truly and our forthcoming story collections from Kathleen Winter and Diane Schoemperlen. We are pretty honoured. I include the paragraph in question below, and the full article can be found here.

Also, a nice nod to our own "talented designer of covers" Kate Hargreaves in the Poetry section, whose book  Leak is forthcoming from Bookthug in October. 
"In each successive season, Biblioasis (a small press in Windsor, Ontario) adds to one of the most impressive catalogues of short fiction being published anywhere in this country. This fall, it will release two new collections, including one by an undisputed master of the genre: Diane Schoemperlen. Her new work is billed as a sequel to the Governor General’s Literary Award–winning 1998 collection Forms of Devotion, which combined prose and images to tell its stories. By the Book: Stories and Pictures ($29.95 cl., Sept.) goes even further, comprising a series of stories interspersed with 73 colour collages that nostalgically evoke handbooks and encyclopedias of bygone eras. • Also in September, Biblioasis will publish the sophomore collection from Kathleen Winter, whose previous collection, boYs, won the Metcalf-Rooke Award. Featuring an erstwhile Zamboni mechanic who has entered the funeral business, a dog with a chastity belt, and a septuagenarian tree climber, The Freedom in American Songs ($19.95 pa., Sept.) showcases Winter’s offbeat, humorous sensibility." - Steven W. Beattie 

Friday, August 01, 2014

'All Saints reads like a collision between Barbara Pym and Lynn Coady’s Hellgoing'

The love for K.D Miller's All Saints keeps rolling in, this time courtesy of Kerry Clare in The Globe and Mail:

Miller – in language that doesn’t draw attention to itself, but bends to suit her purposes – uses the small moments in life to illuminate big questions. Where did the story start? What is destiny? Is there an order to the universe, to a life? ... It’s an absorbing, amusing and deeply meaningful read that affirms the power of sacred spaces – and excellent books – even in the modern world.

Happy Weekend!


Some nice bits of news for Kathy Page recently, including a staff pick for Alphabet at Boswell Book Co., a shout-out on David Abrams's "Front Porch Books" feature on The Quivering Pen blog, and a coveted spot at the Top of the Long List in this week's Barnes & Noble Review. "Canadian short story marvel Kathy Page emerges as the Alice Munro of the supernatural," they comment, "from these heartfelt tales of shapeshifting swimmers, mild-mannered cannibals, and personality-shifting viruses transmitted through kisses." Not bad, eh?

It's actually been a fun south-of-the-border week for Biblioasis generally, with this "Biblioasis wins at tote bags" tweet here from Lev Grossman, books editor at Time magazine. Plus David Abrams had this to say about l'il old us ...

"Speaking of Canada, have I ever mentioned how much I love Ontario-based publisher Biblioasis? If not, then let me correct that lapse right now. Biblioasis has been putting out high-quality, hand-crafted literature for a number of years and I always love it when their books sneak south across the border onto my doorstep."

Happy Friday!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Kociejowski on Syria

Poet and cultural critic Marius Kociejowski appeared on Vatican Radio Friday to discuss the present plight of the Syrian people.  "We have to remember, the horror hasn't stopped," Kociejowski comments: "the barrel bombs are being dropped on Aleppo every single day, people are being tortured in prisons, the regime is feeling comfortable enough to arrest those people involved in the very first peaceful protests, and those people are being killed in the prisons, and this will continue.”

Look for Kociejowski's new collection of essays "The Pebble Chance" this fall.  

Friday, July 25, 2014

Night of the Living Deals

Can you dig it?

Despite the construction, the Walkerville Night Market is still on tonight! Come out between 5 and 10pm for some good-times, great finds and even better books! For information about parking, visit or give us a call at 519 968 2206.

Hope to see you there,


Monday, July 21, 2014

"Why Marijuana is Boring"

A pro-MJ celebration in Denver, CO.
In response to the decision by Washington State to legalize marijuana use, a blog columnist at the Vancouver Sun elected last week to write a feature on why, to him, marijuana is boring. Further to that decision he elected—in an offbeat-if-not-unwelcome move—to use as his argumentative springboard Ray Robertson's I Was There the Night He Died, from which he'd heard Ray read at the Ottawa Writer's Festival and which he apparently enjoyed. ("Many people seem to get quite excited about marijuana," runs the Sun's photo caption, "but, as Canadian novelist Ray Robertson notes, it's not exactly conducive to good conversation.") The piece has—perhaps unsurprisingly in Vancouver—triggered a few indignant comments from the four-twenty crowd in defense of Mary Jane. Thought it might amuse.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Filippo Bologna's The Parrots excerpted on BITSblog

“Let’s say a trapeze artist in a circus gets one of his moves wrong on the first night of the show. Luckily, his partner has good reflexes and catches him. The number goes down well, the audience don’t notice a thing and happily applaud. Then, when the show is over, the two of them clear things up in the caravan, and that’s the end of it.”
      The two men began circumnavigating the aviary.
    “Now let’s say the trapeze artist makes the same mistake on the second night. This time his partner misses him… The audience hold their breath, then applaud in relief. There was a net underneath. When the show’s over the owner of the circus goes to the trapeze artist’s caravan. He comes out after a while…”
The Publisher stopped—they had now walked halfway round the aviary—then resumed walking, again slowly dragging The Writer with him.
    “Now, let’s say the trapeze artist gets the same move wrong for a third night running. There’s complete silence under the big top. Everyone’s holding their breath, thinking—”
    “As long as there’s a net,” said The Writer, interpreting the audience’s thoughts.
    “There had been. The circus owner had had it taken away.”
    “And you know why he had it taken away?”
    “Because he loved the circus more than he loved the trapeze artist.”


Italian writer Filippo Bologna's gut-busting send-up of the publishing industry and prize-culture excerpted on the Biblioasis Translation Series blog, courtesy of our friends at Pushkin Press. Happy weekend reading, and be prepared to laugh!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

We Learned it at the Movies

"Though it’s set in a different country, English readers might be reminded of NoViolet Bulawayo’s We Need New Names....In language laced with Cuban Spanish and Russian-accented English, the story is informed by its political context but still manages to evoke that magical form of thinking that children in particular possess." 
Granma Nineteen and the Soviet's Secret takes the lead in The Globe and Mail's most recent small press books round-up

And in case you missed it, Benjamin Woodart's recent in-depth and very smart reading of the novel over at Numero Cinq is well worth checking out. Especially recommended for film buffs, it highlights the many ways in which Ondjaki slyly references and deconstructs the Hollywood adventure story throughout the book, and it even includes a specific count of the number of times the word "movies" appears in the novel. So crack out the popcorn, sit back, and enjoy Woodart's performance. Here's a taste:
"These children know how movies work, and apply this knowledge to create an adventure...By constantly having his characters live out and reference moments from their favorite films, Ondjaki’s narrative succeeds on two fronts: first, a steady verbal rhythm is created. The word “movie” appears 26 times throughout the thin volume, and with each mention, the reader is simultaneously transported back to the previous mentions (a flashback-within-a-flashback, if you will) while also propelled forward within the narrative. This creates a wonderful looping rhythm to both the piece and the language within. Secondly, these moments reinforce to the reader the fantasy that is the novel: Only in a film would a ragtag group of youngsters take on a military force with nothing but their wits and courage. And this is where Ondjaki’s flashback structure also helps cleverly underline the narrative as that of playful, rambunctious popcorn. Knowing the mausoleum will be ruined at the beginning of the story allows the reader to fully embrace the events that lead up to the explosion." 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Attention for Ondjaki

Happy Monday!

This week it's Ondjaki's Granma Nineteen and the Soviet's Secret that has been getting all of the attention.  The Winnipeg Review's Thomas Trofimuk examines Ondjaki's work (translated by Stephen Henighan) which is part of the Biblioasis International Translation Series.


Monday, July 07, 2014

All Saints: A book to watch

Good morning readers, I hope you all had a great weekend and a happy 4th of July!

More praise has been pouring in for KD Miller's All Saints.  This time it was the Midwest Book Review who featured All Saints in their Reviewer's Bookwatch. 

"Expertly crafted short stories that perform an impressive story arc and engage the reader's fascinated attention from first page to last, All Saints is an extraordinary anthology that documents author K.D. Miller as an impressively gifted and original writer ... highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library collections."

Have a great week,


Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Praise for Kathy Page and K.D. Miller

Morning All! 

I hope you had a wonderful Canada Day, we certainly did here at Biblioasis! 

Kathy Page's Paradise and Elsewhere has been racking up the praise this week.  The Minneapolis Star-Tribune review called it "A mind-bending collection of stories about transformation and adaptation, full of startling ideas, capricious characters and uncanny goings-on ... Paradise & Elsewhere is composed of elastic language and distorted reflections, each story boldly illuminating as it playfully confounds."

In their Canada Day blog That Shakespearean Rag made a list of their top 5 books so far this year and we are so proud that two of our authors were included.  About Paradise and Elsewhere they said “Kathy Page’s new collection is cast in the fabulist mode of Angela Carter, with stories about a society that has outlawed kissing due to an orally transmitted virus, a sea creature who takes the place of a lighthouse-keeper’s missing wife, and a journalism student who takes the notion of communing with nature to a bizarre and unsettling extreme.”

Also featured in That Shakespearean Rag's top 5 books was K.D. Miller’s All Saints. “All Saints is infused with humour, a surprising degree of eroticism, and an uncompromising eye for human fallibility and frailty."



Friday, June 27, 2014

Paul Vasey & Biblioasis @ Downtown Windsor Farmer's Market Tomorrow!

Biblioasis will be returning to the Downtown Windsor Farmer's Market this Saturday from 8am-1pm to satisfy all of your book needs! In addition to our special selection of Summer Reads, LGBT, Food, local, and in-house titles, we will be joined by author Paul Vasey who will be reading from his charming memoir The River @ 10:45AM and will be available to sign copies. The market has got an amazing array of wares available, and we will have some special deals, so pick up some goodies and swing by and say hello!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Alcuin Awards

G'Day all, 

You might remember that David Mason's The Pope's Bookbinder has received an honourable mention for book design in the nonfiction category at this year's Alcuin Awards.  The awards ceremonies will be taking place this fall in Toronto and Vancouver.

The Toronto Awards will take place on Monday October 6th at 5:30 pm at the Arts & Letters Club of Toronto.

The Vancouver Awards will take place on September 11th at 7 pm at the Emily Carr University of Art + Design Auditorium, Granville Island (south building). 

You can see The Pope's Bookbinder, along with all of the other winning books at the Confederation Centre Gallery in Charlottetown, PEI from March 7th to April 16th. 


Monday, June 23, 2014

Winter in Great Big Roundup

Biblioasis is proud to announce that Kathleen Winter's The Freedom in American Songs was included in the The Great Big Roundup of 2014 Short Story Collections.  Winter was featured alongside writerJoyce Carol Oates, Leesa Cross-Smith, Antonya Nelson, Edward Hoagland, Deborah Levy and Elizabeth Spencer. 

"There are characters, and then there are characters.  Just look at the parade of people you'll find in this collection of short stories by Kathleen Winter (author of the prize-winning novel Annabel)"

Monday introductions

Happy Monday everyone! I would like to introduce myself.  I am Deirdre Brode; I'm a business student, an Irish dancer, a book lover and Biblioasis' newest intern.  I'm not the only one making introductions in Windsor these days, however. Introducing Biblioasis to the wider public on Saturday was Ted Shaw in the Windsor Star's Artbeat column. Shaw included a profile of Biblioasis and a history of its 10 years as an independent publisher.  You can read the full text online, or check out some of the highlights below.  Cheers!

With more than 130 trade paperback editions to its credit, many of them internationally famous writers, Biblioasis is known worldwide as one of the top independent publishers of high quality books.

Owner Daniel Wells has an unbridled passion for everything literary, and he has had to endure the tidal shifts in the book business, both as seller and as publisher.

The mark of Biblioasis’ acceptance in the literary world is in evidence in the attention it gets from the international community.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Boyko, Miller in National Post "Shortcuts" Column

What lovelier way is there to canter into the sunset than with a newspaper & some short stories in your saddle roll? Check out this weekend's National Post for Steven Beattie's monthly short fiction column, where he talks about the linked collection as Canadian consommé, calls KD Miller's "Kim's Game" the "Citizen Kane of humiliation," and CP Boyko's "The Prize Jury" a " highly amusing riposte to the culture of literary awards, eviscerating the petty politicking, log-rolling and absurdity that can result from jockeying for recognition." Not bad for a rainy end-of-week, huh? Nice to know that KD and Craig are firing on all cylinders, even if we at the office have a bad collective case of math brain.  Happy Friday!

Friday, June 13, 2014

"I Was There" a Best in Small Press Book, Globe & Mail

If you're looking for yet another reason to pick up Ray Robertson's I Was There the Night He Died as that cool-man gift for daddy-o, well, look no further than the Globe & Mail: IWT was featured this weekend as a Best in Small Press Book.  Here's what they had to say:

"An uplifting read ... the style is writerly, self-conscious and poignant  ... a redemptive story about love despite the prevalence and certainty of death."

Call this the Father's Day frosting on the cake that was Shelagh Rogers's stupendous Next Chapter interview. Happy weekend, folks. Peace out! 

Kathy Page featured on Storyville App

“The Kissing Disease”  by Kathy Page is this week's Storyville App story of the week.  Storyville was launched in 2011 and has received acclaim for its curatorial vision; each week the app features a new story from the best story collections published by commercial and independent presses alike. Kathy Page had this to say about the genesis of her remarkable story:
Well, who doesn’t like to kiss?  I’ll admit it cheers me to see other people kissing, too. At high school we called mono the kissing disease, but when I wrote this story I was thinking more of HIV/AIDS. That pandemic surfaced during my twenties. Everyone lost someone. There was a before, and an ongoing after.  It was terrible time, but there were eventually some positive consequences: increased honesty and more open public discourse about sex, for example. It was that aspect, the silver lining, that I had in mind.
The story begins with Gary arguing with the radio.  My roots are in England, and for decades BBC Radio 4 was the background to my life.  No ads, little music, just wonderful voices.  Between the drama, poetry and news, panels of experts and pundits would discuss in intricate (sometimes exhaustive) detail the controversies of the day.  My family and I frequently joined in and I still sometimes listen online. Gary’s position as the story opens is so vehement that it implies  his eventual willingness to enjoy what he thought repugnant. That’s the seed from which the story grew.
Men and masculinity interest me a great deal,  as does the way in which, generally speaking, we deal with otherness by separation, as if  it was contagious — which brings me right  back to disease.  Bodies — our relationship with them, the ways in which they may betray or overtake us or be dramatically transformed — are a preoccupation of mine.  One of the protagonists in my novel Alphabet is in transition between genders; The Find centres on a woman’s struggles with the onset of Huntington’s disease, and there lies yet another of my many preoccupations: identity.  How much can we change and still remain who we are? At what point do we become someone else?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Paul Vasey & Biblioasis @ Downtown Windsor Farmer's Market Tomorrow!

Dan & Jesse will be representing team Biblioasis @ the Downtown Windsor Farmer's Market this Saturday from 8am-1pm, and will be joined by Poet Laureate Marty Gervais, who will be reading from, and available to sign, his new chapbook "Available Light" @ 9:00 and 10:00 AM. We'll have a  diverse selection of local history, local authors, cook books, food security books, kids books, Biblioasis titles, and other goodies for sale, so while you're picking up some fresh veggies or a bite to eat please swing by and say hello! The market is located outside at Charles Clark Square and features a wide variety of great local vendors. 

"Hallelujah! A Canadian Classic is Born"

Well, it's no exaggeration to say that Anne Kingston's review of All Saints in today's issue of Maclean's Magazine is so glowing you may need sunglasses to read it (well, it's actually raining here, but you know what I mean). It was the first review in the section, it was the title review, and it had full banner art. What you see above ("Hallelujah! A Canadian Classic is Born") is the headline. And though it's hard to pull any one sentence out from the others, as the review consists of two full columns of praise, we think you'll agree that this bit is particularly wonderful:
"Miller's genius, like that of Alice Munro, is wringing suspense—and poignancy—from the quotidian ... Plots and characters link in haunting and astounding ways. As a collection, the stories reflect the power and purpose of all communities, ecclesiastical or otherwise: read like a novel, they offer multi-faceted perspective and illumination. The result is a Canadian classic. If this book doesn't get a Giller prize nod, something is wrong." (our emphasis).

Our cup runneth over. To get a copy of this wonderful linked collection, get thee to a local indie, and remember also that all Biblioasis books are available for sale directly from our website. Booksellers: our books are distributed, as ever, from Raincoast, and if you're interested in a reading copy, give me a shout and I'd be happy to send one your way:

Happy Wednesday!    

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

I Was There The Night He Died Reviewed in Star Tribune

Ray Robertson fans: some American coverage for I Was There The Night He Died courtesy of Minneapolis's Star Tribune. Here's the lead-off:
Problems increasingly familiar to baby boomers embroider Ray Roberston’s “I Was There The Night He Died — aging and ill parents; the prevalence of Alzheimer’s; difficult relatives, and the attendant duties of ushering them out of this world, respectfully disposing of their possessions and homes. Self-absorbed novelist Sam Samson has taken on such tasks, back “home” in working-class Chatham, a few hours west of his adopted Toronto.
And for all you Torontonians, don't forget that Ray will be participating at the amazing Luminato Literary Picnic @ Trinity Bellwoods Park this Sunday and will be taking Stage A by storm at roughly 2:15PM. It's a great chance to get some sun, grab some delicious grub, and have a chat one of Canada's most beloved authors. Free signatures for all dads, so don't be shy.

Russell Smith Leads Luminato's Literary Walk this Sunday

Yesterday we brought the Luminato Festival's Literary Picnic to your attention, and it's sure to be one of the most fun outdoor books-based events of the summer. For those of you looking to make an occasion of this Father's Day Sunday, the ante just got upped. Directly on the heels of the picnic, none other than Russell Smith will be leading the festival's Literary Walk, which provides  a rare opportunity to glimpse the undercurrents, secrets and hidden narratives of Unseen Toronto and the places that have inspired some of Canada's leading writers. The walk begins at 3:00PM at the corner of Spadina and Queen Street West, and participants can either meet there or take a shuttle at the corner of Trinity Bellwood Park gates @ Queen Street West, which will be departing a 2:45PM on the dot. Tickets are available online  or by phone at 416-368-3100, and if you mention this post and the code "middlespace", they are available at the reduced cost of 15$. See you there! 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

K.D. Miller @ Luminato Festival: A Literary Picnic

Biblioasis's K.D. Miller and Ray Robertson will be appearing in Toronto at the Luminato Festival this weekend! They will be participating in the fabulous Literary Picnic scheduled this Sunday June 15 from 12pm-3:30pm at Trinity Bellwoods Park.

The event will take place across three stages and will feature readings from forty-five of Toronto's finest authors. The rapid-fire presentation and vast array of writers presents the perfect opportunity to get a taste for new writers while re-connecting with old favourites. In keeping with the picnic theme, delicious food will be available onsite courtesy of Fidel Gastro’s, Localista, The Pop Stand and Greenhouse Juice Co. And on the book side of things, Ben McNally and the Toronto Public Library Bookmobile will be on site to satisfy all your biblio-cravings. 

In addition to Miller and Robertson, participating authors include Austin Clarke, Barry Callaghan, Ins Choi, Don Gilmour, Andrew Pyper, Zoe Whittall, and more. For a full list of participants, click here.

With so much going on, delicious grub and fun in the sun, this is the can't miss literary event of the summer! And don't forget that it coincides with Father's day, so grab your dad, grab some blankets and books, and get thee to Trinity Bellwoods to hear some of Toronto's freshest voices!

Marty Gervais launches Available Light: Poems from the South Shore @ Biblioasis, w/ Micheline Maylor + Peter Norman

Dear Windsor! Don't forget to mark the date! Tomorrow night we will be hosting our last in-house event until next Fall. Join us in welcoming poet Micheline Maylor, poet/novelist Peter Norman, and Windsor Poet Laureate Marty Gervais at Biblioasis at 7PM!

Windsor Poet Laureate and publisher of Black Moss Marty Gervais, author of best-selling local history books Rumrummers and Ghost Road, will be launching his brand-new poetry chapbook (and the inaugural publication in our occasional South Detroit Chapbook/Broadside series), AVAILABLE LIGHT: Poems from the South Shore. 2014 Pat Lowther Memorial Award Finalist Micheline Maylor will be launching WHIRR & CLICK (Frontenac, 2014), a collection of vividly rendered lyric poems that delve into the realms of memory with gravity and grace. Peter Norman will be launching his debut novel EMBERTON (Douglas & McIntyre, 2014), a comic gothic thriller featuring an illiterate man who enters the revolving doors of a prestigious dictionary company looking for a job and someone who can finally teach him how to read, and ends up getting far more than he bargained for. Refreshments and snacks will be available. We hope to see you there.

Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award

We're very pleased to announce that Cynthia Flood, C.P. Boyko, Kathy Page and K.D. Miller were just long-listed for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award. Worth €25,000, the award is the biggest prize for short stories worldwide.

Journey Prize-winning author, Cynthia Flood's Red Girl Rat Boy is a precise collection of minimalist stories that explore the lives of innumerable wives, husbands, sisters, and in-laws vexed by short temper and insecurity and trying to navigate through upheaval with grace. 

C.P. Boyko's Novelists is a comedy of manners (and manuscripts), rivaling Vanity Fair for its satirical wit... though not, mercifully, for its length.

Orange Prize-nominee Kathy Page's Paradise and Elsewhere is a collection of dark fables at once familiar and entirely strange.

K.D. Miller has been nominated for a National Magazine Award for Fiction. Her short story collection, All Saints is a moving collection of tremendous skill, whose linked stories illuminate the tenacity and vulnerability of modern-day believers.

Hearty congratulations to all the long-listed authors!

Monday, June 09, 2014

Alexandra Oliver Wins Pat Lowther Award

Alexandra Oliver Reads from
Meeting the Tormentors in Safeway
at the League of Canadian Poets'
Award Ceremony
We're delighted to inform you that on Saturday evening the League of Canadian Poets announced Alexandra Oliver's Meeting the Tormentors in Safeway won the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. The Lowther is given annually to a book of poetry by a Canadian woman, and carries a $1,000 prize. It is presented each year at the League’s Annual General Meeting in May or June. Previous winners include Karen Solie and Dionne Brand.

For those of you new to Alexandra's work, you're in for a treat. Meeting the Tormentors in Safeway was a Canadian Poetry Book of the Year (National Post, 2013) and from first page to last stands as a testament to the sheer performative power of form. It's acerbic, witty, dramatic, moving, and sharp. Below is a sample of what the critics had to say. And if you've never had the pleasure of hearing Alexandra read, we highly recommend you check out some of her recent performances online: this is from our fall 2013 Toronto launch, and this is Alexandra's reading at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in 2011.

We hope you'll join us in offering your hearty congratulations to Alexandra, and to all the other nominees (Elizabeth Bachinsky, Anne Compton, Sadiqa de Meijer, Micheline Maylor, and Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang). The recognition is much-deserved. 

Praise for Alexandra Oliver

“An incredible feat of vision and voice … technically, nothing is out of Oliver’s grasp. Her go-to iambic pentameter can swallow anything in its path. Meeting the Tormentors in Safeway should go a long way toward establishing Oliver as one of the country’s best stanza makers, with a fluidity and ambition aspiring to Dylan Thomas or Yeats  … When she succeeds, she succeeds entirely.”—Michael Lista, The National Post

"Alexandra Oliver has many arrows in her quiver—all of them sharpened to a fine point … This is an excellent and entertaining collection."—Timothy Steele

"It is sometimes argued that our disjunctive times need to be mirrored by disjunctive forms: only aesthetic disorder can respond to our experience. Such a simplicity is disproven by Alexandra Oliver’s Meeting the Tormentors in Safeway, in which disjunctions of many kinds (such as the one in her title) are brought to order by the poet’s refining passion and corrosive wit. Here are brilliantly contemporary poems in traditional forms, the work of a stunning new voice."—Charles Martin

"Alexandra Oliver is in full command of a saber wit and impeccable ear. With these she tackles nothing less than the unsettling hazards, absurd encounters, and oddball ironies of our modern predicament to make poems that bite and entertain … Oliver’s considerable formal skills are always employed to prod and direct poetry’s energies to keep pace with the contemporary world. Lucky the reader along for the ride."—Jeanne Marie Beaumont
For more about the Pat Lowther Award visit the LCP website.