113 Bond Street St. John’s NL A1C 1T6   ||

Beth Follett  feralgrl@interlog.com

Pedlar Press publishes innovative, contemporary Canadian fiction & poetry, the occasional literary nonfiction title, works that preserve and extend the literary tradition that values experimentation in style & form. Writers include Phil Hall, Kim Fahner, Su Croll, Sara Tilley, Soraya Peerbaye, Souvankham Thammavongsa, Martha & Christina Baillie, Guy Birchard, Michael Kenyon, Agnes Walsh, Kate Cayley, Kyeren Regehr, Jan Zwicky, Stan Dragland, Anne Golden, Laura McRae, Moira MacDougall, Heather Nolan, Alan Reed. . .

TO PURCHASE PEDLAR TITLES: Pedlar Press titles may be ordered from your local independent bookseller, from www.alllitup.ca (the all-Canadian online bookstore), from www.amazon.ca. To purchase titles directly from Pedlar, use PayPal button links below, or contact publisher Beth Follett at: feralgrl@interlog.com

Shipping in Canada and to USA only.

RECENT TITLES may be purchased by scrolling down to posts below. These include Christina & Martha Baillie’s SISTER LANGUAGE, THE CAUSES by Cathy Stonehouse, THE BENJAMENTA COLLEGE OF ART by Alan Reed, Barbara Nichol’s picture book THE LADY FROM KENT, Stan Dragland’s artbook GERALD SQUIRES, and creative nonfiction, THE DIFFICULT, Martha Baillie’s novel THE SEARCH FOR HEINRICH SCHLÖGEL; and poetry collections WERE THERE GAZELLE by Laura McRae, CULT LIFE by Kyeren Regehr, ODERIN by Agnes Walsh, THESE WINGS by Kim Fahner, VANISHING ACTS by Moira MacDougall.

Click on the various Pages to see Pedlar’s full front and back lists.

SUBMISSIONS update – Pedlar’s acquisitions editor Monica Kidd is not accepting submissions for fiction, poetry and nonfiction titles AT PRESENT.

Send query to monica.kidd@me.com.

You can read Pedlar’s mandate here:


or here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/pedlarpress/about/

The publisher wishes to acknowledge financial support received from the Newfoundland and Labrador Publishers Assistance Program. We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts. //  Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien.

“Be a good steward of your gifts. Protect your time. Feed your inner life. Avoid too much noise. Read good books, have good sentences in your ears. Be by yourself as often as you can. Walk. Take the phone off the hook. Work regular hours.”  ―Jane Kenyon

Pay It Forward

These are exceptional times. While the COVID-19 outbreak is creating challenges for everyone, it is particularly difficult for those living in vulnerable circumstances. In the weeks and months ahead, Pedlar will be offering packages of recent and backlist titles for $20 and $30 each. It is our hope that the concept of Pay It Forward will be enacted during these months, such that those living in poverty, women and children fleeing domestic violence, people living in shelters, on the street or at risk of homelessness, people with disabilities or those with health conditions, people with mental health issues, older people living alone or in institutions, and people in correctional institutions will be the recipients of some of these packages.

When you see Pedlar at market tables over the summer, kindly consider buying at least one package of books to donate to people living in more vulnerable circumstances. Every package will include one copy of the art book Gerald Squires, winner of the 2019 NL Nonfiction Book Award. Gerry Squires was a distinguished Newfoundland artist. His contributions to the province were immense. The book contains 140 images that showcase his great range of imaginative talent.

If you would like to buy a package but want Pedlar to determine the recipient, you may forward an e-transfer for $20 or $30, to feralgrl@interlog.com, with the message: Pay It Forward.
Beth Follett, Publisher

Niagara & Government, Phil Hall


Niagara & Government is Phil Hall’s seventeenth book of poetry. His poetic practice spans almost fifty years. In 2011 Hall won Canada’s Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry in English for his collection of essay-poems, Killdeer, which the jury called “a masterly modulation of the elegiac through poetic time.” Killdeer also won Ontario’s Trillium Book Award, and was nominated for the Griffin Poetry Prize (as was his 2005 collection An Oak Hunch). Hall’s 2016 collection, Conjugation, was praised by Douglas Barbour as “a major addition to a major oeuvre.”

Hall has published many small press chapbooks, and is a visual artist who works in collage. He has taught writing at the Kootenay School of Writing, Ryerson University, Banff Centre, and Toronto New School. He has been writer-in-residence at Sage Hill Writing Experience (Saskatchewan), Berton House (Dawson City, Yukon), Queen’s University, University of Ottawa, and most recently at University of New Brunswick, Fredericton (2018/19). While at Queen’s in 2012 he inaugurated an annual lecture series, The Page Lectures, in honour of Kingston poet and artist Joanne Page.

Hall has lived in Windsor, Vancouver and Toronto, and now lives in a log house outside Perth, Ontario. A decade ago, Pedlar published his collection The Little Seamstress.


“To tell what happened to you is not a poem,” writes Phil Hall in this, his latest collection, Niagara & Government. What a poem is: roaring calamity, wedding deceptions, sobriety, Charlottesville mobs, estranged sisters, folk art, poverty, puffery, work, names on cenotaphs, white space, white space, white space. These long sequential poems want to be spoken. They invite the reader to check her ego and sit with “the good stories that un-tongued us.”

2020 Trillium Book Award Finalists

Ontario, Canada’s Top Literary Award

2020 Trillium Book Award Finalists


TORONTO | May 12, 2020 | Fourteen diverse books have been shortlisted for Ontario’s prestigious literary prize, the 2020 Trillium Book Award/Prix Trillium, presented by Ontario Creates, an agency of the government of Ontario.

There are two English and two French prizes: the Trillium Book Award in English and the Prix Trillium in French, as well as the Trillium Book Award for Poetry in both English and French. Written by established and emerging authors, the shortlisted titles span a wide variety of genres, showcasing the diversity of voices that make up Ontario’s vast literary landscape.

The Trillium Book Award/Prix Trillium winners will be announced during an online event on June 17, 2020. In the ramp-up to the big awards night, Ontario Creates will be sharing, celebrating and showcasing these 14 talented finalists on our website and social channels. For detailed information on all the 2020 Trillium Book Award finalists click here. 

English-language Finalists for the Trillium Book Award:

  • Christina Baillie and Martha Baillie, Sister Language, Pedlar Press
  • Téa Mutonji, Shut Up You’re Pretty, VS. Books/Arsenal Pulp Press
  • Sara Peters, I Become a Delight to My Enemies, Strange Light
  • Zalika Reid-Benta, Frying Plantain, House of Anansi Press
  • Seth, Clyde Fans: A Picture NovelDrawn & Quarterly

COVID-19 update

We have three new Spring 2020 titles: CULT LIFE by Kyeren Regehr, WERE THERE GAZELLE by Laura Kathryn McRae, and THE BENJAMENTA COLLEGE OF ART by Alan Reed; as well as tens of fine books from previous years.

These are very hard times for authors, booksellers and publishers. All of us implore you to make reading works by Canadians a priority.

Keep Culture Alive.


Now available from Pedlar Press directly, or from local fine independent booksellers.

Alan Reed studied semiotics at the University of Toronto and writing at Dartington College of Arts in the UK. He is the author of a collection of poems, For Love of the City, two plays, and the novel, Isobel and EmileHe lives in Montreal QC. Isobel and Emile was nominated for the 2011 ReLit Awards fiction long list.



The Artist’s Way

A simple coming-of-age narrative told in rhythmic prose, The Benjamenta College of Art follows Luca, a first-year student carving out a place for himself at the titular institution. Luca quickly falls in love with Amalia, a fellow student, and, as their relationship blossoms, he embarks on a mission to draw the college itself, a labyrinthian “puzzle box” filled with students — “people who will not ever belong anywhere,” in Amalia’s words — just like him.

Indeed, there is something universal about Luca, whose only identifying feature is his “shaggy” hair, which grows longer and longer over the course of his studies. An unknown novice in the insular world of the college, he is lonely and insecure, and yet somehow certain that he would rather be there than the place he left. Upon completing his first year, he decides to stay in town for the summer, claiming, “he [does] not want to go back to where life was small enough for all of it to fit into a neat little house and nothing else but the sky overhead.” So, he works and he draws, making forays into the city to study the college from various angles. However, when his relationship with Amalia comes to an end a year later, his enthusiasm for his art wanes.

Artmaking is so often misrepresented in popular culture, with talent and inspiration superseding much of the actual work involved. (If I had a quarter for every thirty- second movie montage of a novelist churning out a manuscript, I’d probably have more than the average book advance these days.) In contrast, Luca is not presented as someone who is especially gifted or passionate, nor is he ever fully satisfied with his work, a strength of this novel. His experience suggests that making art is about time and trust. As Reed writes, “He is so close to something, he may not realize it yet but he is, it has been there all along and he just has to notice it under everything else that he wishes it would have been.” The book’s ending sidesteps tropes about turning heartbreak into artistic gold, but there is still the sense that Luca will persist. Some of Reed’s stylistic choices make this a challenging read. His long sentences carry a poet’s attention to cadence and sound, making them easier to digest when read aloud. Reed doesn’t employ dialogue, and a painstaking focus on actions such as getting dressed or turning on lights can feel tedious. Everyday objects appear repeatedly in Reed’s physical descriptions, which tend to be general; a desk is “the kind of desk that would be in a classroom except that it is here and not in a classroom,” and the doors in the college “are all different sizes and made from all different kinds of wood, when they are made of wood, and not even the door handles are ever the same…” While all of these choices seem intentional, they detract from tension, leaving this book with a lack of forward drive.

Reed’s choice for the name of this college appears to be an overt wink to The Institute Benjamenta, a 1995 art film directed by the Brothers Quay. While I can’t offer commentary on how these two works are related, having not seen the film, reviewers describe it as “quasi-mystical” and “dreamlike,” adjectives that could also be applied to Reed’s work. Incidentally, this college appears to have worked its way into my subconscious, as one night while reading this book, I dreamt that I was there. It was a strange experience — much like making art.   —mRb

Carly Rosalie Vandergriendt is a Montreal-based writer whose work has appeared in Journey Prize Stories 30Humber Literary ReviewCVC Short Fiction AnthologyThe FiddleheadThe Malahat Review, and others. She is currently at work on her first novel. Visit her at carlyrosalie.com.