Beth Follett Publisher

113 Bond Street St. John’s NL A1C 1T6   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 Souvankham Thammavongsa, Maleea Acker, Martha Baillie, Aga Maksimowska, Jan Zwicky, Phil Hall, Anne Fleming, Rachel Lebowitz, Yoko’s Dogs. . .

Click on the Spring 2014 catalogue Page to see the full list.

All Pedlar Press titles are in print, all may be ordered from your local independent bookseller, from www.amazon.ca, or directly from the publishing house. For purchases from Pedlar, contact Beth Follett at:  feralgrl@interlog.com

For inquiries regarding submissions, please send an e-mail message to the Publisher. NB It has become Pedlar policy to not open attachments from querying authors.

The publisher wishes to acknowledge financial support received from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Newfoundland and Labrador Publishers Assistance Program.

December 19, 2010 · News · (No comments) ·


9781897141649

 

Stan Dragland is a talented, prolific, critically acclaimed and widely respected author who recently wrote Deep Too, a book full of penis jokes, a feminist text that rises above stereotype and traditional roles, and the either/or choices they so often involve, offering a funny and biting look at male strut and competition. Literary critic, editor, novelist, poet, born and raised in Alberta, Dragland studied at the University of Alberta, where he received a BA and MA, and earned a PhD from Queen’s University. He retired from teaching in 1999 and now lives in St. John’s NL.

❡   On SATURDAY 16 AUGUST at 8PM at the Heritage Theatre in Woody Point, Newfoundland, Stan Dragland gave his first public reading from his new work, The Bricoleur & His Sentences (Pedlar Press, 2014).

The Bricoleur and His Sentences is about reading, and about writing and thinking conducted with an ardent scepticism, a muscular dance between yes and but. On its way to a lively discussion of literary rhetoric and a gathering of sentences illustrating same, this book formulates a bricoleur’s poetics founded in Stan Dragland’s personal experience, both literary and otherwise, and does so in the beloved company of other bricoleurs/bricoleuses—writers like Walter Benjamin, Margaret Avison, Michael Ondaatje, Bobbie Louise Hawkins, Colleen Thibaudeau and Phil Hall. One section details Dragland’s respectful retrospective disengagement from the literary and social theory of non-bricoleur Northrop Frye. The eclectic and heterogeneous ensemble might be summed up in the words with which Cynthia Ozick describes Robert Louis Stevenson’s essay, “Virginibus Puerisque”: “an essay not short, wholly odd, no other like it, custom-made, soliciting the brightness of full attention . . . .” All this is prologue to a fascinating array of sentences drawn from novels, stories, poems, essays, songs and speeches, all grouped in rhetorical categories with the fancy Greek names but each pulling its own literary weight. This is a bricoleur’s assemblage, an assortment of bits gathered from here and there and stored up against the time when they might happen to come in handy for making something new.  |  Dragland’s work is both an essay on bricolage and an exercise in it. Engaging, exciting in a quiet way, the reader is invited into the process, as opposed to being, as in much postmodern writing, the butt of the process. This is metaessay, but the feel is different: not Donald Barthelme, but rather an old-timer showing the reader how he puts together his tables or murals or what have you. Dragland’s essay engages practical and philosophical issues fearlessly, without ever losing his plain, vernacular-based, Mark Twain-like idiom.

 

ISBN 978.1.897141.64.9

trade paper, 192 pages, $22

cover art by Sarah Hillock

design by Beth Oberholtzer

printed in Canada by Coach House Printing, Toronto

 

 

Reviews

 

12 Bars

 

Stan Dragland’s 12 Bars is a nifty fusion of genres. It looks a bit like prose but reads kind of like poetry, and acts as  a sort of travelogue for a series of bars in downtown St. John’s . . . .

12 Bars doesn’t conform to a conventional storytelling structure, but it does have a credible, anecdotal arc. It is fuelled by a love of the arts, especially music, and the artists behind them, and by the appreciation of a timely, or untimely drink.

It is also fused with a passion for St. John’s, and Dragland’s awareness of the drama of this place, which plays out in humour and loss, his take on the lifts and turns in the affairs of this fair city.

— Joan Sullivan, Evening Telegram

 

Apocrypha: Further Journeys

 

“Reading was my darling pleasure,” Stan Dragland quotes from Bobbie Louise Hawkins, as an epigraph. It clearly was. And in this intimate—yes, intimate—journey through the highways and byways of Stan Dragland’s mind, he makes it our darling pleasure, too. The image of the house he drew as a child provides an insight into his particular focus. Viewed not from the front, as most children draw, but from catty corner, his drawing contained the inevitable sun, the front of the house, and that little bit more that is usually hidden: a view of the side. So it is with his writing. The inevitable sun the front of the house and that little bit more—a view of the side.

P.K. Page

 

Stormy Weather: Foursomes

 

Stormy Weather is full-bodied, vivid stuff from a writer who seems to drink language and breathe words.

— Joan Sullivan, Evening Telegram

 

He writes within the complexities of the present moment, yet documents his feelings with honesty and wisdom. Stormy Weather remains true to Dragland’s critical acumen as much as it reveals a writer of deep, personal engagement. But what should we have expected?

—Marc Thackray, The Fiddlehead

 

[T]he simplicity and naturalistic speech of Dragland’s prose poems mask a beautiful depth of emotion and meditation, where the roving personality in private tumult draws readers into a ballad of more-than-ordinary correspondences with major world events and the essential companionship of literature, philosophy, music and art.

—Margaret Christakos, The Globe and Mail

 

The Drowned Lands

 

Dragland’s strength as a writer lies in his subtle ability to evoke the rich, often hidden tapestries of his characters’ inner lives pulsing just beneath the surface of social convention, just as his descriptions of landscape suggest that it is powerfully alive beneath the surface, roiling with mysterious forces and hidden truths that can barely be contained. The pent-up floodwaters of the Napanee River bearing down on the Drowned Lands become a metaphor of the powerful and inevitable push of history, dragging everything along in its path: “we are always, always, being swept along in a moment of becoming.”

—Domenic Beneventi, Canadian Literature

 

Dragland evokes the fragile life of human beings, and of the land itself, in virtuoso prose that runs the gamut from the colloquially brash to the tenderly nuanced. The result is a remarkable fusion of the human and the natural . . . .

—Janice Kulyk Keefer, The Globe and Mail

August 6, 2014 · News · (No comments) ·


Heinrich

Release date 15 September 2014    *    Toronto launch at The Gladstone Hotel 16 September 2014, with Pages Unbound

*

“Martha Baillie has written a timeless masterpiece. Every page is full of haunting wonderment. Truly, I know of no novel quite like it—it’s a blessing. The Search for Heinrich Schlögel has dreamlike locutions, it tells the most unusual tale, and it brings the margins of the world to us with photographic immediacy. I was completely transported.”  —Howard Norman, author of Next Life Might Be Kinder
 
*
Baillie delivers a work of magical realism that captures the experience of postcolonial guilt … and gives voice to a silenced past.   —Starred and boxed Publishers Weekly
The Search for Heinrich Schlögel is utterly distinctive, a fictional biography that drifts so imperceptibly into dream that it’s impossible to tell where the reality of it ends and the fantasy begins. There’s something of Nabokov here, and also something of Rip Van Winkle. Baillie has written an ode to those things that resist time, like a photograph, and those things that relinquish themselves to it, like a painting, resulting in a novel that is itself a little bit of both.   —Kevin Brockmeier, author of The Illumination
Martha Baillie’s extraordinary The Search for Heinrich Schlögel is not quite like any other book I’ve read. It invites us on a hallucinatory journey to the Arctic and through time. It asks us to live with mystery and wonder, which is what a work of art does. If it reminds me of anything, it is the fabulous, shape-shifting novels of the Icelandic writer Sjón.          —Catherine Bush, author of The Rules of Engagement and Accusation
How is it possible to find a person who doesn’t know he’s missing? How can we be   entangled in the world, in history, and live a moral life? Heinrich Schlögel doesn’t give up his secrets easily, but as time collapses and opens, an extraordinary person, and an astonishing reading experience, come into existence. Martha Baillie’s new novel is entirely original, remembered yet created, truthful yet fictional, old, alive and visionary.   —Madeleine Thien, author of Dogs at the Perimeter

 

July 17, 2014 · News · (No comments) ·


Epigraph:  Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.  —Gustave Flaubert

*

How You Were Born

short fiction by Kate Cayley

ISBN 1-897141-65-3, 9781897141656

$22

15 October 2014 release

How You Were Born is a collection of stories that investigate the bizarre, the tragi-comic and the unbelievable elements that run through human lives. An aging academic becomes convinced that he is haunted by his double. Two children believe their neighbours are war criminals in hiding. A dwarf in a circus dreams of a perfect wedding. An eleven-year-old girl becomes obsessed with the acrobat who visits her small town. Two women fall in love over a painting of the apocalypse. A group of siblings put their senile Holocaust survivor father into institutional care, while failing to notice that he is reliving the past. Each story examines, from a different angle, the difficult business of love, loyalty and memory. With elegance and restraint, in spare language, these narratives run the gamut from realistic to uncanny, from ordinary epiphanies to extremities of experience. Settings range from present-day Toronto, to small town Ontario in 1914, to West Virginia in 1967, characters ranging from the very young to the very old, the manifestly unhinged to the ostensibly sane. These are dark stories in which light finds a foothold, and in which connections, frequently missed or mislaid, offer redemption.

Kate Cayley’s poetry and short stories have appeared in literary magazines across the country. Her play, After Akhmatova, was produced by Tarragon Theatre, where she is a playwright-in-residence, and a young adult novel, The Hangman in the Mirror, was published by Annick Press in 2011. Last year Brick Books published her first poetry collection, When This World Comes to an EndHow You Were Born is Cayley’s first collection of short fiction.

*

Subduction Zone

poems by Emily McGiffin

ISBN 1-897141-66-1, 9781897141663

$20

15 October 2014

 Subduction Zone is a book of meditations on empire — the desires and agendas of empire, and empire’s detritus. From a sweeping panorama of imperial landscapes both classical and modern, it carries us into the troubled natural beauty of the Philippines. Its third and final sequence brings Canadians home, to the manifestations of global technocracy in northwest BC.  |   |  Whether contemplating rain forests in the Visayan Islands or Edward Burtynsky’s photographs, these poems gaze unflinchingly at the exploitation and upheaval that define several millennia of global politics. Their questions are both urgent and intricate. Who are we individually, collectively, in this era of looming ecological collapse? How do we acknowledge the blood on our hands yet bear witness to the beauty that remains? Pteropod is a collection of great integrity and ambition: trenchant, political, shot through with ravishing eroticism and tenderness. Emily McGiffin is poised to become one of the major voices in Canadian poetry.

During the five years that Emily McGiffin lived in northwest BC, she became proficient in the fine art of firewood splitting. She holds an MSc from the University of London and has worked and studied in Italy, Sierra Leone and the Philippines. Her poetry, essays, reviews and journalistic articles, widely published in magazines across Canada, have most recently appeared in Arc Poetry Magazine and Contemporary Verse 2Between Dusk and Night, her first poetry collection, was a finalist for the Raymond Souster Award and the Canadian Authors’ Association Poetry Prize. She currently lives in Toronto where she is a PhD student at York University.

 

9781897141656  ||  04 Cover.indd

July 13, 2014 · News · (No comments) ·


he'llskein of days

May 29, 2014 · News · (No comments) ·


NEWS
18 June 2014

Souvankham Thammavongsa is the winner of this year’s Trillium Book Award for Poetry, for Light (Pedlar Press, 2013).

Jury Comment:  Souvankham Thammavongsa’s Light is as economical an account of the entire world as one could hope to find. The poet’s powerful zoom lens transforms a light bulb box to a Buddhist temple, a plot of parsley to a cheerleading squad, a colossal squid to supper, the sky to an ashtray, and dung to light. If “profound pun” is an oxymoron to you, then Thammavongsa will show you the error of that thinking. At once serious and hilarious, singular and deeply relatable, this collection is a landmark in contemporary poetry.
*

FINALISTS FOR 2014 TRILLIUM BOOK AWARD

TORONTO – Six English books and five French were shortlisted for the 2014 Trillium
Book Award, the Ontario government’s prestigious award for literature. This year, five titles were
also short-listed for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry; three in English and two in French.

English Finalists for the Trillium Book Award/Prix Trillium:

· Craig Davidson, Cataract City (Doubleday Canada)
· ****Barry Dempster, The Outside World (Pedlar Press)**** 
· Lorna Goodison, Supplying Salt and Light (McClelland & Stewart)
· Helen Humphreys, Nocturne (HarperCollins Publishers)
· Hannah Moscovitch, This is War (Playwrights Canada Press)
· Peter Unwin, Life Without Death and Other Stories (Cormorant Books)

Finalists for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry in English language:

· Austin Clarke, Where the Sun Shines Best (Guernica Editions)
· Adam Dickinson, The Polymers (House of Anansi Press)
· ***Souvankham Thammavongsa, Light (Pedlar Press)*** ❥❥❥

QUOTE
“Ontario is fortunate to have a tremendous network of local publishers and so many gifted writers, whose work is in demand around the world. Congratulations to this year’s finalists – their new stories carry on a rich literary tradition and we wish them continued success.” – Kevin Shea, Chair, Ontario Media Development Corporation

 

May 21, 2014 · News · (No comments) ·