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).
trade paper, 192 pages, $22
cover art by Sarah Hillock
design by Beth Oberholtzer
printed in Canada by Coach House Printing, Toronto
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.
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
Release date 15 September 2014 * Toronto launch at The Gladstone Hotel 16 September 2014, with Pages Unbound
|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|
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
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 End. How You Were Born is Cayley’s first collection of short fiction.
poems by Emily McGiffin
ISBN 1-897141-66-1, 9781897141663
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 2. Between 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.