Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Barren The Fury: released

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

9781897141694

 

Poems by Brenda Leifso

What happens when the feminine — used, tortured, abused, neglected, extinguished —  finds its voice in anger? Brenda Leifso’s poems unflinchingly articulate the bare, post-elegiac music of negative epiphany, the place past benevolence and wishful thinking where “the heart is a chisel.” At once mythic threnody and anthem for doomed earth, Barren the Fury provides a lyric equivalent to such works of dire portent as James Lovelock’s Revenge of Gaia.Can there be any consolation amid such extinctions? If there is, Leifso’s uncompromising work suggests, it derives from the insightful voicing of atrocity and discernment of its mythic shape, and not in such polite delusions as “sustainable development.”   – Don McKay


Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

113 Bond Street St. John’s NL A1C 1T6   feralgrl@interlog.com

Beth Follett Publisher

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 Sara Tilley, Robert Mellin, Brenda Leifso, Souvankham Thammavongsa, Ken Sparling, Martha Baillie, Kate Cayley, Stan Dragland, Emily McGiffin, Sonja Greckol, nathan dueck [sic], Jan Zwicky, Phil Hall, Anne Fleming, Rachel Lebowitz, Yoko’s Dogs, Jane Munro, Jacob Wren, Aga Maksimowska, Maureen Hynes, Maureen Harris. . .

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

All Pedlar Press titles are in print, all may be ordered from your local independent bookseller, from www.alllitup.ca (the new all-Canadian online bookstore), from www.amazon.ca, or directly from Pedlar Press. To purchase directly from Pedlar, contact Beth Follett at:  feralgrl@interlog.com

For inquiries regarding submissions, please send an e-mail message to the Publisher. NB It is 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.

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May we have the envelopes, please

Friday, April 17th, 2015

malahatreview_nov1214

 

CREATIVE BOOK AWARD WINNER:  Emily McGiffin’s Subduction Zone has won the Association for the Study of Literature & Environment Environmental Creative Writing Book Award.

Judges said of her book:  “McGiffin’s poetry startles and provokes, even as it pleases and draws the reader in. Impressively, she takes on subject matter as immense as empire – its power over us yet vulnerability to self-destruction – and makes it vivid, personal, and immediate.”

Emily McGiffin is a PhD student in York University’s Faculty of Environmental Studies. Her PhD research investigates socioeconomic, cultural and environmental change in extraction-based communities of rural South Africa and Canada and the ways in which the literature of these regions engages with these concerns. In addition to Subduction Zone, she is the author of the poetry collection Between Dusk and Night (Brick Books, 2012) and has published widely in literary magazines across Canada.

Judges: Ross Gay (Indiana University), Joni Tevis (Furman University), and Scott Knickerbocker (The College of Idaho)

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http://www.asle.org/stay-informed/asle-book-award-winners-announced/

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Kate Cayley’s How You Were Born has won the 2015 Trillium Book Award (Ontario).

http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/books/2015/06/17/kate-cayley-wins-2015-trillium-book-award.html

Cayley’s work is long-listed for the 2015 Frank O’Connor Short Fiction Award (Cork, Ireland).

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Heartiest congratulations to both authors.


 

Stan Dragland in The Malahat Review

Friday, April 17th, 2015
Stan Dragland, The Bricoleur & His Sentences (St. John’s: Pedlar, 2014). Paperbound, 190 pp., $22.

The conclusion of Stan Dragland’s The Bricoleur & His Sentences is a chapter called “How to Use This Book.” If you’re the sort of reader who flattens the frontispiece, starts at sentence one, and proceeds systematically to sentence number ten thousand and seventy three (The End.), then the placement of this guideline may leave you perplexed or even annoyed. But if you’re the type of reader who perambulates, who enters a book through a side door, exits through a window, and sneaks back through a skylight at three a.m., who stumbles your way to this section or that before breakfast and then again after supper, who finds yourself reading the same sentence again and again and noticing something different every time; if you’re the sort of reader who savours the sounds of sentences, who relishes the shapes they make, their tropes, their schemes, their forms—in short, if you’re a reader like me—then Dragland’s handy blueprint will present itself precisely when you need it most. How to use this book? Any which way you choose, he says. . .

The subject here is the bricoleur himself, and what goes into the making of such a man. The cover typography hints at the text’s parallel structure: “the bricoleur” and “his sentences” divided precisely midline by an inverted ampersand, just as the book divides between commentary and the sentences themselves. Yet the division is suspect, for the bricoleur is everywhere within his sentences, as he well knows. Mistrustful of the insistent “I,” in this idiosyncratic volume, Dragland nevertheless assembles an intellectual autobiography. His teachers are poets, including Margaret Avison, Roo Borson, Phil Hall, Jay Macpherson, Don McKay, Mary Oliver, Michael Ondaatje, Colleen Thibaudeau. Other teachers are scholars, such as Edward P.nJ. Corbett (author of an influential text on rhetoric) and Northrop Frye (who needs no introduction). Those great systematizers of language on its micro and macro levels might seem, at first glance, peculiar mentors for a man of Dragland’s temperament and aesthetic inclinations. But in fact, the magpie mind discovers treasures in every field. Besides, there is another side to his character.

Bricoleur. Bricklayer. The play on words is intentional. After all, the author is arguably CanLit’s hardest-working mason, having founded both an important literary press and a magazine called Brick. What’s more, in addition to penning ten books of his own, for almost thirty years, Stan Dragland thrived (or at least survived) in academia. “Maverick” scholar or not, you can’t do that kind of work without some periods of dogged application. Bricoleur—the collagist, lover of fragments and random accidents. Bricklayer—the methodical builder. Are these, in fact, so antithetical?

That is just one of the questions this fascinating assemblage raised for me. Do these sentences tell a story or state an argument? If they do, it is an oblique one. No matter. There’s something magical in the age-old classification of tropes and schemes, something magical in the way these sentences jostle up against each other. There’s fun in finding Christopher Smart in bed with Gertrude Stein; Warren Zevon wedged between Margaret Avison and Seamus Heaney; Ken Babstock on the same park bench as E. B. White. “It’s a lonely activity, writing. Even the most successful of us, doing what we feel called to do, may feel like orphans unless we chance to happen upon our spiritual family.” How to read a person? the book begins. Chart what he accumulates, say Ondaatje, Oliver, McKay. Reading this bricoleur’s accumulation of sentences, I felt companioned. I’d wander with him anywhere in the fields of language. Erudite, yet earthy. Confidential, yet not confessional. Part commonplace book, part essay, part memoir, part literary appreciation, The Bricoleur & His Sentences is as playful, perceptive, and profound as the spirit that animates it.

—Susan Olding

See the full review in The Malahat Review, 190, Spring 2015, 105-106

 

The Bricoleur and His Sentences


 

Martha Baillie: Erratics

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

The Koffler Gallery opened its Spring 2015 season at its downtown home at Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street, Toronto, with Erratics. Curated by Koffler Gallery Director/Curator Mona Filip, Erratics explored the tensions between memory and fiction by bringing together two archives where photography takes a central role in an attempt to uncover hidden narratives. Staged as museological displays conveying two personal stories, these collections of images, texts and records revealed both the impossibility of fully knowing the past and the effectiveness of literary imagination in grappling with history.

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Toronto author Martha Baillie added further layers to her most recent book, The Search for Heinrich Schlögel, through a multi-media installation. In Baillie’s hypnotic novel, an archivist seeks the truth about Schlögel’s life through letters, documents and photographs providing glimpses into his journey from a small German town to exploring the Canadian North and finding himself lost in time. Over six hundred postcards, voice recordings and a musical composition created by Nic Gotham gave material substance to Baillie’s literary plot that addresses our fraught relationship to the historic past.

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Erratics was a Featured Exhibition in the 2015 Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival.

Heinrich