A new volume of poetry, Light, by the award-winning Canadian poet Souvankham Thammavongsa, was published in September 2013 by Pedlar Press, with Catharine Nicholson’s picture ‘The Viable’ as the design for the front cover. Light contains forty-two poems, just as ‘The Viable’ shows forty-two acorns.
Souvankham Thammavongsa’s glorious new collection has won the 2013 CBC Bookie.
“Each Souvankham Thammavongsa poem feels like an event, which makes a new collection akin to a small riot. In Light, she does what only very good poets do: sees the things others miss. This is the work of a poet at the top of her game.” — Kevin Connolly
“Thammavongsa’s range is impressive, and much of the book’s power lies in its ability to shift gears entirely, moving between spacious meditations that find words sprinkled like ashes across the page (“A volcano / is / what happens / when you try / to take / the sun down / from where it is”) to moments of concrete and visceral experience, as in the unforgettable At the Farm: “I heard a gunshot by the barn and thought nothing of it / We were at a farm / I saw a cow come charging forward with its head half gone.” This new collection confirms Thammavongsa’s place as one of the most interesting younger poets at work in the country.” - Jared Bland
The publisher of Pedlar Press, Beth Follett, gives a full account of the Thammavongsa-Nicholson connection: http://lpg.ca/BB/Light
*For more information about Catharine Nicholson, acclaimed botany artist, visit:
I’ve been reading with great delight—I think Juanita Wildrose is simply wonderful—but one has to say something more than wonderful. So I thought I’d say, A heap of treasure out of a living past. —Alice Munro
National Post review:
Globe & Mail review:
Juanita Wildrose: My True Life, by Susan Downe, Pedlar Press, 293 pages, $22.00.
Increasing critical attention is being paid to the problem of biography and memoir: not just A Million Little Pieces or how Augusten Burroughs can recall anything so vividly, but the problem of all stories that are supposed to be true: how to keep the fiction from seeping in. What to make then of Juanita Wildrose, a book dubbed by its publisher a “fictional memoir”? The best course in this case is to take it at face value: Stop worrying about the veracity and enjoy the verisimilitude. Juanita (1904-2006) grows up on a hardscrabble farm in Elk Creek, Missouri until she turns rebellious and is sent away to school at the age of 12. It may not sound like much, but the strength here is the voice: evocative, appropriate to Juanita’s age, and rich in detail, it has that gripping effect of eavesdropping on a life. As one person says, “Who’s to say? Maybe the story happened just like you said.”
Happy Valentines Day!
Pedlar Press recently released Victoria BC resident Maleea Acker’s second collection of poetry, Air-Proof Green. Maleea Acker is the author of a previous poetry collection, The Reflecting Pool (Pedlar, 2009) and a recent book of essays, Gardens Aflame: Garry Oak Meadows of BC’s South Coast (New Star Books, 2012). Her poetry and journalism have appeared in journals and anthologies including Force Field, Poetry from Planet Earth, Rocksalt, I Found It at the Movies and Best Canadian Poetry 2008. She holds an MFA in Writing from the University of Victoria.
* L A U N C H : Tuesday, March 4, 2014, 7:30pm: Russell Books panel and reading. 734 Fort Street, Victoria BC.
The Nature of the Land
Julian Hoffman The Small Heart of Things
Maleea Acker Air-Proof Green
John Schreiber The Junction
* Wednesday, March 5, 2014, 7pm: Vancouver Island University Science & Technology Faculty Spring Speakers Series. Nanaimo BC.
Finalist for the 2013 Toronto Book Awards.
• AGA MAKSIMOWSKA for her novel, GIANT, published by PEDLAR PRESS
Souvankham Thammavongsa’s third poetry collection, Light, was launched in Toronto on Thursday 12 September at Supermarket in Kensington Market. After her reading Souvankham received a sustained ovation from her very pleased audience.
About the new work, poet Kevin Connolly says: “Each Souvankham Thammavongsa poem feels like an event, which makes a new collection akin to a small riot. In Light, she does what only very good poets do: sees the things others miss. This is the work of a poet at the top of her game.”
The backstory about the cover of Light can be read here: http://lpg.ca/BB/Light