“An amazing array of poetry from nearly every state in the union and five countries from around the world.” – RD Armstrong, Editor-in-Chief, LUMMOX Number Four
“Is it a bad thing if a Canadian poet is influenced by an American Poet?” and “What is a Canadian poem?” Those are two questions prolific Canadian poet James Deahl asked in his essay “A Canadian Poem, Eh?” published in LUMMOX, Number Four. Readers of the 224-page poetry anthology released last month by LUMMOX Press in San Pedro, California may soon find out.
Edited by American poet RD Armstrong, the book features the work of over 160 poets from 46 of the United States, Canada, the U.K., Albania, Denmark and Sweden. It includes three interviews, five essays and a few reviews plus the poetry of the 2015 Lummox Poetry Prize Winner, H. Marie Aragon and the runner ups Nancy Shiffrin and Cynthia Stewart. Thanks to Deahl and his efforts to promote Canadian poets to the American market and his national sharing of the LUMMOX anthology submission calls, a strong representation of southwestern Ontario writers are featured in both the LUMMOX Number Four and Number Three anthologies.
To celebrate and promote this inclusion of Canadian poets in an American publication, Deahl has organized a special reading for this Saturday, September 26 from 2 to 5 p.m. at John’s Restaurant “Famous Room”, 1643 London Line on the outskirts of Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. Both local and out-of-town LUMMOX contributors will be sharing their work. Admission is FREE and open to the public. Additional readings throughout Ontario are also being planned.
Deahl is already encouraging poets to submit work for the LUMMOX Number Five anthology to be published in 2016. Submissions will open next year.
“Canadian poets are on a roll now,” he said. “Let’s keep it up.”
Below is additional information provided by James Deahl:
What I find exciting is that the LUMMOX anthology, which comes out of the Los Angeles area, has work by so many Canadian poets. Both the 2014 and the new 2015 editions have over ten percent Canadian poetry. Also, the city with the most contributors is Sarnia. And all of the local contributors to LUMMOX are members of After Hours Poets.
In a recent e-mail, RD Armstrong, Publisher of Lummox Press books, wrote that having so many keen Canadian poets would “make it that much easier when we do the Canadian Anthology!” So if Canadian poets keep submitting poetry to the annual LUMMOX anthology, Lummox Press could very well publish an anthology of Canadian poetry in the future. And that would introduce Canadian poetry to U.S. readers in a big way.
I read a lot of poetry books. In the past it was true that American poetry was, in general, better than Canadian poetry. But when I consider poets under the age of 70, I believe that Canadian poetry is now as fine as the poetry being written south of the border. American readers need to discover Canadian poets. Therefore, what Mr. Armstrong and his Lummox Press is doing should be celebrated. In Sarnia this means participating on Saturday, September 26 and in Hamilton it means Sunday, October 18. (And likely Toronto in November, but more on that later.)
These are exciting times for poetry in Canada!
The four out-of-town poets (for the Sarnia event) are Jennifer L. Foster (Hamilton), David Haskins (Grimsby), Michael Mirolla (Oakville), and Denis Robillard (Windsor).
The seven local readers are James Deahl, Joseph A. Farina, Venera Fazio, Debbie Okun Hill, Norma West Linder, Rhonda Melanson, and Lynn Tait.
Although the other poets are known to local audiences, this will be the first Sarnia reading for Jennifer L. Foster.
Previous local contributors include: Lois Nantais and Grace Vermeer. Other out-of-town Canadian LUMMOX Number Four and/or Number Three contributors are: Ronnie R. Brown, Fern G. Z. Carr, Katherine Gordon, Richard M Grove, Ellen S. Jaffe, Laurie Kruk, Donna Langevin, John B. Lee, Bernice Lever and Deborah Morrison.
Additional information about LUMMOX PRESS can be found here.
LUMMOX OUT-OF-TOWN READERS (in alphabetical order):
Jennifer L. Foster, from Hamilton, is a graduate of Queen’s University with an Honours B.A. in English and a B.Ed. Her poems have appeared in the LUMMOX and Cats, Cats, Cats, and More Cats anthologies as well as magazines like Quills and Tower Poetry. Her short stories have appeared in Perspectives Magazine (online).
David Haskins is published in over thirty literary journals, anthologies, and books, and has collected his earlier poems in the book Reclamation (Borealis Press, 1980). He has won first prizes from the CBC Literary Competition, the Canadian Authors Association, the Hamilton Literary Arts Council, and The Ontario Poetry Society. His most recent book This House is Condemned (Wolsak and Wynn, 2013) is a narrative collection of essays, stories, poems and anecdotes. He lives in Grimsby, Ontario.
The author of a clutch of novels, plays, and short story and poetry collections, Michael Mirolla describes his writing as a mix of magic realism, surrealism, speculative fiction and meta-fiction. Publications include the novel Berlin (a 2010 Bressani Prize winner); The Facility, which features among other things a string of cloned Mussolinis; and The Giulio Metaphysics III, a novel/linked short story collection wherein a character named “Giulio” battles for freedom from his own creator; the short story collection The Formal Logic of Emotion (translated into Italian); a punk novella, The Ballad of Martin B.; and two collections of poetry: Light and Time, and The House on 14th Avenue (2014 Bressani Prize). His short story collection, Lessons in Relationship Dyads, from Red Hen Press in California is coming this fall, while the novel Torp: The Landlord, The Husband, The Wife and The Lover, set in 1970 Vancouver, is scheduled for 2016. Born in Italy and raised in Montreal, Michael now makes his home in the Greater Toronto Area.
Denis Robillard is the author of the soon to be published The History of Water by Cranberry Tree Press (2015). He hails from Windsor, Ontario and works as a high school teacher. In the past decade his poems have appeared in small presses and magazines across Canada, USA and England. Publications to date include: LUMMOX, Rattle, Rampike, Ditch, Northern Cardinal Review, Great Lakes Review, Cactus Press, Nashwaak Review, Cliff Soundings (Michigan), and Dusty Owl. In 2011 he was published in The Windsor Review. In 2013 his poems were featured in a Black Moss Press War of 1812 Anthology called An Unfinished War. To date Robillard has had over 180 poems published nationwide.