Tag Archives: James Deahl

Sarnia-Lambton Poets Prepare For #NPM17 Celebrations

Shift the colours on your page;/and softly coax your reds and purples,/that have concealed themselves/for years…” – Kara Ghobhainn Smith*

Close your eyes for a minute or two. Imagine what it would be like to be a poet. What does today’s poet even look like? Listen to the words melting into a new sound or image. What does a poet write about? Perhaps, you are a closet poet afraid to admit that you are moved by words.

Kara Ghobhainn Smith, author The Artists of Crow County

Kara Ghobhainn will be one of two spotlight readers at Sarnia-Lambton’s 2017 April is Poetry Month Celebration.

Today’s poetry, like colour, shifts on the world stage and April is one of the best times to not only explore this form of writing but to seek answers to your questions. All across Canada and the United States, poets are planning launches and readings for the big #NPM17 celebration.

According to The League of Canadian Poets’ website, this professional organization for established and emerging poets boasts over 700 members. The Ontario Poetry Society, a provincial grassroots not-for-profit organization has over 250 members.

The Sarnia-Lambton area houses poets from both organizations as well as The Writers’ Union of Canada, the Canadian Authors Association, the Association of Italian Canadian Writers (AICW), and such local groups as AfterHours Poets, Lambton Writers Association, Writers Helping Writers (WHW), and Writers International Through Sarnia (WITS).

Every poet whether published or not, deserves to be applauded for his/her efforts. If you know a poet, take time to get to know him or her. Ask why writing is so important to them.

Below is an event featuring six area writers who wish to show the public what their poetry is all about and why poetry matters. Hope to see a few of you there!

National Poetry Month April 18, 2017 in Sarnia for distribution

Mark your calendars for this FREE public event – Tuesday evening – April 18, 2017

Six former and current members of The Writers’ Union of Canada will showcase their work during Sarnia-Lambton’s 2017 National Poetry Month (#NPM17) celebration, Tuesday, April 18 from 7 to 9 p.m. at John’s Restaurant’s Famous Room, 1643 London Line.

Featured poets Kara Ghobhainn Smith (from Chatham-Kent) and Sharon Berg (who recently moved to Sarnia) will share the spotlight thanks to the financial assistance of the Canada Council for the Arts through The Writers’ Union of Canada.

Ghobhainn was the Chatham-Kent Cultural Centre’s 2015-2016 Writer-In-Residence. She recently launched her book The Artists of Crow County (Black Moss Press) which includes the poem shortlisted for the 2016 Walrus Poetry Prize. Many of her poems (within this collection) were inspired by artists in the Chatham-Kent area as well as her trip to Mâlain, France.

Author Sharon Berg, founder-publisher-editor Big Pond Rumours E-zine and Micro-Press

Sharon Berg will be one of two spotlight readers at Sarnia-Lambton’s 2017 National Poetry Month Celebration.

Berg is the founder/publisher/editor of Big Pond Rumours (the literary e-zine and micro press) and former host of Sarnia’s Cadence Reading Series. Her third manuscript, The Book of Telling, reveals many secrets that wait on the other side of truth.

Four local poets (James Deahl, Debbie Okun Hill, Norma West Linder, and Carmen Ziolkowski) will also share the stage. Ziolkowski, who is in her nineties, is Sarnia’s oldest living poet. Her granddaughters will assist with her reading. 

“One of the exciting developments in recent years is how Sarnia has emerged as a poetry hot spot”, said James Deahl, one of the organizers and the emcee for the event. “Indeed, it can now be said that Sarnia is an important literary focal point in Ontario. Local poets commonly travel from Nova Scotia to British Columbia to present readings or participate in literary festivals, and several Sarnia poets have contributed to the sesquicentennial anthology celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday. This is your chance to hear them.”

Sarnia-Lambton’s April 18th celebration is free and open to the public.

As part of National Poetry Month, several Sarnia-Lambton poets have also been invited to read at out-of-town and local events in April.

Both Okun Hill and Berg will be reading in Toronto at The Art Bar, considered to be “Canada’s longest running poetry-only weekly reading series”. Okun Hill will be the sharing the stage with poets Phlip Arima and Ian Burgham on Tuesday, April 4 while Berg will showcase with John Terpstra and Betsy Struthers on April 11. The Art Bar series is held at the Free Times Café, 320 College Street (College and Spadina). Featured readings begin at 8 p.m. followed by an open mic.

art-bar-reading-april-4-2017

The Art Bar in Toronto is considered to be “Canada’s longest running poetry-only weekly reading series”.

On Wednesday, April 5 in London, Deahl and Linder are the featured guests at the London Open Mic Poetry Night held at Mykonos Restaurant, 572 Adelaide Street North. Their readings begin at 7 p.m. followed by an open mic.

James Deahl

James Deahl, the author of 26 literary titles, will emcee the April 18th event as well as read at numerous events.

Deahl and Linder will also read in Hamilton with several other poets including Sarnia’s Lynn Tait, Thursday, April 13 from 7 to 9 p.m. at The Staircase, 27 Dundurn Street North as well as in Toronto on Wednesday, April 26 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Main Branch of The Toronto Public Library, 137 Main Street.

On Saturday, April 29 in Sarnia, Okun Hill (who has a manuscript of over 60 poems about the ash trees and the emerald ash borer) will share the stage with artist Mary Abma and other performers during the special event Signposts & Traces: Ash Tree Memorial Trail Performance from 10 to 11 a.m. at Canatara Park.

In Chatham-Kent, Ghobhainn will participate in Poetry City, an annual poetry celebration that encourages mayors and city councils in Canada to declare April as National Poetry Month. She will open a council meeting with a poetry reading.

Additional information about these and other upcoming literary events in Ontario can be found here.

Additional information about The Writers’ Union of Canada can be found on the organization’s website .             

OUT-OF-TOWN SPOTLIGHT READER/PERFORMER

KARA GHOBHAINN SMITHis the author of The Artists of Crow County (Black Moss Press, 2017), co-author of Next to the Ice (Mosaic Press, 2016), Teaching, Learning, Assessing (Mosaic Press, 2007), and the author of the blogspot poetry series, ‘The Travelling Professor’. Ghobhainn is Chatham-Kent’s 2015-2016 Writer-in-Residence, and Editor of the Journal of Teaching and Learning (JTL), as well as the books’ editor for the Canadian Journal of Education (CTL). Her poems have been shortlisted for the 2016 Walrus Poetry Prize and the Polar Expressions Prize.

LOCAL SPOTLIGHT READERS/PERFORMERS

SHARON BERGis an author of fiction, poetry and educational history related to First Nations. She is also the founder and editor of Big Pond Rumours E-Zine and Micro Press. She published widely up until the 1980s, with her poetry appearing in periodicals across Canada, the USA, the UK, The Netherlands, and Australia. Then she pursued her teaching career. Since she retired from teaching in April 2016, she has returned to her writing and has new work appearing in several places in 2017. She has produced two full books, three chapbooks, two audio tapes, and a CD of her work. Additional information on her website. Follow her review blog here.

Norma West Linder

Norma West Linder is a prolific Sarnia writer (novelist, poet, and short story writer).

JAMES DEAHL – is the author of twenty-six literary titles, the four most recent being: To Be With A Woman, Landscapes (with Katherine L. Gordon), Unbroken Lines, and Two Paths Through The Seasons (with Norma West Linder). A cycle of his poems is the focus of a one-hour television documentary, Under the Watchful Eye. Currently, Deahl is writing a series of essays on ten Canadian poets of the Confederation Period for Canadian Stories magazine for their sesquicentennial issues.

NORMA WEST LINDERis a member of The Writers Union of Canada, The Ontario Poetry Society, and WITS. A novelist, poet, and short story writer, she spent her formative years on Manitoulin Island and now lives in Sarnia where she taught English at Lambton College for 24 years. Her latest publications are The Pastel Planet (children’s novel), Tall Stuff (adult), and Two Paths Through The Seasons (poetry with James Deahl) published by Swords & Cyclamens, Israel. Her poem Valediction has been performed by choirs in Toronto and Calgary, set to music by Jeffrey Ryan, a West Coast composer.

DEBBIE OKUN HILLis Past President of The Ontario Poetry Society and a current member of The Writers’ Union of Canada and The League of Canadian Poets. She has been writing poetry since 2004 and has over 350 poems published in literary journals across Canada and the United States. Windsor publisher Black Moss Press published her first trade book Tarnished Trophies in 2014. This July, Big Pond Rumours Press will publish her art-themed chapbook manuscript Drawing From Experience. Okun Hill enjoys promoting the work of other writers and blogs about her literary journey on this site: Kites Without Strings.

Carmen Ziolkowski

Carmen Ziolkowski, an amazing woman and poet who is still writing in her nineties.

CARMEN ZIOLKOWSKIwas born in Italy and following WWII, lived in England where she worked as a registered nurse and later a midwife. In 1955, she emigrated to Canada and enrolled in the Port Huron Junior College, where she studied Journalism, finishing the course at Wayne State University. She has won several prizes for her poetry and in 1988, Ziolkowski received a special award for her contribution to Canadian and Italian literature from the Italian Vice Consul to Canada. Her first book of poems, Roses Bloom at Dusk, was translated into Italian and Japanese. Carmen has taught creative writing at Lambton College. She is a member of the Writers’ Union of Canada, the Canadian Authors Association, the Association of Italo-Canadian Writers, Pen International, Writers International Through Sarnia, and The Ontario Poetry Society. Ziolkowski’s first novel, House of Four Winds, was published in 1987, her 2nd book of poetry, World of Dreams, was published in 1995, her chapbook, Moments to Treasure, was published in 2008, and her latest work, The Moon Before the Sun, was published in 2009. Ziolkowski is currently working on her diary of life on La Monaca, where she was born, in Italy.

*from the poem “Change” published in The Artists of Crow County (Black Moss Press, 2017) page 19. Reprinted with the author’s permission: Copyright © Kara Smith, 2017

 FOLLOW THIS BLOG FOR A FUTURE POET PROFILE ON KARA GHOBHAINN SMITH.

Poet James Deahl was profiled here and Norma West Linder was profiled here. Sharon Berg’s involvement in the Cadence Reading Series was featured here.

HAPPY NATIONAL POETRY MONTH EVERYONE!!

Sarnia Writers James Deahl and Norma West Linder Launch Three New Books

So much of our journey occurs/between two great silences./We must either walk the path/of the blood-red moon/or go down to the river/and welcome whatever rises/from its black depth – James Deahl*

linder-and-deahl-2016-books

Toronto Launch – October 18, 2016                                      Sarnia Launch – October 23, 2016

Summer’s heat lingers-clings to the windshield, to the steering wheel, to the green autumn leaves dipped in brilliant yellow paint and crimson red stain. Prolific Sarnia writer James Deahl tugs the knot in his tie and opens the power windows as he drives his car along Highway 402 towards London, Ontario.

james-deahl-at-the-toronto-public-library-parliament-street-branch-october-18-2016

James Deahl chats about love and death during the Toronto launch of To Be With A Woman (LUMMOX Press, 2016)

His tour schedule includes the launch of three new books at the Toronto Public Library’s Parliament Street Branch and, for the next three hours of his trip, he speaks (almost non-stop) about Ontario’s landscapes, love and death. His passion for both poetry and his partner the prolific Canadian writer Norma West Linder rises with each breath as perspiration beads like liquid pebbles along his forehead.

“When Gilda died very shortly after her fifty-third birthday, I thought I would also die,” he says. He emphasizes this at the Toronto book launch and again in the introduction of his book To Be With A Woman: A Journey of Love & Death, Poems, 2007-2010. Gilda Mekler was Deahl’s second wife and his business partner for the now defunct small press Mekler and Deahl. After his long mourning period, he developed a close friendship and fell in love with Linder. “I love and honour my Norma and strive to be the man she deserves.”

His new 134-page poetry collection, published by LUMMOX Press, focuses on these two women. As stated in the Toronto Public Library flyer: the book “begins with the death of his second wife, Gilda Mekler, in early 2007 and ends with his engagement to Norma during the summer of 2010.”

pat-connors-at-toronto-public-library-parliament-street-branch-october-18-2016

Guest reader and poet Pat Connors reads from his second Lyricalmyrical chapbook during the October 18, 2016 launch at the Toronto Public Library’s Parliament Street Branch.

Toronto launch’s guest reader Pat Connors, author of Part Time Contemplative (Lyricalmyrical), wrote that “James Deahl’s newest release is philosophical and ironic. It tells of love lost, and then of new love found, all leading to a great appreciation of an even more foundational relationship. He writes about the events which have marked his life with such clarity and honestly that it speaks to all of us.” Connors’ full review appears in the Volume 19, Number 111, October-November 2016 issue of Canadian Stories. 

Linder’s new and 26th book and 6th novel Tall Stuff (Hidden Brook Press, 2016) also focuses on love and has been described as “a romantic novel based on ‘little theatre’” or as the back cover states: Tall Stuff is “Singing in the Rain” meets “Love Story”.  Additional information about Linder’s book appears in this Lambton Shield article written by Sarnia writer Sharon Berg and posted on October 10, 2016.

The third book launched in Toronto is Landscapes: Poems from the seasons of Ontario’s soul published by Israel’s Cyclamens and Swords Publishing. The 74-page collection includes the poetry of both Katherine L. Gordon and James Deahl. According to Ottawa writer Ronnie R. Brown, “In Landscapes, two well-respected poets join forces to present a stunning display of places and ideas, “giving a tongue to the world around them”…”To read Landscapes, is to experience Canada from the comforts of your armchair.”

norma-west-linder-at-cadence-reading-series-october-19-2016

Norma West Linder shares her work October 19, 2016 during CADENCE, Sarnia’s newest reading series with a little music.

Brantford’s Poet Laureate John B. Lee in his review published in the August/September 2016 issue of Canadian Stories concludes: “Like Anteus who takes his strength from the earth – they seem to be writing –I am here – in Ontario – standing on worthy ground –ground as good as any – inspired and inspiring – a place on which to stand from when you might move the earth with the fulcrum and lever of these fine poems.”

The Sarnia launch of all three books will be held this Sunday, October 23 from 1 to 2 p.m. at The Book Keeper, 500 Exmouth Street. Stop by and meet these prolific writers in person!

An earlier blog post about James Deahl and his poetry book Unbroken Lines (LUMMOX Press, 2015) appears here.

An earlier blog post about Norma West Linder and her novel The Pastel Planet (Hidden Brook Press, 2015) appears here.

An earlier blog featuring their joint poetry collection Two Paths Through the Seasons (Cyclamen and Swords Publishing, Israel, 2014) appears here.

norma-and-james-sarnia-launch-october-23-2016

Canadian writers James Deahl and Norma West Linder will be reading in Sarnia on Sunday, October 23, 2016.

*epigraph is from the poem “Our Travail” published in To Be With A Woman: A Journey Of Love and Death, Poems, 2007-2010 (LUMMOX Press, 2016) Copyright © James Deahl 2016

Follow this blog for additional Canadian Author and Poet Profiles.

Canadian Poet James Deahl and His New Book Unbroken Lines

When dusk fell the luminous stones kept singing.—James Deahl* 

Canadian poet James Deahl is no stranger to this blog. News about his books and events often populate my posts. With over 20 poetry collections linked to his name, he’s currently one of the most prolific poets in Lambton County. He’s a busy guy. That’s an understatement.

Unbroken Lines - Collected Poetic Prose 1990 - 2015 (Lummox Press, 2015) by James Deahl

Unbroken Lines: Collected Poetic Prose 1990 – 2015 (LUMMOX Press, 2015) by James Deahl

His latest book Unbroken Lines: Collected Poetic Prose 1990-2015 was released last fall by LUMMOX Press and was officially launched in Toronto in November. On Saturday, January 16, he will share the spotlight with his literary wife Norma West Linder who will be launching her children’s novel The Pastel Planet. The event starts at 2 p.m. at The Book Keeper, Northgate Plaza, 500 Exmouth Street in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. (More details on Linder’s book will appear in a future blog post.)

So far, reviews on Deahl’s latest book have been favourable.

In a Canadian Stories review, Carol Malyon wrote: “These works are gentle, reflective, meditative, and the language is poetic. They have been created by a mature poet, in complete control of his craft, and of the life that feeds it.”

In a news4u review, Patrick Connors wrote: “he never writes the same piece twice. In content as well as form, he seeks to expand and diversify his body of work.”

One of my favourite Deahl poems from this new collection is “Theology of Stones”. In the poem, he poetically describes how pilgrims were so focused on their journeys that they failed to notice the small yellow flowers, the singing rocks, and “the forgotten beauty of innocent desire*.”

James Deahl

Canadian Poet James Deahl

Unlike the pilgrims in his poem, Deahl manages to capture (and share in his writings) those subtle details that are often missed. Many of the poems reflect his experiences as a traveller. As he states in the Author’s Preface, “The pieces in this collection were written over a quarter of a century: from May of 1990, while I was in England, to May of 2015, when Norma and I were in Connecticut.”

Similar to the rocks and other scenes and scenarios he writes about, his poems enlighten and keep singing long after they are read.

Last December, I asked Deahl to share his thoughts about his writing process. Below are his responses: 

1)      Describe your new book. What inspired you to write it?

Unbroken Lines is a collection of brief prose poems, micro fictions, and creative non-fiction. While I was on a government-funded reading tour of Britain in the spring of 1990, and upon my return to Canada, I wrote seven prose poems. They simply happened. Back then, as he remains today, my best-loved prose poet was Robert Bly, who has laboured hard to establish prose poetry as a major prosody in English.

2)      How does your work differ from other writers? What makes it unique and special?

Every writer approaches the universal topics from a unique point of view. The same is true of painters. That is what keeps art alive. It is made by interesting people who bring a perspective not our own. Through art we find a fresh appreciation of life. 

3)      What is your writing process? And why do you write the way that you do?

For me, writing and reading go together. I write and read as part of the same creative process. In all but a very, very few cases, my first draft is pen & paper. And most often my second draft, too. I delay typing poems up because, once typed, it seems to be more difficult to discover other possibilities, other directions the poem could take.

Author Talks and Lectures

James Deahl launched his latest book at the Main Street branch of the Toronto Public Library which is where he presented his first reading as a professional writer thirty years ago.

4)      What are your plans for promoting your book?

First off, I intend to present readings in the cities where I have lived and where I am well known within the writing community: Pittsburgh, Ottawa, Toronto, London, Hamilton, and now Sarnia. Next up is The Book Keeper. This will be on Saturday, January 16th at 2:00 p.m. Then I hope to do a West Coast tour: Los Angeles, Portland, Victoria and Vancouver, that sort of thing. The only way to sell books is in person. You want to sell books in New York, you go to New York. New York is a big goal.

5)      Who are/were your mentors and why did they inspire you?

Robert Bly for one. He has achieved the most in the field of prose poetry. Also Bly’s colleague James Wright. In Canada I mainly read Allan Cooper. And in French, the work of Francis Ponge should recommend itself to all readers. I like Bly’s romanticism, a quality not found in Ponge. But in Ponge I value his objectivity. Cooper is very fine, too. His description is excellent, really without equal, although his “leaps” are less smooth than Bly’s. In my view, Robert Bly is the master of the poetic leap.

6)      You are a prolific writer. What advice would you give to a young writer just starting his/her career as a writer?

One only becomes a writer by writing. One only becomes a better writer by writing. That is the only way to learn and develop. I do something in the way of writing or editing or translating every day except Thanksgiving.

James Deahl at the April 2014 Spoken Word event at the Lawrence House Centre for the Arts in Sarnia

James Deahl shares his work at the April 2014 Spoken Word event at the Lawrence House Centre for the Arts in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada.

 

7)      What are some of the challenges facing today’s writers?

The two main ones are (1) the paucity of rigorous criticism, especially here in Canada, and (2) the strident limitations on monetizing what one has written. Criticism helps a writer become better, and we should all desire to be better. Being paid helps one survive. A third challenge would be having Canadian writing taken seriously in major nations like the United States and Britain. Now that Alice Munro has won the Nobel Prize perhaps a few more doors will open. 

8)   What future writing project will you be working on following/during your tour?

This winter and spring (and maybe into the summer) I am working with Katherine L. Gordon on a joint book on Southwestern Ontario landscapes, a book to be published in Israel. I also have to get another lyric poetry collection, To Be With A Woman**, into print. Writing is pure joy; getting stuff published is hard work.

9)   Is there anything else you would like to add about your book, your writing, your past or future?

Nothing other than the pursuit of perfection. An elusive goal never to be attained. 

Thank you for sharing your comments. 

*epigraph and quote are from the poem “Theology of Stones”, Unbroken Lines: Collected Poetic Prose 1990-2015 (LUMMOX Press, 2015), page 77. Reprinted with the author’s permission: Copyright ©2015 James Deahl

**A few days following this interview, RD Armstrong of LUMMOX Press accepted James Deahl’s manuscript To Be With A Woman. It will be published in 2016. Congratulations!

Watch this blog for additional Canadian Author and Poet Profiles.

 

It’s Still Snowing Poetry – Windsor, Winnipeg, London, Toronto, Gimli…

“Each safe landing/on snow-dusted stage/whistled, applauded” –Debbie Okun Hill* 

Here on Canada’s southern edge, Ms. Frosty has curled her toes and postponed her arrival. I yearn to be outdoors in this oven-warm weather planting bulbs in my neglected word gardens. Instead, I pace inside my office where I can bear-ly, barely see the bottom of my desk. Event posters, poetic notes accumulate like paper snowflakes! Half-finished manuscripts and projects remain buried beneath more white clutter. I used to be so organized, well, before the birth of my first book, before I started blogging, before social media took over.

Only in Canada! A snowstorm outside Jasper, Alberta during the Great Canadian PoeTrain Tour's 2015 April is Poetry Month Celebration!

Only in Canada! A snowstorm outside Jasper, Alberta during the Great Canadian PoeTrain Tour’s National Poetry Month Celebration, April 2015!

Today, a snatched photo (an image of a bear) captured during a freak snowstorm last April outside Jasper, Alberta reminds me of the Great Canadian PoeTrain Tour and other travel stories that could be told if I wasn’t still travelling, if I wasn’t juggling other writing projects, if I wasn’t eating or sleeping.

 IN WINDSOR:

Thursday, November 12, 2015 in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

Thursday, November 12, 2015 in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

Often, a writer’s journey takes many detours and like the weather, you can either fight it or have fun and roll like a snowball. Tomorrow I’m off on another adventure. Hope to lasso the sun but will bring an umbrella just in case. Wish me luck!

In the meantime, below are some notices and posters that friends have shared with me. More blogs, more stories, and more poems I’d like to write. Mark your calendars and if you are a poetry fan wandering through Canada, I hope you will support some of these poetic events.

Safe travels everyone!!

IN WINNIPEG, MANITOBA:

The Lake Winnipeg Writers’ Group (LWWG) will launch Voices, Volume 15 Number 2, Sunday, November 15, 2 pm at McNally Robinson Booksellers, Winnipeg. Launch details here and LWWG info here.

IN LONDON, CANADA:

POETRY LONDON presents Victoria’s Karen Enns and Nick Thran from Calgary. Wednesday, November 18, 167 Wortley Rd., London, ON Pre-reading workshop at 6:30pm The reading begins at 7:30pm  Admission is free. Addition info here.

Workshop starts at 6:30 p.m. Reading begins at 7:30 p.m.

Workshop starts at 6:30 p.m. Reading begins at 7:30 p.m.

IN TORONTO:

Sarnia poet James Deahl will be in Toronto Wednesday, November 18, 2015 to launch his latest book

Sarnia poet James Deahl will be in Toronto Wednesday, November 18, 2015 to launch his latest book

IN GIMLI, MANITOBA:

November 18, 2015 in Gimli, Manitoba

November 18, 2015 in Gimli, Manitoba

*Quote from a new manuscript in progress. Used with permission by the author ©Debbie Okun Hill, 2015

NOTE: Poetry London event poster was added on November 13, 2015 after the original posting.

 

 

 

 

Hamilton, ON, Canada – Next Stop for LUMMOX Anthology Readers

“Even on colour TV/ his mother’s face/seemed only black and white” –Norma West Linder*

Nine** Canadian contributors to the California-based anthologies LUMMOX, Number Three and LUMMOX, Number Four will be sharing their work at “October Poetry Blast”, a special public event, Sunday, October 18 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Artword Artbar, 15 Colbourne Street in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Admission is free.

Nine Canadian contributors of the California-based LUMMOX anthologies will be featured Sunday, October 18 in Hamilton, ON, Canada

Nine Canadian contributors of the California-based LUMMOX anthologies will be featured Sunday, October 18 in Hamilton, ON, Canada

Readers (in alphabetical order) include: James Deahl (Sarnia), Jennifer L. Foster (Hamilton), David Haskins (Grimsby), Debbie Okun Hill (Sarnia), Donna Langevin (Toronto), John B. Lee (Port Dover), Norma West Linder (Sarnia), Michael Mirolla (Oakville), and Deborah Morrison (Hamilton).

Organizer and well-known Canadian poet James Deahl will also be reading from Unbroken Lines (Lummox Press, 2015), a new collection of poetic prose written by Deahl between 1990 and 2015.

This is the fourth LUMMOX reading in Canada. Two LUMMOX, Number Three readings (one in Sarnia and one in Hamilton) were held in the spring. Last month, ten Canadian contributors read from LUMMOX, Number Four in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. Additional readings are being planned for North Bay and Toronto.

Several Canadian contributors to LUMMOX gathered in Sarnia last month. They included (back row, left to right) Rhonda Melanson, Joe Farnia, David Haskins, Debbie Okun Hill, James Deahl, Michael Mirolla and Denis Robillard (front row, left to right) Jennifer L. Foster, Lynn Tait and Venera Fazio

Several Canadian contributors to LUMMOX gathered in Sarnia last month. They included (back row, left to right) Rhonda Melanson, Joe Farnia, David Haskins, Debbie Okun Hill, James Deahl, Michael Mirolla and Denis Robillard (front row, left to right) Jennifer L. Foster, Lynn Tait and Venera Fazio

Edited by American poet RD Armstrong, LUMMOX, Number FOUR features the work of over 160 poets from 46 of the United States, Canada, the U.K., Albania, Denmark and Sweden.

Additional Canadian contributors include: Ronnie R. Brown, Fern G. Z. Carr, Joseph A. Farina, Venera Fazio, Katherine Gordon, Richard M Grove, Ellen S. Jaffe, Laurie Kruk, Bernice Lever, Rhonda Melanson, Lois Nantais, Denis Robillard, Lynn Tait, and Grace Vermeer.

Deahl is already encouraging poets to submit work for the LUMMOX Number Five anthology to be published in 2016. Submissions will open on April 1, 2016.

Editor/publisher RD Armstrong suggests that anybody interested in being a part of the Number Five book should send him an e-mail so he can invite and send the poets the theme for the next issue.

“And don’t forget the 3rd annual poetry contest,” he added, “to be judged by Judith Skillman. The winner receives a small cash award and 40 copies of a chapbook (to be published by Lummox Press for the winner.)”

Information about previous LUMMOX readings in Canada can be found here, here and here.

Information about LUMMOX PRESS can be found here.

*From the poem “Springtime of ‘84” by Norma West Linder, LUMMOX, Number Four (Lummox Press, 2015), Page 125 Reprinted with the author’s permission: Copyright ©2015 Norma West Linder

**UPDATE effective October 9, 2015: Canadian contributor John B. Lee has been added as one of the featured readers. The blog post has been adjusted accordingly.

Strong Southwestern Ontario Representation of Poets in California-based Anthology

“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.

LUMMOX Number Four features 160 poets . Over ten percent of the contributors are from Canada.

LUMMOX Number Four features 160 poets. Over ten percent of the contributors are from Canada.

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.

Over 160 poets from 46 of the United States, Canada, the U.K., Albania, Denmark and Sweden.

Features over 160 poets from 46 of the United States, Canada, the U.K., Albania, Denmark and Sweden.

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.

LUMMOX Number Three was released in 2014 by Lummox Press in San Pedro, California.

LUMMOX Number Three was released in 2014 by Lummox Press in San Pedro, California.

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.

Canadian poet James Deahl is encouraging poets from across the country to submit their work for the next LUMMOX anthology planned for 2016.

Canadian poet James Deahl is encouraging poets from across the country to submit their work for the next LUMMOX anthology planned for 2016.

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.

LUMMOX - Number Three features approximately 170 poets.

LUMMOX – Number Three features approximately 170 poets.

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 previous LUMMOX readings in Canada can be found here and here.

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).

Michael Mirolla at the LUMMOX - Number Three Reading held during the Sarnia's 2014 National Poetry Month celebration.

Michael Mirolla at the LUMMOX – Number Three Reading held during the Sarnia’s 2015 National Poetry Month celebration.

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 reads from LUMMOX Number Three during Sarnia's 2015 National Poetry Month Celebrations.

Denis Robillard reads from LUMMOX Number Three during Sarnia’s 2015 National Poetry Month celebration.

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.

In Hamilton – A Lummox/Raymond Souster Celebration – April 19

“There has never been a better time to be a writer in Canada.” – Canadian Poet James Deahl*

As the snow thaws outside my patio window, poetry event notices sprout like spring tulips across my desk. What a busy time of the year! National Poetry month begins on April 1 and I can’t wait to pack my bags and travel across Canada.

Lummox-Three-Cover-websharing
For those living in or near Hamilton, expect to see and hear some road kill (seriously) as well as desire themed poetry during the Lummox/Raymond Souster Celebration, Sunday, April 19 from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Artword Artbar, 15 Colbourne Street in Hamilton. The celebration features readings by James Deahl, G. W. Down, David Haskins, Laurence Hutchman, John B. Lee, Norma West Linder, Bernadette Rule, Lynn Tait and Anna Yin.

Published by Quattro Books

Published by Quattro Books

Featured books include Under the Mulberry Tree: Poems For and About Raymond Souster (Quattro Press, 2014) and the California-based anthology Lummox Number Three (Lummox Press, 2014).

Additional information about the April 11th Canadian and Sarnia launch of Lummox Number Three can be found here.

Additional information about the 2014 Toronto launch of Under the Mulberry Tree can be found here.

Submissions for Lummox Four are open from April 1 to May 31, 2015. More details here.

Happy National Poetry Month everyone!

*from the essay “A Dozen Canadas: Canadian Poetry in 2014” by James Deahl, Lummox, Number Three (Lummox Press, 2014).