Tag Archives: Lummox

‘Tis the Season for Books – A Potpourri of Literary News

“the snow is solitary/but not silent/there is the piercing /of the white-stained green” – David Stones*

Writing and reading may be solitary pursuits but like the snow mentioned in David Stones’ poetic lines above, Canada’s vast literary community is not silent. It is a flurry of words, sometimes a blizzard of voices supported by a potpourri of literary activities and events.

Below is a small scoop of national, regional, or local voices, plus books, projects, and events vying for your attention. May you open your heart this season and welcome the gift of creativity. Several of the local events are free. Many of these books are available for reading from the library.

FOR THE READERS:

NEW ON MY SHELF (in alphabetical order, according to author):

Conditions of Desire (Hidden Brook Press, 2018) by John Di Leonardo. This imprint of the John B. Lee Signature Series is a 74-page debut collection of ekphrastic poems as well as six drawings by Brooklin artist/poet John Di Leonardo. Di Leonardo was recently accepted as a full-member of The League of Canadian Poets and will be the editor/compiler/illustrator for Dancing on Stones, the 2019 membership anthology for The Ontario Poetry Society. More information about this submission call is available here. Watch for a Q and A feature in early 2019.

New Books on my Shelf Autumn 2018

New books on my shelf.

Out of Line: Daring to be an Artist Outside the Big City (Wolsak and Wynn, 2018) by Tanis MacDonald. What can I say? This book of essays collected no dust on my shelf. It spoke to me immediately and I highly recommend it to my rural (and urban) writing friends. As a former Manitoba resident, I recognized some of the issues MacDonald expressed. As a current writer in rural Ontario, I also found her words inspiring. “Remember that creating art is a Long Game; it will take your whole life to grow into the artist that you are.” (p. 61)

Lost Aria cover

Lost Aria (Ekstasis Editions, 2018) by Carmelo Militano. This fifth book, recently launched by award-winning Manitoba poet and writer Carmelo Militano, features eight short stories influenced by Canadian and Italian settings. Over the years, Militano has dabbled in several genres with two poetry collections, a novel and a work of non-fiction published. He also hosts and produces P.I. New Poetry show, CKUW 95.9 FM at the University of Winnipeg. How will his short stories compare to his poetry? I shall find out.                                                                   

Insomnia Bird: Edmonton poems (Thistledown Press, 2018) by Kelly Shepherd. What a nice surprise to receive this review copy in the mail. Shepherd is not new to the poetry scene but his work is new to me and I look forward to reading this second collection inspired by an Albertan cityscape. His first full-length book, Shift, was longlisted for the Edmonton Public Library’s 2017 People Choice Award. A review of his work will appear on this blog in the New Year.

River Woman (House of Anansi, 2018) by Katherena Vermette. One of my favourite poetry books is Vermette’s North End Love Songs (The Muses Company). Her depiction of her Winnipeg neighbourhood and her references to the dying elms trees captured my attention shortly after the book won the Governor-General Awards for poetry. I’m looking forward to reading her second collection of poetry as well as her first novel The Break which has already received so many prestigious awards.

The Bones (2017) by Laura Wythe. Small book fairs are wonderful places to meet writers and Southwestern Ontario writer Laura Wythe caught my attention with her eye-catching flyer about her fibre arts show “text to textiles”. The 2018 show tied in with her novel about a textile curator who must navigate a massive flood in Southwestern Ontario. I loved Wythe’s artwork. I hope I will also enjoy her novel. How will these two different artistic pursuits mesh together?

RECOMMENDED READS:

The Nashwaak Review based out of St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick. A local writer friend suggested I should read this journal. With over 400 pages filled with fiction, poetry, travel articles, essays, reviews, and art work, it is one of the thickest literary journals I’ve ever seen in Canada. What will I learn after reading two issues? Perhaps a clue to what type of work the editors may like.

The Nashwaak Review Vol 34-35 and Vol 38-39

The Nashwaak Review Vol 34-35 and Vol 38-39.

Hummingbird: A Novel (Locarno Press, 2018) by Tristan Hughes. Here’s another book with a bird on the front cover. This one caught my eye for several reasons. First, someone pointed it out to my while I was browsing at a bookstore. “The language is poetic and beautifully written. You’d like it,” she said. Second, it was written by someone who was born in the small northern Ontario community of Atikokan and I’m fascinated by rural writers. Third, it is set in northern Ontario. Fourth, the award winning author is a senior lecturer and an AHRC Fellow in Creative Writing at Cardiff University and this is his fifth book.

ON MY WISH LIST

Pall of Silence: My Journey from Tragedy to Trust (Discern Products, 2017) by Albertan writer Eleanor Bertin. What is it like to lose an 18-year old son to a hit-and-run-driver? Bertin dares to question her faith after this tragic event and to share her experience of loss and her journey towards acceptance. An interview, with Bertin, about her first novel appears here. I’m expecting her second book based on true events to be a tougher but thought-provoking read. An author to watch in the religious and spirituality genre!

PR by Poets: A Guidebook to Publicity and Marketing (Two Sylvias Press, 2018) by Jeannine Hall Gailey. This is a title that I stumbled upon on the internet, proving that word-of-mouth and social media posts can indeed sell books. Written by the second poet laureate of Redmond, Washington, this book may be aimed more for the US market but it is the first publicity/marketing guide that I’ve seen that is geared to poets. I look forward to reviewing the book and posting my thoughts on my blog in 2019.

ANTHOLOGIES AND E-ZINES, WITH THANKS TO THE EDITORS

I recently updated my website to include some new anthologies and e-zines in which my work has appeared in 2018. Rather than relist them in this post, you can read about the anthologies here and journals/e-zines here.

Anthologies and journals are great places to read the work of a variety of writers. Thank you to all the editors who selected my work for their projects,

One of the highlights for 2018 was having ten of my previous published poems reprinted in English and translated into Greek. This new anthology Hellenic Encounters is the brain child of Paulos Ioannou who spent hours translating all the work for the book. Other featured poets include Dorothy Stott, Michael Stacey, I. B. Iskov, Husain Mehdi, Honey Novick, and Paulos Ioannou.

Recently published in these publications Autumn 2018

Recently published in these 2018 publications.

Another highlight was having my colour photograph of a maple leaf selected for the cover of Tamaracks, a new anthology edited by well-known Canadian poet James Deahl and produced by California publisher Lummox Press.  Watch this blog for an upcoming post promoting the spring 2019 launch dates and locations including Venice, California and Welland, Ontario.

CONGRATULATIONS DAVID STONES!

What a nice surprise to discover that the first place winner for the Brooklin Poetry Society’s inaugural poetry contest was a poem by Toronto poet David Stones. Stones is a performance poet who often adds an extra flair of drama to his readings. He can often be heard at open mic events in the London, Ontario area. A few days ago, I started reading his debut book Infinite Sequels: Poems (Friesen Press, 2013) which includes the poetic lines in the epigraph I shared at the beginning of this post. Watch for a review of his book in the upcoming months.

More information about the Brooklin Poetry Society contest can be found here. My judge’s comments are posted here and Stones’ award-winning poem plus the poems by the other winners appear under the poetry contest winners link here.

FOR WRITERS:

DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO WIN THE BIG POND RUMOURS CONTEST?

Sharon Berg, a publisher with the Sarnia mico-press Big Pond Rumours Press, is organizing a poetry and short story contest with a December 15, 2018 deadline. See the flyer below:

Big Pond Rumours Contest 2018

POETRY CHAPBOOK MANUSCRIPTS WANTED!

Next spring I’ll be judging the submitted manuscripts for The Ontario Poetry Society’s Golden Grassroots Chapbook contest. Contest guidelines are here.

MORE CONTESTS FROM THE ONTARIO POETRY SOCIETY!

Check out the latest contests for 2018 and 2019 here.

RATTLE’S EKPHRASTIC CHALLENGE:

One of my favourite contests is the Ekphrastic Challenge run by Rattle Magazine. An image is posted on-line each month, and poets are encouraged to submit work based on that month’s image. It’s fun and FREE to submit! And sometimes it’s nice to support our friends across the border.

Not sure about the value of submitting to contests. See my previous blog post “Poetry Contests: Is it Poetic Gambling?” here

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:

More exciting news:

IN SARNIA:

For those interested in sharing their work, Open Stage hosted by Missy Burgess and John Pilat is still held on the second and third Monday of the month at the Lawrence House Centre for the Arts. This is open to musicians, poets, storytellers, comedians and more. Check out this previous blog feature here.

Plus a new program called Writers’ Block aimed at songwriters is held on the last Sunday of every month at the Lawrence House Centre for the Arts. More info here.

IN LONDON:

Voices Volume 18 Number 2 featuring members of the Lake Winnipeg Writers Group

Recently published in this Lake Winnipeg Writers’ Group anthology.

On the first Wednesday of every month, the committee of Kevin Heslop, Koral Scott, and Brittany Renaud presents LOMP: reading series & open mic at the TAP Centre for Creativity, 203 Dundas Street. More information here.

Synaeresis: arts + poetry via Andreas Gripp and his committee will be launching the Mykonos Reading Series, on the second Tuesday of every month, starting December 11 at Mykonos Restaurant. More details here.

Poetry London offers a one-hour workshop followed by out-of-town guest readers on the third Wednesday of each month. The next event will be held January 23, 2019. More information here.

A listing of additional literary events can be found in the event section of my blog.

DID I MISS SOMETHING?

Juniper Fall 2018 issue

Recently published in this on-line journal.

Blogging is only one of my labours of love! I wish I had the room (and time) to mention and celebrate the accomplishments of all the publishers, organizers, writers, editors living and working so hard for so little payment in this country. Thankfully, there are others who are also blogging and reviewing books plus sharing news about Canadian writers and events.

Sometimes it’s just fun to slip away, read, and make angels in the snow!

*From the poem “SNOW” from the book Infinite Sequels: Poems (Friesen Press, 2013) Page 27 Used with permission from the author © David Stones 2013

FOLLOW THIS BLOG FOR FUTURE CANADIAN LITERARY REVIEWS, EVENTS, AND AUTHOR/POET PROFILES.

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It’s Here! National Poetry Month 2018! Let’s Celebrate!

 

The poet guests have arrived carting their suitcases of books and waving their pocket poems in the air. Expect to see them sprouting like snowdrops and daffodils across the Canadian landscape. April nudges the scribes from their wintry abodes to share their words with the public.

This year, the League of Canadian Poets (LCP) shares the news in a black, white and gold poster trumpeting the words “Celebrating twenty years of National Poetry Month in Canada.” Similar to other years, the 30-day party will prod people to experience the power of poetry: write or read a poem a day or think outside the box and create personal poetic memories. Mayors and municipal politicians can expect visits from poets during their council meetings. Students may find a poet or two in their schools. Libraries may offer special writing workshops.

April 2018 - NPM2018_Poster-665x1024

National Poetry Month 2018 (#NPM18) officially started on April 1, 2018 and will continue until the end of the month.

Expect Canadian publishers to be launching new books and literary organizations to be spotlighting poetry readings by well-known and lesser-known poets. Check out the League website for a list of events happening in your area plus information about their 700 plus members in Canada.

Our American neighbours will also be celebrating. In fact, they spearheaded the first NPM event and the Canadians followed a couple of years later. According to their United States website, “National Poetry Month was inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996. Over the years, it has become the largest literary celebration in the world with schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets celebrating poetry’s vital place in our culture.” Check out their website for additional information and resource material from across the border.

Back in Canada and closer to home, for those in the Sarnia-Lambton area, Canadian poets James Deahl and Sharon Berg have organized a special #NPM18 event for Saturday, April 28 at the Famous Room in John’s Restaurant, 1643 London Line in Sarnia. Spotlight readers include Marty Gervais (Windsor poet laureate and publisher of Black Moss Press), Kateri Lanthier (winner of the 2013 Walrus Poetry Prize and the Toronto author of Siren published by Véhicule Press, 2017) and Stuart Ross (a well-known Toronto poet/editor and most recently the author of A Sparrow Came Down Resplendent published by Wolsak and Wynn, 2016 and Pockets launched by ECW Press, 2017.

REVISED April 18, 2018: PLEASE NOTE THAT STUART ROSS HAS HAD TO CANCEL HIS READING AND THAT LAURIE SMITH (Windsor poet and author of Said The Cannibal published by Urban Farmhouse Press 2017) WILL BE READING INSTEAD.

April 28, 2018 in Sarnia - revised guest

Check out the line-up of featured readers planned for Sarnia’s National Poetry Month event to be held Saturday, April 28, 2018.

Local readers include Lois Nantais, Ryan Gibbs, and Grace Vermeer.  (See circled images on the top of this blog post.) An optional pre-reading dinner that allows audience members to mingle with the guest readers will begin at 5:30 p.m. with the free public reading to start at 6:30 p.m. The event is made possible with support from The League of Canadian Poets.

In other news, Sharon Berg, publisher of the Sarnia micro-press Big Pond Rumours recently announced the winners of her 2018 chapbook contest and this month will be publishing El Marillio, the poems of the first prize winner Tom Gannon Hamilton. Below is the list of winners and the scheduled release dates for their chapbooks.

Big Pond Rumours chapbook winners

Sarnia is also the home to poet/editor James Deahl who recently edited the Canadian anthology Tamaracks to be published and distributed to a U.S. audience by Lummox Press later this autumn.  One hundred and thirteen Canadian poets were selected for the anthology.

According to Deahl in a recent e-mail to contributors, “Over three decades have passed since the most recent major survey of Canuck poetry. At least thirty of our important poets have left planet earth since then, including many of my personal friends like Milton Acorn, Gwendolyn MacEwen, Raymond Souster, Sam Simchovitch, Dorothy Livesay, Gwen Hauser, Marty Singleton, and Al Purdy. To renew our literature at least thirty new poets have emerged. So it was time for a fresh look at the full range of our poetry.”

He also mentioned, “Contributors’ readings will take place in Kitchener/Waterloo/Cambridge, Hamilton, Ottawa, Sarnia, Toronto, with three in Toronto. Also possible are North Bay and Kingston. (And I would be open to holding other Tamaracks readings where Ontario contributors live such as Oakville, Windsor, Barrie, St. Catharines, Brantford, Brighton, Port Dover, Cobourg, Thorold, etc.)”  Watch the event section of this blog for updates.

For those interested in having some fun with poetry, the Sarnia Library is encouraging people to celebrate National Poetry Month by dropping in to create a Collage Poem on Saturday, April 14 from 2 to 4 p.m. at 124 Christina Street. This event is open to all ages.

In the London area, Poetry London, the London Open Mic Poetry Night Series, and the COUPLETS: a collaborative poetry reading series will also host events during April.

Lummox 5 Sarnia Launch with Denis Robillard Photo 1 November 12, 2016

Poet Denis Robillard will be launching his first trade book on Wednesday, April 4, 2018 in Windsor.

In Windsor, highlights include the launch of the poetry books All the Words Between by Mary Ann Mulhern and Ask the River by Denis Robillard, April 4 from 7 to 10 p.m. at Fogolar Furtan Club of Windsor, 1800 North Service Road. The free event is being organized by The University of Windsor’s Editing and Publishing Practicum.

For additional information about these and other Ontario reading events, check the event section of this blog. If I’ve missed your provincial event, feel free to add a note in the comments section or send me info via the contact form on this blog.

For those who are wondering what my plans are for the month, my goal is to read (and review) as many poetry books as I can before I embark on my next project. Is it possible to read a poetry book a day? My sagging bookshelves are challenging me.

Coming soon on this blog is a profile on London poet Andy Verboom and his vision for COUPLETS, the collaborative poetry reading series he launched in southwestern Ontario a few years ago.

Also, follow this blog for a future insider’s look at the pros and cons of working with an editor.

Happy National Poetry Month Everyone!

Wherever you may be, let the celebrations begin!

 

 

Lummox Press Seeks Poetry for New “Canadian Only” Anthology

If you’re a Canadian poet, polish up your poems but don’t wait too long! Lummox Press of San Pedro, California wants to see your best work for a new “Canadian Only” anthology. The deadline for submissions is February 7, 2018.

LUMMOX 6 - Sarnia reading - James Deahl - Photo 1 November 18, 2017

Canadian poet James Deahl will edit a new “Canadian Only” poetry anthology for Lummox Press. The book is expected to be released in October or November 2018 with readings in early 2019.

 

James Deahl (the Canadian poet assigned to edit the project) has already started some of the pre-editing but expects more poetry to come in over the next few weeks. The target size of the book will be 200 pages.

“My working title is Tamaracks: Canadian poetry for the 21st century,” he said. “Publication should be in late October/November…There will be contributors’ readings early next year in cities like Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton, Sarnia, etc. Los Angeles too. All contributors will be invited to participate in all readings.”

Deahl’s passion for poetry is evident. He is the author of 26 literary titles and many of his accomplishments have been featured on this blog before. Two of his books To Be With a Woman (2016) and Unbroken Lines (2015) have been published by Lummox Press. For four years he has also encouraged Canadian poets to submit work to LUMMOX, an American poetry anthology published by the same press and has helped to organize Canadian launches for these books.

LUMMOX 6 - Sarnia reading - N. Leonard Segall - Photo 1 November 18, 2017

Leonard Segall, board rep, Lawrence House Centre for the Arts, says a few words at the Lummox Number 6 launch in Sarnia.

 

Last fall, several Canadian contributors of LUMMOX Number 6 participated in a reading in Hamilton.

On November 18, the Lawrence House Centre for the Arts hosted a launch for the same anthology in Sarnia.

The 216-page anthology featured the work of over 150 poets from the United States, Canada, the U.K., Australia, China, and Dubai.

Seven of the 23 Canadian contributors plus a previous Canadian contributor were on hand to share their work during this afternoon event.

Additional information about the anthology featuring American, Canadian, and International poets and authors appears here.

Below are additional images highlighting that event:

LUMMOX Six Sarnia launch November 18, 2017 at the Lawrence House - featured readers

Canadian poets were well represented in LUMMOX Number 6 published by Lummox Press in San Pedro, California.

 

LUMMOX 6 - Sarnia reading - Group - Photo 1 November 18, 2017

Several LUMMOX contributors shared their work during the November 18, 2017 launch at the Lawrence House Centre for the Arts in Sarnia. From left to right: Rhonda Melanson, Grace Vermeer, Lynn Tait, David Haskins, Debbie Okun Hill, James Deahl, Norma West Linder, and Jennifer L. Foster.

 

Submissions for LUMMOX Number 7 (to be edited by R. D. Armstrong) will open later this spring. More information is available on the LUMMOX Press website.

Below is the official “Call for Submissions”

for the “Canadian Only” anthology!

Lummox Press of San Pedro, California plans to publish an anthology of Canadian poetry.

This is open to all Canadian poets.

Interested poets are invited to send their 6 best poems to:

James Deahl; 985 Maxwell Street; Suite 112; Sarnia, Ontario; N7S 4G2

or

jedeahl (at) gmail (dot) com

Hardcopy is most welcome.

E-mailed submissions should be in one file, either .doc or .docx  (I prefer .doc).

There is no limit on length.

Poems may be published or unpublished. Poets will be required to get permission to reprint previously published work from the initial publisher.

Deadline: Wednesday, February 7, 2018

 

Additional information about LUMMOX PRESS can be found here.

Follow this blog for future profiles on Canadian authors and poets.

Coming soon: a feature on Penn Kemp, a well-known sound poet from London, Ontario.

23 Canadian Poets Selected for LUMMOX Number 6

“If creation (life) is like a river, then surely poetry is one of the many eddies that feeds the river and makes our journey possible.*” – RD Armstrong, Editor-in-Chief, LUMMOX Number Six

Canadian poet James Deahl has done it again! For four years, he has been encouraging Canadian poets to submit work to LUMMOX, an American poetry anthology published by LUMMOX Press in San Pedro, California. His goal was (and is) to promote Canadian writers to an American market and he has certainly done that.

Lummox 5 Sarnia Launch with James Deahl Photo 2 November 12, 2016

Canadian poet James Deahl is interested in promoting Canadian poets and their work to an American and international market.

“This year, there are 23 Canadian poets in LUMMOX Number Six,” said James Deahl in a recent announcement. “The most ever. And once again the city of Sarnia leads the way with seven contributors.”

Two of those Canadian poets have won awards for their submissions. Hamilton poet Ellen S. Jaffe won second prize for her poem “Another Kind of War Story” while Barrie poet Dr. Bruce Meyer won third place for “The Beautiful Neanderthals”.

Other Canadian contributors include: Rosemary Aubert, Ronnie R. Brown, Patrick Connors, James Deahl, Joseph Farina, Venera Fazio, Kate Marshall Flaherty, Jennifer L. Foster, Katherine L. Gordon, Debbie Okun Hill, Eryn Hiscock, Susan Ioannou, Donna Langevin, John B. Lee, Bernice Lever, Norma West Linder, Rhonda Melanson, Deborah A. Morrison, Lynn Tait, Grace Vermeer, and Jade Wallace.

Lummox6Cover-240x300

Launching in Canada: LUMMOX Number Six (LUMMOX Press, 2017)

Edited by American poet RD Armstrong, the 216-page book features the work of over 150 poets from the United States, Canada, the U.K., Australia, China, and Dubai. “There is [sic] also a lot of other interesting goodies as well,” wrote Armstrong is his foreword to the anthology. “We have a conversation between the Queen of Bohemia, Philomene Long and Allen Ginsberg…This little gem comes from the old LUMMOX Journal. There are a number of essays ranging from a “newbie” poet in Dubai writing about dealing with rejection to two portraits of influential poets – Canadian Al Purdy (James Deahl) and American Ed Dorn (John Macker) to Murray Thomas’s “Music and Memory”.”

The anthology also includes flash fiction, several reviews about Canadian poetry collections written by Canadians, photography by Sarnia’s Lynn Tait, and the essay “On Writing and Dreaming” by Bright’s Grove editor/author/poet Venera Fazio.

LUMMOX 6 Back Cover

This 216-page anthology features the work of over 150 poets from the United States, Canada, the U.K., Australia, China, and Dubai.

To celebrate and promote this inclusion of Canadian poets in an American publication, Deahl has organized two FREE readings in Ontario, Canada: Wednesday, November 1, 2017 starting at 7 p.m. at the Staircase Café, 27 Dundurn Street North in Hamilton and Saturday, November 18, 2017 from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Turret Room of the Lawrence House Centre for the Arts, 127 Christina Street South in Sarnia. Both local and out-of-town LUMMOX contributors will share their work at the events. Admission is free and open to the public. (Special thanks to The Lawrence House Centre for the Arts for presenting/hosting the Sarnia launch.)

LUMMOX Six launch dates November 2017

Mark your calendar for these two Ontario launches featuring several Canadian contributors to LUMMOX Number Six.

A reading in Toronto is also being planned for April 2018.

Deahl mentioned that LUMMOX Press has expressed an interest in publishing an anthology of Canadian poetry. “This would be the first anthology of Canuck poetry to come out in the United States in over 30 years,” said Deahl. He expects an announcement with more details to be made soon.

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

Additional information about LUMMOX PRESS can be found here.

Follow this blog for future event highlights. A partial list, of upcoming literary events planned for various Ontario locations, can be found here.

*This epigraph is from the foreword “The View From Down Here” by RD Armstrong published in LUMMOX Number Six (LUMMOX Press, 2017).

 

Canadian Readings of Lummox 5

“In place of Romanticism there is a new cynicism.*” – James Deahl, one of 16 Canadian contributors to LUMMOX 5

Imagine an international poetry anthology filled with ‘isms’: nationalism, surrealism, environmentalism, alcoholism, Buddhism, existentialism, consumerism, idealism, even terrorism.

According to RD Armstrong, Editor-in-Chief, LUMMOX 5, “there are at least 850 isms on record.”  Many of which are included in the 255-page “isms-themed” book released earlier this fall by LUMMOX Press in San Pedro, California.

Titled LUMMOX 5, the collection features the work of close to 150 poets from the United States, Canada, the U.K., Australia, and Nepal.

Once again Ontario poets are well represented and include in alphabetical order: Ronnie R. Brown, James Deahl, Joseph A. Farina, Kate Marshall Flaherty, Debbie Okun Hill, Eryn Hiscock, Lawrence Hopperton, Susan Ioannou, Donna Langevin, John B. Lee, Norma West Linder, Deborah A. Morrison, Denis Robillard, Ken Stange, Lynn Tait, and Grace Vermeer.

To celebrate the Canadian contributions, three readings have been scheduled in the Ontario cities of Hamilton, Toronto and Sarnia. 

Mark these dates on your calendar:

lummox-five-launch-dates-november-2016-jpg-version-for-distribution

Several Canadian contributors of LUMMOX 5 will travel to Hamilton, Toronto, and Sarnia to showcase ‘isms-themed’ work.

Saturday, November 5 in Hamilton: LUMMOX 5 will be spotlighted with the launch of three other books: To Be With a Woman (LUMMOX Press, 2016) by James Deahl, Landscapes (Swords and Cyclamens, Israel, 2016) by James Deahl and Katherine Gordon, and Tall Stuff (Hidden Brook Press, 2016) a novel by Norma West Linder. Featured readers include Kent Bowman, Patrick Connors, James Deahl, Lawrence Hopperton, Ellen S. Jaffe, Norma West Linder, Michael Mirolla, and Deborah A. Morrison. This free event begins at 8 p.m. at The Staircase, 27 Dundurn Street, North.

Wednesday, November 9 in Toronto: LUMMOX 5 will be launched with readings by James Deahl, Kate Marshall Flaherty, Jennifer L. Foster, Debbie Okun Hill, Eryn Hiscock, Larry Hopperton, Donna Langevin, Norma West Linder, Michael Mirolla, and Lynn Tait. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. at The Toronto Public Library, Main Street Branch, 137 Main Street. Admission is free.

Saturday, November 12 in Sarnia: Poets James Deahl, Debbie Okun Hill, John B. Lee, Norma West Linder, Denis Robillard and Lynn Tait will read from the LUMMOX 5 anthology. Local historical fiction writer Bob McCarthy will be a special guest reader. This free event begins at 2 p.m. at John’s Restaurant’s Famous Room, 1643 London Line.

norma-west-linder-during-the-lummox-hamilton-reading-october-18-2015

Canadian poets have also been featured in previous LUMMOX anthologies. Norma West Linder is seen reading in Hamilton on October 18, 2015.

Additional information about previous LUMMOX readings in Canada can be found here and here.

Additional information about 2016-2017 readings in the United States can be found here.

Non-themed submissions for LUMMOX 6 will be accepted from April 1 to May 31, 2017. In addition to poetry, essays on poetics, biographies, and the craft of writing, along with well-written rants and interviews will also be considered. For additional information check the LUMMOX Press website.

 *quote is from the essay “A Yankee in the Closet” by James Deahl published in LUMMOX 5 – 2016, page 198 Copyright © James Deahl 2016 used with permission from the author.

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.

 

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.