New Star Blogs

How the Other 99% Live: Anarchy for Anglo Dads


New Star Books has acquired English-language rights to l’Anarchie expliqué à mon pere by Thomas Déri and Francis Dupuis-Déri, published in 2014 by Lux Editeur of Montreal.

Written in the form of a dialogue between father and son (which they are), the authors, professor / writer / editor / translator Thomas Déri and Francis Dupuis-Déri, political science professor at l’Universite de Montreal, sketch some of the foundational ideas giving impetus to resurgent anarchism-inspired political actions that have been making world headlines in recent years. Francis Dupuis-Déri is the author of Who’s Afraid Of the Black Blocs?

The translator is John Gilmore, whose rendition of Bernard Émond‘s novel, 20h17, rue Darling, was published by Guernica Editions in 2014. He is the author of Head of a Man, published by Reality Street Editions of the UK, and Swinging In Paradise: The Story of Jazz in Montreal.

Anarchy Explained to My Father is scheduled for publication in Fall 2017.

Conditions over the Continent: Lisa Robertson translations forecast


The Weather, the third book by French-resident Canadian poet Lisa Robertson, published in 2001 by New Star Books, is soon to appear in French and Swedish editions.

Eric Suchère’s French translation, Le Temps, is being published this year by Éditions Nous. Based in Caen, Editions Nous has published works by Pier Paolo Pasolini, Mina Loy, Paul Celan, Robert Creeley, and Jacques Ranciere, among many others.

Suchère is a poet and translator whose translation of My Vocabulary Did This To Me: The Collected Works of Jack Spicer was published by Éditions Le Bleu du Ciel.

The Weather’s Swedish publisher is Rámus Förlag, based in Malmo. Ramus has also published Rosemarie Waldrop, Peter Nadas, Charles Reznikoff, and Terry Eagleton in Swedish.

Translator Niclas Nilsson has also translated the works of Anne Sexton, Don DeLillo, Jeffrey Eugenides, Lyn Hejinian, and Roxane Gay into Swedish, and has published three books of poetry of his own.

Details of both agreements were finalized by Bill Hanna of Acacia House Publishing Services, based not so very far from Newmarket, Ontario.

Hannah Calder’s new novel launches May 27th at the People’s Co-op


New Star Books and Hannah Calderlaunch poster for Hannah Calder's new novel Piranesi's Figures of Vernon, BC, proud mother of More House, is pleased to announce the union of her new novel Piranesi’s Figures to whoever wishes to dip into its luscious pages.

Piranesi’s Figures is a fantastic tale of ruinous marriages and illicit love that hops from mid-century England to present-day Rome, and reaches back to 18th-century Rome to add the titular Figures, street urchins etched by Giovanni Bttista Piranesi, to its ensemble cast. Michael Turner says that “reading Calder is to move through the world barefoot over asphalt, grass, sand and water. This is sensual, insightful writing.”

The Vancouver launch is on Friday, May 27 at the People’s Co-op Bookstore at 1391 Commercial Drive. We’d be delighted to see you there.

Doors are at 7 PM; the ceremonies will begin nearer to 8. Refreshments will be provided and books will be sold.

(The facebook event page is here.)

TRADE NEWS: Brunswick Books takes over sales & distribution


We’re pleased to be distributed and represented to the trade by Brunswick Books (formerly Fernwood Books) effective today. Brunswick has specialized in independent and progressive books for 35 years, and represented New Star for a period in the 1980s. We’re excited to return to the fold, and confident it’s a good fit for both parties.

Brunswick Books
(416) 703-3598

Many thanks to Julia and everyone at LitDistCo for their hard work over the past few years. Booksellers can return New Star titles to LitDistCo until July 31, 2016.

Happy 4/20, here’s an excerpt from Andrew Struthers’s new pot book


9781554201150-Sacred-Herb-Devils-Weed-3DlWe totally meant to have an entire new Andrew Struthers book for you today, but as the ganja gods say, “no effort when tea is smoked.” In his defence, wrangling stories from over a hundred potheads is like herding cats that are also potheads. The book will be here soon — we’re saying June at this point — but in the meantime here’re 797 words, including ten from P. K. Dick, from Struthers’s fourth, coming book The Sacred Herb / The Devil’s Weed, now just two months overdue.

From The Sacred Herb / The Devil’s Weed by Andrew Struthers




Last spring my Protestant work ethic took a hit when two pot dispensaries opened on my street. They call pot the Great Unmotivator, and sure enough, summer was long and hot, I went swimming instead of writing, by Fall I began to run out of cash on a regular basis, and when winter rolls around I desperately pitch a book idea to my publisher. But he doesn’t bite, so I pull a second book out of my ass, like a rabbit from a top hat, surprising even myself:

“What about a book on marijuana?”

He says, “How soon can you turn that around?”

Ka-ching! We agree the perfect launch date is April 20, or 4:20, but it’s already December, and no one works through Christmas except hedge fund managers and elves, so on January 1 I realize I have 29 days to write 50,000 words, and it can’t be done, especially blitzed, so I don the mantle of artistic responsibility, stub out, and step up.

Two days later the mantle begins to chafe, and by Day Three I’m back to smoking my brains out and hoping some of them will land on the page, then I recall how Tom Sawyer tricks his friends into whitewashing his Aunt’s fence, which inspires me to Skype a hundred potheads from my Facebook feed and get them to write the book for me, and it works – I nearly make my deadline, which feat I hope will dispel the myth of pot as the Great Unmotivator.

But the book comes out as one long rambling sentence. I mean, does it even make sense? You be the judge. The jury. The Executioner.

*  *  *


“I know a lot of people who think God sleeps in pot.”

— Phillip K. Dick


त्रेता युग

I’m curled up at the bottom of a hippie hot tub in Tuff City, breathing through a yard of rubber hose that once connected the heater to the propane tank, having just ingested what Terrence McKenna calls a heroic dose of THC baked into a chocolate cake, and embarked upon that inward voyage Joseph Campbell calls the hero’s journey, although I ate the cake by mistake, so technically it’s more of what my big Swedish pal Martin would call a total fuckup.

But it’s too late to worry, my only chance is to relax and float downstream, which is problematic thanks to my Protestant work ethic, something I can’t just ditch because I’m from Scotland, where we invented the idea, along with TV, asphalt and soccer hooligans. Scotland is a culture divided against itself, because the State is Christian but the people are Celts. The Christian Heaven is a gated community with a controlled entrance, like a pub with a bouncer, but the Celtic Otherworld is all around us, only it’s invisible, like a dope ring behind a line of trees, or a group of friends smoking from a gravity bong in a basement. At any moment a Celt might turn a bend in a country lane, or lose the path in the woods, and find themselves suddenly surrounded by Others: brownies, bogles, kelpies. There’s no shortage of tales where a farmer or small business owner or possibly some sort of banker, just so long as he has a three-pointed hat and a horse, tarries too long at the brightly-lit pub and on his ride home stumbles through a ring of toadstools in a field, where fey jigs reel him in and he dances wildly ’round till dawn, when he finds twenty years have passed and he’s old. Such is the faerie ring.

Substitute dope for faerie, and you have my life in Clayoquot, which I visited for the May long weekend when I was twenty-two and filled with salad plans of conquering the world with books and movies, and won’t be leaving for three more years, when I’ll be pushing forty.

No matter – the first thing to slacken when you get this gooned is the timeline. Not Time itself, which rolls implacable as a millstone, but the line of time, the illusion of future and past, that useful fiction we must soon abandon along with democracy, capitalism and gender roles. Not Gender itself, which will continue to stuff us willy-nilly into its crude slots at birth, but gender roles, and Mary Jane might be the handmaid to our tale of cultural collapse. Don’t get me wrong — it’ll be a disaster, we’re poised to junk every institution that makes escape from brute existence possible, and if there’s one thing better than getting back to Nature it’s getting away from Her, a secret I learned from living seven years with no electricity or plumbing, in the hippie commune on the edge of town.

Gustave Morin earns Alcuin nod, is UnBound bound

from Clean Sails the video

Morin in a still from Clean Sails the video

Clean Sails, the “strange, stunning” volume of typewriter poetry from Gustave Morin, continues to turn heads, most recently at the Alcuin book design awards where it earned an honourable mention for designers Gustave Morin and Mark Laliberte. An armada of Clean Sails will now embark on a Magellanesque voyage to Tokyo and Germany to enter a global book design competition and join permanent collections there, before returning to traverse Canada from St. John’s to Victoria.

Morin himself, meanwhile, will be sailing the mighty 401 up to Toronto next month to appear at the Pages UnBound Festival at the Art Gallery of Ontario. On the afternoon of Saturday, May 7 he’ll set up a half-dozen typewriters in the foyer of Jackman Hall for a live typewriter poetry demonstration, and then perform that evening at “Doing Things With Words,” an event in the Hall proper with Kaie Kellough, Jason Sharp, and Aisha Sasha John. Check out Pages UnBound‘s website or facebook for details.

Money Sex & Power: Ideas talks utopian cults with Justine Brown


bro-XIICBC’s Ideas recently aired a fantastic episode by Jen Moss about Brother XII, the cult leader who flourished near Nanaimo nearly a century ago, in which she speaks with Justine Brown, author of All Possible Worlds: Utopian Experiments in British Columbia.

Brother XII was a charming metaphysical charlatan filled to the eyeballs with such intoxicating bullshit that the susceptible couldn’t empty their wallets fast enough. He’s the sort that we’ve traditionally elected to high public office in BC, but for some reason his realm was confined to De Courcy and Valdes islands (and the eternal souls of about 8,000 followers). The community he founded was an idyllic utopian refuge from the post-Great War world, until it wasn’t.

It’s a great story well worth a listen. The episode is available here, and is supplemented by a wealth of links and pictures. To read more about Brother XII and other fascinating utopian experiments in BC, check out All Possible Worlds.

(PS: if you like listening to radio and podcasts (or “earbooking,” as we pledge to call it from now on) you may be interested in our two earbooks, ft. Julie Emerson & Roxanna Bikadoroff and George Bowering & George Stanley, respectively.)

David Yorke presents Mac-Pap: Memoir of a Canadian in the Spanish Civil War


9781554200719-macpap-3DDavid Yorke presents A Story of Canadian Anti-Fascists in Spain: Ron Liversedge and the publication of Mac-Pap

As part of SFU’s Canadian Labour History series, David Yorke will talk about the origins of Mac-Pap: Memoir of a Canadian in the Spanish Civil War, Ronald Liversedge‘s memoir of fighting with the International Brigades. Liversedge wrote the memoir in the 1960s and it was finally published in 2013, with David as editor.

The talk is at SFU’s downtown Vancouver campus at 515 W. Hastings St, room 7000, on Monday March 21st at 7 pm. All the details are here.

Julie Emerson reading at Lunch Poems


Julie Emerson at Lunch Poems @ SFU, 12 noon, Wed. March 16

Julie will be reading from Twenty Seven Stings, her recent volume of poetry exploring the role of women in warfare, of which the Vancouver Sun said “With Canada still mired down in the blood of Syria and every news hour scarlet with spilled blood somewhere, we need poets like Emerson, and books like Twenty Seven Stings. Read this one even if you seldom read poetry.”

Julie will be reading with ryan fitzpatrick in the Teck galllery at SFU’s downtown Vancouver campus at 515 W. Hastings at 12 pm.

If you can’t attend, or can but can’t get enough Twenty Seven Stings, you can hear Julie speak about the book with its illustrator Roxanna Bikadoroff in episode two of our podcast.