New Star Blogs

Indigena Awarded :: Annharte wins Blue Metropolis First Peoples Literary Prize


Marie "Annharte Baker"Con­grat­u­la­tions to Marie “Annharte” Baker, win­ner of the inau­gural Blue Metrop­o­lis First Peo­ples Lit­er­ary Prize!

The Blue Metrop­o­lis Inter­na­tional Lit­er­ary Fes­ti­val (April 20 — 26 in Mon­treal) is hon­our­ing Annharte for Indi­gena Awry, her 2012 poetry col­lec­tion. Con­grat­u­la­tions also to the other lit­er­ary win­ners at this year’s fes­ti­val:  Nancy Hus­ton (Grand Prize), Junot Díaz (Azul Prize), and Gene Luen Yang (Words to Change Prize).

Annharte will be appear­ing at a half-dozen read­ings and events, includ­ing Poetry at the Zen Cen­tre on April 24th, with Marie Howe, Don McKay, Jer­amy Dodds, Paul Weigel, and Carmine Starnino; an awards cer­e­mony on April 25th, when she’ll receive her $5,000 prize and be inter­viewed on stage by Taia­iake Alfred; and, on April 26, a dis­cus­sion with Lee Mar­a­cle (Celia’s Song) about indige­nous women and ter­ri­tory in their books.

You can find details about all her events here.

Blue Met sent Annharte to the Hay Fes­ti­val Carta­gena de Indias this past Jan­u­ary as part of the Open Win­dow on Canada pro­gram, which also fea­tured Steven Pinker, Réal God­bout, and Kim Thúy (win­ner of Canada Reads 2015). She par­tic­i­pated in a poetry read­ing and a panel dis­cus­sion on indige­nous cul­tures and cre­ative lan­guage with authors from Colom­bia and Spain.

Indi­gena Awry was recently reviewed in Cana­dian Lit­er­a­ture, where Lor­raine Weir said it is “darker and tougher than [Annharte’s pre­vi­ous books], sat­u­rated with rejec­tion of ‘hon­est Injun’ clichés and of ageist and sex­ist stereo­types from set­tler culture.”

If the poems of Indi­gena Awry con­sti­tute the writer’s act of both wit­ness­ing the sus­tained impact of col­o­niza­tion, par­tic­u­larly on urban Indige­nous women, and repu­di­at­ing its effects, they are also char­ac­ter­ized by a fero­cious hope in the future…  In this tough-minded, some­times funny, and fre­quently elo­quent book, five cen­turies have dis­tilled rage into incan­des­cence. … Annharte’s work ranges from dub to lyric, from spo­ken word to elegy, from col­lo­quial humour to jagged irony in which the ’exper­i­men­tal’ is never sep­a­rate from a pas­sion­ate rejec­tion of white bour­geois aes­thet­ics. In this, Annharte is closer to Skeena Reece and Rebecca Bel­more in her craft­ing of an “enemy lan­guage” to do the work of resurgence.

Read the rest of the review here; you can pre­view all of Indi­gena Awry here and buy it here.

West of Charles St. :: George Stanley at Johns Hopkins


North of California St. coverGeorge Stan­ley vis­its the East coast of his nation of ori­gin next month to take part in the Poetry at Hop­kins Eng­lish read­ing series at Johns Hop­kins Uni­ver­sity in Bal­ti­more. Stan­ley and Kevin Kil­lian, the San Francisco-based poet, nov­el­ist, play­wright, art critic, and scholar, will be read­ing on April 3rd and “In Con­ver­sa­tion” on April 4th. The events are co-sponsored by JHU’s Pro­gram in Women, Gen­der and Sex­u­al­ity; all the details are avail­able here.

Stanley’s most recent book, North of Cal­i­for­nia St., was recently high­lighted by George Fether­ling in the Van­cou­ver Sun as one of “Three BC col­lec­tions that stand out.” Says Fether­ling: “North of Cal­i­for­nia St. is a rich selec­tion … with an inci­sive intro­duc­tion by the poet Sharon The­sen. His poems are often like slide shows, kalei­do­scopic and dis­con­tin­u­ous … At times he rises to great beauty.”

More reviews/response to North of Cal­i­for­nia St. are col­lected else­where on this blog, includ­ing the lament (from the intro­duc­tion to 2003’s A Tall, Seri­ous Girl) that “Stanley’s work has been, in effect, excluded from the canon of ‘van­guard’ Amer­i­can poetry, and from the odd process by which the poems of a small per­cent­age of poets become acces­si­ble in the wider world of class­rooms and far-flung lit­er­ary scenes.” Here’s hop­ing this appear­ance at such an august insti­tu­tion some 4,000 km away goes some small dis­tance to cor­rect­ing the oversight.

Donato Mancini in America


The cover for LoitersackDonato Mancini is tak­ing his sin­gu­lar brand of poetry, poet­ics, the­ory, the­ory the­ater, and laugh­ter par­ti­cles south of the bor­der at the end of this month. He’ll be read­ing from and dis­cussing his new book Loi­ter­sack, but in fact has an even newer book out just this week: snow­line (eth press, 2015) col­lects 40 trans­la­tions of “Mais où sont les neiges d’antan?,” that (600-year-) old ches­nut from François Vil­lon, into a hand­some lit­tle book that includes orig­i­nal illus­tra­tions by Donato.

But back to Loi­ter­sack news. Catch Donato at the fol­low­ing engagements:

Feb. 27, Oak­land: La Com­mune Presents: Brian Ang, Donato Mancini, Anne Les­ley Sel­cer. A read­ing and release of ARMED CELL 8 (ed. Brian Ang), Loi­ter­sack by Donato Mancini, and Mul­ti­ple Bippes (CUE, 2014, ed. Donato Mancini). See the FB event page here.

March 1, Port­land: Donato Mancini and Paul Maziar read­ing for the Spare Room read­ing series at Mother Foucault’s Book­shop, 523 SE Mor­ri­son St., 7pm.

March 2, Olympia: Read­ing and poet­ics talk at Ever­green State Col­lege, TESC, Sem­i­nar II D1105, 5:30 — 7pm.

Donato has also con­firmed an event at St. Mark’s in NYC for early May — details TK

Galiano Literary Festival, ft. Graeme Truelove (and many more)


Galiano Lit Fest poster

The Galiano Lit­er­ary Fes­ti­val runs from Feb. 20th to Feb. 22nd at the spec­tac­u­lar Galiano Ocean­front Inn, on Galiano Island in BC’s Sal­ish Sea, and fea­tures work­shops, panel dis­cus­sions, and read­ings from a raft of fan­tas­tic authors from BC and across the coun­try (even as far away as Ottawa…).

On Sun­day, Feb. 22nd, Graeme Tru­elove will read from Svend Robin­son: A Life in Pol­i­tics, from, accord­ing to the fes­ti­val sched­ule, 10:45am to 11:45pm. Either that’s a typo or he’s going to read the entire book. (If the for­mer, you can snag a copy from the festival’s host, Galiano Island Books.) Svend Robin­son: A Life in Pol­i­tics is Graeme’s first book, and received glow­ing praise upon its Fall 2013 release.

Graeme Truelove. Photo: Janine Bell

Graeme Tru­elove. Photo: Janine Bell

Among the other offer­ings from the fes­ti­val are work­shops by Audrey Thomas and Bill Gas­ton; a panel dis­cus­sion with Arno Kopecky, Chris Cza­jkowski, & Eliz­a­beth May; and read­ings by John Vail­lant, Arleen Pare, Michael Christie, Theodora Arm­strong, and of course George Bow­er­ing, who will be read­ing from Mir­ror on the Floor at 2pm on the Sat­ur­day — but if you but­ton­hole him in the pub later maybe you can tease out a stanza or two from The World, I Guess, his forth­com­ing book of poems. (Just don’t tell him we sent you.)

Tick­ets are avail­able for indi­vid­ual events, or attend the entire she­bang, includ­ing the Fri­day wel­come recep­tion and two lunches, for only $150. Reg­is­tra­tion details here.

Andrew Struthers book launches imminent


Tofino launch posterAfter the hol­i­days we awoke bleary-eyed in a pile of marked-up man­u­script pages and remem­bered that just before Christ­mas, after a fran­tic head­long rush, we pub­lished Around the World on Min­i­mum Wage, the new book from author/artist/filmmaker Andrew Struthers. Hang­overs hav­ing sub­sided, it’s time to cel­e­brate. We’ve got four launches planned, each of which will fea­ture a read­ing by Andrew Struthers and books (& exclud­ing Ucluelet, bev­er­ages) for sale. Admis­sion is free — a hel­luva deal for an evening in the com­pany of this cal­iber of sto­ry­telling tal­ent, as any­one who’s read The Last Voy­age of the Loch Ryan or The Green Shadow, or seen one of Andrew’s many and var­ied films can tell you.

TOFINOFeb. 20th, Clay­oquot Sound Com­mu­nity The­atre, 380 Camp­bell Street. Doors 7:30 for an 8pm start. Details avail­able on the FB event page.

UCLUELET — Feb. 22nd, Black­berry Cove Mar­ket­place, 243 Main St., 7:30.

VICTORIAFeb. 25th, Vic­to­ria Event Cen­tre, 1415 Broad St. Doors 7:30 for an 8pm start. Details avail­able on the FB event page.

VANCOUVER — March 6th, Com­mer­cial St. Cafe, 3599 Com­mer­cial St. (at East 20th). Wan­der in any time after 7pm; the read­ing will begin around 8pm.

Spring 2015 Catalogue now available!


NSB Catalogue Spring 2015Our newest cat­a­logue is avail­able to view and down­load. It includes updated order­ing info, a plethora of hyper­links, a strik­ing illus­trated cover by our go-to graphic guru Oliver McPartlin, and oh yeah, three new books!

The World I Guess is the newest poetry col­lec­tion from George Bow­er­ing, a man who needs no intro­duc­tion (but here’s a good place to start). This is Bowering’s 36th book of poetry, a remark­able fact that becomes aston­ish­ing when you real­ize his con­sis­tently high qual­ity over the years.

The cen­tre­piece of the six sec­tions that com­pose The World, I Guess is “The Flood,” a long, com­plex, dis­cur­sive poem. The book ends with a suite of “trans­la­tions” of the “mod­ern” Cana­dian poetry canon, from Charles G.D. Roberts and Archibald Lamp­man to Irv­ing Lay­ton and Phyl­lis Webb.

Dance Moves of the Near Future is a col­lec­tion of short fic­tion from Tim Con­ley, author or edi­tor of sev­eral pre­vi­ous books of poetry, sto­ries, and etc. The 24 sto­ries veer from bat­shit insan­ity to quiet real­ism; they’re by turns hilar­i­ous, dis­turb­ing, and mov­ing. From Dance Moves of the Near Future’s epony­mous story:

The Mal­nu­tri­tion
This one is pure sym­pa­thetic magic – it’s all about the sym­pa­thy. Let the world see you know their hunger, how they tran­scend the hunger, how they refuse to be eaten by hunger. Eat the hunger, digest your­self, say­ing: there’s more where that came from! Yes, I will have another! The mouth is nat­u­rally a big part of this one but it’s not every­thing. Tight action, stay close to your­self. It’s not about flaunt­ing. The world is poi­son­ing you but you can take it. Wind down but do not col­lapse, do not flop. Refuse to be eaten.

Greatly Exag­ger­ated: The Myth of the Death of News­pa­pers by Marc Edge was a late drop-in to our Fall list, and set an in-house pro­duc­tion speed record: less than eight weeks from receiv­ing the com­plete man­u­script to books in the ware­house. Greatly Exag­ger­ated mar­shals exten­sive research, com­pelling sto­ries and his­tory, and inci­sive, often bit­ing cri­tique to sup­port a con­tro­ver­sial argu­ment: despite all the doom-and-gloom of recent years, news­pa­per­ing remains an inher­ently prof­itable busi­ness and is in no dan­ger of collapsing.

Greatly Exag­ger­ated is also avail­able as an ebook: Get an epub or Kindle-compatible ebook free from BitLit if you own the print ver­sion, or buy the epub from Kobo for over 50% off the print price.




New Star Review of Reviews No. 4


A spo­rad­i­cally appear­ing round-up of recent reviews & notable notices of New Star releases. In this install­ment, our recent Poetry & Literature.

North of California St. - 3Drob mclen­nan, Canada’s lead­ing man of lower-case let­ters, fea­tured North of Cal­i­for­nia St. by George Stan­ley on his epony­mous blog on Sep­tem­ber 7, fol­low­ing it up with a lengthy inter­view with Stan­ley at The Con­ver­santNorth of Cal­i­for­nia St. also made mclennan’s 2014 Rrrrec­om­mended rrread­ing list. South of the bor­der, the Amer­i­can Poetry Foun­da­tion fea­tured San Fran­cisco native Stanley’s new book on their Har­riet blogsite. New York’s Poetry Project Newslet­ter No. 238 (February-March 2014) ran Stacy Szym­naszek’s rave about Stanley’s pre­vi­ous book, After Desire. “One of the most unique ears in poetry and one of the most fluid imag­i­na­tions. .. . A delight­ful shift from Stanley’s pre­vi­ous col­lec­tion, Van­cou­ver: A Poem, and a great com­pan­ion vol­ume. .. . My copy is already worn out.” (Link to PDF, review on page 12)

IKMQ, by Roger FarrColin Ful­ton (Grad­u­ate Stud­ies, Con­cor­dia) reviews IKMQ, Roger Farr’s 2012 Dorothy Livesay final­ist on Sina Queyras’s Lemon Hound blogsite. “.. . hilar­i­ous, prob­ing, and unique in how it deploys the often-tired Wittgen­stein­ian tenets of ‘language-as-game’ and ‘meaning-as-use.’ In fact, I think IKMQ should be handed out to poets who are con­sid­er­ing read­ing or men­tion­ing Wittgen­stein as a kind of con­tra­cep­tive device – because whether Farr intended this or not (and I’d be inter­ested to know, one way or the other), his poems do what Wittgen­stein never quite man­aged: they look at things inde­pen­dently of us.” [Editor’s note: Yes, he did.] Over at the Rusty Toque, Andrew McE­wan (Ryer­son) reveals that the notional ele­ment ludib­rium holds the key to under­stand­ing Farr’s peri-Oulippean project. “What are we to make of a book that hints at its pro­ce­dural poet­ics yet tells us, nev­er­the­less, to dis­re­gard it in favour of the plea­sure of the read­ing experience?”

Posh Lust-3D NewCoverAbout that cover for Posh Lust by Louis Cabri, designer Oliver McPartlin ‘splains him­self on the Lit­er­ary Press Group b’log. .. . Edgy, urban Sub­Ter­rain gets out to the light-industrial ‘burbs in its Spring ’14 issue, as Shazia Hafiz Ramji reads Peter Cul­ley’s Park­way. “Suf­fused with impulses of gen­eros­ity, loy­alty, and dis­cov­ery, all of which can be found in moments of laugh­ter, nos­tal­gia or learn­ing.” South of the imag­i­nary bor­der, Cas­ca­dian writer / critic Paul E. Nel­son on Park­way and Culley’s Ham­mer­town project., with links to seg­ments from an inter­view Nel­son con­ducted w/ Cul­ley last sum­mer. .. . Bert Almon reviewed “Véhicule poet” Ken Nor­ris’s Rua da Feli­ci­dade for the Spring 2014 issue of the Mon­treal Review of Books. “His best work in years,” is his conclusion.

9780921586722-XEclogue-3DlArt Review colum­nist Maria Lind dis­cov­ers Lisa Robert­son (XEclogue; Deb­bie: An Epic; The Weather) in the Sum­mer 2014 issue. Nicholas Bradley of UVic on George Bow­er­ing’s essay col­lec­tion, Words, Words, Words in BC Stud­ies 183, Autumn 2014.: “Bowering’s charm is win­ning, his tone is com­i­cal through­out.” Review­ing Michael Trege­bov’s comic novel The Shiva, Richard J. Lane of Van­cou­ver Island Uni­ver­sity, in the Spring 2014 Uni­ver­sity of Toronto Quar­terly, writes: “Fast-paced dia­logue .. . dri­ves Tregebov’s novel at break­neck speed. .. . deserves repeated reread­ing, as this pow­er­ful voice in Cana­dian lit­er­a­ture, while speak­ing in many sar­cas­tic tongues, deliv­ers an eth­i­cal punch that will be felt long after his book is set down.”



Party with us Thursday, December 11 at Pat’s Pub

Hotel Patricia, by Christian Dahlberg /

Photo cour­tesy Chris­t­ian Dahlberg /

Whew! It’s been a busy stretch here at New Star’s main assem­bly plant in East Van­cou­ver: four new books, two reprints, a cou­ple of fires, and an office turned topsy-turvy since Labour Day. Through it all, keep­ing us going was know­ing what was com­ing: the annual East Van­cou­ver Pub­lish­ers’ Party at Pat’s Pub. This year, Mole­sk­ines are marked for Thurs­day, Decem­ber 11, from 5 pm until Karaoke Hour strikes at 9.

Arse­nal Pulp Press, Anvil Press, Talon­books, and the Asso­ci­a­tion of Book Pub­lish­ers of BC are our co-hosts for the evening. Please join us for snacks & liba­tions, and lively com­pany. The season’s offer­ings from all four presses — some so hot off the presses they’re not even in stores yet (!) — will also be avail­able in eas­ily brows­able format.

Pat’s Pub is still in the Patri­cia Hotel at 403 East Hast­ings at Dun­levy. Here’s a link to the event’s Face­book page.


New Books: Loitersack and Whose Culture Is It, Anyway?


It’s been a try­ing cou­ple of months at New Star World HQ, but out of the ashes, like some kind of myth­i­cal bird, now rise two excel­lent new books, with a third and fourth to fol­low hot on their heels.

The cover for LoitersackLoi­ter­sack, the new book from Donato Mancini, is sure to land in the world of poetry and poet­ics like a cer­tain Russ­ian bev­er­age. Loi­ter­sack is in some senses a “com­mon­place book,” in oth­ers the poet’s per­sonal book of crit­i­cal reflec­tions. This is Mancini’s first book to include a neo-absurdist one-act play (THEQRY), but like all Mancini’s work, Loi­ter­sack is wired for explo­sive laughter.

Whose CultureWhose Cul­ture Is It, Any­way?: Com­mu­nity Engage­ment in Small Cities, edited by W.F. Garrett-Petts, James Hoff­man, and Ginnny Rat­soy, focuses on community–engagement in the arts in small cities, and is a major con­tri­bu­tion to the grow­ing body of lit­er­a­ture on the spe­cial char­ac­ter and value of small cities, espe­cially aspects of their unique cul­ture. It fea­tures con­tri­bu­tions by Bruce Baugh, bill bis­sett, Ila Craw­ford, Nancy Duxbury, Alexan­der Forbes, Kath­leen Irwin, Terry Kad­ing & Christo­pher Walm­s­ley, Caffyn Kel­ley, Ernie Kroeger, Lucy Lip­pard, Adel­heid Mers, Judith Miller, Bernard Momer, Mau­reen F. Rogers & Barry P. Brock­ley, Si Transken, and Savan­nah Walling.

At the end of the month look for Greatly Exag­ger­ated: The Myth of the Death of News­pa­pers, by Marc Edge, and Around the World on Min­i­mum Wage, by Andrew Struthers. Greatly Exag­ger­ated explodes the ubiq­ui­tous doom­say­ing about the print news­pa­per busi­ness; we hope it sparks heated debate in Canada and the US about the impact of “finan­cial­iza­tion” on jour­nal­ism. Around the World on Min­i­mum Wage is a gor­geous travel mem­oir stuffed with illus­tra­tions, jokes, and the author’s reflec­tions from a peri­patetic life. Per­fect for loung­ing beside a safe, con­tained hol­i­day fire.


[UPDATED] Trouble at the Mill

New Star South

Rolf Maurer’s home after the lat­est (Oct. 2014) firebombing.

UPDATE 10/28/2014: The Van­cou­ver Police Depart­ment has released pic­tures of the arson­ist, and are appeal­ing to the pub­lic for help in iden­ti­fy­ing him: Police Hot on Trail of Arson­ist.

At 4 AM in the morn­ing of Fri­day, Octo­ber 10, some­one threw a Molo­tov cock­tail onto the front porch of New Star pub­lisher Rolf Maurer’s home while he slept inside. The sound of the bot­tle hit­ting the door woke him; he climbed out his bed­room win­dow onto a roof above the back deck, from which he was able to descend by a lad­der quickly pro­vided by neigh­bours. He was unscathed, despite the fact that the house quickly filled with thick acrid smoke cre­ated by the excel­er­ant, which likely con­tained diesel fuel.

For­tu­nately, Mr. Maurer’s front porch is lit­er­ally vis­i­ble from Fire­hall No. 19, one block away across Jones Park; fire­fight­ers put out the fire before it reached the house’s frame, lim­it­ing the dam­age to smoke and super­fi­cial charring.

This inci­dent was the fifth attack on New Star or Mr. Mau­rer since late win­ter 2012. On March 7, 2012, a fire­bomb was thrown into New Star’s office through a win­dow. Two nights later, a house in Mr. Maurer’s neigh­bour­hood super­fi­cially resem­bling his was sim­i­larly attacked by an arson­ist who hurled a Molo­tov cock­tail through the pic­ture win­dow. No-one was hurt.

In the early morn­ing hours of April 22, 2013, another fire­bomb attack on Mr. Maurer’s res­i­dence while he was home set his rear deck ablaze; that fire was put out by fire­fight­ers before it could spread to the house. And a cou­ple of hours before dawn on Labour Day, Sep­tem­ber 1 just past, New Star’s offices were hit by an arson attack iden­ti­cal to the March 2012 attack.

All evi­dence points to the five attacks not only linked to each other, but to an ongo­ing busi­ness dis­pute between New Star Books and a cer­tain party. How­ever, the police have not been able to make any arrests, let alone lay charges.

Arson presents spe­cial dif­fi­cul­ties for inves­ti­ga­tors. Because the fire usu­ally destroys any evi­dence that might link to an indi­vid­ual, the arson­ist pretty much has to be caught red-handed. And even if that hap­pens, any link between the per­son actu­ally set­ting the fire, and the party on whose behalf he is act­ing, must also be estab­lished. Any­one tak­ing on such an assign­ment is not a casual crim­i­nal, and already knows the rule to dummy up, and what the con­se­quences might be if they don’t. Arson crimes are usu­ally solved because a cit­i­zen steps up and brings some­thing hid­den to light.

Ques­tions might also be asked about the indi­vid­u­als tasked with throw­ing the fire­bombs. Molo­tov cock­tails are the weapon-of-choice dur­ing a gang turf war being fought in South Van­cou­ver. Are the arson­ists being told that their tar­get is a civil­ian and not another gang mem­ber; or are their bosses pre­tend­ing they’re just sol­diers in this gang war? Crim­i­nals claim to have a “code” of their own; who­ever is behind the New Star attacks is vio­lat­ing their own code, by using their gang con­nec­tions to set­tle a per­sonal score that has noth­ing to do with “the Game”.