Things that are easier to do than bursting The Myth of the Death of Newspapers include convincing people there’s a brewery in City Hall, affording a house in Vancouver, and winning the Stanley Cup. But that’s exactly what Marc Edge attempts to do, as well as sketch a history of newspapers and their owners’ recent efforts at “financialization,” in the heavily researched and highly readable Greatly Exaggerated: The Myth of the Death of Newspapers. And he’s making some headway:
An early review from Charlie Smith at the Georgia Straight called it “thoroughly researched,” “provocative,” and “entertaining,” and said “For anyone concerned about where [the concentration of media ownership] might lead, Greatly Exaggerated offers a useful road map.” (Full review here.)
Marc made a few media appearances, including a TV spot on BC 1 that, somewhat implausibly, isn’t online (did it really happen?); an interview with Joseph Planta at The Commentary; a call-in segment on CBC Radio Vancouver (auto-playing audio link here); and an interview with World News Publishing Focus.
Scott R. Maier picked up the story via Marc’s academic paper based on the same research (“Newspapers’ Annual Reports Show Chains Profitable,” in Newspaper Research Journal, Vol. 35, No. 4), and ran with it at the European Journalism Observatory (always so much more enlightened, those Europeans…).
And finally, Rick Edmonds came away from the annual Newspaper Association of America’s MediaXchange conference with the belief, partially inspired by Marc’s study, that although the industry has “a lot of work to do,” it’s “not anywhere near dead as doomsayers had predicted five years ago”: At Naa’s Nashville extravaganza, tough issues surface through the glitz | Poynter.org.
So at least some wonks seem cautiously heretical. You can flirt with these blasphemous ideas in print, or buy the ebook, or use the print book to get a free ebook via the BitLit mobile app. (Irony duly noted.)
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.
George 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 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 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…
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.
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.
After 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.
UCLUELET — Feb. 22nd, Blackberry Cove Marketplace, 243 Main St., 7:30.
VANCOUVER — March 6th, Commercial St. Cafe, 3599 Commercial St. (at East 20th). Wander in any time after 7pm; the reading will begin around 8pm.
Our 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:
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.
A sporadically appearing round-up of recent reviews & notable notices of New Star releases. In this installment, our recent Poetry & Literature.
rob 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 Conversant. North 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)
Colin 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?”
About 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.
Art 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.”
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.