amongst books

amongst books

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Being bad ass over at Apt613.ca

Apt613.ca is a fabulous site that offers detailed coverage of Ottawa’s thriving cultural scene. As part of that coverage, one of its writers, Catherine Brunelle, has been doing a series entitled “Tour de Blogosphere: A Special Guide to Ottawa’s Literary Blogs.

Part 1 features rob mclennan & his substantial literary activities.
Part 2 features several literary bloggers, including Cameron Anstee & the author of the series, Catherine Brunelle, who, it turns out has her own blog called Write Along Radio, which includes a writers’ podcast.

Part 3 features me. The article is a detailed look at my various literary activities on line from Bywords.ca to AngelHousePress & DevilHouse. When Catherine asked me why I blogged, I answered that I blogged about my interests and my values because I’m always looking for kindred spirits, those who share my interests or can enlarge them, and those who share my values.

I’ve been blogging since 2003. I highly recommend it for those who want to express themselves, would like some unofficial means of doing so. Or as I say in the interview with Catherine,


“I love that it is no longer necessary to be published by big media in order to have a voice.  … Blogs are a way of pushing your nose in when you aren’t invited to the party.”

Sunday, June 14, 2015

a visual poetry interpretation of the Bible

I’ve decided to begin work on a visual poetry adaptation of the Bible, starting with the Old Testament. I’m doing this for many reasons. The work is meant to be an offering of love and a blessing relating to my health crisis. It is not meant to be heretical or polemic. There are many who interpret the Bible quite literally to use to support bigoted agendas. I do  not support such interpretations or attitudes. I hope this is obvious. But the Bible is an important work, both from the point of view of religion and literature. It is the source of numerous great works that I love and engage with, such as Milton’s Paradise Lost and Dante’s Divine Comedy. It has been the inspiration for art, theatre and music and poets, such as William Blake. Now it will be my inspiration for visual poetry. I don’t know how much of it I will post on line or what I will do with the work as far as publication goes. I doubt it will be finished in my lifetime.


You can keep in touch with the project via my visual poetry blog. & on Twitter on my @KikiFolle account  via the hashtag. #vispoBible

Monday, June 01, 2015

Beast Body Epic excerpts published in Hood

have you checked out Lynn Crosbie's pop up online magazine Hood yet? Lynn pairs offbeat, unconventional writing with offbeat, unconventional art & photography. I am there now with excerpts from Beast Body Epic, a long poem. Beast Body Epic, in case you wanted to know, plays around with feeling like a fucking weirdo in a society of straight-laced & comfortable people, with alienation of the body, with the sexual & the grotesque. It fucks around with order to reproduce the fragmented chaos of nightmare.

bits & pieces of Beast Body Epic have been published in
The Pickled Body, a lovely little entity in Ireland. 

Dusie.Org, the Tuesday poem, curated by the lovely & hard-working rob mclennan.

& now in Hood's 13th installment. I'm really happy about that part of BBE was published in Hood. I love it when someone gets what I'm doing, when it resonates for them. Makes me feel like less of a stranger...

I wrote the draft of Beast Body Epic like I do with a lot of long poems I write in a 48-hour frenzy while listening to Nine Inch Nails Downward Spiral over & over again. I was working out my post health crisis body issues, the long scars that covered my stomach, the bruised rose-like scar from the chest tube shoved into me when a lung collapsed. i was figuring out how to get my armour back.

I read Beast Body Epic in its entirety to an attentive & friendly audience at VERSeFest 2014 when I was inducted into the VERSeOttawa Hall of Honour with Danielle Gregoire. It was an experience I will never forget.

I'd like to shop this manuscript around to publishers, but can't for the life of me figure out who would want anything so fucked up...so if you know of anyone who might be interested in freaky fragmented PTSD caterwauling, please let me know.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Kiki, Kiki, Kiki

Kiki will be available at three different book fairs in Ottawa in the next while.

1. the Literary Press Group's booth at Congress 2015 Book Expo, University of Ottawa - now until June 4, 2015

2. Chaudiere |Books table, Prose in the Park, Parkdale Market; June 6, 2015;

3. the ottawa small press book fair, Jack Purcell Community Centre, Room 203, June 13, 2015.
i'll be here to sign books as well.

Friday, May 01, 2015

a new statement of poetics

"Trial by Social Media, Little Brother and Thought Control" can be found at Evening Will Come, the Volta. rob mclennan was kind enough to solicit an essay from me a while back for a Canadian feature. the issue includes essays by me, derek beaulieu, Helen Hajnoczky, Peter Jaeger, Gil McElroy, Erin Moure, Natalie Simpson & larry timewell. Take a read of the whole thing here.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

30 Poetry Books for National Poetry Month

Y’all know how I love lists. Lists are fucking arbitrary. Other lists always make me want to write my own lists because I don’t see what I would consider to be great whatevers on their lists. So here are 30 Canadian poetry books on my shelf that I continue to engage with, pull off my shelves and reread, & would recommend for anyone who wanted to read compelling stuff. My tastes tend to run toward edgy, dark poems that have duende (see *); I also enjoy a good long poem or poem series.

1. Tom Walmsley, What Happened (Book Thug, 2007)*
2. Tom Walmsley, Honeymoon in Berlin (Anvil Press, 2004)*
3. bpNichol, the Martyrology (Books 1-9) (Coach House, 1972-1993)
4. John Thompson, Collected Poems and Translations (Goose Lane Editions, 1995, 2015)*
5. Sandra Ridley, Post Apothecary (Pedlar Press, 2011)*
6. Sandra Ridley, The Counting House (Book Thug, 2013)
7. Sandra Ridley, Fallout (Hagios Press, 2010)
8. Robert Kroetsch, the Completed Field Notes (the University of Alberta Press, 2000)
9. Dennis Cooley, the Bentleys (the University of Alberta Press, 2006)
10. Dennis Cooley, Bloody Jack (Turnstone Press, 1984), (the University of Alberta Press, 2002)*
11. Dennis Cooley, Seeing Red (Turnstone Press, 2003)
12. Nathalie Stephens, Je Nathanaël (Book Thug, 2006)
13. Anne Carson, Short Talks (Brick Books, 1992, 2015)
14. Anne Carson, If Not, Winter – Fragments of Sappho (Vintage Canada, 2003)
15. Gwendolyn MacEwen, the Selected Gwendolyn MacEwen (Exile Editions, 2008)*
16. rob mclennan, Aubade (Broken Jaw Press, 2008)
17. rob mclennan, stone, book one (Palimpsest Press, 2004)
18. rob mclennan, a compact of words (salmonpoetry, 2009)
19. Oana Avasilichioaei, We, Beasts (Wolsak and Wynn, 2011)*
20. Oana Avasilichioaei & Erín Moure, Expeditions of a Chimaera
21. Erín Moure, The Unmemntioable (House of Anansi Press, 2012)
22. Erín Moure, O Cadoiro (House of Anansi Press, 2011)
23. Stephen Brockwell, The Real, Made Up (ECW Press, 2007)
24. Stephen Brockwell, Complete Surprising Fragments of Improbable Books (Mansfield Press, 2013)
25. Christine McNair, Conflict (Book Thug, 2012)*
26. Ken Babstock, Methodist Hatchet (House of Anansi Press, 2011)
27. Ken Babstock, Airstream Land Yacht (House of Anansi Press, 2006)
28. Pearl Pirie, been shed bore (Chaudiere Books, 2010)
29. Marcus McCann, the Hard Return (Insomniac Press, 2012)
30. Monty Reid, the Luskville Reductions (Brick Books, 2008)

See my 100 poetry books list over on 49thShelf.com, the queen of lists, if you want more of this.

And if there are books that you feel should be on such a list, I encourage you to make your own list & share it around. Send me the link! If you don’t have any of these books, get thee to your neighbourhood indie bookstore & pick them up or order them.


In Ottawa, I highly recommend Octopus Books on Third Avenue in the Glebe. Its Canadian CanPo section is crammed with great books at the bottom of a shelving unit at the back of the store.
If you're short of dough, visit the Ottawa Public Library. If you don't see these books on the list, ask for them. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Three picks from the Ottawa International Writers Festival

One of the delights of an Ottawa springtime is the Ottawa International Writers Festival, which begins this Wednesday. You can go crazy trying to hit up all of the events, from the literary to the political, to the memoir to the science talks. I tend to focus on the literary and primarily the fiction because we’d have a  paucity of fiction events here in Ottawa, were it not for the festival. This is a great opportunity to hear new and established writers, chat them up, get copies of their books and hang about with fellow bibliophiles.

Here are three events I’m jumping up and down in my seat about:


I think I’ve been to every one of these and they always hold surprises. I discover new music and hear songs I  haven’t heard by some of my favourite musicians. The format is interesting. Alan usually has some sort of theme and picks singer/songwriters that fit within the theme. There’s a lot of conversation and clips from interviews. This year the theme is Random Play with musical guests: CRAIG FINN of THE HOLD STEADY,  
ELLIOTT BROOD, ROSE COUSINS, BONJAY and ISKWE.


I have been a fan of Michael’s since I first read Cumberland, his novel set in Cornwall, Ontario, several years ago. I also enjoyed his second novel, Progress, and am looking forward to his memoir, My Body is Yours. Michael is a talented writer of both fiction and poetry and also a filmmaker

I just read Raziel Reid’s When Everything Feels Like the Movies this past winter and I found it to be heart-breaking, compelling and humorous.

Glenn Nuotio is one of my favourite people and I love his music.

I also feel that discussions surrounding gender identity, prejudice based on gender and sexual orientation are vital and I’m glad that these are being addressed at the festival through these fine works.

April 25, 6:30pm The Time to Make It Shorter with Mark Anthony Jarman, Steven Hayward, Heather O'Neill and Guy Vanderhaeghe

With all due respect to all of the writers at this event, the person I  am most looking forward to is Heather O’Neill. I have just devoured her second book, The Girl Who was Saturday Night; last winter I enjoyed Lullabies for Little Criminals, and have just started her short story collection, Daydreams of Angels. I love her writing, her characters, her descriptions of Montreal and her fancifulness. I like the fact that she writes about people who are treated as the dregs of society, petty criminals, drug dealers, fat old Russians, aging former Quebec musical icons, patients in mental hospitals, feral cats.




The Ottawa International Writers Festival Spring Edition takes place at Christ Church Cathedral, 414 Sparks Street from April 22 to April 28, 2015 and includes poetry, fiction, memoir, history, politics, science, music, food, laughter, mayhem, sweet smiles, awkward pauses, CBC hosts, Carleton and U of O students, workshops, glamourous outfits, Sean Wilson in a baseball cap and surprises…