28 May 2015

I'm judging the Aspiring Canadian Poets Contest, deadline June 1

I was asked this year to judge something called The Aspiring Canadian Poets Contest, and I said sure. I mean, I asked them a lot of questions, and then I said sure.

The deadline is June 1. Here's a bit of what it's all about:

With the goal of recognizing and developing unpublished Canadian poets, the prizes for the three winners (1st, 2nd & 3rd place winners) of the Aspiring Canadian Poets Contest will include:

• the publication of their contest winning poetry on this contest website;

• a listing of their names in the November issue of Quill & Quire, Canada's Magazine of Book News and Reviews; and

• private online mentoring sessions with the contest judge (valued at $1,000, shared among the three winners).


Previous judges have included Catherine Graham, Shannon Bramer, and Catherine Owen, so I'm in pretty good company.

Another thing I like about this contest — and I don't often like contests — is that there is no entry fee.

Here's how to enter!

Over and out.

22 April 2015

Launching two new books: A Hamburger in a Gallery and My Planet of Kites

So much has been happening. I will try to catch up in small bursts. I have three new books out this season.

I'm on the train to Montreal now, where I'll be launching my new book of poetry, A Hamburger in a Gallery, from DC Books' Punchy Poetry imprint, tomorrow night.

The launch takes place on April 23 at 7:30 pm at Le Petit Salon, Hotel 10, 10 Sherbrooke Ouest. Admission is free!

This is my oddest book of poetry yet and, making it more unusual, it contains a 50-page interview with me by my brilliant editor, Jason Camlot. We sat down to do the interview last December in Montreal and Jason said: “OK, I’m going to ask you really stupid questions and you answer them straight.” The results are pretty neat. I’m very proud of this book.

A couple of weeks ago I was in Montreal, too, with the Mansfield Press spring poetry launch, to celebrate my co-translation of Montreal poet Marie-Ève Comtois' second poetry collection, Je Te Trouve Belle Mon Homme. That title was impossible to migrate into English, so the book is called My Planet of Kites. I translated the book with my friend Michelle Winters, who is a great fiction writer and a professional translator. In Montreal, Marie-Ève and I read about seven poems: she read in French first, then I read the translations. It was pretty thrilling.

I think this will be the first of many translations for me.

My third new book, Further Confessions of a Small Press Racketeer, will be launched in Vancouver in late May. I'll have Toronto and Cobourg launches as well, and maybe some other places.

Over and out.

21 February 2015

March 1 Poetry Boot Camp in Toronto!

I haven't run one of my Poetry Boot Camps since July of last year. My new poetry book, coming out this spring from DC Books, A Hamburger In A Gallery, is comprised mostly of poems I wrote in the Boot Camp and other of my workshops.

I'm pleased, finally, to be bringing the Boot Camp back to Toronto!

STUART ROSS’S POETRY BOOT CAMP
Sunday, March 1, 10 am – 5 pm (45-minute lunch break
Christie/Dupont area
$95 includes materials and snacks
Spaces are limited: register now by prepaying for the session.
Write razovsky [at] gmail [dot] com

This relaxed but productive workshop for beginning poets, experienced poets, stalled poets, and haikuists who want to get beyond three lines is a Toronto institution! Poetry Boot Camp focuses on the pleasures of poetry and the riches that spontaneity brings, through lively directed writing strategies. You will write in ways you’d never imagined. Even if you’ve taken the Boot Camp before, you’ll be introduced to many new adventures in poetry. I have a lot of fresh strategies up my sleeve! As always: arrive with an open mind, and leave with a writhing heap of new poems!

ABOUT STUART ROSS

Stuart Ross is a writer, editor, and writing coach who has been leading workshops for over two decades across the country. His most recent poetry collections include Our Days In Vaudeville (Mansfield Press, 2013) and You Exist. Details Follow. (Anvil Press 2012). This spring DC Books released Stuart ninth collection, A Hamburger In A Gallery.
He has been shortlisted for the Trillium Book Award, the Alberta Book Award, and four times for the ReLit Prize; his story collection Buying Cigarettes for the Dog (Freehand Books, 2009) won him the coveted ReLit ring in 2010, and his novel Snowball, Dragonfly, Jew won him the Mona Elaine Adilman Award for Fiction on a Jewish Theme. You Exist. Details Follow. received the only prize given to an English-language book by l’Académie de la Littéraire au Tournant du 21e Siècle.

Stuart was Fiction & Poetry Editor at This Magazine for eight years, and is editor at Mansfield Press, where he has his own imprint. Books he has edited have been shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize (twice!), the Governor General’s Award, the Toronto Book Award, the Trillium Book Award, and the Gerald Lampert Award. One of the books he edited won the 2013 Canadian Griffin Poetry Prize. Stuart lives in Cobourg, Ontario.

WHAT PARTICIPANTS HAVE SAID ABOUT STUART'S PREVIOUS WORKSHOPS

"Excellent! Stretched my horizons of interpretation. Experienced new ways of writing."
"Loved this workshop: diversity of strategies, good sense of timing in writing/reading."
"Liked the size of the group, the diversity, the books on the table, acceptance, respect, sense of adventure."
"I liked being introduced to so many new poets and new ideas."
"Excellent! Challenging! Fun! Very helpful and essential."
"This workshop reminded me of the importance of challenging myself with my own writing."
"Thanks — just what I needed to break my writing slump."


Over and out.

15 January 2015

Readings in Toronto and Montreal this weekend (January 17 & 18)

Hectic times — much editing and writing. Racing to get a few of my own books completed for this spring. But I have two readings coming up this weekend, and they're both in pretty intriguing settings.

Bread and Honey

On Saturday, January 17, at 7 pm, I'm the literary guest at Church of St. Stephen-in-the-Fields, 103 Bellevue Avenue, in Toronto. You know how poet and novelist Maggie Helwig became a member of the Anglican clergy? This is the church she works at, or presides over, or however you say it.

She's doing amazing progressive and arty things there. So on Saturday, there'll be some prayer, some meditation, some drumming. And then I'll read for a while. And then there'll be discussion about the stuff I read. And then there'll be a potluck bread-and-soup meal. So that's pretty cool. I think I'm going to read A Pretty Good Year, the series of haiku I wrote while Laurie had cancer. And maybe a short story.

Cosmonauts Avenue

The next day, I'm off to Montreal to read at the launch of the first issue of the online mag Cosmonauts Avenue, which is a helluva name for a litmag. I have two poems in the issue, and I love the visual presentation of them. I'm softening a little when it comes to online mags, I have to admit. The reading happens on Sunday, January 18, at 7 pm, at the Brass Door Pub, 2171 Crescent Street. The other readers are Megan Fernandes, Melissa Bull, Rebecca Fishow, Arjun Basu, and Josip Novakovich.

While I'm in Montreal, I hope to meet up with Jason Camlot, who's editing my new book of poetry, A Hamburger in a Gallery, for his Punchy Poetry imprint with DC Books. Also hoping to meet up with poet Marie-Ève Comtois, whose poetry I'm co-translating, with Michelle Winters, for Mansfield Press.

On the train there and back, I'll be putting the finishing touches on Further Confessions of a Small Press Racketeer, by second collection of essay-things from Anvil Press.

Lots more to report, but it'll have to wait.

Over and out.

01 January 2015

My 2015 New Year Poem

2,015 DISCRETE PORTIONS

I placed the potato on my plate
and cut it into 2,015 discrete
portions. This took me nearly
six hours. A neighbour peering
through my window yelled
something at me but I only
saw his mouth move. The potato
is not a metaphor. The number
2,015 was selected randomly.
Meanwhile — when you’re my
age, meanwhiles are important
because they mean two things
can happen at once, crucial
when time is running out —
meanwhile, on my front lawn
something had appeared:
small and orange and batted
about by the unforgiving wind.
Above, the white blob of sky
convulsed and birds sailed out.
I sent a teetering robot to prod
at the orange thing, examine
it under a microscope, subject it
to various intelligence
tests. I thought at first it was
the fist of a plastic soldier
I’d played with as a child,
but it turned out to be
one two-thousand-and-
fifteenth of a potato. The potato
was sweet. The plate was made
of tin. The neighbour at my
window was made of cardboard.
I was made of regrets, sneezes and
diminishing possibilities. Laurie will
tell me this is depressing, I
shouldn’t be so hard on myself.
Meanwhile, on the television,
which is made of a rectangle,
a black-and-white woman
handed a violin to a child in
a ghetto in Poland. The wind
subsided and snow began to
zigzag from the sky. Each flake
had several choices to make.


STUART ROSS

1 January 2015


16 December 2014

Typewriter Fun with Stuart Ross

This afternoon I wrote a poem on a typewriter. It's been a long time. This heartwarming video tells the full inspirational story.



Over and out.

01 December 2014

New work on Cordite and The Rusty Toque!

This has probably been my busiest year ever in terms of poetry and fiction appearing in print and online magazines. In the past few days, more of my work has gone up.

Over at The Rusty Toque, my short story "La Papa" has been posted. I began writing that story in the fall of 2010, when I was writer-in-residence at Queen's University. It is, in fact, a true story. A potato was nuked for hours and hours in a microwave in a lounge where I was leading a workshop. The title, and perhaps even the larger premise, emerges from my fascination with the different meanings between "el papa" and "la papa" in Spanish.

Over at Cordite, an online Australian literary mag, my poem "Curtains" appears in their just-posted-today Canada issue. That would be my second off-the-continent publication, I think, following last year's appearance in the Tel Aviv print journal Hava Lehaba. "Curtains" is one of a series of poems I've written based on Joe Brainard's "Ten Imaginary Still Lifes." I believe George Bowering has also written a few poems based on that piece.

The heavy publication schedule will probably stretch into 2015.

Over and out.