24 November 2016

New Adventures at the Indie Literary Market!

Last Saturday, the Indie Literary Market, put on by the Meet the Presses collective, happened at Trinity-St. Paul Centre in Toronto. Although I'm one of the founders of the collective, which is named after a monthly small press event Nick Power and I put on throughout 1985, I'm no longer a member, having resigned to make way for other stuff — like my own writing. So it was fun just being one of the presses sitting behind a table.
One of the items I featured was the brilliant poetry mag The Northern Testicle Review, featuring work by over 25 amazing poets from Canada, the U.S., Norway, Argentina, and South Korea. It's "Issue #1 — The Final Issue!" And it's produced in a format I've never used before: letter-size sheets stapled down the left side into cardstock covers. As for the title, it's a response to New Orleans poet Joel Dailey's mag The Southern Testicle Review, which contained some of my work.

In addition to that mag, a whole bunch of my books from various publishers, and a lot of old and recent Proper Tales Press chapbooks and books (including Richard Huttel's first full-length collection, That Said), I was offering three new wonderful chapbooks: Stories for My iPad, by Clint Burnham, who lives in Vancouver and whose powerful Pound @ Guantanamo came out from Talonbooks earlier this year; Those Problems, a selection of prose poems by Sarah Moses, who lives in Buenos Aires — this is her first book in English, after a self-translated collection came out in Spanish last spring from Socios Fundadores; and Outdoor Voices, a selection of recent prose poems by Leigh Nash, who calls Picton her home these days and whose recent work has been eagerly anticipated.

Another treat last Saturday was finally holding a copy of Sonnets, a collaborative project Richard Huttel and I undertook over the past year. This beautifully produced chapbook, published by Gary Barwin's serif of nottingham editions, contains 28 sonnets Richard and I wrote, exchanging lines over the Internet. When I was in Albuquerque in October, we presented a selection of them at a reading we gave and we also recorded all 28 sonnets; I hope to have that recording available soon for anyone who's interested.

And, as usual, I accumulated a lot of exciting stuff at the Indie Literary Market. There was plenty more I wanted to buy, but I restrained myself. Here's what I came home with:

David Alexander, Modern Warfare, Anstruther Press
Nelson Ball, A Vole On A Roll, Shapes & Sounds Press
Gary Barwin, My Father, Nazi Ventriloquist: Part One, serif of nottingham editions
Victor Coleman, Kate Van Dusen/Kate Van Dusen, After the Blue Flower (two-sided broadside)
Cough #9, featuring work by Victor Coleman, Emily Izsak, Michael Boughn, and others
Dani Couture, Black Sea Nettle, Anstruther Press
From The Root #3, edited by Whitney French & Melana Roberts
Emily Izsak, Stickup, shuffaloff/Eternal Network
Karl Jirgens, Big Bang Blues, A Rampage Chapbook
Long Story Short: An Anthology of (Mostly) 10-Minute Plays, edited by Rebecca Burton, Playwrights Canada Press

Finally, there was an awful lot of excitement in the room when Nelson Ball, one of Canada's greats, won the $4,000 bpNichol Chapbook Award for Small Waterways, from Cameron Anstee's Apt. 9 Press. In fact, three of the five shortlisted chapbooks this year were published by Cameron. So far as I know, this is Nelson's first award. And it's a fitting one, given the minimalist nature of Nelson's work and given his three-decade friendship with bp.

This Saturday: off to Ottawa for the Ottawa Small Press Fair!

Over and out.


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