Monday, December 2, 2013

Stepping down as Palimpsest's publisher

Palimpsest Press is pleased to announce the appointment of Aimée Parent Dunn to the position of publisher at Palimpsest Press Incorporated. Aimée has been an integral part of Palimpsest for the past year and a half, working in various capacities—including editor, publicist, event coordinator, and publishing assistant. She holds a degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Windsor and is currently acquiring a graduate Certificate in Publishing from Ryerson University. Aimée brings with her an extensive history in editing experience. She is excited to assume her new position and to continue to build on the success that Palimpsest Press has achieved in the literary community. Dawn Kresan will continue to play a vital role in her position as in-house graphic designer and poetry editor. She will assist Aimée as a publishing consultant for the next year. Palimpsest Press will continue to be a regional press located in the Windsor /Essex County district, and will continue its mandate to produce quality poetry in both trade and limited editions and select nonfiction titles that deal with poetics, the writing life, and cultural criticism. Jim Johnstone and Carmine Starnino will remain in their positions as freelance editors for Palimpsest. Sales representation will continue to be provided by the Manda Group of Canada with distribution services through LitDistCo. All 2014-2015 contracts will be honoured. The change over will be effective as of January 2014.

See the listing under "personal change" on Quill blog:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Review of Muse on Canadian Poetries Blog

The original review can be found here:

          "You painted yourself inconsequential
          compared to his larger-than-life women."

Dawn Marie Kresan’s first full-length collection is quietly surprising. Muse is ostensibly about Elizabeth Siddal, Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s wife and, of course, muse. The first half of the book progresses much as one would expect, a deliberate and careful circumnavigation of gender, art and agency:

          “He painted your gaze downcast,
           claimed the right to control
           what your eyes gathered in.”

Kresan spent more than a decade crafting this book and it shows in certain shining moments and images: 

          “Your buttoned-up heart burns
          in this winter white world”

          "The dove
          places a poppy in your hands. Your hair,
          an ecstatic red."

The first half of the book is a competent tracing of a tragic life. Things get really interesting, however, in the third section. Imagining Elizabeth and Sylvia Plath reading obituaries together:

          “Her own last hours, vomiting blood,
           a tube pushed down her thin throat. What art
           out of this?"

Imagine Elizabeth and Marilyn Monroe having a slumber party, comparing drug addictions, Elizabeth and Jane Morris at a museum presented as a short play, Elizabeth and Princess Diana, limericks on tombstones. Kresan takes the time to make more space for Elizabeth in her book than she had in her own writing. And by doing so she makes space for the reader to connect with Elizabeth. Instead of ending the collection by drawing a line between a stillborn child and a stillborn art, Kresan, through Mrs. Beeton’s cooking class, reminds Elizabeth, and us, to “...savour / the pleasure of her creations.”

 —review by Paul Pearson

Monday, November 11, 2013

Review of Muse in The Chronicle Herald

Review of Muse by George Elliott Clarke for The Chronicle Herald 


Musing on muses

"Dawn Marie Kresan’s debut collection of poems, Muse, re-animates the Victorian, redhead siren, Elizabeth Siddal, whose modelling provided the face of the greatest works of Pre-Raphaelite art from the brush, especially of her future husband, Dante Gabriel Rossetti. However, as Kresan’s bio for Siddal stresses, her own “small, artistic output would be forever overshadowed by her role as Pre-Raphaelite model, mistress, and tragic muse.” To correct the repression of Siddal’s creativity, to rescue her from imprisonment in men’s silencing and exploitative portraiture, Kresan imagines Siddal’s responses to the male painters’ uses — and abuses — of her, as well as her responses to the philandering of her lover and, briefly, her spouse, Rossetti [...] Kresan is keen to emphasize female genius. So Siddal (d. 1862) is placed in the company of much later women such as Monroe and the princess, but also writers Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton. In Muse, Kresan addresses Siddal directly: “By what authority do I speak of you — / sordid red metaphor through my colourless hands. / Your dead child and forgotten art used to enrich mine.” An imaginary girl inspires the strongest poem: “She weeps over useless stumps. / What is the point of keeping oneself clean / and sinless if the body will be torn / from itself in either case?” The lines have Margaret Atwood’s visceral concision: “Butchered, the knob-boned shorn-skin twists/ like thick branches blown from a trunk, / bluntly chopped short before the edge of sky.”More, please."

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Cover design for The Mystery Shopping Cart

You can't call a book The Mystery Shopping Cart without putting a shopping cart on the cover. I choice this image because I thought the watery cart with its sense of reflection and curious circumstance was intriguing. For the design I doubled this sense of reflection by making the cart mirror itself in the front and back covers.

The challenge with the text was that the title was so long. I used different sizes and weights to create a balanced look that loosely follows the lines of the trees. I small caped the subtitle and added some style and colour with Anita's name.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Bookfest Windsor

Excited to be reading from Muse at Bookfest Windsor this year. I can't wait to hear Margaret Atwood read. I can remember reading her early poetry in high school and being haunted by the dark imagery. I have to get some of those early collections signed by her!

I read:

Saturday November 2nd, @2pm
Kate Cayley, Dawn Kresan, Christian McPherson, Anna Yin.
Moderator: Dorothy Mahoney. Joy Theater
Bookfest Windsor, The Capitol Theatre

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Cover design for Hard Ass

The title Hard Ass is metaphorical for the emotional strength needed when having an adulterous affair, but is also represents the hard body one gets through weightlifting. Sharon uses weightlifting as a trope to explore her inner vulnerability. So with this in mind, I thought about what to put on her cover. In the end I decided to use an image of a kettle bell that had a rough and somewhat worn down exterior. The shape of the bell is round and gently dips in. If you were to turn the cover sideways it gives the outline of an ass. I found it somewhat amusing that the text rests in the crack of the bell.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Mystery Shopping Cart Book Launch

Wednesday October 16, 2013 @7pm.
Book Launch at Another Story Bookshop
315 Roncesvalles Ave. Toronto, Ontario.

A collection of essays, reviews, personal reflections and interviews that offer a welcoming and insightful tour of contemporary Canadian poetry, as well as cultural studies on topics ranging from eulogies to the experience of travelling in Poland while the country was in mourning for Pope John Paul II. Anita Lahey, former editor of Arc Poetry Magazine, Canada’s most distinguished and lively poetry journal, brings together here her thought-provoking Arc essays with appreciations and reviews of a who’s who of Canadian women poets, including the exquisite formalist Diana Brebner, M. Travis Lane, grand dame P.K. Page, the long-neglected Dorothy Roberts, and Gwendolyn MacEwen, whose dramatic life and death unfortunately persist in overshadowing the legacy of her work. She writes on her Polish-immigrant grandmother and on growing up as the daughter of a cash register repairman, and engages in probing discussions with eminent Canadian authors Stephanie Bolster, John Barton, Joan Thomas and Alice Munro.

Anita Lahey’s second collection of poems, Spinning Side Kick, was released by Véhicule Press in 2011. Her first book, Out to Dry in Cape Breton (2006), was nominated for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry and the Ottawa Book Award. She is a past winner of the Great Blue Heron Poetry Prize and the Ralph Gustafson Prize for Best Poem, and her work has been shortlisted several times for the CBC Literary Award for Poetry. She served as editor of Arc Poetry Magazine from 2004 to 2011, and is also a journalist who has written on a wide range of topics for publications such as The Walrus, Cottage Life, Maisonneuve, Toronto Life, Reader’s Digest, Canadian Geographic and Quill & Quire. Anita grew up in Burlington, Ontario. She a former resident of Ottawa, Montreal and Fredericton, and now lives in Toronto. Her blog, Henrietta & Me: People and other wonders found in books, can be read at

Saturday, October 5, 2013

October readings

Tuesday October 8, 2013 @8pm.
Steven Heighton and Sharon McCartney
Art Bar Reading Series with Steven Heighton
Toronto, ON.

Thursday October 10, 2013 @7pm.
Sharon McCartney, Anita Lahey, Marc DiSaverio,
and featured readers from Detours (including Melanie Janisse and Robert Earl Stewart)
Palimpsest night at the Dora Keogh
Dora Keogh. 141 Danforth Ave.
Toronto, ON.

Friday October 11, 2013 @7pm.
Steven Heighton, Anita Lahey, and Marc DiSaverio
Palimpsest night at Novel Idea
Kingston, ON.

Tuesday October 15, 2013 @8pm.
Marc di Saverio
Art Bar Reading Series
Toronto, ON.

Wednesday October 30th, 2013
Anita Lahey
Pivot readings at the Press Club
Toronto, ON.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Living Seaweed

I love these little creatures. The leafy sea dragon blends well with its surroundings, making predation difficult. Now you see me, now you don't. 

A type of pipe fish, the females create the eggs which are then protected and laid by the males. Incredible!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Vancouver Aquarium

Loved the "Jellies" exhibit at the Vancouver Aquarium.

Selfie with jelly!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Readings in BC

Tuesday September 24th @7pm
Wordstorm Reading Series
Features are Caroline Adderson, Dawn Kresan and Pearl Luke
Demeter's Coffee Vault. 499 Wallace St. Nanaimo, BC.

Thursday September 26th @ 7pm
Pandora's Collective and Word Vancouver Presents
Features: Celeste Snowber, Carl Leggo, Dawn Kresan
The Cottage Bistro. 4468 Main Street Vancouver, BC.
Hosts Bonnie Nish and Amanda Wardrop

Friday September 27th @7:30
Planet Earth Poetry Reading Series
Features, Dawn Marie Kresan and Klipschutz
The Moka House, #103-1633 Hillside Avenue, Victoria, B.C.


Friday, September 6, 2013

Sanatorium Songs Book Launch

Iterative, inventive, and frenetic, the poems in Marc di Saverio's Sanatorium Songs bridge the rift between what's seen and what's experienced by the mentally ill. It's with altruism and joy that di Saverio's work transforms the rules of civic engagement while he probes manifold states of consciousness. At times harrowing, but always human, Sanatorium Songs is a fully realized poetic debut.
Thursday Sept 19th, 2013 @7pm.
Book launch for Sanatorium Songs
Epic Books. 226 Locke Street South
Hamilton, ON.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Sharon McCartney's "Deadlift"


Lift that dead weight, my sister’s suffering,
the abominable pain of a teenager’s cancer,
how she longed to die, lobbing obsolete toys
at the obsidian-flowered bedroom walls, her
knobby fists on the chic white shag, and me,
ten years her junior, five or six, witnessing
the recurrent melees, squad cars in the driveway,
sedative syringes, a night ambulance strobing
the red windows. Our stone-faced mother
so calm under her beehive. An obligatory facade.
Lift my father sobbing beside the green Chevy,
not so much raising the plates as pushing the
floor away, slowly, patiently, shoulders slung
back, chest up. The pity, my mother’s burden,
a grief so poisonous it had to remain hidden.
How hard it is even now to forgive my sister.
Once called the “health lift,” hitting the glutes,
hamstrings, quads and core. Lock out tight
and straight at the top, loopy-eyed, vertiginous,
every cell in your body about to pop and
then drop the bar, a cold cadaver clattering.

From Hard Ass (Palimpsest Press 2013)
Sharon McCartney
ISBN: 978-1-926794-13-6

Monday, August 19, 2013

Steven Heighton's poem "Invention"


Tell me the word, mother, if you know now,
The word known to all men.

Because she had watched seedlings grow
too often through double-panes of her storm

because pineneedles, honed by sunlight,
brushed the screen softly but
would not penetrate its mesh

she invented a garden
indoors, under a bay window,
filling it with herbs.

              Still, it was the word
for each plant she thought of first
on waking: tarragon,
ivy and lavender, sorrel, coriander,
rue.  The double names recited themselves
in her halfsleep: nightshade,
rattlegrass and goldenrod,
heart’s ease.
           And when she walked up the sunpaved hall
to her garden,
the lambent blossoms,
the slight wavering stalks that might have belonged
in a bird’s delicate skeleton

filled the room with a forest
of syllables, green
and speechless as a bird’s call—

tangible as first metaphor:


From Stalin's Carnival (Palimpsest Press 2013)
ISBN: 978-1-926794-14-3

Saturday, August 10, 2013

August readings in Nova Scotia

Friday August 30 @7pm
Sharon McCartney, Darryl Whetter, Carole Langille and Zach Wells
Writers Federation of Nova Scotia
1113 Marginal Road
Halifax, NS

Saturday August 31st at 6pm
Sharon McCartney, Carole Langille, Darryl Whetter, and Rachel Lebowitz
Khyber Centre for the Arts, 1588 Barrington Street
Halifax, NS

Monday, July 1, 2013

Detours (poets and editors)

Detours: an anthology of poets from Windsor & Essex County showcases the eclecticism that characterizes the region: the traditional and experimental, the academy and community, the established and emergent, the internationally renowned and promising apprentice. It excavates a rich literary heritage, paying tribute to such luminaries as Bronwen Wallace, Di Brandt, Joyce Carol Oates, Marty Gervais, and Phil Hall, while highlighting work by emerging poets such as Alex Gayowsky, Dani Couture, Darryl Whetter, Kate Hargreaves, and Robert Earl Stewart.

Susan Holbrook and I edited the anthology and wanted to have readings across Windsor and Essex County in both bookstores and art galleries. Here is one of my favorite pics from our local tour. It is a selfie from my camera at the Mudpuppy Gallery in Amherstburg: Susan, myself, Dani, Alex, Kate, and Robert.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Muse Readings - part 2

Tuesday June 25th, 2013 @8pm.
Art Bar reading series. Toronto, ON.

Wednesday June 26th, 2013 @7pm.
Tightrope's Spring Book Thing. Toronto, ON.

Sat June 29th, 2013 @7pm
Amherstburg hometown launch of Dawn Kresan’s Muse

with special guest readings from Detours

Mudpuppy Gallery
. Amherstburg, ON.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Stalin's Carnival

 Palimpsest Press is proud to release Steven Heighton's STALIN’S CARNIVAL

In Stalin’s Carnival, Heighton explores the transformation of Josef Stalin from romantic and political poet to notorious dictator with chilling results. In this finely-crafted collection, the resilient lyrical voice is presented as a means of survival in a time of violence. Heighton recreates a world and a time that feels as vital and immediate to us today as it was over a century ago. Winner of the Gerald Lampert Award in 1990, this reissue has been edited by Heighton and includes a foreword by Ken Babstock.

Steven Heighton has been described by Al Purdy as “one of the best writers of his generation, maybe the best.” His poetry books include Patient Frame, The Address Book, The Ecstasy of Skeptics, and Foreign Ghosts. His work has been internationally anthologized, translated into nine languages, and nominated for the Governor General’s Award, the Trillium Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Journey Prize, and Britain’s W.H. Smith Award. He has received the Air Canada Prize, the Gerald Lampert Award, Gold Medals for fiction and for poetry in the National Magazine Awards, and the Petra Kenney Prize. Heighton has taught fiction and poetry at the May Studios in Banff and the Booming Ground workshop at UBC, and has been writer in residence at Concordia University and Massey College at the University of Toronto.


“A collection of very powerful poems”
     —Irving Layton

“Heighton introduced a new basis into Canadian poetry: an approach to traditional formal rigour that was entirely original and personal. It became the seed of what in the new Canadian poetry is most truly experimental and restlessly seeking—a creative fusion of perception, emotion, and form.”
     —A. F. Moritz

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Muse Readings - part 1

Thursday June 6th, 2013
Live words reading series.
Black Swan Tavern. 154 Danforth Ave. Toronto, ON.

Friday June 7th, 2013 @7pm
Dawn Kresan with Steven Heighton, Laura Lush, Sharon McCartney, and Sandra Kasturi.
Hosted by Jim Johnstone.

Dora Keogh. 141 Danforth Ave.
Toronto, ON.

Tuesday June 11th, 2013.
Tree reading series.
143-2166 Loyola Ave. Ottawa, ON.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Summer Poetry Bash

Palimpsest Press and Tightrope Books present poetry by Steven Heighton, Laura Lush, John Wall Barger, Dawn Marie Kresan, and Sandra Kasturi. Friday June 7th at The Dora at 7pm. Toronto, ON.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

June readings

Monday June 3, 2013 @7:30pm.
Laura Lush at Rowers Club.
Victory Café. 581 Markham St.
Toronto, ON.

Friday June 7th @ 7pm.
John Wall Barger, Steven Heighton, Laura Lush, Dawn Kresan, and Sandra Kasturi.
Hosted by Jim Johnstone.
Dora Keogh. 141 Danforth Ave.
Toronto, ON.

Friday June 7, 2013
Planet Earth Poetry
Ariel Gordon & Tanis MacDonald
The Moka House. 103-1633 Hillside Avenue.
Victoria, B.C.

Saturday June 8, 2013
Ariel Gordon, Anna Swanson & Bren Simmers
People's Co-op Books. 1391 Commercial Drive.
Vancouver, B.C.

Saturday June 8th
Souster Award Ceremony
John Wall Barger reads from his Souster nominated title, Hummingbird
Q-Space. Toronto, ON.

Monday June 10, 2013
Ariel Gordon, dee Hobsbawn-Smith, Andrea Ledding & Jeanette Lynes
City Perks. 801 7th Ave North.
Saskatoon, Saskatoon.

Thursday June 13th at 6pm.
John Wall Barger, Darryl Whetter, Alice Burdick, Allison Smith
The Company House, 2202 Gottingen St.
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Sunday June 16th @ 3pm
John Wall Barger, Darryl Whetter, Alice Burdick, Allison Smith
Biscuit eater Café and Books. 16 Orchard St.
Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia

Saturday June 29th @7pm
Detours Anthology reading
Mudpuppy Gallery
Amherstburg, ON.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Launch of Muse

My friend Dan Wells and myself at the launch of Muse at Biblioasis. His introduction was sweet :)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Publishing Grief

The launch for my first poetry collection is only a week away. I thought I would be overcome with joy; and yet, I have conflicted feelings, in no small part due to the fact that I’ve lived with this manuscript for over a decade. Started in 2000, this book has been a long process with numerous edits and versions. With the pub date imminent, I thought I’d feel relief, but instead I’ve oscillated between panic and anxiety. It got me thinking about the publishing process and how emotionally invested authors become. As a publisher, I have always been on the other side, bolstering newbie poets. But despite my inside knowledge of publishing, I still feel… vulnerable. I know that the majority of people could care less that I wrote a poetry book, and that the people who do attend my book launch are probably friends and relatives that support me—and yet the rational part of my brain has been overwritten by panic. I’ve always done my own thing and never much worried about what others thought, and I’ve walked into enough glass doors, rolled down stairs, and in my clumsy way made a fool out of myself—that if I ever was easily embarrassed, I quickly got over it. So if I am not worried about judgment and looking like an idiot—then why am I so apprehensive? It is true that I don’t want to publicly read, but that has more to do with my anxiety over public places—the crowds and noise. But I am fairly confident about the work, right? But that is just it. And then I realize what the feeling is that I can’t quite place—loss. I don’t want it to be over. A printed book is final. No changing it now. Done as done can be. For thirteen years I wrote, edited, loved, fought with, and re-wrote this book. And now that creative endeavor has come to an end. With that in mind I have written the (mostly tongue in cheek) five stages of publishing grief:

DENIAL: This first stage allows authors to survive the loss of a “working” manuscript. The fact that we can no longer edit the manuscript is almost unbearable. We feel that it isn’t finished yet, although there will probably never be a time when it does feel ready. But we tell ourselves that we must let go—usually this happens when the publisher rips it from our hands.

ANGER: … but I still need to do more research… but if I had just a little more time I could read that book on 19th century portraiture.

BARGAINING: … if you give me another month, I’ll trim it by eight pages.

DEPRESSION: … Oh, why bother, no one cares about a woman who lived a century ago… no one really cares about poetry anyway.

ACCEPTANCE: Boxes arrives on the author’s doorstep and inside are books. Excitement re-energizes. In this final stage authors begin to re-asses their goals and begin anew. The thought of a new project seems distantly appealing.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Sharon McCartney's book launch

Using weightlifting as a metaphor to explore the poet’s inner world and her romantic attachments, McCartney both reinforces and undermines the transcendence of love.

So isn't it fitting that she should launch her poetry collection
at a Crossfit?

Saturday May 25th Launch @4pm.
Crossfit Fredericton
659 Queen Street (behind Lord Beaverbrook Hotel)
Fredericton, New Brunswick

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tightrope Books and Biblioasis launch Muse

I will be launching Muse Tuesday May 28th at 7pm at Biblioasis bookstore. All are welcome, unless you heckle—then please stay home.

Muse explores the concepts of influence, creativity, and gender by evoking the tragic figure of Elizabeth Siddal. As a model, then pupil, she married the Pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and although an artist and poet in her own right, Siddal is best known as a Victorian muse and the inspiration for her husband’s paintings. In sensual and evocative language, Kresan holds nothing back, shifting voices and perspectives, and encompassing a wide range of emotions—from Siddal’s loss and heartbreak over her stillborn daughter to the poet’s lighthearted reproach of Hunt’s depiction of The Lady of Shalott. Compelling and inventive, Muse is a welcome debut.

“Kresan turns Robert Graves’ well-known words—“Woman is muse or she is nothing”—inside out and upside down. If Siddal has been seen as a Victorian supermodel, all surface and beauty, then Kresan complicates the perceptions, painting over pre-conceived notions, and refocusing attentions... [she] takes us on delightfully imaginative flights of fancy where her subject interacts with Marilyn Monroe, Sylvia Plath, Robert Graves and even the author herself.” —Shawna Lemay

“In her ambitious debut, Dawn Kresan turns a feminist legend inside out with ventriloquizing poems that voice Elizabeth Siddal’s anxieties and griefs so fiercely she seems to be writing for her own life.”  —Carmine Starnino

“An absolute delight to lovers of ekphrasis, the pre-Raphaelites, and those interested in reclaiming the historical lives of often self-doubting, self-sacrificing and side-lined women. These voluptuous poems hum with invention, wit, and spot-on imagery, announcing the arrival of an accomplished poet.” —Ruth Roach Pierson

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Detour to Kingsville

rEvolution gallery + studio presents
a reading from Detours: An Anthology of Poets from Windsor & Essex County

Readers include: Alex Gayowksy, Marty Gervais, Mary Ann Mulhern,
Stephen Pender, Robert Earl Stewart

THURSDAY MAY 16th, 7pm
5B Main Street East.
Kingsville, ON.
Tel: 519-800-6923

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Reading at the Windsor Public Library

Celebrate two anthologies celebrating local writers and themes. April 30th at the Windsor Central Public Library at 7pm.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Pics from the Detours launch

Thanks to photographers Aimee Parent and Robert Earl Stewart.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Raymond Souster Award

Congratulations to John Wall Barger!

"The League of Canadian Poets (LCP) is pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2013 Raymond Souster, Pat Lowther and Gerald Lampert Memorial Awards. Congratulations to the authors for their fine submissions and many thanks to the jurors for their hard work on this year’s awards."

Winners of these awards will be announced during a special ceremony at the annual LCP Poetry Fest and Conference to be held at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel in downtown Toronto on June 8, 2013.

Raymond Souster Award:
The Raymond Souster Award is given for a book of poetry by a League of Canadian Poets member published in the preceding year. The award honours the late Raymond Souster, an early founder of the League of Canadian Poets. The award carries a $1,000 prize.

Hummingbird by John Wall Barger (Palimpsest Press)
the Flicker tree: Okanagan Poems by Nancy Holmes (Ronsdale Press)
Wayworn Wooden Floors by Mark Lavorato (The Porcupine’s Quill)
Between Dusk and Night by Emily McGiffin (Brick Books)
The New Measures by A.F. Moritz (House of Anansi Press Inc.)
no ordinary place by Pamela Porter (Ronsdale Press)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

April Readings

Thursday, April 4, 2013 @7:00 p.m.
Kate Briad with Sandy Shreve and Carole Glasser Langille.
People's Co-Op Bookstore.
1391 Commercial Drive
Vancouver, BC.

Saturday, April 6, 2013 @ 1pm.
Kate Braid with Sandy Shreve and Carole Glasser Langille
Talisman Books & Gallery, Driftwood Centre. 
Pender Island, BC.

Wednesday April 17th @7pm
Book Launch of Detours Anthology
Biblioasis. 1520 Wyandotte St. East.
Windsor, ON.

Saturday April 20, 2013
Gail Sidonie Sobat at the Calgary Young Writers' Conference
Calgary, AB

Tuesday April 30th @7pm
Detours readings with Whisky Sour City (Black Moss Press)
Hosted by Marty Gervais
Windsor Public Library. 850 Ouellette Ave.
Windsor, ON.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Detours anthology readings

The Detours anthology of Windsor and Essex Country poets will be launched at Biblioasis April 17th at 7pm. There will be several readings from the anthology and lots of festivities. Come out and support our local writers. Books will be available for purchase.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

March readings

Friday, March 8, 2013 @7:00 p.m.
Alice MacKay Room, Lower Level, Central Library
350 West Georgia Street. Vancouver, BC.
“Inhabiting Women’s Spaces: Perspectives from Poetry, Memoir, Biography and History.”
A reading and discussion with Kate Braid and Sandra Djwa, Marilyn Bowering and Kathy Mezei. Moderated by Betsy Warland.

Monday, March 18, 2013 @ 5pm.
Kate Braid with Boston area carpenter poets
James Gate Pub and Restaurant
5 McBride Street, Jamaica Plain.
Boston, Mass. USA

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 @ 7pm.
Reading by Kate Braid.
Hosted by Boston Poet Laureate Sam Cornish
Boston Central Library, 700 Boylston Street
Boston, Mass. USA

Saturday March 23, 2013 @4pm
Word Ruckus Reading Series
Ariel Gordon, Angie Abdou, Annharte, Arlene Bowman, Kathleen Brown, Hannah Calder, Mercedes Eng, Aaron Giovannone, Claire Lacey, Dorothy Lusk, Muriel Marjorie, Cecily Nicholson, Al Rempel, and Laisha Rosnau
Laurel Packinghouse. 1304 Ellis Street
Kelowna, B.C.

Monday, March 25, 2013 @ 7:00 p.m.
Wood and Words
Kate Braid with John Terpstra
Bryan Prince Bookstore
1060 King Street West. Hamilton, ON.

Monday March 25, 2013 @7:30pm.
Vertigo Voices Reading Series
Ariel Gordon and Gillian Wigmore
Gallery Vertigo. 3001 - 31st Street (upstairs)
Vernon, B.C.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 @ 8pm.
Art Bar Poetry Series
Kate Braid, Heron Jones, and Nyla Matuk
Q Space, 382 College St. West
(east of Bathurst on the north side of College)

382 College St. West. Toronto, ON.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Detours Anthology Launch

Detours: an anthology of poets from Windsor & Essex County showcases the eclecticism that characterizes the region: the traditional and experimental, the academy and community, the established and emergent, the internationally renowned and promising apprentice. It excavates a rich literary heritage, paying tribute to such luminaries as Bronwen Wallace, Di Brandt, Joyce Carol Oates, Marty Gervais, and Phil Hall, while highlighting work by emerging poets such as Alex Gayowsky, Dani Couture, Darryl Whetter, Kate Hargreaves, and Robert Earl Stewart.

The launch will be held April 17th, at 7pm at Biblioasis (1520 Wyandotte St. East in Windsor). The readers will soon be announced.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Old Book Scent

A new scent from Geza Schoen and Gerhard Steidl, with packaging by Karl Lagerfeld, is called "Paper Passion." And yes, it is supposed to smell like old books. Meaning — not the cheap mass-produced books of our generation, but the beautifully textured, leather bound, and slightly musty books of old. Although a name like "Paper Passion" sounds rather fetishistic, there is science behind loving the scent.

"Lignin, the stuff that prevents all trees from adopting the weeping habit, is a polymer made up of units that are closely related to vanillin. When made into paper and stored for years, it breaks down and smells good. Which is how divine providence has arranged for secondhand bookstores to smell like good quality vanilla absolute, subliminally stoking a hunger for knowledge in all of us."
           —From Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez’s Perfumes: the guide

So, come on everyone, spritz a little on yourself and smell like a library. Or better yet, spray a little on your e-reader and inhale the deceit deeply.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Shawna Lemay on writing...

Shawna Lemay was recently on the Lemon Hound blog talking about her experience writing ekphrastic poetry. Here is a snippet:

"My approach is in spirals, I walk around in my mind, around the painting. I try to see the supports, the stretcher and the nails, the frame might be important. It might not be. The tooth of the canvas is of particular interest of course.

Ecstatic, elastic, there is often a fragrance that must be absorbed.

I think about the word, ekphrastic. A cough. A quiver, a thrum. A clearing of the throat. I think about tomato soup being poured whole out of a can, adding milk to it. That glory.

I think about ekphrasis as a rhetorical device, how I’m too old for rhetorical devices, and how I’m afraid of heights. And I won’t even get into the competition aspect of the procedure. More than anything else I crave an inner peace and a solitude of the soul. Sometimes what I really want to write about is exhaustion and shyness but this might make matters not worse exactly, but I think it would make me less sympathetic to the spectrum of ineluctable encounters with suburbanites."

Read the entire blog entry at

Friday, February 15, 2013

CM review of Not With a Bang

Canadian Materials February 15, 2013

"Brimming with teenage angst and resentment, Jan is a 17-year-old kid in trouble with the law. Forced to serve community service hours at a senior's centre after pleading guilty to a marijuana possession offense, Jan finds himself paired with a spirited old man, Al. Initially at odds, the two characters become friends. As their relationship develops, Jan adopts Al as a mentor and father figure. Jan begins to envision myriad of possibilities through Al's guidance, expanding his scope into the world around him. 

Readers meet Jan, an only child and product of divorce, living with his mother in Ontario. He has grown distant and disconnected from his mother, from literature, from writing and ideas. His father, remarried, keeps limited and intermittent involvement with Jan. This loss of connection is at the forefront of Jan's mind and is attributed to his careless behaviour. 

From the moment he meets Al, Jan begins to re-evaluate his reckless decisions, falls in love again with books, writing, and a young girl. The driving force of this novel is the relationship between Al and Jan. Old and young. Contentment and struggle. And, at the heart, is a love for literature. 

Gail Sidonie Sobat evokes a sense of teenage angst rife within today's society and so prevalent in the source material: T.S. Eliot's The Hollow Man. This novel is riddled with a variety of classic literature infused in such a playfully innovative format. Sobat's framing device of Jan's bad dreams is a captivating mélange of past and present events. The use of powerful and active verbs, concise and poetic pacing of prose, allows the words do the heavy lifting, keeping the reader engaged."


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Alberta Readers' Choice Awards

Since October 31st of 2012, the Alberta Readers’ Choice Award team has been delighted to receive stellar work from Alberta authors published in that year. We are thrilled that Gail Sidonie Sobat's novel, Not With a Bang made the longlist of ten finalists.

2013 Alberta Readers' Choice Long-List can be found at:

Sunday, February 3, 2013

On Canadian Poetries blog

Three of my poems from my upcoming collection, Muse (Tightrope 2013), were featured on Canadian Poetries.

The link:

One of the poems is found below.

Elizabeth Responds to Christina’s Goblin Market

Christina, let me tell you plainly
goblin men don’t hide in dusty alleyways
selling orchard fruits, sun-kissed and forbidden.
They are the men you know and love. Artists
with a lustful curiosity for lower class girls,
their interest beyond the mere play of light
on bare shoulders. They do not offer
plum peaches and rare pears, but gifts
of furs, dresses of magenta silk,
crowns of profuse delicate buds.

They offer beauty and velvet textures never before felt,
paints of swirling sapphires, glittering emeralds
and ambers. What gray-stone girl could say no
to such intense colour?
You think sisterly love saves all, but what do you know,
sitting with your nuns? You, jilted by a false suitor,
thinking yourself above other women, alone
with your god. Reserved and pious, a dried rose
shut in the pages of a book.
Your brother saved me from austerity. Brought me
into his world of colour, taught me the beauty
of pure pigment, the vibrancy of blue.
Now he is leaving. Goes dancing with other women,
brings them to his studio to paint their faces,
adoring him. I no longer inspire him, he no longer
offers me colour. Do you feel
any compassion for me, sister?
You, who reject me as your brother’s wife,
dismiss me as a butcher’s daughter.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Gunmetal Blue Review

The Canadian Medical Association Journal did a review of Shane Neilson's memoir, Gunmetal Blue. Kind of fun to have his book reviewed in a medical journal. I like that the review mentions the cover design! The entire review can be found in the November issue (184. 16) 2012. #expanding the canlit poetry audience

“... initially I overlooked the graphic design on the cover of Shane Neilson’s book, Gunmetal Blue: A Memoir. Then I read his opening essay, “Uncle Miltie and the locked ward.” It’s a harrowing account of his hospitalization for a suicidal psychosis. The essay opened my eyes to the sepia-coloured specimens of brain and heart positioned like targets in the twin barrels of a shotgun — a visual compliment to poet Milton Acorn’s The Brain’s The Target. The cover’s blue-black wash becomes the fathomless perimeter of a disordered mind in a hospital room: “The hospital was gunmetal blue: madhouses are best stark.”

“I am a doctor, and I write poems,” states Neilson on the final page of the book. That sounds more straightforward than it is. The practical demands of a life in medicine and the aesthetic realities of being a writer are not easily reconciled. Add to the work of poet and doctor the preoccupations of father, son, and husband, and a man with a history of life-threatening mental illness, and it gets even more complicated. He explains in the essay, “The Practice of Poetry”: “I try to make sense of the world, of myself and others, and the major tool I use is poetry.” ... He describes the traps and disappointments — and rewards — inherent in writing. Along the way he draws inspiration and bolsters his observations and arguments with references to the work of many other writers.”

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

My interests are varied

A picture of the back seat of my car: ballroom dance shoes and a hacksaw.