Frontenac House' DEKTET 2010, 10 Poetry Books Publishing in April 2010


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April 2010, marks the 10th anniversary of the Quartet poetry series. To celebrate, Frontenac House will simultaneously publish 10 poetry books – Dektet 2010. The titles have been chosen using a blind selection process by a jury of leading Canadian writers: bill bissett, George Elliot Clarke, and Alice Major. The jurors and publishers were impressed by both the number and quality of the submissions.

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Frontenac House' DEKTET 2010, 10 Poetry Books Publishing in April 2010

  1. 1. Dektet 2010
  2. 2. Dektet 2010 launches Dektet 2010 EDMONTON A Celebration of Canadian Poetry April 27, 7 pm Stanley A. Milner Library Theatre #7 Sir Winston Churchill Square The year 2010 marks the 10th anniversary of Frontenac House and the Quartet poetry series. An extension of the Edmonton Poetry To celebrate, Frontenac will simultaneously publish 10 poetry books in April– Dektet 2010. Festival All 10 Dektet poets will be at the event. Titles were chosen by a jury of leading Canadian poets: bill bissett, George Elliot Clarke, and Alice Major using a blind selection process. Jury members did not know the identity of CALGARY persons submitting manuscripts. April 29, 7 pm Frontenac House is a dynamic Calgary-based literary press that publishes bold new work. John Dutton Theatre Primarily a poetry house, Frontenac is now also publishing other literary genres including Macleod Trail Western Canadian history, political satire and fine art books. The closing event of the Calgary International Spoken Word Festival Frontenac House was launched in 2000 and has published 62 books, 52 of them poetry titles. All 10 Dektet poets will be at the event. Frontenac House has published poetry which has won or been shortlisted for nearly every major poetry prize in the country. TORONTO “Calgary’s Frontenac House has made an impressive impact as one of Canada’s publishers September, date tba to watch. They’ve done it with a smart selection of good writing and energetic promotion. All 10 Dektet poets will be at the event. Their increasingly effective book design hasn’t hurt either.” – Harry Vandervlist, Fast In May, the Dektet poets will be at Forward Weekly events in their home communities across Canada
  3. 3. Attenuations of Force Lori Cayer Winnipeg, MB Children of Ararat Keith Garebian Mississauga, ON Confessions of an Empty Purse S. McDonald Toronto, ON Dektet 2010 Ex Nihilo Adebe D. A. Toronto, ON Fallacies of Motion William Nichols Edmonton, AB Falling Blues Jannie Edwards Edmonton, AB Learning to Count Douglas Burnet Smith Antigonish, NS [sic] ] Nikki Reimer Vancouver, BC Standoff Terrain Jocko Benoit Calgary, AB White Shirt Laurie MacFayden Edmonton, AB A big thank you to Sheri D Wilson and the Calgary International Spoken Word Festival for including Sheri-D Dektet 2010 in their wonderful array of events. Thanks also to Alice Major and the Edmonton Poetry festival for allowing Dektet 2010 to be an honorary extension of the festival presentations. extension Frontenac House is grateful to the Alberta Creative Development Initiative for their support in publicising and marketing Dektet 2010. We gratefully acknowledge the support of Canada Council acknowledge for the Arts and of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts for our publishing program.
  4. 4. Attenuations of Force “tremor and aftershock … an unzipping of language” This collection is framed by two powerful elegies – one, unexpectedly, for a dead pigeon and the other for a deeply loved human being. The work is informed throughout by an understanding of science and biology, the physical grounding of life transformed into poem. These lyrics are not just poems; they are exemplary. Language is lifted up, then returned to us as harmonized image and music. —Jury, Dektet 2010 Lori Cayer’s poetry soars and dives among tempests of desire, death, love and loss, pulling readers/listeners into the vortex of the storm and leaving us breathless in its aftermath. Her poems are merciless in their hunt for prey, from domestic minutia to the fluid flow of maelstroms. A father’s knife “so thin it hums in the hand.” A tornado pulling a ponytail into “whirligig, exclamation point, drill bit, blender. Attenuations of Force is tremor and aftershock, By Lori Cayer a howl into the wind, an unzipping of language. —Mari-Lou Rowley 978-1-897181-31-7 Attenuations of Force is a collection that commands our attention. Unnerving and charming in $15.95 turns and at all points, linguistically supple, Cayer’s fierce, unflinching poems of selves made and unmade, of postmodern lusts and blind faith, will torque your brain around. Whether Cayer is mapping a weather that "drums your body apart" or riffing off a neo-gothic Jeff Goldblum morphing into a fly, her poetic altered states and stated alterations will dazzle you. No question, Cayer means business." —Jeanette Lynes
  5. 5. Mechanistic Insights from Wall Compositions I enclose a memory of trees and clear moon, provoked by wind. The film of it played out on my blue cinderblock wall. Up past bedtime I pointed here and there with a ruler, L O R I C A Y E R ’ S first book Stealing shadow pine shapes stabbing, sounds from outside, Mercury (The Muses’ Company) won outerwear flung, an ashtray thrown, the Eileen McTavish Sykes Award and top of an arm grabbed too hard. I pretended I was a teacher, was a finalist for the McNally Robinson the skirling language of dendrites, the lesson. Book of the Year Award. She is a past Now, it’s important to know the names of trees, purchased winner of the John Hirsch Award for with house, Subgenus Strobus: white or soft pines, Most Promising Manitoba Writer. Lori the number of years it’s taken them to obstruct my point is the co-founder of the Aqua Books of view so completely, and in this way I may be more, Lansdowne Prize for Poetry/prix or less, inclined to kill them. The white space shows Lansdowne de poésie. my adaptive potential has improved only slightly from nil. I had written: wind is the interaction of sleep with memory and other body rhythms. Attenuations of force. When it’s bad I wear earplugs to bed. But still. The whistling. The rapping. The breaking through. Waking to disorderly bulletins hindered at the door. I used to blame the trees, but I know more about biology now. About the meeting of lamentable forces, the force of lamentable meetings. The decisions we take, bent swiftly, out of the air.
  6. 6. Children of Ararat “passionate, relentless and incandescent” Children of Ararat addresses the legacy of the Armenian genocide. A son shaped by his father’s experience serves as witness to the aftershocks of brutality. This poet is unafraid to face the horror that is too often the result of politics and too much the truth of history. —Jury, Dektet 2010 If you want to feel how deeply a genocidal history can impact the imagination, read these brave, passionate, relentless and incandescent poems by Keith Garebian. —Peter Balakian Rage, for it to work on the page, requires a control so stern it seems like ease of phrase; historical pain made personal cannot be made convincing without such control and craft as is found in these poems by Keith Garebian. —Barry Callaghan By Keith Garebian In Children of Ararat, Keith Garebian, relentlessly and with an optic heart, pursues the suffering of the victims, exposes historical hypocrisies, and pleads with the world to 978-1-897181-32-4 acknowledge the truth about that dark chapter in the lives of his people. The Armenian $15.95 genocide has certainly stung Garebian into poetry. These poems are a splendid memorial which will continue to haunt the reader long after he has put them aside. —Henry Beissel If we put our ears to the ground, we will hear “death by wholesale subtraction,” we will hear the story of shoes lost and the sounds of shoes boiling. We will hear the powerful passionate voice of Keith Garebian who will not be silenced and whose tongue “licks the caves where the dead lie in hibernation.” —Joy Kogawa
  7. 7. This Tongue Tries The stars stay awake all night, turning, turning in their bruised light. Mothers speak to me in dreams, telling of swarms of mayhem. Galaxies of women float in a sea of dreams— half are really nightmares. No relief from the body or reconstruction of the mind. More than a century of long silence. Imagine this silence as the burning of books, a library sending signals of smoke. K E I T H G A R E B I A N is a widely Yet a few words in an age of combustion are traced by my hand against the swagger of flame. published, award-winning freelance literary and theatre critic, This tongue tries a reparation of speech biographer, and poet. Among his beyond the reliquary ashes of books. many awards are the Canadian It licks the caves where the dead Authors Association (Niagara lie in their long hibernation. Branch) Poetry Award (2009), the How offensive my words seem, powerless Mississauga Arts Award (2000 and against the eye’s obscenities. 2008), a Dan Sullivan Memorial And how this concrete, unforgiving world, now and then, Poetry Award (2006), and the writhes, gripped in the thick jaws of monsters Lakeshore Arts & Scarborough Arts Council Award for Poetry (2003). This is his fourth book of poetry.
  8. 8. Confessions of an Empty Purse “the interstices of gender, perception and image” confessions of an empty purse is a poetic transmemoir of passion and fear, laughter, nightmares and dysphoria, preservation, degradation, dreams and pride … and it really happened. I was – am – there. —S. McDonald In these street-wandering confessions, McDonald explores the interstices of gender, perception, and image, floating freely between the depths of narrative and the butterfly brevity of poetry. Here is a text where bodies are mapped onto memories, in turn mapped back onto bodies, a palimpsestic circulation that sometimes storytells, sometimes startles, and always spills its truth, a purse overturned on a page.—Ashok Mathur By S. McDonald A book of poetry that reads compulsively like a novel – the anguished and ultimately courageous story of an individual caught between genders. The narrator is caught in the 978-1-897181-33-1 funhouse mirror of movies and pop culture, between dreams and self-loathing. These poems $15.95 must be read in tandem with 1960s/70s sexual liberation classics: Jacqueline Susann’s Valley of the Dolls (1966), a novel never-old; and Rosemary Daniell’s Sexual Tour of the Deep South (1974), a set of “happening” poems.—Jury, Dektet 2010
  9. 9. From Confessions of an Empty Purse Yeah, so, I have the soul and temperament of Miss Joan Crawford inside me; deep inside me all ankle strapped pumped and red slashed lips and major coke bottle thick eyebrows saying: ah, shut up! Me, a moviestar and MGM and the whole world loves me! I have the body and face of Mr. Broderick Crawford outside me and all the King’s Men with all the scalpels and silicone in the world can never, ever change that and fuck off; no they can’t. I lumber down Church Street and try not to trip on the hem of my invisible black velvet gown and tell myself again and again stop all this bullshit right now; do what I’m telling ya! I know what it’s like to S . M C D O N A L D was born, raised and really want to die and to continues to live in Toronto. Ze grew up in drink, take all the pills pre-gentrification Cabbagetown and and slash your wrists over Regent Park. Ze has performed zir and over and in the midst alternative spoken word performance you have this sudden flash pieces at various venues including Buddies that you’re really doing it in Bad Times Theatre’s annual Rhubarb! and you’re really going to Festival. Ze is the love child of Christine die this time and then something Jorgensen & John Rechy & the spiritual happens godchild of Jacqueline Susann. and that something is that either you die or you don’t. i didn’t. this time.
  10. 10. ex nihilo “bold, beautiful, and timely” These lyrics dare to “bring da noise” – not only the funk and blues of race snafus, but also the exquisite soul sound of intellectual analysis, harmonizing rhythmic lines and gritty insights. They come from a woman who knows the intricate gradations connecting black skin to white, pop culture to academia, and links sophisticated analysis with the verve and drive of performance poetry. —Dektet Jury Ex Nihilo troubles the waters of identity, opens the borders of literary precedence and official “canon” and is straight from the hip. It is fierce, streetwise poetry, with “a beauty of incongruence.” —Anne Waldman The poems delight in the play of line against idea in a vexed terrain of politics and feeling; history and the contemporary search here for new images. A poet of great promise. —Leslie By Adebe D. A. Sanders At once bristling and lyrical, intimate and political, Adebe’s persona in this courageous debut 1-897181-34-8 collection of poems vacillates between seemingly irreconcilable poses: artist and academic, $15.95 activist and sensualist, innovator and traditionalist. As she confesses in the poem “Colour Lessons”, she’d like to be everything. Herein the reader will discover the richness of mixed legacies, competing voices, and the joys and burdens that come with them. — Priscila Uppal Ex Nihilo is a bold, beautiful, and timely collection of poetry. Deeply imbued with a rhythm as deep as Langston’s rivers, Adebe D.A. choreographs her words to dance on and off the page— her canvas. A remarkable remix of language and history, Ex Nihilo moves us to places we have not yet considered. A call to both thought and action, Adebe confronts and celebrates her polychromatism. She is a major voice of a new generation. —M.K. Asante, Jr.
  11. 11. English Literature Why, Because chiaroscuro is where I belong. That and I was once Pushkin’s wife. O, my darling octoroon your Russia is doing alive and well, but your Ethiopia is still squinting into the sun, blind and full of light trying to find empire in uptown Harlem A D E B E D . A . is a writer whose but all we get is words travel between Toronto and New York City. She recently gentrification petrification talk completed her MA at York about holy war, race war, war on war University, where she also served as while the Church of Nazareth on 144th stands Assistant Editor for the arts and a burned-out shell, waiting. literary journal, Existere. Her work From Ragtime Bourgeoisie has been published in various North American sources, such as Canadian Woman Studies Journal, The I am voluntarily black Claremont Review, Canadian Literature, CV2 and The Toronto Star. you like my jive? my joy, kicks, darkness, She won the Toronto Poetry night? Then follow me down Competition in 2005 to become to the place where it hurts, Toronto’s first Junior Poet Laureate. where politics get dirty Ex Nihilo is her debut collection. and primitive in between jazz riffs where you will hear the question of how cool should you really get
  12. 12. Fallacies of Motion “delightfully arch and delicately stern” These poems were taken from a diary of poems and sketches kept over forty years. In retrospect they have a repeating pattern of awareness and lack of awareness, of uncomfortably being in society and more comfortably slipping back to be in nature. When analysis fails, as it always does, the poet slips back again inside his skin. It is a journey to no place except home. William Nichols has created a series of poems here that challenge readers to re-examine their views of the most fundamental of relationships – those between us and all living things. Whether they are in our human existence or in the natural world surrounding us, the reader will soon recognize the broad convergence employed to appreciate the transitory nature of all living things. Human pack rats, stray dogs and damaged, doomed shorebirds find their way By William Nichols into our consciousnesses. Nichols’ poems are neither obsequious nor sentimental. His long- practiced objectivity finds its way through the inner worlds of reactionaries, bureaucrats and 978-1-897181-35-5 magpies, as he shares this storehouse of observations. There is a long vision to this work. — $15.95 Dean Morrison McKenzie Here is contemporary wisdom in verse. Imagine ancient Solomon revived and even more cynical, witty, precise, and scathing. These lyrics are delightfully arch and delicately stern. They range from wry takes on technology and white-collar conundrums to introspective riffs on grief, loss and the compensations of travel. —Jury, Dektet 2010
  13. 13. The Snow Angel and the Taddei Madonna I don’t know if Michelangelo carved many birds. The one I saw was a goldfinch emerging from white marble, in the hand of an emerging child. A gift to baby Jesus on his mother’s lap. The piece was unfinished, said the woman on my arm. I kept my thoughts apart from her and her friends, all equally educated in the renaissance, equally at home in London. Thoughts of me and that goldfinch, unpolished, sharing something of the rustic to bring them a smile. But for me, the way that bird occupied space dissolved its surroundings, and mine. W I L L I A M N I C H O L S is a public policy consultant based in Edmonton. Born in Moose Jaw, his travels have always brought The other morning in the sideways light of dawn, after the him back to the prairies. Poetry is a coldest night I’ve lived through, there was, beside the truck, counterpoint to the words he produces for in a snow bank, the perfect imprint of a blue jay: the wings, business and government. When words fail he likes bird watching and woodworking. tail, breast, holes for the feet. No feathers or fox tracks of William’s muse is dyslexia. Though his is a explanation, just a perfectly absent bird. The way that bird did mild disability, it creates a continual tension not occupy space pulled my religion into sharpest focus. between the mind, the eye and the page. A printed page can have as many possibilities as a blank one, as the letters slowly swim into words, possibilities are discarded, and meanings emerge. In reverse, the idea can come clear before the words to express it. Language stays fresh and always potentially treacherous. The technical precision required of regulatory writing is in contrast to the emotional clarity he seeks in his poetry, although each has certainly contributed to the other.
  14. 14. Falling Blues “familiar comforts … balanced on the knife edge of language” Falling Blues sings about edges and air, about fear, about letting go, jumping, plunging. The poems chart some of the many ways we have of falling in and out (of love, of lines), of falling for and under (spells, sinners, mystics), of falling off and down and getting back up and on again. It`s about what throws and carries us, what we are given, what we learn and what – and who – we take with us on the vertiginous journey through the body`s mischief, to the stillness we imagine lies beyond falling. Familiar comforts – marital beds, teacups – are balanced on the knife edge of language, scissored into poetic forms from villanelle to blues. The result is attentive and disconcerting. The beautiful success of this superb collection is due to the use of verbs, always freshly precise By Jannie Edwards and colourfully sound. —Jury, Dektet 2010 Praise for Jannie Edwards’ work 978-1-897181-36-2 $15.95 The book's rollercoaster ride through the terrain of the human heart is an absolute delight, full of humour, hunger, joy and pain. —Carolyn Guerti, Other Voices Edwards allows us an encounter with the grace that exists all around us when we catch a glimpse of the “geometries of the heart.” A rare sensibility shines through each poem, and Edwards’ insights create for the reader new possibilities of thirst. —Paul Wilson
  15. 15. The Future January’s moon’s gone stale. Weeks stammer their traffic. The long marriage with weather has us all enrolled in Doomsday, waiting for parole. In the dream my mother is young again, slim as still water. The abalone moon trembles taut as a trampoline in its lack of gravity. There are no footprints yet. A hand-stitched trousseau fidgets in its tissue: soon, soon. J A N N I E E D W A R D S was born in South My father is hard pressed, studying his biology, his maps. Africa and now lives and writes in There will be exams. There will be wars. Edmonton, Alberta. Her second book of “Here I am,” I call to those beautiful, ruthless poetry, Blood Opera: The Raven Tango Poems, was a collaboration with visual creatures, my heart racing artist Paul Saturley and was adapted for against the clock. “Here I am, the stage by Edmonton’s Theatre your child, your dream.” Prospero. Her videopoem, Engrams: Reach and Seize Memory, is a collaborative work inspired by the installation tryptych of Edmonton artist Darci Mallon. The work features Edwards’ poetry translated into American Sign Language and performed by Deaf actor and translator Linda Cundy. Jannie Edwards’s website is
  16. 16. Learning to Count In Learning to Count, Douglas Burnet Smith explores the counterpoint between everyday, often innocent, experiences and the darker elegiac tones of history. The lyricism of Tuscany’s sublime skies merges into J.M.W. Turner’s obsession with clouds and the author’s own retracing of Turner’s sources of inspiration. Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, Louis Riel, Giuseppe Garibaldi, Benito Mussolini, Robert Desnos, Napoleon and a contemplative lizard on a Corsican mountainside all have their roles to play. In brutal contrast, the author, taking his own child to a school in France, encounters horrifying evidence of the murder of hundreds of children by French Nazi collaborators. But throughout, Smith measures the impact of his encounters with distinctly Canadian insight and awareness. And so finally the journey returns home, to Canada, to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where Pablo Picasso magically leads a naked chorus line through the streets of the city. The journey has been exhilarating, exhausting, at times By Douglas Burnet Smith almost unbearable – but always, always magical. 978-1-897181-37-9 Praise for Douglas Burnet Smith’s work $15.95 Always, in our best poetry, the hovering care for place. Douglas Burnet Smith hears landscape; he hears the way it resounds in the people who travel its subtle and complex surface. Landscape for Smith is a kind of musical instrument. —Robert Kroetsch Smith adeptly juxtaposes tough, laconic vernacular, vigorous imagery, and startling metaphor. A poet whose resources are dynamic and unforgettable. —Event Travel writing used to be a nostalgic adventure-story or anthropological ghetto of non-fiction. This book shows that the experience of crossing borders and negotiating cultures is integral to anyone alive to – and in – the world. The poems are a layered patina, evoking not only the sensual present of France, Rome, Corsica and Halifax, but also their complex pasts, interpreted over and over through art. —Jury, Dektet 2010
  17. 17. From Surface to Air J.M.W. Turner in Italy, 1819 Like all those who last, he knew the subject before he lived it, painting Italy in England for paltry commissions: Vesuvius glared at him out of a book, so he’d improve its gaudy red with a wash of closed crocus for a patron who fancied reproduced spontaneity, or he’d pass the engraved-gray of its lava through a prism of coruscated lightning for another who wanted a flashy gift for a lady. D O U G L A S B U R N E T S M I T H is the His hand insisted author of over a dozen books of it was only and always about poetry. His work has won the Malahat description, adding Review’s Long Poem Prize, and has and taking away, gathering and draining light, been nominated for a Governor esse est percepi, General’s Award and the Atlantic languishing in the vagueness between one colour and another, Poetry Prize. He has been Writer in Residence at a number of universities ash-blue and mist-white and never in Canada and the U. S., and has a singular knowing, only a sliding served as President of the League of from what is there to what isn’t to what is Canadian Poets, as well as Chair of the Public Lending Right Commission and back again, understanding the Sublime of Canada. He teaches at St. Francis Xavier University, in Antigonish, to be merely a small web of lustration, just Nova Scotia, and at the American University of Paris. He divides his as the sun would poke through, retreat, then decide time between Canada, France, and that the sacrifice in reducing itself Argentina. to a wizened, snow-dusted sunflower hovering over the Thames in January was worth it .
  18. 18. [sic ] “poetry for the reactionary-challenged” [sic] thus written, error mine. Sic to incite to attack, especially as a command to a dog: "Sic 'em!" Siccing poetry on you. That’s sick, as in, awesome. Or ill and sickly. Either way, the (gendered, sexualized) body is implicated. [sic] re-writes a feminist lyric within the long shadow cast by neo-liberalism upon the city and its denizens, mis-remembers the lines and re- inscribes the labour and commerce and sexual negotiations that take place there. The poems in Nikki Reimer’s remarkable new book, [sic], stubbornly violate the breath line, salute drive-by aneurisms and prince charles maxi-pads, and take innocent testicles hostage as they expose the nostalgic underbelly of subverbia [sic]. “Remember if there’s smoke,” Reimer cautions, as she continually unremembers the gentrified and gendered ex-city. Poetry for the reactionary-challenged; before gobbling up this yummy dirt and mucus and icing-sugar die[t], by nikki reimer you might prefer to slap on a condom, or an extra ovum. —Nicole Markotić 978-1-897181-38-6 Walter Benjamin did not work at Tim Hortons. Nor did he “work at the local earl’s and never leave the neighbourhood.” But who doesn’t love cities and their edges? That doesn’t mean we $15.95 have to walk around like flaneurs. Most people have to drag their bodies to work and make their bodies work. What would poetry that asks “does anybody work here?” look like, how would it make and break a sentence? What city would this poetry make its capital of modernity? How would such a poetry love a “stucco shithouse”? This is to say that Nikki Reimer’s [sic] is a book that Henri Lefebvre would love because it is wild in the way he wanted cities to be. —Jeff Derksen Gorilla condoms? Goldilocks’ bent-over cootchie? Gonzo cocaine? Everything’s 4-sale when language is loosed as it is ici (icy) (sic). These poems are a pile-up of pop culture at “the intersection of Art and Commerce”, and the city is caught at the stoplight. —Jury, Dektet 2010
  19. 19. to do list: become my own cultural flashpoint admit that all this time i had no idea what the Hips were saying market my own line of hipster greeting cards – hey, sorry i got you evicted design and implement original lingerie emerge unscathed from st N I K K I R E I M E R is a poet, blogger, the 21 century date a godly guy grow my wavy goldilocks stamp curator, arts event planner, and cat “brand me” all over this town in light of the fact that secondary photographer, in East Vancouver. Recent sex characteristics are everything i have to improve my eyeglass work has appeared in W, West Coast Line, value grow my own agribusiness wax and polish buff and shine Matrix, Front, Prism International eminize my grooming snort my first icing sugar sex up the and BafterC, and two of her poems were “bottom” line deliver the goods not the baby marry the vision featured in the poetryinspired dance show “Larimer St.” performed by Decidedly not the mailman bank on a lemon zest return invest in my ice Jazz Danceworks in 2005. Her chapbook, cream settle my income flax fetch my last cup of coffee fist things first, was published by Wrinkle a fairytale of kensington Press in 2009. Reimer was a founding editor of (orange) magazine, a co-editor and designer of KSW’s W12: All Music (apologies to the Pogues) issue, and creator of the disjunct! performance series. She has blogged for gin bile truckers stop middle class slumming Lemon Hound and the Vancouver Lido $2.88 breakfast special eggs over easy & coffee International Writers & Readers Festival. & coffee grease denim ballcaps ring merry ac/dc white Reimer lives in Vancouver where she is a trash spare change suburban kids toss pennies and throw member of the Kootenay School of Writing and a board member at W2 jam suburban kids call breakfast pocket change Community Media Arts. She blogs at block aisles with green and gold paper [sic] is her first i ♥ yr mullet full-length book of poetry. i (c) yr eyebags i ♠ yr pussy merry cowtown christmas, asshole
  20. 20. Standoff Terrain Standoff Terrain takes its inspiration from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. It is a book of love poems for losers, and since almost everybody has lost at love… well, this book is probably for you. In the end, these poems are about how power – and lack of power – affect who and why we love. It's hard to imagine a new twist on the dating game, but Standoff Terrain offers boy-meets-girl as a war game. Conducted to the accompaniment of pithy sayings from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, Benoit's poems cover all the hope and disappointment, the explorations of compatibility and its absence, involved in the militant pursuit of love. As Benoit's would-be lovers attempt “to decide between love and / Independence”, they encounter on the one hand practitioners of S & M or an emotional scorched earth policy, but on the other hand also stumble upon surprisingly tender moments. Benoit's wit and wry perspective keep the whole collection bubbling. The Art of War subtly reminds us that affairs of the heart, like affairs of the sword, have been a quintessential part of being human for eons. Benoit's stunning achievement is to make it fresh one more time. by Jocko Benoit —Tom Wayman 978-1-897181-39-3 In these fresh, candid poems, Jocko Benoit takes the high ideals of romance down to the streets. $15.95 The republic of love is one hell of a battlefield, in Benoit’s poems, but there’s laughter here, too – Archie Bunker reading the Marquis de Sade is surely a “first” in Canadian poetry. And don’t let Benoit’s “loser-in-love” persona fool you – he doesn’t wallow in self-pity. Rather, he’s a wistfully humble student of the world, always willing to jump back into the pool even when he’s hit bottom. A collection of admirable spirit and craft. —Jeanette Lynes A guy looks for love in all the wrong places, but comes up with all the right lines. What happens when Sun Tzu’s The Art of War meets the Indian erotic-religious text The Kama Sutra? Well, you get philosophical verse that’s fun, frank, and funky. —Jury, Dektet 2010
  21. 21. Scoping The terrain is to be assessed in terms of distance, difficulty or ease of travel, dimension, and safety. —Sun Tzu Her perimeters seem easily mapped, Standard grid – though the usual squares J O C K O B E N O I T was born in Bulge from her curves. But try to breech Montreal and raised in Cape Breton, and explored the rest of Canada one Her fears, surmount her inhibitions university at a time until arriving in And I'm caught in a nervous barbed wire smile. Edmonton, where he lived as a poetic If I look long enough at her eyes marauder with the Stroll of Poets. He The pupils become Rorschach blots. has written one collection of poetry, An One day her face sags, the next it is Anarchist Dream, and his poems have appeared in magazines in Canada, the Impenetrable. She is the floor of a lake, U.S., England and Australia. His stories The deepest parts seeming close enough have appeared in On Spec and To touch. Her moods are an open book Tesseracts. His screenplays have been Rifled by crosswinds. shortlisted in competitions in Canada and the U.S. He lives in Calgary with Perspective is difficult in this heat. his wife and son. One minute she seems to be miles away, Back to me, a concentrated point of disinterest, And then I find I'm surrounded, in the centre Where she camps. She shuts and locks the door The way she might a telescope.
  22. 22. White Shirt Laurie MacFayden navigates love, longing, lust and loss with deft wordplay and disarming wit, plumbing our most intimate relationships – those entwining family, friends, lovers and exlovers. Her rich imagery, combined with an ability to locate the extraordinary in the everyday, results in poems that range from playful to poignant as she celebrates the complexities of the human heart. In this debut collection, best friends scream downhill on their ten-speed bikes; a tree planter spells out her lover’s name in seedlings; and a mysterious entity steps out of the mist in Stanley Park. The author contemplates how best to seduce Joan of Arc and goes on an abstract- expressionist date with Jackson Pollock. Like the white shirt in the title, these poems are crisp, seductive and a little bit sweaty. Laurie MacFayden is one of my favourite poets. Her poems vibrate with a sensorial precision that never fails to capture. From a wild date with Jackson Pollock, to poems of longing and by Laurie MacFayden desire, to clear-eyed rants on sexuality, she does what all great writers do – that is, she shines 978-1-897181-40-9 her incredible, unique light on what it is to be human. MacFayden pushes at the darkness with $15.95 her poetry – she titillates, teases, intrigues and entertains – and I hope she keeps doing it for a very, very long time. —Thomas Trofimuk when i first heard laurie macfayden read in edmonton, it was obvious she was a cut above the pack of poets waiting for their turn to be heard. she's a drag queen in a pink limousine, journalist of whyte ave & the two-lane world, an important lady in an important time. —c.r. avery This is the “classic” hard-drinking, hard-living, gravelly poet’s voice – only it comes from a woman. It’s a bust-out-of-the-closet voice where occasional touchstone rhymes and furious lists score the page. The poems are stripped down, poignant, exact, and as heartily playful as any serious blues. Here is Sappho crossed with the Supremes. —Jury, Dektet 2010
  23. 23. white shirt didn’t see it coming blindsided by the drag king of romance she hooks me with a crisp white shirt and levi’s i go weak in the knees from one sultry sideways glance she leans in close, lookin’ way too good and scented so fine L A U R I E M A C F A Y D E N grew up in part ralphie lauren and a splash of merlot wine southern Ontario and has lived in grabs my hand: we have to dance Edmonton since 1984. She spent 30 years she tugs my belt / i’m in a trance as a sports journalist, most recently at the she’s a sexy honeyboy and i don’t stand a chance Edmonton Journal. She left the news media in June 2007 to focus on her own my guts are churning / munch’s painted scream writing and visual arts projects. This is her my heart’s a splattered pollock drip debut collection of poetry. she is thunder she is steam A painter, photographer and avid traveller, her tongue is metal lightning on my lip Laurie is a frequent performer on the and she looks like the best of my ex-lovers Raving Poets’ open-mic stage in Edmonton. She is a member of the Writers Guild of all rolled into one Alberta, Edmonton’s Stroll of Poets, the and she looks like four aces a cathedral quicksilver Edmonton Arts Council and the Visual Arts and she looks like pewter justice indigo Alberta Association. She blogs at and she smells like vanilla sandalwood sweat and her art and she tastes like juicy fruit gum lives at and she tastes like hot chocolate with a hint of rum and there’s something about her that i just can’t name like red smarties and halley’s comet and an outdoor hockey game and she smiles like everything i never dared hope for and she grooves like stained glass, double latte extra foam and she moves like san francisco and she grinds like new orleans when she whispers, i hope you have the balls to take me home
  24. 24. 1138 Frontenac Avenue SW, Calgary, Alberta, T2T 1B6, 403-245-2491, Frontenac House, Spring 2010 Amazing Flights and Flyers, By Shirlee Smith Matheson, February, 2010 Matheson’s latest exploration in aviation, is a chronicle of some of the extreme experiences in flight since the beginning of the 20th century. 978-1-897181-29-4, $19.95 All Roads Lead to Manyberries, by Ron Wood, June, 2010 All the news from Manyberries since the release of And God Created Manyberries, shortlisted for the Leacock Medal for Humour. 978-1-897181-41-6, $21.95 Frontenac House is distributed by Alpine Book Peddlers, 140 - 105 Bow Meadows Crescent, Canmore, Alberta, T1W 2W8 403-678-2280, 866-478-2280 p, 403-678-2840, 866-978-2840 f,,