Monday, September 1, 2014

Jordan Abel at The TREE Reading Series, Ottawa, September 23, 2014

above/ground press author and Vancouver resident Jordan Abel heads east for his first Ottawa reading, appearing at The TREE Reading Series alongside David Groulx on September 23, 2014.

For a complete list of upcoming readers at The TREE Reading Series, check out their website at

Thursday, August 28, 2014

above/ground press introduces new logo

For those who have been paying attention, above/ground press introduced a new logo a couple of weeks ago on various publications, just in time for the twenty-first anniversary reading at Raw Sugar Cafe, replacing the Maxville, Ontario address with our little house on Alta Vista Drive, here in Ottawa. Utilizing the same hand-me-down typewriter that produced the original logo back in 1993, I hammered away our new address, and started slipping it onto the backs of the August 2014 publications. Why was the Maxville address there in the first place, you might ask? I've lived in more than a couple of locations throughout Ottawa over the past twenty-one years, and wanted to maintain an address that, no matter where I was, would reach me five or even ten years later. Given my family has been on the same rural road since 1845, and my father remains on the homestead, with my sister and her brood owning the adjacent property, it seemed a rather safe address. For years, my mother delivering a weekly plastic bag of envelopes to various of my Ottawa addresses, from Heron Road to Fifth Avenue to Rochester Street, and the more occasional selection to Somerset Street West. Only now that we've purchased a house on Alta Vista did it seem appropriate to update. While we were still renting, I just didn't see the point. Make sense?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Factory Reading Series: a Beautiful Outlaw Press launch with Mark Goldstein and Phil Hall, October 15, 2014

a Beautiful Outlaw Press launch with readings by:
Mark Goldstein (Toronto)
+ Phil Hall (Perth)
lovingly hosted by rob mclennan
Wednesday, October 15, 2014;
doors 7pm; reading 7:30pm
Black Squirrel Books
1073 Bank Street (directly across from The Mayfair)

Beautiful Outlaw Press is pleased to announce its publication of two new works: Essay on Legend, by Phil Hall, and Blacktoll, by Mark Goldstein.

By its title, Essay on Legend echoes Alexander Pope's 18th century poem Essay on Criticism. It is concerned with the insidiousness of story-telling, narrative, anecdote (forms of legend). The thinnest tip of legend is metaphor – the tiny lie of how each word is not itself. Like the Japanese poets, Issa, Basho ... Hall has had some fun renaming himself: he tells the bogus legend of that old poet, Otty. (Basho was the tree outside Basho's door / I live at Otty Lake.) Al Purdy & Louis Zukofsky make appearances, too. As Hall’s essay-poem tracks A to Z., it speaks also of guns & dogs & revision.

Blacktoll is Goldstein’s transtranslation of Paul Celan’s Schwarzmaut, a work Celan wrote sometime after January 30, 1967 – the date on which he first tried to kill himself. It is a continuation of Goldstein’s transtranslational experiments first begun in After Rilke (BookThug 2008) and continued in Tracelanguage (BookThug 2010). Where Tracelanguage exemplifies a “shared breath” that seeks to break with tired translational orthodoxies, Blacktoll attempts to embrace both old and new methodologies as singular.

With 52 copies of Essay on Legend and 85 copies of Blacktoll available, both titles are issued as limited hand-bound editions.

Mark Goldstein is the author of three books of poetry published by the award-winning BookThug: Form of Forms (2012); Tracelanguage (2010); and After Rilke (2008). His poetry and criticism have appeared in periodicals including The Capilano Review, Open Letter, Matrix Magazine and Jacket2.

He has taught transtranslation workshops at the Toronto New School of Writing and SUNY Albany. Goldstein has also lectured on translation in Paris at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales.

Prior to writing and translation, Goldstein was a founding member of indie rock band By Divine Right. He played drums, toured and recorded with Leslie Feist and Broken Social Scene’s Brendan Canning. He now divides his time between Toronto, Vancouver, and Los Angeles.

Phil Hall won the 2011 Governor General's Literary Award for Poetry in English, for Killdeer, published by BookThug.

He also won the 2012 Trillium Book Award for Killdeer. This book of essay-poems also won an Alcuin Design Award, was nominated for the Griffin Poetry Prize, & will soon be published in a French translation from Éditions Pris de parole.

Hall’s most recent publications are: The Small Nouns Crying Faith (BookThug, 2013), and Notes on Gethsemani (Nomados, 2014). Recently, he has worked in the Wired Writing Program at the Banff Centre for the Arts.

This fall he is Writer-in-Residence at the University of Ottawa. He is a member of the Writers’ Union of Canada. He lives near Perth, Ontario.

He is also the author of two chapbooks through above/ground press: Veralum (2011), and, with Australian poet Andrew Burke, the collaborative Shikibu Shuffle (2012).

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

CBC Poetry Prize Longlist: Brockwell + Elmslie,

above/ground press authors Stephen Brockwell and Susan Elmslie are among the longlist of thirty-eight writers on this year's CBC Poetry Prize. Congratulations to you both! You can see the entire longlist, here.

Stephen Brockwell is the author of five trade poetry collections, and has had three chapbooks produced through above/ground press over the years: Marin County Poems (2001), Impossible Books (the Carleton Installment) (2010), and Excerpts from Impossible Books, The Crawdad Cantos (2012). Susan Elmslie, the author of a trade poetry collection through Brick Books, has a wee chapbook produced through above/ground press many moons ago, her I, Nadja (2000), which, if you can imagine, might even still have a few copies left, lying around.

The 2014 CBC Poetry Prize shortlist will be announced on Monday, September 8.

Monday, August 25, 2014

new from above/ground press: How the alphabet was made, [an instructional], by rob mclennan

How the alphabet was made,
[an instructional]
rob mclennan


Shocked, an appetite. A wispy mess of hair to cusp,
be master of. None,
            (apparent lack, the eldest people

,  Calcutta of key-strokes. Facts, unmentioned. Underneath
those tricky eyes,

bull by the horns, she said,

            sustaining evidence)
We, who are wondrously large
present no difficulty                to an empty room.

            Creation: made of facets, facts,
            an almanac, hill country, genitals,

Sidebar, notion; plants and seeds and trees from earth,
a suspect,                     carnage; a suspect vehicle,

            what you would wonder: we
            were not an end.

Pegasus, thy lusty Minotaur; some alphabets believe.

            A solitary air; this          lamb of dirt,

Let me tell you more about her,
about whom I know nothing.

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
August 2014
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Born in Ottawa, Canada’s glorious capital city, rob mclennan currently lives in Ottawa. The author of more than twenty trade books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, he won the John Newlove Poetry Award in 2010, and was longlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize in 2012. His most recent titles include notes and dispatches: essays (Insomniac press, 2014) and The Uncertainty Principle: stories, (Chaudiere Books, 2014), as well as the forthcoming poetry collection If suppose we are a fragment (BuschekBooks, 2014). An editor and publisher, he runs above/ground press, Chaudiere Books, The Garneau Review (, seventeen seconds: a journal of poetry and poetics (, Touch the Donkey ( and the Ottawa poetry pdf annual ottawater ( He spent the 2007-8 academic year in Edmonton as writer-in-residence at the University of Alberta, and regularly posts reviews, essays, interviews and other notices at

Originally published by Apostrophe Press as a handout for a reading and classroom talk (or two) at St. Jerome’s University, Waterloo ON, March 5, 2014. Thanks much to Tristanne Connolly and Claire Tacon. Produced, in part, as a handout for PHILALALIA, the three-day small press/art fair, September 25-27, 2014 in Philadelphia PA. Thanks much to Kevin Varrone for his help and support.

See Pearl Pirie's generous review of the first edition, here.

rob mclennan is the author of a slew of above/ground press chapbooks, most recently from Hark: a journal (2014), The creeks (2013), The Laurentian Book of Movement (with Christine McNair; 2013), Trace, (2013), Poem beginning with a line by Pinder (2012), Notes, on the subject of marriage: (2012), Prelude: selections from a collaboration (with Christine McNair; 2012), This, circular tower (2012), The underside of the line, (2011), First you know, and then so ordinary, (2010) and Some Forty, (2010) (a variety of which may or may not still be in print).

To order, send cheques (add $1 for postage; outside Canada, add $2) to: rob mclennan, 2423 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa ON K1H 7M9 or paypal at

Sunday, August 24, 2014