article posted 1 day ago
I’m delighted to announce that my collection of prose poems, Conjure: a Book of Spells, has been chosen for the Band of Thebes website’s list of the best books of 2013!
You can find the full (and fascinating!) list here
article posted 1 day ago
Here’s an interesting Guardian report concerning sales figures released by Amazon.
There’s no question that the numbers are skewed (in terms of providing a meaningful snapshot of the actual market, assuming one’s interested in that) since the big “one quarter” figure applies only to ebooks, and only to kindle ebooks at that. Naturally, since kindle books are generally found on the Amazon site they form a substantial proportion of ebook sales at Amazon. D’uh. And the figures only concern the U.S. Moreover, when one takes overall book sales into account the picture is very different; it’s still dominated by big publishers.
All of that aside, however, the numbers are still kind of interesting. It’s a shift, a real one, whether on not it’s “seismic.” And it’s a shift in a world – publishing – that tends to change slowly.
article posted 7 days ago
In an age in which we so often talk around the real issues dogging our culture, this piece at The Times seems to take a clear look at some of the fundamental questions. Like, maybe, what do we mean by value when we say something is valuable?
Prof. Gutting’s article is, to my mind, part of a conversation that isn’t happening nearly enough: one about whether or not the economic yardstick is a suitable tool for measuring everything in human life. So, I encourage you to have a look.
article posted 12 days ago
Novelist Madeleine Thien has some pointed observations concerning bias in the Canadian literary establishment.
Her remarks on the shortlists and winners of the major literary prizes seem especially pertinent in light of the incredible visibility (and sales impact) created by some prizes in Canada’s literary culture.
Here’s the piece; why not have a read and consider its implications…
article posted 43 days ago
Those of you who share my interest in contemporary surrealism will certainly be pleased to hear about this new site.
I came across it a little while ago and found it to be an invaluable source of information on what’s happening in surrealism now – people, events and publications alike. All too often this information can be time-consuming and/or difficult to track down, so here is a big “thank you” to the folks behind Surrealist NYC.
Have a look!
article posted 57 days ago
I am thrilled to announce that my collection of prose poems, Conjure: A Book of Spells has been shortlisted for the A. M. Klein Prize for poetry. Needless to say, I’m very pleased and excited, and look forward to the Prize Gala on November 19th. Fingers crossed…..
You can find the press release here.
And you can find an article about the QWF prizes this year over at The Gazette’s website, here.
article posted 72 days ago
In recent years one of the recurring themes in literary conversations that has tended to irk and/or trouble me most is the increasing use of whether or not a character is “relatable,” or even worse “likeable,” as a criterion of a book’s quality.
The notion comes up in relatively mild iterations – off-hand comments, for example – and in more serious ways, like, lets say, a professor who chooses only to teach writers that resemble him in some ways… But in any version, this idea strikes me as problematic. After all, one of the most valuable things about literature has always been, for me, the opportunity to step outside of the comfortable world one already knows, to encounter previously unknown things, unknown people, unknown ideas. Those can be troubling, unlikable, uncomfortable, for excellent and useful reasons.
This article at The Times considers this sort of question. Not as deeply as I might like, but it’s nice to see the discussion happening.
Have a look and see how you feel.
article posted 92 days ago
The first review of my new book of prose poems, Conjure: A Book of Spells, is up at Out in Print and it’s a lovely one!
Have a look here.
article posted 93 days ago
It seems to me that there’s a growing body of writing (both popular and academic) that attempts to contextualize the writing of fiction (and other kinds of art-making) in terms of biology and evolution.
Frankly, though I find this kind of stuff wildly speculative and not particularly helpful critically or aesthetically, it does have a certain kind of amusement value. For example, this piece up at the Atlantic site boils down the essentials of a lot of such arguments in a nice, breezy way.
Empirically demonstrable or not, it’s gotta raise some questions…
article posted 129 days ago
I’m very pleased to announce that my new book of prose poems, Conjure: A Book of Spells has been published by the inimitable Rebel Satori Press.
It is available in trade paper and a limited-edition hardback that includes an original sigil drawing.
You can find all the details about the book here