For Your Consideration

article posted 16 days ago

Recent research confirms what we probably all suspected regarding screen reading. Still, it is disconcerting to see the extent of it… and reassuring to see how it can be corrected.

Beyond the obvious issues – and I certainly enjoy reading a lengthy, complex novel and intend to continue doing so, social media or no social media – the erosion of long-form reading (and comprehension) has implications that move way beyond literary matters. So… ordinarily one might say “enjoy,” but that seems wrong at this juncture.

So, here it is. See what you think!

Once More, the Landscape as it Changes

article posted 51 days ago

Now, there’s been a lot said, written, and broadcast about the “seismic” shifts the publishing business has undergone (and continues to undego) but this article provides an interesting look at how all this can actually play out. It’s not without flaws of course (what is?)

All that aside, the piece does raise some interesting points about the actual lives of a trio of (interestingly enough, relatively successful or “tending-to-privileged”) writers and the way they’ve been affected by those proverbial changes. And, at the very least, that’s a nice change of pace from all the abstract debate, or tales of corporate suffering…

Here’s the article

Reviewing, Commenting and the "Consumption" of Literature...

article posted 80 days ago

There’s a lot to say about the situation of reviewing and literary criticism these days, but it is especially nice to see the points Catton raises here made so clearly. Her discussion of what elitism actually means is a healthy correction to the too-often sloppy way so many terms get thrown around in contemporary discourse, and her point about consumer culture in this context is interesting as well.

I’m surprised I didn’t come across this when it was first published, but I am still happy to share it with you now. It is certainly worth a look .

Conjure Makes Out in Print's "Best of 2013" List

article posted 127 days ago

The Out in Print literary blog has named my prose poem collection, Conjure: a Book of Spells, on its “Best Reads of 2013” list. And I couldn’t be happier!

You can find the complete list over on the site. Enjoy!

Conjure on Band of Thebes' "Best of 2013" List

article posted 137 days 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

Okay, So This Happened...

article posted 137 days 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.

Oh, the Humanities...

article posted 143 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.

The Diversity Problem in Literary Culture

article posted 148 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…

New Surrealist Web Presence

article posted 179 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!

Conjure on the A. M. Klein Shortlist!

article posted 193 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.