Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Meet Children's Author and Windsor Native Dave Atkinson, author or WEREDUCK @ Biblioasis!

Dear Windsor friends, 

Don't forget that children's author Dave Atkinson will be signing copies of his new middle grade comic-horror novel Wereduck at Biblioasis from 1-3 on Saturday April 11th. 

Kate's family has told her that on her thirteenth birthday she'll hear the "Whooooo" call of the moon, and howl back, and become a werewolf just like them. But she doesn't want to be a werewolf. She's always felt more like a duck. On the night of her thirteenth birthday, Kate stands near her family's cabin in the backwoods of New Brunswick and hears the moon calling - but it sounds like more of a "Whooooo?" as in "Who are you?" and Kate does what she's always wanted to do - she quacks. Quack, quack, quacks. Her family tries to understand Kate's new full-moon form, but they are busy integrating themselves with some new, edgy werewolves in town. Engaging, hilarious, and utterly believable, Wereduck is a thrilling addition to the were-canon.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Mia Couto a Finalist for the 2015 Man Booker International Prize!

Big news at the Bibliomanse this morning. We were thrilled to learn that contemporary Mozambican author Mia Couto, whose novel Tuner of Silences we published in 2013, and whose Pensativities: Selected Essays we have forthcoming this spring, has just been named a finalist for the 2015 Man Booker International Prize.

The ten finalists for the prestigious biennial prize were announced this morning, a list that includes such luminaries as César Aira , Amitav Ghosh, Fanny Howe, and László Krasznahorkai. The authors come from ten countries with six new nationalities included on the list for the first time. They are from Libya, Mozambique, Guadeloupe, Hungary, South Africa and Congo.

The sixth Man Booker International Prize, which is worth £60,000, recognizes one writer for his or her achievement in fiction.

The 2015 Man Booker International Prize winner will be announced at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London on 19 May.

Congratulations to Mia Couto and his English translator David Brookshaw! 

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Search for Solace Within: Glad & Sorry Seasons gets a rave review from Prism

"Catherine Chandler’s Glad and Sorry Seasons is a successful illustration of the ways in which we as humans search for meaning in the face of passing time, the way in which we take pleasure and comfort in ordinary details and are simultaneously baffled and pained by them. The juxtaposition of artificiality, the poet’s expert use of constrained poetic forms—especially her characteristic sonnets—and a piercing sincerity makes this collection aching and beautiful."

Catherine Chandler's Glad & Sorry Seasons gets a rave review from Ruth Daniell in Prism International.  

Thursday, March 19, 2015

A Painful Homecoming: Quill & Quire on Robyn Sarah's My Shoes Are Killing Me + Tour Dates

Montreal poet Robyn Sarah's  latest, My Shoes Are Killing Me, is featured in the new 80th anniversary April issue of Quill & Quire, where reviewer Jason Wiens calls it a collection of "poems recollecting emotion in the (in)tranquility of boomer twilight."  Here's more: 

The title of Robyn Sarah's My Shoes Are Killing Me speaks to the nostalgia that her poems explore: if nostalgia literally means "painful homecoming," then the "shoes" - read as metonymy for the past of her life's journey - cause at times painful reflection on the rest of the voyage...the frame widens to include the broader public spaces of Sarah's Montreal, then extends this frame further to the global scale....the nostalgia encompasses memories of the Jewish diaspora alongside the motto of the poet's province: "a past continuous, a past as presence. Je me souviens. A motto you can make your own."  

Robyn Sarah will reading this spring along the 401 in Ontario as well as the East coast and Montreal. For a listing of upcoming dates, see below. 

April 20th - Montreal, @ The Word, w/ Robyn Sarah and Robert Melançon
April 21st - Kingston @ Novel Idea w/ Robyn Sarah and Robert Melançon
April 22nd - Toronto @ Dora Keogh w/ Robyn Sarah and Robert Melançon
April 23rd - Hamilton @ Bryan Prince Bookseller w/ Robyn Sarah and Robert Melançon
April 24th - Windsor @ Biblioasis  w/ Robert Melançon and TBA
May 19th - Halifax @ Halifax Public Library w/  Robyn Sarah and M. Travis Lane
May 20th - Lunenburg @ Lexicon Books w/  Robyn Sarah and M. Travis Lane
May 21st - Moncton @ Attic Owl Reading Series w/ Robyn Sarah and M. Travis Lane

Among the Quick: Sum by Zachariah Wells reviewed in Quill & Quire + Tour Dates

Zachariah Wells's third poetry collection Sum was on deck in the 80th anniversary April issue of Quill & Quire, and reviewer Jason Wiens calls Wells "a poet who delights in sound patterns—internal and end rhyme in particular." Here's more:
Highlights include "Squalid," which recalls "the dollars / squandered down urinal drains in bars / of dubious repute," and "The Parkinsonian Reflexologist," which mixes cliches to sometimes hilarious effect: "if you get caught fucking the dog / deny the devil his Scooby-Doo." "Magic Man," in its celebration of the retired Blue Jays player John McDonald, is a paen to the underdog, one "Consigned to ride pine for lack of thunder / in his bat." Appropriating Hopkins's "The Windhover," Wells traces the inscape of this infielder, "sensei of the second sack."

Wells will be presenting from Sum as part of IFOA's 7th Annual Battle of the Bards on Wednesday, March 25th @ 7:30PM. He will also be embarking on an Ontario and Montreal tour with Robyn Sarah and Robert Melançon in late April, as well as an East Coast tour with Robyn Sarah and M. Travis Lane in May. For full listings, see the dates below.

April 20th - Montreal, @ The Word, w/ Robyn Sarah and Robert Melançon
April 21st - Kingston @ Novel Idea w/ Robyn Sarah and Robert Melançon
April 22nd - Toronto @ Dora Keogh w/ Robyn Sarah and Robert Melançon
April 23rd - Hamilton @ Bryan Prince Bookseller w/ Robyn Sarah and Robert Melançon
April 24th - Windsor @ Biblioasis  w/ Robert Melançon and TBA
May 9th - PEI @ Confederation Center Public Library w/ M. Travis Lane
May 19th - Halifax @ Halifax Public Library w/  Robyn Sarah and M. Travis Lane
May 20th - Lunenburg @ Lexicon Books w/  Robyn Sarah and M. Travis Lane
May 21st - Moncton @ Attic Owl Reading Series w/ Robyn Sarah and M. Travis Lane

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Wordsmith and a Worldsmith: Traymore Rooms reviewed by Akashic

Our friends at Akashic Books in Brooklyn, just posted a wonderful, appreciative review of Norm Sibum's sprawling 700-pager The Traymore Rooms on their weekly "In Good Company" online review. Intern Alex Whelan's astute take and fine stylings —"At times, Traymore smacks of an exceptionally erudite episode of Cheers where everybody knows both everybody’s name and the full text of Virgil’s Eclogues." C'mon!— show that he's got quite a future ahead of him. He sees in Sibum's "screwball genre-hopping and erratic plotting" echoes of "Restoration sex comedy" and "the paranoid conspiratorial satire of Thomas Pynchon," not to mention a "Hemingway-like elegy for younger and better days." But ultimately, Whelan sees at the core of this ambitious novel a heartfelt peon to friendship: 

"None of Traymore’s zeal would land, however, if not for the truth at the center of the novel: Calhoun’s—and Sibum’s—genuine, unashamed love for his friends. In the great tradition of Nick Carraways marveling quietly upon their Gatsbys, Calhoun seems well aware that he’s no match for the company that he keeps...For Traymore’s protagonist, there is no prospect more horrifying than not occupying himself with fellow Traymoreans from sun-up to sundown."

Thanks Akashic and Alex! 

Cynical, Duplicitous, and Vulnerable: 'Confidence' by Russell Smith Reviewed in Quill & Quire's 80th Anniversary Issue

We were all excited to get the 80th Anniversary issue of Quill & Quire in the mail — and thrilled to see that it had reviews of three Biblioasis authors: Russell Smith, Zach Wells, and Robyn Sarah.

All of the reviews were exceptional, but Carla Gillis' full page guest review of Russell Smith's Confidence (May 1st CAN | June 1st US) was especially smart and thoughtful. At the start of the piece, Gillis focused on the trademark cynicism and biting humor that Smith, the Governor General Award-nominated author of How Insensitive, and provocative arts columnist for The Globe and Mail is known for. "In the world of these stories," she writes, "love is a game, secrets pile up, needs go unmet, compromises and negotiations are constantly being made." In the last stories in the collection, however, Russell delves into deeper waters:
Just as the cynicism starts to rankle rather than amuse, something shifts. Relationships remain negotiations, but also appear more broken in and nuanced. Love based on something beyond the physical and convenient creeps in. Two stories at the end, featuring the collection's oldest and most magnanimous characters, soften the book's unflinching tone and deliver, finally, emotional resonance by hinting at the vulnerable humanity and the truest, simplest desires beyond the exhaustive chase of pleasure.
To launch the book, Russell and Biblioasis are hosting a party at The Garrison (1197 Dundas Street West) in Toronto on April 21, starting at 7:00 p.m. Also featured: the world premiere of "Boys Underwear Girls," a short film by Gunilla Josephson, and dancing to the rhythms of DJs Deadline and Shawn Benjamin. Anyone who knows Russell will understand why this is destined to be the launch party of the spring. You can check out its Facebook event page here.

Also! If you live in Toronto and can't wait to hear Russell read from his new collection (who wouldn't?), he'll be appearing at Toronto Public Library's venerable "eh List Author Series," at the Readymede Branch next Tuesday, March 24, at 7:00 p.m. Special, early copies of Confidence will be on sale. More info here.

Check back soon for posts about Zach Wells and Robyn Sarah! Both are coming shortly.

Friday, March 13, 2015

K.D Miller Next Chapter Interview Online

For those of you who didn't get a chance to tune in, K.D. Miller was on The Next Chapter earlier this week talking to Shelagh Rogers about All Saints. Good news is the episode is now online for you to stream at your convenience. And for those of you who prefer the warm analog buzz of the radio, it was also be aired this Saturday, March 14th, at 4PM.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

"He who speaks of collage speaks of the irrational" - Max Ernst

Rain Taxi, one of our favourite American journals, has just run a thoughtful review of Diane Schoemperlen's By The Book in their new Spring 2015 issue. Featuring original reviews of the best in underground poetry, fiction, non-fiction, art and comics, it is definitely a journal to check out and consider subscribing to. Thanks to the talented Benjamin Woodard for the review. Here's a small taste:

"In By The Book, Schoemperlen has created an admirable, daring collection, one willing to drive its experimental nature to extremes. It is a book suitable to bookstores and galleries alike. The lyricism contained on each page is marvelous, and the combination of text and imagery make the collection a truly distinctive title in the big, wise sea of literary convention."

The Book Doctor Is In

Ever wondered how a book is put together? Or how to repair that old volume you inherited from your grandmother? What about that stack of antique books that has been sitting in your basement—ever wonder whether they could be restored? The Book Doctor is here to answer all of these questions and more! Biblioasis would like to cordially invite you to drop by the shop, 1520 Wyandotte St. East, on Saturday March 28th, from 1-4 p.m., as world-class bookbinder and restorer Dan Mezza will be offering appraisals and repair suggestions on a drop-in basis.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Kathy Page announced as BC Book Prize fiction finalist

We're thrilled to announce that Kathy Page's Paradise & Elsewhere, already boasting a 2014 Giller nod, is now a finalist for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. Other finalists include Michael Springate, Caroline Adderson, Brian Payton, and Aislinn Hunter. Adderson's upcoming novel, A History of Forgetting, will be released by Biblioasis this spring. Congratulations to all the finalists!

Friday, March 06, 2015

All Saints to be featured on The Next Chapter

We're pleased to announce that K.D. Miller will be featured on the upcoming episode of The Next Chapter with Shelagh Rogers, to be aired Monday, March 9th at 1PM. She will be talking about her most recent collection, the 2014 Writer's Trust finalist All Saints.

Los Angeles Review calls Canary "an utter delight"

A laudatory review of Nancy Jo Cullen's Canary, written by Lori A. May, appears in the most recent issue of the Los Angeles Review. Here's a taste:

Cullen’s stories put a spotlight on the messy lives we sometimes lead but rarely can explain. Romances are kindled, then wither to nothing in a matter of pages. Yet within those few pages of each story, entire worlds open up with poignancy, hope, and satisfying endings—even when we leave characters as messy as we found them. Such is life, after all, and Cullen nails that experience with precision.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Glad & Sorry Seasons a 'Best Selling Love Poetry Canadian Book' on Alibris

Catherine Chandler's Glad and Sorry Seasons is listed alongside books by Leonard Cohen, Irving Layton, and Gregory Scofield on Alibris's 'Best Selling Love Poetry, Canadian Books' section.

The second collection by the winner of the Howard Nemerov Award, published this past spring, is available through Biblioasis and wherever fine books are sold.

Monday, March 02, 2015

45 Years a Critical Success

45 Years, a feature film adapted from the title story of David Constantine's In Another Country, which we are publishing this spring, recently premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival. The film, directed by Andrew Haigh, blew away the critics, garnering incredibly positive reviews from the likes of Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, and The Guardian, and was crowned the festival's "first unqualified success" and "the first great film of 2015" by Jessica Kiang of indieWIRE. "It's an extraordinary concept," writes Kiang, "taken from a short story by David Constantine."
Constantine's masterful story, in which an elderly couple's marriage is shaken by the arrival of a letter detailing the discovery of the husband's lost love, is beautiful, brutal, musical, and gut-wrenching. Culled from four books and over three decades, In Another Country: Selected Stories, is a revelation that will bring you close to tears. We can hardly contain our excitement over this release. 

Biblioasis will be releasing In Another Country in Canada this coming May, and June in the USA. The North American right to 45 Years have been acquired by Sundance Selects, and the film will see North American screenings in the near future. More info to come soon! 

Suffering Fools Badly: Career Limiting Moves reviewed in The Rover

A wonderful review of Zachariah Wells's witty and engaging essay collection Career Limiting Moves by Brian Campbell in The Rover. Here's a taste:

As we progress through the Essays and Reviews section, we discover in Wells a thorough reader and masterful critic. Poets he takes down a notch with his trenchant pen include perennial favourites Don MacKay (“His poems are fun, smart, easy to like. But like a stranger you meet on a train, I don’t think much about them afterwards”), Anne Simpson (“a tourist in the realms of human misery and suffering”), and Patrick Lane (“singing the sadsack song of his self-image”). But in all cases, he does indicate strengths of said poets, although I think his assessment of Simpson could have been more balanced. Lengthy essays that take up the cause of unjustly neglected poets like Peter Van Toorn and Peter Sanger, as well as an award-winning piece on Bruce Taylor, are standouts. The poets’ work is quoted fully enough that we gain direct experience of what these poets are like.