Monday, September 24, 2007


Away this past week on LPG -- that's Literary Press Group -- business. I've never been to Alberta before, let alone the Rockies. The thin air made me feel even more out of shape than I actually am. I brought a lot of work -- copy-editing, mostly, spring's titles -- but couldn't stomach the thought of getting to it. A lot of time, alas, was spent indoors in meetings -- over 20 hours over 2 days -- but I got out each day for a short hike. Spent dinner and several evenings with Steven Heighton, who was leading a fiction writing workshop, and the rest of my fellow publishers/board members. Sampled prairie beer each evening. On my last night I was able to hook up with Jack Illingworth, former PQL intern and current ACP point guard.

Friday morning saw the first of what I expect will be several rounds of the Biblioasis-ECW squash tourney. I feel it my duty to report, sadly, that team Biblioasis fared not at all well. Round two will take place December 6th to 8th for any of those in the Toronto area who would like to see me get a bit of revenge.

Back in my onion field for a few days before heading up to Ottawa for Metcalf's launch of Shut Up He Explained. The book came in while I was away. It's our most ambitious production yet: 400 pages, plus 32 pages of b&w photographs, hardcover with dust jacket. The cover photo by Thirsty reader Brenda Schmidt looks swell. I'll be sending her a few copies next week -- but thought I'd wait and get John to inscribe one to her while I'm up in Ottawa. The rest of you, they've already left the warehouse, and should be in bookstores across the country by next week. Rush out will you and pick up a copy. We've a hefty printing bill to pay and could desperately use your money.

One last thing: while I was away a fabulous, short little novel by Alexander Scala hit my inbox. I read it, and accepted it immediately. I Arrive in Burgos is an brilliantly perverse tale of the Spanish Inquisition, and something I'm incredibly happy to land for Biblioasis. I've not yet read his only other published novel, Dr. Swathmore, published by the Porcupine's Quill, but Steven Heighton told me that it is equally brilliant. I've got a copy in an as yet unpacked box, and intend to find it immediately. It might be worth looking up a copy yourself.

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