Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Pinch of One More Thing

Just when you thought Thirsty was waterblogged, we find ourselves trudging back to the well. Something about drinking salty ink? Congrats to Ms. Rosenblum for making the top 10 books of Canadian short fiction for 2011, & thanks to Chad Pelley for the shoutout. (It's worth visiting the site for the picture of Zsuzsi Gartner alone, who looks not unliked the winged Nike of the CBC. Yowsers.)

... and to conclude today's Blog Binge ...

Just a quick note to say that the Who Killed CanLit? issue of CNQ is now not only on the newsstands, but up and running online. Check out for select features, select online-only features, new fiction from Nathan Whitlock, and new poetry from Nyla Matuk, and more!

Quillcast Clark Blaise

I'm sure many of you have seen this already, thanks to the its appearance on the Walrus Blog and of course thanks to Quill & Quire, but in case you haven't, take a listen. This interview with Catherine Bush was recorded in October of this year, when Clark was in Toronto for IFOA and the Writers' Trust Awards. It's called "Clark Blaise and the Writing Life," but really it's just about Life full stop, and It. Is. Great. Why--gasp--is writing a short story harder than writing a novel? How does the son of an Amoskeag Mills bobbin boy end up studying with Bernard Malamud? And what, most tantalizingly, is our very own master storyteller and border-crosser planning next? If you don't already know, find out now.

Well we always kinda assumed we had the best darn poets around ...

But now we know it's really true, because NPR and the Boston Globe say so. Congratulations to Amanda Jernigan, whose Groundwork will appear shortly on NPR's top 100 poetry books for the year, and again to Marsha Pomerantz, whose Illustrated Edge made the Boston Globe's Best Poetry Books of 2011.

If you'd like to learn a little more about Amanda and Groundwork--and if you weren't lucky enough to catch part of her east coast odyssey this fall--well, this past week she recorded a truly epic podcast for Indi 101.5's Art Waves, and it's almost as good as hearing her in person.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Short Fiction Gets Tangential

Sounds like a limbo move or a calculus maneuver, but no: it's Laura Boudreau, live from The Story Prize Blog. Our dynamic cosmopolite talks about Singer, Carver, travelers, and what (if anything) holds a collection of short fiction together. Take a look!

Two More for the Poets

Good morning, folks. As Christmas rolls down toward the two-tongued sea here by the Bibliomanse (or rather, as piffling amounts of snow continue to melt into Lake St. Clair), it seems that our minds are turning to two very important seasonal things: poetry, and cake. On December 18th, Marsha Pomerantz was the Poetry Daily Poet with the title poem of The Illustrated Edge. Since December 18th is exactly one week before Christmas, and since one of her "edges" is a table with "drips and crumbs and bellies pressed up close," I figure I can segue rather neatly to the unexpected theme of 2011: CAKE. The year of cake closed with one final slice this Saturday at the London Children's Museum, where David Hickey read to a captivated crew of children and parents. What happens when you combine cake, gum, balloons, and poetry? See for yourselves. More pictures shortly. Also keep an eye out on the London Free Press, who did (bless 'em!) give us a shout-out before the launch, and an interview during.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Claire Tacon on CFRU 93.3

Hey, all! This morning Dan Evans of The Bookshelf interviews Dan Wells and Claire Tacon on Books for Breakfast (yum, books). Take a listen! Claire Tacon in the 8 AM slot, and Dan Wells in the 9. Highlights include a nice summary of what small presses can do, and a handsome paean by Mr. Evans on the merits of good book design.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

First Toronto, then New York (or: the Poets Bury Ondaatje)

For those of you keeping track of R. Rosenblum's campaign for global blog domination, you'll have seen the pickup last week in the New Yorker's Book Bench and on "Oh my God, my friend is a" -- what? Here's a clue: the answer is neither "vampire" nor "kitten."

And in unrelated-but-equally-exciting news: a little birdie told us last week that Amanda Jernigan's Groundwork now ranks as the sixth-highest bestselling title at Bryan Prince, Booksellers, according to Open Book Toronto. That's one, two, three, four (count them, FOUR) rankings above Michael Ondaatje's The Cat's Table. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the poets are gaining on the Giller Prize, one devoted fan base at a time ... congrats to Amanda, and to Rebecca too. Keep on crusading.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Call for Submissions

Hey folks. Red Claw Press is putting out a new anthology, this time about sleep. (Sleep? Remember that? Anybody?) If your eyes are still open at 6 PM on a Monday, take a look. Deadline's February 1st.

Why Not? longlisted for Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction

All of us at Biblioasis are proud to announce that Ray Robertson's Why Not? Fifteen Reasons to Live was longlisted for the $25 000 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction. The prize recognizes excellence in Non-Fiction for books that combine "subtlety of thought and perception" with elegant style and mastery of the English Language. The Shortlist will be announced on January 10th 2012 and the finalist on March 5th 2012.

Congratulations to Ray and everyone who made the longlist!

Check out the longlist and read the full story here.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Day of the Dead, Redux

Well, Biblioasis is happy to boast that our authors have thus far authors participated in, arranged, slogged through, flew to, trained towards, and gloried over EIGHTY-TWO events this fall. Now (as people are doing their pre-Christmas memory dumps, perhaps?) the photos are trickling in, and they are MARVELLOUS. Yes indeed.

These from our Day-of-the-Dead launch of Love Poems at Dora Keogh, featuring the inimitable Colin Carberry, along with our new & dulcet-toned friend over at the Consulate General of Mexico, Gerardo Ochoa. Cameo appearances by poet Goran Simic and his lovely wife Lida, our genius-behind-the-translation-curtain Stephen Henighan, and Stephen's wife Lorena. (And pssst. Toronto-ites: look for this last uber-duo at the Aluna Café Monday night, where they'll be presenting Llosa's La Chunga. 1 Wiltshire Ave, 7 PM.)

That other person there? Rather shiny of forehead? Not me. Nope. No sir.

Therefore. Bibliophiles! Have more pictures from the fall? Send 'em my way. Thirsty drinks everything up. Much like a sponge ... or the poets at an open bar. (Jokes. Kidding! Love you all.)

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

David Hickey Chews the Fat--er--Gum?--with The Londoner

So Rebecca Rosenblum is tromping up and down the blogosphere, and now (it seems), David Hickey is midway through a London media coup. A charming little profile appeared in the Londoner today: if you want to hear David talk a bit about his reasons for writing A Very Small Something, you should absolutely take a look. Seems his nieces and nephews aren't the only ones who love the book--and if this keeps up, we'll have hit every paper in London! (Hear that, Free Press? Huh? ALL the cool kids are reviewing it.)

(As an aside, I tried to load the Really Very Adorable Photo of David Holding His Book and Looking Proud, but I was defeated by the Londoner's photo-embedding technology. Send me a note if you're reading this and know how to get around the problem ... and in the meantime, look at the page. Great shot. Great book. Heck, it's all great.)

The Other Voice

Hello, world. Good evening. Happy Wednesday. Just a quick note to say three cheers to Biblioasis author K.D. Miller, who's new book The Other Voice is just now out from Stonebunny. Doing a little pre-holiday Amazon snoop? Check it out.

Rebecca Rosenblum's Quest for World Domination

... okay, so that's a fib. She's not taking over the world. ("Everyone knows if I were given access to the red button, I'd put a kitten sticker on it," saith RR.) But she may just be taking over the blogosphere: yesterday she provided the 41st installment of the Story Prize blog, where she described (oh woe to all of us who have been there) the experience of a salvaging a Bad Story. And elsewhere in Toronto? Blogs are still coming out fast and furious on the Afterword. Yesterday she talked (gulp) about editors--"Scourge of the Earth or Cheap Psychotherapists?"--and today? It's anybody's guess. (Okay, granted I'm not guessing because I read it last night, but the rest of you will have to guess because I'll get in trouble if I tell you.)

Last but not least! For all you Laura Boudreau fans, knoweth that a Certain Story Prize blog abovementioned might, just might, be featuring a Certain Story Writer of the initials LB some time soon ... so keep yer ears to the ground.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Hey, there's a Shreddie on the floor! Rebecca Rosenblum Guest Edits the Afterword

Great news, folks: all this week our very own Rebecca Rosenblum will be guest editing The National Post's Afterword. Curious as to why she's more interested in stray Shreddies than the movements of the stars? Here's a taste:

For me, exploration is writing and reading and also being alive. I use the details I know to explore people and situations I don’t understand. I access them in the micro details, the laundry emergencies and poorly chosen lunches and unhappy kittens in our laps. And it is out of these details that the larger issues construct themselves…or we construct them.

Rest of the blog post is on the Post site, and more will come. Read them! Eat them! They're grrrreat. (Okay, yes, that's Frosted Flakes, but whatever.)

Dad of Divas on A Very Small Something

This weekend parenting blog host
Dad of Divas took a look at A Very Small Something, and here's what he called it:
"A beautiful tale ... This author has put together a wonderful book that both children and parents will alike will enjoy and the illustrations within the book are also ones that will just jump off the page! I highly recommend this to all!"
So there we go. It's a book fit for divas, darlings, dads, dumbledorfs--everybody. And (along with a few gum balls, maybe?) what a beautiful Christmas present ...

Saturday, December 03, 2011

The Telegraph-Journal Raves About Suitable Precautions

from today's Telegraph-Journal:

This review was originally going to be a survey of some of this fall's debut Canadian short fiction
collections. But Laura Boudreau's Suitable Precautions was so superior it would have been a disservice
to her fine collection to have it share the spotlight.
I first read Boudreau, who was born and raised in
Toronto and lives in London, England, in the The
Journey Prize Stories 22. Her story, Dead Dad Game,
with its non sequitur twists left me wanting more. And
Suitable Precautions delivers.

Like her precocious, deviant tween girl Lauren in the
Poses, Boudreau is definitely someone who doesn't
know when to quit. She is best when at a ramble speed,
with words and thoughts spewing until the narrative
leads you someplace quite different from where you
began. And the wayBoudreau does it, these twists
don't feel like forced tricks - they come on like the slow
boil a frog feels sitting in the pot.

For the full review, please go here.