Friday, June 27, 2014

Paul Vasey & Biblioasis @ Downtown Windsor Farmer's Market Tomorrow!

Biblioasis will be returning to the Downtown Windsor Farmer's Market this Saturday from 8am-1pm to satisfy all of your book needs! In addition to our special selection of Summer Reads, LGBT, Food, local, and in-house titles, we will be joined by author Paul Vasey who will be reading from his charming memoir The River @ 10:45AM and will be available to sign copies. The market has got an amazing array of wares available, and we will have some special deals, so pick up some goodies and swing by and say hello!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Alcuin Awards

G'Day all, 

You might remember that David Mason's The Pope's Bookbinder has received an honourable mention for book design in the nonfiction category at this year's Alcuin Awards.  The awards ceremonies will be taking place this fall in Toronto and Vancouver.

The Toronto Awards will take place on Monday October 6th at 5:30 pm at the Arts & Letters Club of Toronto.

The Vancouver Awards will take place on September 11th at 7 pm at the Emily Carr University of Art + Design Auditorium, Granville Island (south building). 

You can see The Pope's Bookbinder, along with all of the other winning books at the Confederation Centre Gallery in Charlottetown, PEI from March 7th to April 16th. 


Monday, June 23, 2014

Winter in Great Big Roundup

Biblioasis is proud to announce that Kathleen Winter's The Freedom in American Songs was included in the The Great Big Roundup of 2014 Short Story Collections.  Winter was featured alongside writerJoyce Carol Oates, Leesa Cross-Smith, Antonya Nelson, Edward Hoagland, Deborah Levy and Elizabeth Spencer. 

"There are characters, and then there are characters.  Just look at the parade of people you'll find in this collection of short stories by Kathleen Winter (author of the prize-winning novel Annabel)"

Monday introductions

Happy Monday everyone! I would like to introduce myself.  I am Deirdre Brode; I'm a business student, an Irish dancer, a book lover and Biblioasis' newest intern.  I'm not the only one making introductions in Windsor these days, however. Introducing Biblioasis to the wider public on Saturday was Ted Shaw in the Windsor Star's Artbeat column. Shaw included a profile of Biblioasis and a history of its 10 years as an independent publisher.  You can read the full text online, or check out some of the highlights below.  Cheers!

With more than 130 trade paperback editions to its credit, many of them internationally famous writers, Biblioasis is known worldwide as one of the top independent publishers of high quality books.

Owner Daniel Wells has an unbridled passion for everything literary, and he has had to endure the tidal shifts in the book business, both as seller and as publisher.

The mark of Biblioasis’ acceptance in the literary world is in evidence in the attention it gets from the international community.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Boyko, Miller in National Post "Shortcuts" Column

What lovelier way is there to canter into the sunset than with a newspaper & some short stories in your saddle roll? Check out this weekend's National Post for Steven Beattie's monthly short fiction column, where he talks about the linked collection as Canadian consomm√©, calls KD Miller's "Kim's Game" the "Citizen Kane of humiliation," and CP Boyko's "The Prize Jury" a " highly amusing riposte to the culture of literary awards, eviscerating the petty politicking, log-rolling and absurdity that can result from jockeying for recognition." Not bad for a rainy end-of-week, huh? Nice to know that KD and Craig are firing on all cylinders, even if we at the office have a bad collective case of math brain.  Happy Friday!

Friday, June 13, 2014

"I Was There" a Best in Small Press Book, Globe & Mail

If you're looking for yet another reason to pick up Ray Robertson's I Was There the Night He Died as that cool-man gift for daddy-o, well, look no further than the Globe & Mail: IWT was featured this weekend as a Best in Small Press Book.  Here's what they had to say:

"An uplifting read ... the style is writerly, self-conscious and poignant  ... a redemptive story about love despite the prevalence and certainty of death."

Call this the Father's Day frosting on the cake that was Shelagh Rogers's stupendous Next Chapter interview. Happy weekend, folks. Peace out! 

Kathy Page featured on Storyville App

“The Kissing Disease”  by Kathy Page is this week's Storyville App story of the week.  Storyville was launched in 2011 and has received acclaim for its curatorial vision; each week the app features a new story from the best story collections published by commercial and independent presses alike. Kathy Page had this to say about the genesis of her remarkable story:
Well, who doesn’t like to kiss?  I’ll admit it cheers me to see other people kissing, too. At high school we called mono the kissing disease, but when I wrote this story I was thinking more of HIV/AIDS. That pandemic surfaced during my twenties. Everyone lost someone. There was a before, and an ongoing after.  It was terrible time, but there were eventually some positive consequences: increased honesty and more open public discourse about sex, for example. It was that aspect, the silver lining, that I had in mind.
The story begins with Gary arguing with the radio.  My roots are in England, and for decades BBC Radio 4 was the background to my life.  No ads, little music, just wonderful voices.  Between the drama, poetry and news, panels of experts and pundits would discuss in intricate (sometimes exhaustive) detail the controversies of the day.  My family and I frequently joined in and I still sometimes listen online. Gary’s position as the story opens is so vehement that it implies  his eventual willingness to enjoy what he thought repugnant. That’s the seed from which the story grew.
Men and masculinity interest me a great deal,  as does the way in which, generally speaking, we deal with otherness by separation, as if  it was contagious — which brings me right  back to disease.  Bodies — our relationship with them, the ways in which they may betray or overtake us or be dramatically transformed — are a preoccupation of mine.  One of the protagonists in my novel Alphabet is in transition between genders; The Find centres on a woman’s struggles with the onset of Huntington’s disease, and there lies yet another of my many preoccupations: identity.  How much can we change and still remain who we are? At what point do we become someone else?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Paul Vasey & Biblioasis @ Downtown Windsor Farmer's Market Tomorrow!

Dan & Jesse will be representing team Biblioasis @ the Downtown Windsor Farmer's Market this Saturday from 8am-1pm, and will be joined by Poet Laureate Marty Gervais, who will be reading from, and available to sign, his new chapbook "Available Light" @ 9:00 and 10:00 AM. We'll have a  diverse selection of local history, local authors, cook books, food security books, kids books, Biblioasis titles, and other goodies for sale, so while you're picking up some fresh veggies or a bite to eat please swing by and say hello! The market is located outside at Charles Clark Square and features a wide variety of great local vendors. 

"Hallelujah! A Canadian Classic is Born"

Well, it's no exaggeration to say that Anne Kingston's review of All Saints in today's issue of Maclean's Magazine is so glowing you may need sunglasses to read it (well, it's actually raining here, but you know what I mean). It was the first review in the section, it was the title review, and it had full banner art. What you see above ("Hallelujah! A Canadian Classic is Born") is the headline. And though it's hard to pull any one sentence out from the others, as the review consists of two full columns of praise, we think you'll agree that this bit is particularly wonderful:
"Miller's genius, like that of Alice Munro, is wringing suspense—and poignancy—from the quotidian ... Plots and characters link in haunting and astounding ways. As a collection, the stories reflect the power and purpose of all communities, ecclesiastical or otherwise: read like a novel, they offer multi-faceted perspective and illumination. The result is a Canadian classic. If this book doesn't get a Giller prize nod, something is wrong." (our emphasis).

Our cup runneth over. To get a copy of this wonderful linked collection, get thee to a local indie, and remember also that all Biblioasis books are available for sale directly from our website. Booksellers: our books are distributed, as ever, from Raincoast, and if you're interested in a reading copy, give me a shout and I'd be happy to send one your way:

Happy Wednesday!    

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

I Was There The Night He Died Reviewed in Star Tribune

Ray Robertson fans: some American coverage for I Was There The Night He Died courtesy of Minneapolis's Star Tribune. Here's the lead-off:
Problems increasingly familiar to baby boomers embroider Ray Roberston’s “I Was There The Night He Died — aging and ill parents; the prevalence of Alzheimer’s; difficult relatives, and the attendant duties of ushering them out of this world, respectfully disposing of their possessions and homes. Self-absorbed novelist Sam Samson has taken on such tasks, back “home” in working-class Chatham, a few hours west of his adopted Toronto.
And for all you Torontonians, don't forget that Ray will be participating at the amazing Luminato Literary Picnic @ Trinity Bellwoods Park this Sunday and will be taking Stage A by storm at roughly 2:15PM. It's a great chance to get some sun, grab some delicious grub, and have a chat one of Canada's most beloved authors. Free signatures for all dads, so don't be shy.

Russell Smith Leads Luminato's Literary Walk this Sunday

Yesterday we brought the Luminato Festival's Literary Picnic to your attention, and it's sure to be one of the most fun outdoor books-based events of the summer. For those of you looking to make an occasion of this Father's Day Sunday, the ante just got upped. Directly on the heels of the picnic, none other than Russell Smith will be leading the festival's Literary Walk, which provides  a rare opportunity to glimpse the undercurrents, secrets and hidden narratives of Unseen Toronto and the places that have inspired some of Canada's leading writers. The walk begins at 3:00PM at the corner of Spadina and Queen Street West, and participants can either meet there or take a shuttle at the corner of Trinity Bellwood Park gates @ Queen Street West, which will be departing a 2:45PM on the dot. Tickets are available online  or by phone at 416-368-3100, and if you mention this post and the code "middlespace", they are available at the reduced cost of 15$. See you there! 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

K.D. Miller @ Luminato Festival: A Literary Picnic

Biblioasis's K.D. Miller and Ray Robertson will be appearing in Toronto at the Luminato Festival this weekend! They will be participating in the fabulous Literary Picnic scheduled this Sunday June 15 from 12pm-3:30pm at Trinity Bellwoods Park.

The event will take place across three stages and will feature readings from forty-five of Toronto's finest authors. The rapid-fire presentation and vast array of writers presents the perfect opportunity to get a taste for new writers while re-connecting with old favourites. In keeping with the picnic theme, delicious food will be available onsite courtesy of Fidel Gastro’s, Localista, The Pop Stand and Greenhouse Juice Co. And on the book side of things, Ben McNally and the Toronto Public Library Bookmobile will be on site to satisfy all your biblio-cravings. 

In addition to Miller and Robertson, participating authors include Austin Clarke, Barry Callaghan, Ins Choi, Don Gilmour, Andrew Pyper, Zoe Whittall, and more. For a full list of participants, click here.

With so much going on, delicious grub and fun in the sun, this is the can't miss literary event of the summer! And don't forget that it coincides with Father's day, so grab your dad, grab some blankets and books, and get thee to Trinity Bellwoods to hear some of Toronto's freshest voices!

Marty Gervais launches Available Light: Poems from the South Shore @ Biblioasis, w/ Micheline Maylor + Peter Norman

Dear Windsor! Don't forget to mark the date! Tomorrow night we will be hosting our last in-house event until next Fall. Join us in welcoming poet Micheline Maylor, poet/novelist Peter Norman, and Windsor Poet Laureate Marty Gervais at Biblioasis at 7PM!

Windsor Poet Laureate and publisher of Black Moss Marty Gervais, author of best-selling local history books Rumrummers and Ghost Road, will be launching his brand-new poetry chapbook (and the inaugural publication in our occasional South Detroit Chapbook/Broadside series), AVAILABLE LIGHT: Poems from the South Shore. 2014 Pat Lowther Memorial Award Finalist Micheline Maylor will be launching WHIRR & CLICK (Frontenac, 2014), a collection of vividly rendered lyric poems that delve into the realms of memory with gravity and grace. Peter Norman will be launching his debut novel EMBERTON (Douglas & McIntyre, 2014), a comic gothic thriller featuring an illiterate man who enters the revolving doors of a prestigious dictionary company looking for a job and someone who can finally teach him how to read, and ends up getting far more than he bargained for. Refreshments and snacks will be available. We hope to see you there.

Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award

We're very pleased to announce that Cynthia Flood, C.P. Boyko, Kathy Page and K.D. Miller were just long-listed for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award. Worth €25,000, the award is the biggest prize for short stories worldwide.

Journey Prize-winning author, Cynthia Flood's Red Girl Rat Boy is a precise collection of minimalist stories that explore the lives of innumerable wives, husbands, sisters, and in-laws vexed by short temper and insecurity and trying to navigate through upheaval with grace. 

C.P. Boyko's Novelists is a comedy of manners (and manuscripts), rivaling Vanity Fair for its satirical wit... though not, mercifully, for its length.

Orange Prize-nominee Kathy Page's Paradise and Elsewhere is a collection of dark fables at once familiar and entirely strange.

K.D. Miller has been nominated for a National Magazine Award for Fiction. Her short story collection, All Saints is a moving collection of tremendous skill, whose linked stories illuminate the tenacity and vulnerability of modern-day believers.

Hearty congratulations to all the long-listed authors!

Monday, June 09, 2014

Alexandra Oliver Wins Pat Lowther Award

Alexandra Oliver Reads from
Meeting the Tormentors in Safeway
at the League of Canadian Poets'
Award Ceremony
We're delighted to inform you that on Saturday evening the League of Canadian Poets announced Alexandra Oliver's Meeting the Tormentors in Safeway won the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. The Lowther is given annually to a book of poetry by a Canadian woman, and carries a $1,000 prize. It is presented each year at the League’s Annual General Meeting in May or June. Previous winners include Karen Solie and Dionne Brand.

For those of you new to Alexandra's work, you're in for a treat. Meeting the Tormentors in Safeway was a Canadian Poetry Book of the Year (National Post, 2013) and from first page to last stands as a testament to the sheer performative power of form. It's acerbic, witty, dramatic, moving, and sharp. Below is a sample of what the critics had to say. And if you've never had the pleasure of hearing Alexandra read, we highly recommend you check out some of her recent performances online: this is from our fall 2013 Toronto launch, and this is Alexandra's reading at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in 2011.

We hope you'll join us in offering your hearty congratulations to Alexandra, and to all the other nominees (Elizabeth Bachinsky, Anne Compton, Sadiqa de Meijer, Micheline Maylor, and Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang). The recognition is much-deserved. 

Praise for Alexandra Oliver

“An incredible feat of vision and voice … technically, nothing is out of Oliver’s grasp. Her go-to iambic pentameter can swallow anything in its path. Meeting the Tormentors in Safeway should go a long way toward establishing Oliver as one of the country’s best stanza makers, with a fluidity and ambition aspiring to Dylan Thomas or Yeats  … When she succeeds, she succeeds entirely.”—Michael Lista, The National Post

"Alexandra Oliver has many arrows in her quiver—all of them sharpened to a fine point … This is an excellent and entertaining collection."—Timothy Steele

"It is sometimes argued that our disjunctive times need to be mirrored by disjunctive forms: only aesthetic disorder can respond to our experience. Such a simplicity is disproven by Alexandra Oliver’s Meeting the Tormentors in Safeway, in which disjunctions of many kinds (such as the one in her title) are brought to order by the poet’s refining passion and corrosive wit. Here are brilliantly contemporary poems in traditional forms, the work of a stunning new voice."—Charles Martin

"Alexandra Oliver is in full command of a saber wit and impeccable ear. With these she tackles nothing less than the unsettling hazards, absurd encounters, and oddball ironies of our modern predicament to make poems that bite and entertain … Oliver’s considerable formal skills are always employed to prod and direct poetry’s energies to keep pace with the contemporary world. Lucky the reader along for the ride."—Jeanne Marie Beaumont
For more about the Pat Lowther Award visit the LCP website.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Bibliomanse New Arrival Weekly Round-Up

Here are a few things that strolled right into the bookshop this week and proceeded to strike a pose of such distinction on our fair shelves that I was forced to pull them back down and, like a true exhibitionist, take some vanity shots of em and tell you all about their respective virtues.

So without further ado...

Like my grandfather always said, better to be a cheesemonger than a warmonger. 

Heather O'Neill wrote Lullabies for Little Criminals, a gritty yet charming coming-of age portrayal of a troubled youth blossoming toward self-discovery. Her new novel, The Girl Who Was Saturday Night, explores the tensions between Nicolas and Nouschka Tremblay, two young twins living in, and trying to escape, the shadow of their famous french folksinger father and the weird vicissitudes of Quebecois celebrity culture. Did I mention she wrote Lullabies for Little Criminals?

A cross-country American hitchhiking adventure with "the Pope of Trash". Note to prospective hitchhikers in search of pointers: Waters's sign read "I'M NOT PSYCHO."

Winner of the prestigious 2013 IMPAC Dublin Award, Kevin Barry is the best Irish writer you've never heard of. Like a mongrel of Flann O'Brien and Tom Waits, his books explode with musical verve, twisted humour, and grotesque splendour. Pictured are his post-apocalyptic glam-western City of Bohane (like a cross between The Warriors, The Road, and Clockwork Orange) and his latest collection of peerless short stories, Dark Lies the Island, some of which originally appeared in The New Yorker and justly went on to blow minds.

Do fathers matter? I mean, beyond providing economic stability, barbecuing inevitably charred burgers, and providing moral support at soccer practices? This book, citing everyone from neuroscientists, animal behaviourists, geneticists, developmental psychologists, etc, argues that yes, apparently they do. So if you were still having doubts about whether to celebrate next weekend, rest assured: dads count.

American Innovations is the new book of short stories by a Canadian writer turned American literary phenom. Rivka Galchen is often mentioned in the same breath as Rachel Kushner and Karen Russell, and so,  I sure as hell can't wait to dive into this one.

Did you know that in real life Antoine De Saint-Exupery was also a pilot? And one of the first pilots to deliver mail by plane? Also an innovator of air routes and an amateur racer.  This beautifully illustrated biography for children explores and celebrates the life of the author of The Little Prince

M. Atwood Tweets K. Page—Huzzah!

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Ray Robertson on The Next Chapter

When I read the book over I was pleased because ... it is sort of a dark book thematically, but I thought it was a funny book and that was a relief to me ... You can't really explore the real serious dark stuff in life unless you admit the comedic into it, because I know in my own life, and people that I know, one of the ways you eventually confront things and cope with them and ultimately hopefully transcend them is through humour. - Ray Robertson

This week's episode of The Next Chapter with Shelagh Rogers features Lynn Cody, Guy Vanderhaeghe, Lynn Thomson, and our very own Ray Robertson! Ray speaks about his new novel I Was There The Night He Died, highlighting the importance of humour, the complexities of small town social ethics, finding meaning through the twin poles of intoxication and work, and whether you can really go home again. To listen to Shelagh and Ray's extended conversation click here. And for all you radio fanatics who prefer to dial in the old-fashioned way, the episode re-airs on the CBC this Saturday, @ 4PM!

Marty Gervais launches Available Light: Poems from the South Shore @ Biblioasis, w/ Micheline Maylor + Peter Norman

Dear Windsor! We are thrilled to be keeping the great readings rolling into the summer with this last in-house event before we adjourn until Fall, featuring poet Micheline Maylor, poet/novelist Peter Norman, and Windsor Poet Laureate Marty Gervais on June 11th.

Windsor Poet Laureate and publisher of Black Moss Marty Gervais, author of best-selling local history books Rumrummers and Ghost Road, will be launching his brand-new poetry chapbook (and the inaugural publication in our occasional South Detroit Chapbook/Broadside series), AVAILABLE LIGHT: Poems from the South Shore2014 Pat Lowther Memorial Award Finalist Micheline Maylor will be launching WHIRR & CLICK (Frontenac, 2014), a collection of vividly rendered lyric poems that delve into the realms of memory with gravity and grace. Peter Norman will be launching his debut novel EMBERTON (Douglas & McIntyre, 2014), a comic gothic thriller featuring an illiterate man who enters the revolving doors of a prestigious dictionary company looking for a job and someone who can finally teach him how to read, and ends up getting far more than he bargained for. Refreshments and snacks will be available. Poems of √©lan as well as Kafkaesque puzzles at Biblioasis!

Malarky Review

Anakana Schofield's Malarky reviewed by The Telegraph:
"This debut novel is written as the sharp-witted and ironical stream of consciousness of a newly widowed Irishwoman; it is blackly comic, deeply felt and somehow heroic." The Telegraph May 24, 2014.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Biblioasis's John Metcalf named 2014 Editor of the Year

It's our great pleasure this afternoon to tell you that John Metcalf, known and beloved to many of you as a writer, mentor, editor, and friend, was named Editor of the Year last night at the 2014 Libris Awards. The Libris Awards, presented annually by the Canadian Booksellers Association to the extraordinary professionals who deliver great books to Canadian readers, are nominated and voted on by members of the Canadian bookselling community. On behalf of John and ourselves we would like to offer our heartfelt gratitude and thanks to everyone at the CBA for your support.

It's difficult to sum up the achievements of the man whom Alice Munro has described as authoring "some of the very best stories ever published in this country." As an editor he is Argus-eyed, attentive, inexhaustible, challenging, and compassionate. He was Senior Editor at the Porcupine's Quill until 2005, he's now Fiction Editor at Biblioasis, and he's worked tirelessly on numerous projects besides (including Best Canadian Stories). Beside Clark Blaise, Ray Smith, Ray Fraser, and Hugh Hood, Metcalf was a Montreal Storyteller; he's the author of more than a dozen works of fiction and non-fiction (including the remarkable Going Down Slow and the inflammatory Kicking Against the Pricks); he's also devoted much of his life to discovering, encouraging, and supporting talented young writers, frequently pro bono and on his own time. We can say without exaggeration that without his dedication—which has lasted a lifetime—Canadian fiction, and particularly Canadian short fiction, would be a far poorer thing. We feel very strongly that John Metcalf has raised the standards for what short stories can and should do in this country.

If you'd like to read more about John's life and work, we encourage you to take a look at his memoir, available in two volumes: vol. 1, An Aesthetic Underground, was originally published by Thomas Allen in 2003 and will be reissued in paperback by Biblioasis this fall, while vol. 2, Shut Up He Explained, is available to order via our website or our distributors (see below). If you'd like to order vol. 1 in the original hardcover, feel free to call us at 519-968-2206, and we can help you out. 

On behalf of the press we'd like to offer our congratulations to John's deserving co-nominees, Jennifer Lambert of Harper Collins Canada and Nicole Winstanley of Penguin; to Groundwood Books, Small Press Publisher of the Year; Penguin Canada, Publisher of the Year; Joseph Boyden, Author of the Year; Blue Heron Books, Bookstore of the Year; to Stuart McLean, for his Lifetime Achievement Award; and to all the other deserving book stalwarts who were honoured last night. We at the Bibliomanse salute you.

Monday, June 02, 2014

Website back up

We're back folks! Thanks for your patience on our website maintenance. is now back up and running.

Website down for maintenance

Good morning folks!

For anyone trying to access our main website,, and finding yourself at a dead end, do not fear!

We're down temporarily for a bit of maintenance, but we will be back online soon. If you need your Biblioasis fix in the meantime, you can always check out the Biblioasis blog or connect with us via our Facebook or Twitter feeds.

Thanks for your patience!

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Subscription Confirmed - Thank You.

Dear Friends,

Thank you for confirming your subscription to the Biblioasis newsletter. We're grateful for your support. As a token of our appreciation you have been entered in a draw to win a free signed copies of Ray Robertson's I Was There the Night He Died, and K.D. Miller's All Saints.

For the latest Biblioasis news, you're heartily encouraged to follow us on Twitter, join our Facebook group or visit our official Facebook page, and check out the International Translation blog as well as our website

If you have any questions about Biblioasis, CASL, or our newsletters, please don't hesitate to email us at

Yours sincerely,
Dan, Tara, Chris, Kate, Jesse, Dennis, & Wesley.