Thursday, December 9, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Poetry London Poetry Contest

Poetry London is pleased to present our third Annual Poetry Contest
$300 in prizes
The Poetry London Reading Series invites entries from all London and area poets, including emerging poets and Poetry London Workshop participants. Awards of $200 and $100 will be given to the first and second place poems respectively.
Judge: Evelyn Lau
• One poem per person
• No previously published poems, please
• Maximum length of poem – 60 lines
• Entrants’ anonymity is preserved throughout the judging; contact information should appear on a separate page as follows including your name, address, phone number and email address (if possible)
• If you are not a London resident, but have attended the Poetry London workshops, please indicate this on your submission
• If an email address is included, Poetry London will verify that the entry has been received
• Entries will not be returned
• The two winners will be invited to read their winning poems at the April 6, 2010 Poetry London reading, featuring Evelyn Lau and Julie Berry; the winners will be notified at least two weeks prior to the April 6 reading
• Mail entries to:
Poetry London Contest
c/o 38 Devonshire Avenue
London, ON N6C 2H4
or email entries in Word or Rich Text Format to
Deadline: entries must be postmarked by February 4, 2011

Friday, October 1, 2010

Charles Bukowski Quote

There's too much bad poetry being written today. People just don't know how to write down a simple easy line. It's difficult for them, it's like trying to keep a hard-on while drowning--not may can do it. Bad poetry is caused by people who sit down and think, Now I am going to write a Poem. And it comes out the way they think a poem should be. Take a cat. He doesn't think, well, now I'm a cat and I'm going to kill this bird. He just does it.

from New York Quarterly Craft Interview, Number 26

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

18th Annual Short Prose Competition for Developing Writers


18th Annual Short Prose Competition

for Developing Writers

$2,500 PRIZE

The Writers’ Union of Canada is pleased to announce that submissions are being accepted until November 10, 2010 for the 18TH ANNUAL SHORT PROSE COMPETITION FOR DEVELOPING WRITERS. The winning entry will be the best Canadian work of 2,500 words in the English language, fiction or nonfiction, written by an unpublished author.

$2,500 for the winning entry and the entries of the winner and finalists will be submitted to three Canadian magazines.

Writers Tarek Fatah, K.V. Johansen, and Sharon Pollock will serve as the jury.

This competition is open to all Canadian citizens and landed immigrants who have not had a book published by a commercial or university press in any genre and who do not currently have a contract with a book publisher. Original and unpublished (English language) fiction or nonfiction.

·                         Entries should be typed, double-spaced, in a clear twelve point font, and the pages numbered on 8.5 x 11 paper, not stapled.
·                         Submissions will be accepted by hardcopy only.
·                         Include a separate cover letter with title of story, full name, address, phone number, e-mail address, word count, and number of pages of entry.
·                         Please type the name of entrant and the title of entry on each numbered page. This is not a blind competition.
·                         Make cheque or money order payable to The Writers' Union of Canada. Multiple entries can be submitted together and fees can be added and paid with one cheque or money order, $25 per submission.
·                         Entries must be postmarked by November 10, 2010 to be eligible. Results will be announced in February 2011.
·                         Mail entries to: WFC Competition, The Writers’ Union of Canada, 90 Richmond Street East, Suite 200,
         Toronto, ON M5C 1P1.
Results will be posted at Manuscripts will not be returned.

Sam Lipsyte: “The Dungeon Master”:

Sam Lipsyte: “The Dungeon Master”:

Monday, September 27, 2010

Tightrope Books & Geist Magazine Writing Without a Net Workshop Getting it Out There: How to Get Your Work into Literary Journals

Wednesday, October 27
6-8 p.m.
The Central (603 Markham Street, Toronto)
(Register at
Join author and editor Billeh Nickerson as he delves into the secrets of getting your work published in literary journals. This workshop will include an overview on the dos and don’ts of sending out work, including cover letters and market suitability. It will also include a discussion on what writers can learn from rejection letters—believe it or not, these can be useful. This workshop aims to be as fun as it is instructional.

Billeh Nickerson is the former editor of Event and PRISM international, two of Canada’s most prestigious literary journals. He is also a longtime contributing editor to Geist. His books include The Asthmatic Glassblower, McPoems, and the forthcoming collection, Impact: the Titanic Poems (all with Arsenal Pulp Press). He is currently working with Mariko Tamaki on Permanent Markers, an anthology of contemporary Canadian writing to be published by Tightrope Books. He lives in Vancouver, where he teaches Creative Writing at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

David Bergen and Emma Donoghue IFOA Reading - Thursday October 21, 2010 in London Ontario

As part of the IFOA Ontario touring programme, we are presenting an event in London at Chapters South London, located at 1037 Wellington Road.   

The event is scheduled for Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 7:00pm and is FREE.  The event is a reading/interview featuring 2 award-winning Canadian authors, David Bergen, who has just recently been longlisted for the 2010 Giller Prize and Emma Donoghue, who is shortlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize.  Please see full bios below.  
It would be great if you could pass on this information to your students and to anyone you think would be interested in attending this event.  Please let me know if you have any questions and for more details, please visit our website at

Emma Donoghue (Canada/Ireland) is an award-winning author of the internationally acclaimed and bestselling historical drama Slammerkin, three books of short stories, two works of literary history, two anthologies, and two plays. Her latest novel, Room – recently shortlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize – is about a mother and son who live in a locked room measuring 11 foot by 11 and what transpires when the child turns five and is told there is a world beyond
David Bergen is the author of six novels. His work includes the Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning The Time in Between, and the multiple award-winners The Retreat, The Case of Lena S. and A Year of Lesser, also a New York Times Notable Book. Bergen presents The Matter with Morris, an unforgettable story of a man down on his luck – his son has been killed in Afghanistan, his job has put him on indefinite leave and his wife seems headed for the door – as he searches for happiness.

Paris Review Interviews

Poetry London New Website

Reading starts at 7:30 pm.
Prior to each reading, Michelle Doege will be facilitating a writing workshop and discussion of poetry by the evening's featured poets and two workshop participants. Those interested are encouraged to bring a poem and arrive at 6:30 pm. No registration required.
All readings take place in the lower level of The Landon Library
167 Wortley Road
London Ontario
N6C 3P6
(519) 439-6240

Map to Location

Upcoming Readings in the Poetry London 2010-2011 Season:
Oct. 20, 2010 - Charles Mountford and Jeramy Dodds
Nov. 24, 2010 - Ken Babstock and Robert Earl Stewart
Jan. 26, 2011 - Jeanette Lynes and Soraya Peerbaye
Feb. 16, 2011 - David O'Meara and Gregory Scofield
Apr. 6, 2011 - Evelyn Lau and Julie Berry

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

From the Fishhouse: Major Jackson

Major Jackson
Photo: Marion Ettlinger

Bologna by Sigurbjorg Thrastardottir from Transcript


The sky over Bologna
is split
by one and a half towers

the taller
I have climbed
in a heatwave
thinking of
all the suicide attempts
in the world

the short one
leans as in contrast

depend upon
which side you jump.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Truth the Dead Know by Anne Sexton

The Truth the Dead Know

For my Mother, born March 1902, died March 1959
and my Father, born February 1900, died June 1959

Gone, I say and walk from church,
refusing the stiff procession to the grave,
letting the dead ride alone in the hearse.
It is June. I am tired of being brave.

We drive to the Cape. I cultivate
myself where the sun gutters from the sky,
where the sea swings in like an iron gate
and we touch. In another country people die.

My darling, the wind falls in like stones
from the whitehearted water and when we touch
we enter touch entirely. No one's alone.
Men kill for this, or for as much.

And what of the dead? They lie without shoes
in the stone boats. They are more like stone
than the sea would be if it stopped. They refuse
to be blessed, throat, eye and knucklebone.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Al Filreis Teaches Wallace Stevens's "The Snow Man"

José Saramago, Nobel Prize-Winning Writer, Dies

The Slaying by Linda Kunhardt : Poetry Magazine

The Slaying by Linda Kunhardt : Poetry Magazine [poem/magazine] : Find Poems and Poets. Discover Poetry.

The Slaying
by Linda Kunhardt

Once a week a nurse comes
to town to cut up a baklava.

I find executives in my pants.
The owner chooses a big one,
then the nurse hoists it.

I find executives in my pants.
She climbs up, poises a knife
and when the angle is right,

I find executives in my pants.
plunges the Farmington knife,
honey gushes out, and

I find executives in my pants.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010



Because the Toronto Reference Library is having construction work done, we’re moving to the Great Hall at 1087 Queen Street West for this season's Toronto Small Press Book Fair. We're really excited about the location.

DATE: Saturday, June 19. (Readers and performers, TBA)

TIME: 11 am-5 pm (presses should be on-site by 10:00 at the latest—doors open at 9 am)

ADDRESS: 1087 Queen Street West, Toronto M6J 1H3
(Directions: Queen Street West & Dovercourt Road. Some street parking. Public Transit: TTC Queen Streetcar.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

6 Poems by Jason Heroux

Poets for Living Waters

Poets for Living Waters is a poetry action in response to the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico begun on April 20, 2010, one of the most profound human-made ecological catastrophes in history.

The first law of ecology states that everything is connected to everything else. An appreciation of this systemic connectivity suggests a wide range of poetry will offer a meaningful response to the current crisis, including work that harkens back to Hurricane Katrina and the ongoing regional effects.

Please submit 1-3 poems, a short bio, and credits for any previously published submissions to:

Monday, May 24, 2010

AvantGarden Launch MONDAY MAY 31, 2010 8PM

The Piston 937 Bloor Street West

You are invited to the launch of AvantGarden, a new reading series
which foregrounds innovative text and sound based performance by

We hope you'll join us for performances by:

Margaret Christakos

Jenny Sampirisi

Jenny Sampirisi is the managing editor of BookThug, the co-director of
the Toronto New School of Writing and associate director of the Scream
Literary Festival. She is a poet and a fiction writer. Her first book
is/was was published in 2008. She's currently at work on "Croak," a
collection of poems featuring deformed frogs and girls. She teaches
contemporary literature at Ryerson University.

and an occasional bloom by

Robin Richardson
Robin Richardson is a writer and illustrator. Her work has appeared in
The Toronto Quarterly, Contemporary Verse 2, The Puritan,
Misunderstandings Magazine, Filling Station, The Pilot Project, and is
forthcoming in Berkeley Poetry Review. Though she currently lives in
Toronto, she will be moving to New York in the Fall to pursue an MFA
in poetry at Sarah Lawrence College.

AvantGarden is a new Toronto-based performance series that seeks to
provide a space for innovative, edgy, experimental, text and sound
based work that explores language as a problematic rather than a mere
vehicle for representation. We hope that this will be an inclusive
atmosphere for community-building, to expose new writing to a larger
audience, provide a forum for new voices as well as more senior
artists. We are excited to foreground work by women while maintaining
an atmosphere that strives for multiplicity, polyvocality and rhizomal
growth. Welcome to the garden!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Dreams: Delia Derbyshire (Ubu Web)

"Dreams" was made in collaboration with Barry Bermange (who originally recorded the narrations). ermange put together The Dreams (1964), a collage of people describing their dreams, set to a background of electronic sound. Dreams is a collection of spliced/reassembled interviews with people describing their dreams, particularly recurring elements. The program of sounds and voices attempts to represent, in five movements, some sensations of dreaming: running away, falling, landscape, underwater, and colour.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Prismatic Publics - Innovative Canadian Women's Poetry and Poetics Edited by Kate Eichhorn Edited by Heather Milne

South Asian Poetry Anthology Debuts in SF - NAM

South Asian Poetry Anthology Debuts in SF - NAM

The Prague Post - Tempo - Anthology tracks prose and poetry of past 20 years

The Prague Post - Tempo - Anthology tracks prose and poetry of past 20 years

New York Books: Family Album - Anne Carson’s deeply moving scrap heap by Sam Anderson

Vote For The 2010 Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere

The Patchy Squirrel

The Patchy Squirrel Lit-serv is an email list devoted to Toronto literary events. It is delivered to subscribers every Monday morning and contains listings for events from Tuesday to the following Monday.

Slate Poetry Podcast

NPR: After Loss, Turning To Poetry For Grief And Healing

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sage Hill Summer Writing Experience

July 19-29, 2010 in Saskatchewan’s Qu’Appelle Valley

Application Deadline: april 19, 2010

Introduction To Writing Fiction and Poetry—Geared for emerging writers who have demonstrated potential, this workshop provides an introduction to the basics of poetry and fiction, as well as self-editing. Limit of 11 participants. Facilitators: John Lent and Susan Stenson

Fiction Workshop—This course is designed for writers who have published in periodicals and wish to focus on a work in progress. The workshop includes group discussion, writing time and individual critiques with the facilitator. Limit of 6 participants. Facilitator: Terry Jordan

Poetry Workshop—This program is designed for poets who have published in periodicals and wish to focus on a work in progress. The workshop includes group discussions, writing time and individual critiques with the facilitator. Limit of 6 participants. Facilitator: Elizabeth Bachinsky

Fiction Colloquium—With the focus on works in progress, participants can expect individual consultations with the facilitator, as well as writing time and discussions dealing with technical, philosophical and conceptual issues in contemporary fiction. Limit of 5 participants. Facilitator: Catherine Bush

Poetry Colloquium—With the focus on works in progress, participants can expect individual consultations with the facilitator, as well as writing time and discussions dealing with technical, philosophical and conceptual issues in contemporary poetry. Limit of 5 participants. Facilitator: Daphne Marlatt

Non-Fiction Workshop—This program is designed for writers who have published in periodicals and wish to focus on a work in progress. The workshop includes group discussion, writing time and individual critiques with the facilitator. Limit of 6 participants. Facilitator: Ted Barris

Friday, April 2, 2010

League Awards The Shortlists for the 2010 Pat Lowther and Gerald Lampert Memorial Awards Have Been Announced!

The Shortlists for the 2010 Pat Lowther and Gerald Lampert Memorial Awards Have Been Announced!

The League of Canadian Poets is pleased to announce the shortlist for its 2010 Pat Lowther and Gerald Lampert Memorial Awards.
Congratulations to the authors for their fine work and many thanks to the jurors for their hard work on this year’s awards. Winners of these awards will be announced during a special ceremony at the annual LCP Poetry Fest and Conference to be held in Toronto at 89 Chestnut Conference Centre from June 11- 13, 2010.

2010 Gerald Lampert Award Shortlist:
The Gerald Lampert Memorial Award is given in the memory of Gerald Lampert, an arts administrator who organized authors' tours and took a particular interest in the work of new writers. The award recognizes the best first book of poetry published by a Canadian in the preceding year. The award carries a $1,000 prize.

Kate Hall for The Certainty Dream(Coach House Books)
James Langer for Gun Dogs (House of Anansi Press)
Marcus McCann for Soft Where (Chaudiere Books)
Soraya Mariam Peerbaye for Poems for the Advisory Committee on Antarctic Names (Goose Lane Editions)
Marguerite Pigeon for Inventory (Anvil Press)
Robert Earl Stewart for Something Burned Along the Southern Border (Mansfield Press)

2010 Jury: Barbara Pelman, David Seymour, Sheri-D Wilson

Author Bios and Judges' Comments :
Gerald Lampert Memorial Awards Author Bios and Judges' Comments

2010 Pat Lowther Award Shortlist:
The Pat Lowther Memorial Award is given for a book of poetry by a Canadian woman published in the preceding year, and is in memory of the late Pat Lowther, whose career was cut short by her untimely death in 1975. The award carries a $1,000 prize.

Elizabeth Bachinsky for God of Missed Connections (Nightwood Editions)
Ronna Bloom for Permiso (Pedlar Press)
Sina Queyras for Expressway (Coach House Books)
Damian Rogers for Paper Radio (ECW Press, a misFit book)
Laisha Rosnau for Lousy Exploriers (Nightwood Editions)
Karen Solie for Pigeon (House of Anansi Press)

2010 Jury: Gloe Cormie, Maureen Hynes, Rhea Tregebov

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Ten rules for writing fiction

Series: Rules for writers
Ten rules for writing fiction

Get an accountant, abstain from sex and similes, cut, rewrite, then cut and rewrite again – if all else fails, pray. Inspired by Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing, we asked authors for their personal dos and don'ts

Sunday, February 7, 2010

This American Life: The Cruelty of Children

27: The Cruelty of Children

Stories about kids being mean to each other.


Bully Book. A first-grader explains to host Ira Glass how bullies become bullies. His explanation: They read a book on how to be a bully. According to his reasoning, how else could you explain why kids are mean to each other? It couldn't be that they're just bad. (2 minutes)

Act One. I Like Guys.

David Sedaris reads one of his funniest and most affecting stories from his book Naked before a live audience. As an adolescent boy, David feared he might be a homosexual. He explains how his secret plan was to win the lottery and then hire doctors who would purge him of his homosexual impulses. Sometimes kids in his class at school would taunt the boys they thought were sissies, and when they did, he tried to be the loudest and meanest. He figured if he didn't act that way, they'd all turn on him next. Then he goes away to summer camp and meets a boy named Pete, who seems like an outsider in the same way he is. At first they get close. Then Pete turns on him. (26 minutes)

Song: " None of Your Business," Salt 'n Pepa

Act Two. The Man in the Well.

Original fiction by Ira Sher about a group of children who find a man trapped in a well but decide not to get him any help. First published in the Chicago Review. (17 minutes)

Act Three. Human Nature, The View from Kindergarten.

Author and kindergarten teacher (and MacArthur Genius Grant recipient) Vivian Paley tells the story of an experiment she conducted in her classroom to make children less cruel to each other. She instituted a rule: "You can't say 'You can't play.'" In other words, if two children are playing, and a third child comes over and wants to join them, they can't tell him or her to get lost. They can't reject him or her. This is the cause of unending pain in most classrooms and playgrounds. The experiment was a remarkable and immediate success. (12 minutes)

Song: "When You're Smiling," Louis Prima

Verité by Michael Scharf

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Gherasim Luca The Inventor of Love & Other Writings


The purpose of the TORONTO NEW SCHOOL of WRITING is to offer creative and critical writing workshops facilitated by industry professionals toward audience development for contemporary experimental literature. The collective is invested in framing this as a community-building, rather than an academic, endeavor. Workshops held by the TORONTO NEW SCHOOL of WRITING will give students an opportunity to gain a critical understanding of innovative or experimental literature as well as view that literature as a writing practice.

Artistically, participating writers specialize in a range of genres that fall under the broad umbrella of experimental poetry or fiction, including but not limited to concrete, sound, list, translation, performance, L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E, narrative, conceptual and long poems. Workshops have been conceptualized by professionals in the field using the TORONTO NEW SCHOOL of WRITING’s mandate of providing a writing experience for participants (actual art creation) and a critical framework for the chosen genre. Students will have the satisfaction of generating texts over the duration of the workshops and will be able to locate their art within the larger context of experimental poetry.

Three Poems by Linh Dinh

A Horseshoe of Roses by Aaron Belz

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Moves in Contemporary Poetry

Poetry is Dead - Call For Submissions: TV, Beer and Video Games

We’re looking for submissions for our second issue. The theme? TV, beer and video games. That’s right, your favourite activities will now be the subject of your poetry.

Deadline: May 31st, 2010

Check the submissions page for guidelines on how to submit.

And for Vancouverites, please note if you would be willing to read your poems in a regular reading series. Details on the reading are secret for now, but if you are chosen, they will be revealed to you.

Pilot Short Story Contest

So, I see that you are competitive by nature. Here is what we have planned:

* Step 1: Select an image from the surrounding collection.
* Step 2: Write a story for which the image could serve as an illustration. Your story should: have a plot; have a beginning, a middle and an end; be no more than 250 words.
* Step 3: Check your spelling and grammar.
* Step 4: Send the story to us at
* Step 5: Tell all your friends about the contest. Because we will post entries as they arrive, you can show off your fine work by telling your friends to come to our website!

There will a prize for the best story about each image, and a Grand Prize for Pilot’s overall favourite. The artists will judge the stories written about their images; Pilot’s editors will determine the Grand Prize winner.

Image by image winners will receive a signed limited edition archival print of the chosen piece. The Grand Prize winner will receive the FULL SERIES OF IMAGES and a SUBSCRIPTION to Pilot illustrated magazine.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Geist Jackpine Sonnet Contest

What the jack­pine son­net is:
A sonnet-like poem.

Where it comes from:
Milton Acorn (1923 – 1986), a poet from Prince Edward Island, cre­ated the genre and named it after the jack pine, a tree that seeds itself in fire.

How to write one:
Write a poem with 14 lines, each line con­tain­ing 7 to 13 syl­la­bles. But, in Acorn’s words, “If your son­net cuts itself off — click! — at, say line 12, 18 or 20, leave it at that.” An odd num­ber of lines is okay too. Apply the rhyme scheme of your choice, and if no rhyme comes up, be patient. Acorn advised writ­ers to write inter­nal rhymes (rhymes within a line) or exter­nal rhymes (rhymes at the end of con­sec­u­tive lines) “to keep the flow.” In the absence of rhyme, use asso­nance (the rep­e­ti­tion of vowel sounds), “to keep the rhyme alive in order to come up with a true rhyme fur­ther on.”

First prize: $500

Second prize: $250

Third prize: $125

How to enter the con­test: Write a jack­pine son­net and send it to Geist by post or by fill­ing out the form below. Include a $10 entry fee, which buys you a one-year sub­crip­tion to Geist, dig­i­tal edition.

Contest dead­line: Canada Day, July 1, 2010

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