Curious links for February 2014 (& beyond)...

1) Virtual friend Phoebe Wang will be holding a micropress workshop in partnership with Artscape Youngplace this March. Running every Monday for eight weeks, the course will help writers tackle both the content and design of your chapbook-to-be, plus offer networking opportunities through a series of guest writers, editors and publishers. Details and registration can be found by following this link to Phoebe's website. I really wish I didn't have to work on Mondays.

2) Motivated by her stint contributing to OGG, poet and publisher Amanda Earl is investing a lot of fresh energy into her blog so far in 2014. Critically she has been discussing a lot of poetry, both in book as well as online magazine formats. And with a plan to cover more readings, Earl might offer some behind-the-scene thoughts on events that'll surround her, like the release of her first trade collection (through Chaudiere Books) and her reading as a featured poet in Versefest.

3) Not even Canlit can escape the clutches of internet trolling. A National Post article (by Michael Lista) that seemed poised to promise insightful debate instead led, in at least one corner, to name-calling and clique-y divisions. Cooler heads are prevailing, thankfully, with E. Martin Nolan's Town Crier article "Poets, Hug it Out" being perhaps the finest response so far.

4) The Chinese New Year recently introduced the year of the horse. Writer Gillian Sze celebrated by tweeting an evocative prose poem, "East Is the Sun Behind a Tree", which she has since collected on her website. Keep an eye out for her book Peeling Rambutan this spring on Gaspereau Press

5) Toronto-based comic/writer Shane Murphy and I instead commemorated the outgoing year of the snake, during which we both sought out changes in scenery and "shed our skin", by creating a new mix of songs that explore the nature of home. It's the third entry in a mix series that has been fun to compile and share with friends. Feel free to download the results here.

6) Last week I reviewed Hailey Higdon's The State In Which over at Ottawa Poetry Newsletter. It's a sometimes difficult chapbook to look in the eye, particularly because Higdon does such a convincing job of transmitting the helpless and doubt-ridden traces we instinctively try to cover up. 

7) Lastly, Huffington Post's Bryan Berghoef wrote a resonating albeit light article The World Needs More Poetry that treats the reading of poetry as a spiritual practice. Sounds about right!


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