Curious links for May 2014...

rain, Montreal, more rain

1) The single comment beneath Michael Lista's infamous National Post op-ed called "Publish Less" would mislead some into believing the article has failed to provoke strong reactions. Helen Hajnoczky is the latest writer to respond with a passionate and thoughtful post "Publish However Much You Want" that infuses a lot of necessary grays into Lista's black-and-white lens. A few days on (and without referencing either of the preceding articles), Amanda Earl blogged "On Perfection in Poetry & the Need to Hoard One's Poems" in which she bristles at the habitual inadequacy that has poets hiding everything but their best works and argues against tweaking poems until they've reached "some level of exactly right-ness". The scope of this topic was always beyond one person's perspective (yes, even Lista's) and as Hajnoczky and Earl offer theirs, we're reminded that potential mistakes are opportunities to learn from.

2) Ottawa’s Plan 99 Reading Series will double as the launch for rob mclennan’s new fiction title The Uncertainty Principle: stories, on May 10th. More details? The collection of brief anecdotes is already available via Chaudiere Books’ website and recommended by yours truly over at Ottawa Poetry Newsletter

3) The closing of Book City in Toronto's Annex neighbourhood does not spell fresh doom for its literary community, according to Jason Freure. In his Town Crier article, Freure calms the feverish and timely uproar by pointing out that bookstore logistics are more often challenged by skyrocketing rent hikes than faltering community interest. The exodus of all entertainment shoppes, big and small, from primo condo spots may be inevitable but Freure believes bookstores still determine their own value and longevity based on a willingness to take part in local literary events. As if to back the all-is-not-lost tone of Freure's article, it was announced yesterday that Book City is preparing to open a location in Bloor West Village. Let's hope they host a few events, too!

4) Kevin Spenst is well into his 100-venue poetry tour and documenting memorable portions on Broken Pencil. Check out his recent stop in Hamilton (by way of Toronto) and catch him perform (alongside Sandra Ridley, Andy Weaver, Catherine Owen, Lindsay Cahill and Suzannah Showler) as part of Grey Borders Reading Series' season finale this Friday, May 9th. It should be a hell of a night.


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