1) Lit Live, Hamilton's foremost reading series, is preparing to kick-off its 2014/2015 season on Sunday, September 7th at Homegrown Hamilton. Details are here. Those of you living in Toronto, Niagara or other southern Ontario locales might like to plan a day-trip some Sunday soon, as the full line-up promises to bring writers from all over Canada. I followed the second half of last year’s series and wrote about it here, here and here.
2) 49th Shelf has compiled a “Most Anticipated” list of poetry books that will hit shelves in September and October. It features new titles by the likes of Ken Babstock, Clare Caldwell, Nelson Ball, Laura Farina, and so many more. (For some Lit Live crossover anticipation, it also includes forthcoming books by John Terpstra and Ellen Jaffe!)
3) Ottawa poet Sandra Ridley is writer-in-residence at Open Book Toronto for the month of September, and already it's mesmerizing. In her first two posts, entitled "Hello, My Name is Diane", Ridley details her relationship with anxiety and how it has shaped her performances and social life. As someone who occasionally shames his own intense anxiety (hence the impetus for my outsider status), I find it downright exciting to read Ridley’s brave accounts of actions and thought-patterns that casual onlookers might see as flighty or distracted. Bringing awareness to mental health is as important in the writing community as anywhere else, so the more sharp and observant voices, the better.
4) I have several Puritan related hi-jinx to share in the space of a paragraph. Besides releasing their crazy-big Summer Issue and counting down the days until the Thomas Morton Memorial Prize deadline (September 23rd), most Puritan writers are hard at work on their own essays, interviews and projects. Caryn Cathcart interviewed The Darcys’ bassist Dave Hurlow for his first collection of short stories, Hate Letters From Buddhists. Jess Taylor wrote a stunning essay on the state of Toronto’s literary union. And Phoebe Wang will bring her micropress workshop back to Artscape Youngplace for a second run beginning September 24th.
5) Chaudiere Books’ Indiegogo campaign might end in two weeks but not before rob mclennan and Christine McNair dish up an assortment of new, tantalizing perks! Late-breaking collectibles include signed, out-of-print Stephanie Bolster books and rare, complete runs of STANZAS magazine (1993-2006). As further incentive to support this revived press, we're getting fresh hints about future releases such as The Complete Poems of William Hawkins, edited by Cameron Anstee, and Chris Turnbull’s Continua. As of post-time, Chaudiere's within $1000 of their goal; let’s help get them through the homestretch!