Curious links for January 2015...

1) As much an opportunity to glance back as look forward, January finds some fresh perspectives on the year that was: Jonathan Ball’s Top 10 Poetry Picks (via the Winnipeg Free Press), Julienne Isaac’s compendium of digital clippings, Susan Gillis' A Few Favourite Things and rob mclennan’s Best of Canadian Poetry Books list. Not that there’s anything wrong with lists from The New Yorker or CBC, but I do enjoy the more personal recommendations between fellow writers. I would hope there are countless more my search is missing right now.

2) There’s still time to enter Broken Pencil’s 2015 Deathmatch, with the deadline being extended until January 10th. Although I think willingly subjecting oneself to that circus is more insane than ambitious, I can’t deny my interest in the creative end – if not the competitive part that tends to overpower it. With poetry submissions being considered for the first time this year and glorious winnings to be had (including some mentorship by BookThug, who have assumed the role of featured publisher), Deathmatch should once again cast a mid-winter fever over the CanLit community.

3) Looking to make a change this year? Consider taking some resolution cues from master novelist Leo Tolstoy. In this BBC article, which anticipates a ten-hour dramatization of War and Peace (to be aired on BBC Radio 4), Roman Krznaric polishes sage advice from Tolstoy's virtues. Worth a read.

4) Hamilton Literary Awards were handed out last night to John Terpstra (whose Brilliant Falls won the poetry category), Lawrence Hill (for Blood; non-fiction), and Caroline Stellings (for The Manager; fiction). The Kerry Schooley Award was given to Chris Pannell, whose A Nervous City was deemed "evocative of the Hamilton region". I concur, Hamilton Arts Council. Congratulations to all nominees!


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