Monday, February 21, 2011

Readings of the past 12 months

June 18, 2010: SLS Montreal Reading, with Liz Bachinsky, Dave McGimpsey and Martin Espada

September 23, 2010: League of Nostalgics Reading, with Kate Hall, Melissa Thompson, Geoff Landsdell and music by Kenny Smilovich

September 25, 2010. Playing songs (with Kenny Smilovich) at the Gala du Prix John Glassco


October 18, 2010: Reading in Kingston/Queens U's This is Not a Reading Series (hosted by Stuart Ross), with Paul Dutton and Lily Hoang

October 22, 2010: Reading at Drawn and Quarterly with George Murray

And then a multimedia extraveganza: December 1, 2010: Reading at the Grand Bibliothèque.

Artists: Stephanie Bolster, Marc André Brouillette, Jason Camlot, David McGimpsey, Mary di Michele, Sina Queyras and André Roy.
Staging and Direction: Michael Montanaro
Visual Concept: Michael Montanaro and Jérôme Delapièrre
Visual Design: Jérôme Delapièrre
Composition and Sound Design Navid Navab
Lighting: Tim Rodrigues

Most recently, on a snowy Valentine's Day hosted by Guy Sprung at the Bain St-Michel: with Gillian Sze, Mary Di Michele, Endre Farkas, Carolyn Marie Souaid, Alessandra Naccarato

Friday, May 21, 2010

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Since the Fall

Much has happened, although not much of it pertaining to me, centrally. Life of a chair. Still, a few things have come out, a few things have been presented, a few poems read, over the more than several months since I last posted something here.

On the poetry front, I did a few readings between September and November. In September 2009 I participated in the I'm Your Man anthology launch at Westmount High School in Montreal (with about twenty other poets). That same month I read at Ian Ferrier's Words and Music Reading Series at the Casa Del Popolo. In October I read at the launch of new books by Angela Hibbs and Nathaniel G. Moore (the Fall 2009 Punchy title) and then Puggy Hammer played. And then in November, I read with a bunch of great peeps, including Sina, Erin, Thomas Heise and Gail Scott at the Modernist Studies Association poetry reading. I'll be reading at the Headlight anthology launch on April 14th, and then at the April 25th Pilot reading with Paul Vermeersh, and Larissa Andrusyshyn (launching her amazing new Punchy collection, MAMMOTH).

More recently, I've had some poems appear in This magazine and in Vallum.

On the critical essay front, I edited a special issue of the journal Canadian Poetry on English-language poetry in Quebec. It features the following essays. The cover of the issue looks like this, only more orange.

The contents of the issue:

Jason Camlot (Concordia University)

William Douw Lighthall and the Poetics of Imperial Canada
Daniel O’Leary (Concordia University)

Robert Allen’s Cantons de l’est Encantadas
Andre Furlani (Concordia University)

Montreal’s Signal Editions: The Making of a Series
Julie Frédette (Université de Sherbrooke)

Listening: On the Self-Effacement in the Poetry and Translation of Marc Plourde
Kasper Hartman (Concordia University)

in search of the poetic in everday life
Vincent Tinguely (Montreal)

Costumed Selves and Sheep Coats:
Mimetic Translation in Erin Mouré’s Sheep’s Vigil by a Fervent Person
Tina Northrup (University of Western Ontario)

Can Lit tm:
National Branding and Canadian Literary Identity in David McGimpsey’s Poetics
Courtney Richardson (Concordia University)

Exile and Audience:
Carmine Starnino and The Poetics of Engagement
Katye Seip (Concordia University)

On the lecture circuit, I delivered some lectures and organized some panels at conferences:

In October I gave a talk at "Layton Out Loud," an event held to raise awareness about the Irving Layton Archive at Concordia. The talk I gave was titled, “‘I am their mouth’: Listening to the Layton Archive.”

In November I organized a panel entitled "Hearing (in) Modernity" at the Modernist Studies Association conference, with superb papers by Jonathan Sterne, Jennifer Esmail and Alessandro Porco.

December through January were devoted to departmentally things.

Then, very recently, I went to discuss an article I'm working on entitled, "The Three Minute Victorian Novel: Remediating Dickens into Sound" with the WINCS research group at University of Toronto (and had a wonderful time talking with many great colleagues there, as well as some of their amazing graduate students), and then delivered a plenary (titled, "Reading Poetry Out Loud") at the first annual Quebec Universities English Undergraduate Conference (QUEUC) held at Bishop's and organized with great success by Jessica Riddell.

May and June are going to be insane, with three panels organized for the ACCUTE conference, one at the Canadian Game Studies Association conference, another at L'Acfas--plus there's hosting the Canadian Association of Chairs of English (CACE) annual meeting (lots of chairs!), and a digital poetry project that will be unveiled at the end of May during Congress.

That poetry project will deserve a new post of its own.

Thursday, October 08, 2009


Spiders spin webs around flower pots.

Squirrels grow teeth the length of wood sleds.

Bees make honey in soda pop traps.

Birds perch aimlessly on dented eaves.

Skunks barely fit into their holes.

Taxi drivers leave crossword squares unfilled.

Teachers crouch to teach children things.

Worms burrow deeper.

I walk on the dying grass.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Canuckifornia: Call for Submissions

“Canuckifornia,” an anthology of Canadian writings about California, seeks short stories, essays (personal or academic) and/or poems (or groups of up to 10 poems). Contributors should be natives of Canada, former or current Canadian citizens, or former or current permanent residents of Canada. The purpose of this collection is to display a range of Canadian reactions to (and appropriations of) the myths and realities of California, a state where many expatriates have gathered. Canadians have migrated to the Golden State to pursue careers in the entertainment industry, Silicon Valley, academia and many other fields, and they have brought their own sensibilities to bear on the so-called “Golden State.” At the same time, California’s laid-back image, individualistic ethos and new mixture of ethnic influences have forced many Canadians to confront and question their own approach to life, both on the professional and the personal levels. Yet California’s high cultural profile in North America means that no Canadian with any degree of interest in life abroad can have failed to form a vivid impression of its influence. Thus contributors need not have resided in (or even visited) California to be considered. Submissions or questions may be sent via regular mail to Roan Press, P.O. Box 160406, Sacramento, CA 95816 (USA) or via email to Submissions received by Jan. 1, 2010, will be considered for inclusion. The collection will be edited by Dr. Bradley Buchanan, Associate Professor of English at California State University Sacramento. Professor Buchanan is a native of Windsor, Ontario.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Urban Myth Recordings Reissues

Urban Myth Recordings has officially reissued O Glee and Mr. Fedora, two cassette albums previously released in the 1990s, then distributed by Amatish Records, now available on iTunes.

The cool kids at UM Recs have given it their promotional blessing with a post on their supercool website. Here's an excerpt:

"These were quiet records, released in the midst of nineties overproduction and grunge bombast. Camlot's intimate, opaquely confessional songs went completely unheralded. Recorded sparely, superficially "folk", yet filled with bravura fingerpicking, monstrous, angular hooks and intense wordplay that verges on incantation, where did Jason Camlot fit in? Eric Matthews was dabbling with orchestras. Elliot Smith was still playing grunge in Heatmiser. (Leonard Cohen? he was that old guy playing synth pop and dating that blonde twentysomething actress... you know, the guy Don Henley and Trisha Yearwood covered.)

Fortunately, Camlot's tapes traveled by word of mouth through the Canadian indie-rock underground over the following decade, to the point where they had been traded and burned enough times that we decided it was time to get them above-ground. We found Jason in Montreal at his job teaching Victorian literature at Concordia. Duly impressed by such punk-rock cred, we asked if we could re-release O Glee and Mr. Fedora. He obliged, pulling an amazing batch of full band and Letterbomb tracks out of a shoebox and fitting them in at the end of the original track lists."

Please read more at UM Recs.

You can also visit the MySpace site created for these releases here.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

O Glee & Mr Fedora on iTunes

Urban Myth Recordings have re-released two records of mine from the 90s as digital downloads. More info on this shortly, but for now, here are the links:

Jason Camlot - O Glee - Unknown Leonard Cohen (Full Band)

Jason Camlot - Mr. Fedora

Find out more here and here.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Color of Second Best (Blog): Pink

The second of three poems from The Debaucher chosen by David Lehman for the Best American Poetry (blog) is now up. You can go and post a comment on the poetry board if you like. DL posted a flattering one word comment himself. Here's the poem by Théophile Gautier of which my own poem "To Your Pink" is a creative (i.e. very loose) translation, from French into English, from quatrains into sonnet:

A UNE ROBE ROSE, par Théophile Gautier

Que tu me plais dans cette robe
Qui te déshabille si bien,
Faisant jaillir ta gorge en globe,
Montrant tout nu ton bras païen !

Frêle comme une aile d'abeille,
Frais comme un coeur de rose-thé,
Son tissu, caresse vermeille,
Voltige autour de ta beauté.

De l'épiderme sur la soie
Glissent des frissons argentés,
Et l'étoffe à la chair renvoie
Ses éclairs roses reflétés.

D'où te vient cette robe étrange
Qui semble faite de ta chair,
Trame vivante qui mélange
Avec ta peau son rose clair ?

Est-ce à la rougeur de l'aurore,
A la coquille de Vénus,
Au bouton de sein près d'éclore,
Que sont pris ces tons inconnus ?

Ou bien l'étoffe est-elle teinte
Dans les roses de ta pudeur ?
Non ; vingt fois modelée et peinte,
Ta forme connaît sa splendeur.

Jetant le voile qui te pèse,
Réalité que l'art rêva,
Comme la princesse Borghèse
Tu poserais pour Canova.

Et ces plis roses sont les lèvres
De mes désirs inapaisés,
Mettant au corps dont tu les sèvres
Une tunique de baisers.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Saturday Man on iTunes

JC SPED - Affect - Saturday Man

ALSO: JC SPED on MySpace

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Best American Poetry (Blog)

So, I write from my own blog that a poem of mine has just appeared on another blog.

David Lehman, poet, critic, editor of the newest edition of the of the Oxford Book of American Poetry, and series editor (and initiator) of the annual Best American Poetry anthologies, has selected three poems from my latest book, The Debaucher, to appear on The Best American Poetry blog. The poems are all sonnets, and will appear at monthly intervals: August 15th, September 15th and October 15th. Which means that the first one already appeared a few days ago. The first poem he chose to post is "Since I have stuck my tongue..."

Check it out on David Lehman's THE BEST AMERICAN POETRY (Blog)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

JC SPED: AFFECT (Now Available as MP3 Download)

JC Sped was me in San Francisco on a 4-Track Fostex 250. The JC Sped compilation album AFFECT is now available as an mp3 download from CD Baby. It'll also be up at iTunes in a few weeks. Stay tuned for reissues of the tapes I made in the 90s O GLEE and MR. FEDORA in this same format, as well as a CD of 15 unreleased recordings next year.

Buy the CD
JC SPED: Affect
click to order

For more information about JC SPED check out his myspace page: JC SPED on myspace

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Pictorial Record of Recent Events

Readings and launches of the past month and a half were gratifying and fun. Here are some images that capture a fraction of the things that happened.

Sunday June 1st. Punchy/Insomniac Launch at The Main Hall in Montreal:

Stuart Ross took this picture of me in the doorway of The Main Hall prior to the event. We (Dave, Matt, Stuart, I) had just come back from eating at Royal Sub on Bernard. I'm holding a cheeseburger in a paper bag for the sound guy.

The readings this night were fantastic. Sarah Steinberg gave a brilliantly funny and effective reading of a piece about being trained to work at a bookstore from her new fiction collection WE COULD BE THAT COUPLE. Arjun Basu attracted and repulsed the crowd simultaneously with his Larrier than David story about a man's dilemma regarding a beautiful woman with repellant feet (from his new book SQUISHY). Stuart Ross read widely, wildly and brilliantly from DEAD CARS IN MANAGUA, finishing off his reading with the amazing long poem "Itinerary". Pictured here, Stuart in action.

A Corner of the crowd. Among those pictured here: Ian Goodman, Jeffrey Mackie, David McFadden, Colin Martin, Greg Seib, Mike Spry, Jon Paul Fiorentino (who introduced the night), Geoff Lansdall, and David McFadden in phosphorous maroon lounge shirt.

David McFadden's reading was remarkable. You could hear a pin drop in the hall throughout his reading, even when he occasionally paused for half a minute or more in between poems. "Here's a good one," he'd say, and then proceed to prove himself right. The crowd was in awe, the tables were askew, and McFadden was in his natural element, poetry.

Then Puggy Hammer played. My favorite moment was about halfway through the set when I turned back to look at Matt (the drummer) after we'd finished a song, and he said--not quite knowing what he meant by what he was saying, not quite knowing whether he was saying something in defiance, resignation, mourning, or simple documentary observation--he said, "My snare is dead." I said, "Your snare died, eh?" Or something non-committal like that. Dave overheard us sort of non-negotiating about the status of Matt's snare drum and jumped in with slightly more attitudinal clarity than we had shown thus far; he said, "What? Your snare is dead?" The Main Hall, where we were playing, hadn't been used for a show in a while, and it was a big mess. Matt and I had noticed a box of miscellaneous gear, including some drum equipment, and a big ass snare drum in some boxes back stage. So, I called for "Ramblin' Man" by Hank Williams, because the drums can wait a long time before coming in for our version of that song, and I told Matt to "try to get that snare we saw backstage." The snare was ready before the tune was over, and sounded HUGE when he finally dislodged it from the pile of crap it was entangled with, installed it onto his snare stand, and began whacking it. I only wish someone had been videoing Matt scrambling with desperation through the rubbish heap of drum parts while Dave and I sang about something over the hill that we had to see. [Photo by Stuart Ross.]

Next morning, 8:30am, I called David McFadden at his hotel to see what he wanted to do for breakfast. "There are some fine places at the train station," he said. "And, there's this yellow jacket in the window." Don't forget, this was the day before the Griffin awards reading. David McFadden later demonstrated why he felt he needed to acquire a new sports jacket by putting his hands on his shoulders and squeezing the 1980s sized shoulder pads of his to my mind sharp and suave charcoal grey double breasted suit. Anyhow, he wanted to return to a boutique in the underground shopping gallery attached to Central Station and try on that yellow jacket. So, I called Stuart at Steve Luxton's house, told him what was going to happen, picked them up, picked David up, and we all went to the train station to watch David McFadden try on a yellow sports jacket. The jacket fit, and if the jacket fits, you wear it. Following the purchase of a yellow jacket (but not a striped dress shirt), we proceeded to eat breakfast in the train station. I pretended I was in Paris eating breakfast with Steve Luxton, Stuart Ross and David McFadden. In a Gare du Nord café, David McFadden told me stories about English Montreal poetry in the sixties. He mentioned walking downtown. He mentioned artie gold. We drank coffee from styrofoam cups. And it was all very Parisian. [Pictured here, Me, Steve Luxton, and David McFadden, holding a yellow jacket in a bag. Photo by Stuart Ross.]

May 27th, Montreal Launch of The Debaucher at The Word Bookstore:

I could not have hoped for a better venue for the launch of my new book of poems. Adrian and Luci worked their unassuming magic. The place was packed. Adrian's cue-card deadpan introduction was even funnier and cue-cardier and deadpannier than I could have hoped. It is a launch I will always remember. Here I am reading with The Word's poetry section in the background. Thanks to Mary Carpenter for taking this picture.

May 23rd, Reading in Buffalo, NY with Stuart Ross, David McGimpsey and Andrea Strudensky at Rust Belt Books:

This reading was organized and hosted in the most accomplished and effective manner by Alex Porco. Alex brought out the people, organized beer for the reading, and even got an article with pictures of us in the Buffalo Weekly paper ARTVOICE. Stuart gave me a lift from Toronto to Buffalo in his car. Paul Vermeersch came along for the road trip, too. It was a fun drive, including a long, leisurely stop in Grimsby, where we hit the thrift store, and a cafe to do some facebooking. Paul bought a copy of Atwood's Survival (that had once been an elementary school prize); I bought a brown cowboy shirt which I later wore to the June 1st launch. Stuart played some tunes from Ben Walker Sings Stuart Ross, plus some amazing songs by Nick Lowe (among others). Once in Buffalo, we drove directly to the part of Main Street where Talking Leaves Books is. First we ate at a very grill-smokey diner called Amy's. Then I bought some sponge candy at the Parkside Candy Co., the circular candy store that has made people feel like they are inside a wedding cake since 1923. Then, a marathon perusal of the poetry shelves at Talking Leaves. Purchased, among other things, TED, Ron Padgett's memoir in 113 short chapters of Ted Berrigan. Just finished reading that--a great read. What if Ron Padgett's real name were Rod Pagent? Then what? [Below, to the left, Alessandro Porco, host and organizer of the reading. These Buffalo shots were taken either by Paul Vermeersch or Stuart Ross, with Stuart's camera.]

The sign outside Rust Belt, on Allen Street. Those of us who slept over in Buffalo stayed at the hospitable Holiday Inn on Delaware. I'm a priority club member there, and believe me, it pays to become a priority club member.

At the Rust Belt reading I read some high school poems, some 'dirty' poems, some Adios sonnets, and sections 3 and 5 from the title poem, The Debaucher. Reading the poem Côte-St.-Luc, and some things Andrea had said prior to her own reading (which was prior to my reading), reminded me of a high school talent show set list, the set list of the band I played in when I was in grade 8: Rock 'n Roll (Led Zep), Sweet Home Alabama (Lynard Skynard), I Can't Get Enough of Your Love (Bad Company). We were three guitars and one drummer (two grade 8ers--Me and Phil/two grade 11ers--Dougie and David). In each song, each guitarist took a wicked solo. That's nine wicked solos in all. I don't recall any other act in the talent show having nine wicked solos.

May 21st, Insomniac Press/Punchy Writers Series Spring Launch in Toronto. Featuring: Stuart Ross, DEAD CARS IN MANAGUA Catherine Graham, THE RED ELEMENT, and Jason Camlot, THE DEBAUCHER:

Dora K Pub on the Danforth. I was supposed to have Greek food once I was on Danforth, but I didn't. The launch was amazingly well organized and the pub was packed. Paul Vermeersch was a masterful MC, and the audience was there to enjoy the readings. It was great to see some friends and family come out for this: cousins Heather and Marc, former grad students Karen and Veronica, and present grad student Mike. Had a great time talking with Nick and Jeff, very grateful to them for being there, and for the drinks they bought me. Nice, also, to meet some people for the first time, including Evie Christie and former Côte-St-Luc-er Lisa Richter. Amazingly, high school friend Scott Orloff showed up after the readings were well over. He could have gone to see Sammy Hagar, but he came by to see me instead. Thanks, Scott! [Photo by Stuart Ross]

Left: Jason and Stuart after the reading at Dora K. Pub.

Below: Jason Reading at Toronto launch of THE DEBAUCHER. [Photo by Paul Vermeersch.]

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Debaucher Launches

Who is the debaucher?
He is not a bad man.
He is, I'm sure, pure
with wild intention.

Come celebrate the launch of The Debaucher, my third collection of poetry. In blurb lingo:

This book walks an oscillating lyrical tightrope between realms of cosmopolitan sophistication and ribald hilarity. In these surprising poems high art and low art gather together, sometimes on the battlefield, sometimes at lover’s leap. Here “The Song of Roland” is re-imagined as a set of cartoon panels, debauchery is praised as a virtue, and a pair of cannibals dines on a poet. Through it all, Camlot’s poetry always maintains an evocative connection to the tender absurdities of our daily lives. He makes us laugh, nervously, at ourselves.

I'll be doing a few readings and launches in May and June for my new book.

MAY 21: I'll launch the book in TORONTO in a joint Punchy/Insomniac Launch, reading with Stuart Ross and Catherine Graham. TIME: 7:00 PM. VENUE: Dora Keogh Traditional Irish Pub, 141 Danforth Ave.

MAY 23: I'll be reading in BUFFALO with Stuart Ross, David McGimpsey and Andrea Strudensky. TIME: 7:30 PM. VENUE: Rust Belt Books, 202 Allen Street.

MAY 27: I'll be doing a solo launch and reading of my book in MONTREAL at the legendary Word Bookstore. TIME: 7:30 PM. VENUE: The Word Bookstore, 489 Milton Street.

JUNE 6: I’ll be reading in TORONTO again, at the I.V. LOUNGE with Alex Porco and Dominico Capilongo. TIME: 7:00 PM. VENUE: I.V. Lounge, 326 Dundas Street West.

Events That Just Happened

It has been a busy month, and will continue to be a busy one, well into the next one. On the first night (April 30th) of Blue Met this year, I read along with David McGimpsey, Susan Gillis, Endre Farkas, Caroline Marie Souaid and Josh Auerbach at the Soirée de Poesie I; and then, on the final afternoon, David and I launched the first two titles in the new imprint we are editing.
Here's the officialese dirt on the new imprint we call PUNCHY:

Punchy Writers Series is a new poetry & fiction imprint of DC Books edited by Jason Camlot and David McGimpsey. Punchy is committed to publishing formally engaging and thematically fun literature. Readers who pick up a book from the Punchy Writers Series will know that they are in for a challenging and pleasurable ride. If it's excellent and compelling, strange and fun, Punchy will get behind it. Punchy Writers Series fits nicely within the historical mission of DC Books to embody "a tradition of literary innovation, dissent against convention, and artistic facilitation that is second to none." Send queries to

The first two awesome PUNCHY titles in the series are:

By Stuart Ross

Stuart Ross's sixth poetry collection is both an experimental departure for Ross and an offering of some of his most accurate surrealistic observations to date. Dead Cars in Managua gathers into one volume three discrete poetry projects—an absurdist Baedeker of image-driven prose poems about Managua accompanied by his original photos, a formally various sequence of personal, narrative poems about the claustrophobic spaces and amorphous moods of hospitals, and a selection of cubist and abstract poems where Ross shows his experimental New York School cards like never before. All of the poems in this book are touched by Ross's unique ability to dissolve our common-sense understanding of the world, and then distill a more potent truth from the remains of sense and reason.

By Arjun Basu

Arjun Basu's fiction collection is a wry and provocative book which exloses the realities beneath social conventions. Squishy asks: Do you still love me? Do you want fries with that? Do I look fat? Life is full of small moments that define us, tangents that lead us to unexpected places, bad decisions and no decisions with repercussions you couldn't possibly predict. This is the world of Squishy—an aspiring actress fast approaching her best-before date, a world weary travel writer, a disgraced ballplayer suffering the lingering effects of a wardrobe malfunction—all characters aware of life's promise and impossibility, tempted by something just beyond, something surely delicious.

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Debaucher is coming

I started this blog soon after my last poetry collection, Attention All Typewriters, came out, and named the blog after that book. Well, now the next one is at the print shop. The Toronto launch will take place May 21st, a reading for the book in Buffalo on May 23rd, and the Montreal launch at The Word bookstore will be on May 27th. Details on all that, and on the book, to follow. Enough, for now, to look at the cover:

Friday, March 14, 2008

Sze & J: withwords chapbook launch

Gillian Sze and I will be launching chapbooks made by the withwords chapbook press on Monday, March 17th at Kafein (1429a Bishop St.), 6:30pm - 8:00pm. Just across the street from the Concordia U Library Building, between St. Catherine and de Maisonneuve.

If you don't know about withwords, you should visit their website HERE.

In Brief, withwords press is a 'discovery' chapbook press, a montreal-based branch of Toronto's LyricalMyrical Press. The editors of withwords are Sasha Manoli and Ann Ward. They make amazing chapbooks out of books that have been discarded by libraries. They re-use these discarded book materials and reconstruct them into hard cover poetry chapbooks using unique design and binding techniques. These books are really something to see, and I can't wait to see what kind of book they have made out of the poems I gave them.

The chapbook I'll be launching is called The Fruit Man and Other Poems. Artist and writer J.R. Carpenter has graciously provided unique diagramatic 'illustrations' for my poems. The images she came up with are amazingly playful in a manner that is unique to all of J.R.'s art. The idea we had was to do a kind of modern-quirky version of Christina Rossetti's Goblin Market and Other Poems (1862), which had illustrations by her Brother D.G. Mine has illustrations by my friend, J.R. So the symmetry is already remarkable. The chapbook consists of Victorianish poems, a few bout-rimé sonnets using the rhymes of D.G. Rossetti sonnets, poems about Jekyll & Hyde, Ruskin, J.S. Mill and other kooks of the period, a little bit of nonesense verse, plus the long title poem, which is loose(ish)ly based on C. Rossetti's masterpiece, "Goblin Market". If you come to the launch and buy a chapbook you will receive two bonus poems (not in the book) that will be printed on a commemorative withwords press launch bookmark.

Gillian Sze will be launching her chapbook A Tender Invention the same night. I have never heard or read any of Gillian's work, so it will be a special treat to be introduced to her poetry.

Here's one of the posters withwords has designed for the event, integrating some of the arches from Ruskin's Stones of Venice that J.R. played around with (i.e. the lightbulb isn't in Ruskin's original text):

POETES, vos micros!

Performed last week at a Voix et Voies de L'Ecriture event held at McGill's Thomson House. This was an event organized to discuss and witness performance, slam, soundscape and video poetry. It was an illuminating evening, with performances ranging from harmonica-punk-slam to an historically researched declamation of a scene from Racine's Phedre. For my own performance (the only reading that was not in French) I developed a soundscape out of the various early sound recordings I have been collecting over the years, and read over/alongside the layered voices of the soundscape. The text I read was a kind of collage of two poems from The Animal Library: "Phono Kit" and "Kit Discovers Sound". I converted these poems into the first person, which had a strange effect of personalizing the observations about noise and sound and making the the whole thing--with the Victorian voices speaking around me, but not to me--rather affecting, I think. Among the sound recordings used to create the layered soundscape were: Alfred Tennyson, Canon Fleming, Henry Ainley, Lewis Waller and Rose Coghlan all reading Tennyson's "The Charge of the Light Brigade" (these recordings ranging from 1890 to 1906); an early and creepy 20c recording of someone (unknown to me) reciting Goethe's Das Erlkonig; Big Ben Chiming (a recording from 1890); and documentary recordings made at the site of the 1897 Diamond Jubilee, including a group of men and women singing "God Save the Queen". A nice surprise at the event: a former student of mine, Catherine Cormier-Larose, was also participating in the reading. Her performance was great.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Language Acts in Jacket Magazine

As a continuation of our exploration of the idea of Anglo-Quebec poetry as both a sociological phenomenon, and as an aesthetic field of literary activity, Todd Swift and I have edited a feature of 27 Anglo-Quebec Poets for the Australian-based Jacket Magazine. The selection of poetry (while by no means exhaustive) is extremely varied, interesting and exciting, and includes the work of (among others) Leonard Cohen, Erin Moure, Peter Van Toorn, Robyn Sarah, David McGimpsey, Carmine Starnino, D.G. Jones, Mary Di Michele, and some great poets who have recently passed away, such as Robert Allen, Ruth Taylor and artie gold. A digital reproduction of artie gold's chapbook 5 Jockey Poems (published in a run of 200 copies by The Word bookstore in 1977) is just one of the many treasures you will discover within this rich selection of materials.

Please have a look at Jacket Magazine, Issue 34

[NOTE: The picture above has been taken from where you can purchase actual straightjackets, should you be so inclined.]