This spring we've made it our mission (even more than usual) to celebrate new releases in the wake of cancelled launch parties, book festivals, and reading series. With 49th Shelf Launchpad, we're holding virtual launch parties here on our platform complete with witty banter and great insight to give you a taste of the books on offer. You can request these books from your local library, get them as e-books or audio books, order them from your local indie bookseller if they're delivering, buy them direct from the publisher or from online retailers.
Today we're launching Glass Float, by Jane Munro, of which Ian Williams writes, "Like glass floats themselves, these neat, clear poems contain Munro's breath. They cross oceans."
The Elevator Pitch. Tell us about your book in a sentence.
Like glass floats themselves—with someone’s breath inside them—these neat, clear poems cross oceans, connecting mind and body, self and others, physical and metaphysical, art and nature, east and west, north and south.
Describe your ideal reader.
An observant walk …
Carolyn Smart's new collection, Careen, re-envisions the Bonnie and Clyde story, drawing on first-person accounts and other primary sources to present a narrative that most of us know best through film. In this poem, a member of the Barrow Gang recounts the frenetic pace of their life on the run, its inherent dangers, and the remarkable bond that existed between them.
It was not bullets flyin round the risks we took
that carved my deepest scar, it was the drivin:
one mad night when Clyde flipped off the road
and all was sudden mayhem, overturn disaster,
knee to ankle burned into a flesh-made trench.
I do not now recall much of those early hours.
To wake and feel myself pried from the car
onto the legs of strangers, then into dark again
and drivin through the night, some woods-deep hidden room,
lifted into bed, from there to toilet when I needed it,
me screamin, drinkin brew, they poured all that they had
into my care and brought my sister there for aid and comfort.
Sobbed tears, prayed hard, pain greater than I could ever reckon.
I don't recall much til my leg drew up beneath me
and the evenins mornins afternoons all one long hurt and drink
like armor on the outside of an open wound, raised up and thick,
a bindin that held us fast. It was one thing Clyd …
Sometimes when it seems like we're smack in the middle of publishing doom-and-gloom, it's worth noting that amazing Canadian indie publishers including Biblioasis, Goose Lane and ECW all celebrated monumental birthdays last year, and now in 2015, the venerable Brick Books is turning 40.
Brick Books was founded by Stan Dragland and Don McKay in 1975 (and you can find out here how their history is tangled up with that of Brick Magazine). Dragland tells the story of Brick Books here, ending with a question and an answer: "Why are we moonlighting in this demanding, non-paying job? I’m not sure we’d all have the same answer, but a composite response would have to stress the deep satisfaction of being members of a thoroughly professional body with an amateur heart. We do it for love."
It won’t work because they once perpetrated a cover featuring shocking pink letters on a background of wonderful cerise.
It won’t work because they once rejected a poet so gently he thought he’d been accepted and wrote back grateful thanks.
It won’t work because idealism.
It won’t work because foolishness.
It won’t work because nobody …
A poem on a page has its own power, but the poem comes alive in an entirely different and more accessible way when read aloud by the person who's written it. This kind of aural experience is the whole point of Brick Books' Poetry Podcast Channel, launched in celebration of Brick Books' 35 years publishing poetry. The channel is an obvious treasure trove for hardcore poetry fans, but also represents a fantastic point of discovery for booklovers who are not yet well-versed in verse (but would like to be!).
Already boasting works read by poets Karen Connelly, A.F. Moritz, Janice Kulyk Keefer, Dennis Lee, and John Reibetanz, the site promises recordings to come by Karen Solie, David Seymour, Helen Humphreys, Margaret Avison and more. The project is being produced and publicized by Julie Wilson of Book Madam & Associates, who explains, "Podcasting naturally lends itself to the performed voice, so why wouldn't a poetry publisher take advantage of 35 years' worth of poetic voices? This channel has the potential to be an extremely powerful archive of some of this country's greatest poets. That can't be underestimated, and it's worthy of great celebration."
The project releases poetry from the confines of the page and puts it out into the world on the internet, where users …