“Sequential Gestures: Reading Cameron Anstee”

Oh boy. I’m all full of inarticulate emotions right now reading this piece that Bardia Sinaee wrote. I’ve got an enormous amount of respect for Bardia as a poet, a reader of poetry, a thinker-about of poetry (he’s more articulate than I am). I really can’t believe that he spent this much time and energy reading and rereading these early chapbooks of mine, and then producing this essay. He’s such a force for good in the small press world, and I feel immensely grateful that I have the privilege of being in his sight line here.

I’ll take it (what is certainly the longest and kindest piece of critical writing I’ll ever receive) as a downpayment on the next few decades of hard work. I hope I can produce something good enough to repay Bardia for his generosity here. Thanks, man.

Here he is with Peter Gibbon taking care of the Apt. 9 table at the recent Meet the Presses Indie Literary Market:


Do yourself a favour and buy his most recent chapbook from Anstruther Press before its gone (if it isn’t already).

William Hawkins, Poetry Reading

Watch William Hawkins reading from The Collected Poems of William Hawkins in Ottawa recently (Saturday November 28, The Manx, Ottawa). Reading is the wrong word; he recites his poems from memory, giving an astonishing performance. It is easy to see why Hawkins was such an influential figure in Ottawa when at his most active as a poet and performer. Enjoy!

Interviews, Publications, Readings

A few recent things:

Samantha Lapierre interviewed me over at Ottawa Life about Apt. 9 and making books.

Sean Lamb interviewed me at The Town Crier (the Puritan) also about making books but also about small poems.

Melanie Janisse-Barlow is working on what she calls a “growing archive of paintings of poets.” Read about the project at her Kickstarter campaign. Nelson Ball was kind enough to put my name forward as one to follow his, and so, strangely, there will be a painting of me someday in the far-off future (she has about 80 poets committed so far, and it keeps growing).

I had a handful of poems published in Matrix recently in their “Ottawa Dossier” edited by Jason Christie. I also have a poem in the newest issue of jwcurry’s Industrial Sabotage.

Finally, Chaudiere Books is celebrating the launch of their Fall titles tomorrow afternoon at The Manx in Ottawa, 5:00pm as part of the Ottawa International Writers Festival. Alongside Chris Turnbull, Jennifer Londry, and Andy Weaver, there will be a further reading from The Collected Poems of William Hawkins. Bill will hopefully be present to read, but I will step in if he can’t make it. Should be a good one!

An Accord of Poets – One-Year Anniversary and Sale

One year ago today, I was excited and lucky to be starting a five-day poetry reading tour with Jesslyn Gagno, Jeff Blackman, Justin Million, and Rachael Simpson. We read in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, Peterborough (and later Kingston). Apt. 9 published its first book with a spine to coincide with the tour, and today, to mark the one year-anniversary, that book is on sale for 50% off ($10.00 down from $20.00). It’ll be on sale October 11-15, the original five days of the tour. If you missed it the first time around, or just feel like buying a backup copy (or three), this is a good time do it! Thanks once again to all in the Accord, to our families for putting up with our extended absence over the Thanksgiving weekend, and to all that helped make the tour possible. ‪#‎itallhappened‬ ‪#‎oneyearago‬



Radio, Readings, Reviews

I’ll be on Literary Landscape on CKCU tomorrow evening speaking to Pearl Pirie about a number of things I have on the go with Apt. 9 Press and my own writing. I’m looking forward to it. CKCU is great at putting programs up for on demand streaming following the show, so you’ll be able to listen live here (or at 93.1 on your radio), and listen not-live here. Show runs Thursdays at 6:30pm.

I’m reading in the Factory Reading Series on Friday September 25 at the Carleton Tavern, alongside Ryan Pratt, Monty Reid, and Roland Prevost. Doors at 7:00pm, readings at 7:30pm. above/ground press is kindly producing a poem broadside by me to mark the occasion. I’m looking forward to reading beside Ryan, Monty, and Roland, and to see anyone that is able to make it out.

My chapbook from Baseline Press is nearly an object in the world. It is launching on Thursday October 22 at The Supermarket in Toronto, and Friday October 23 at the London Music Club in London. I’ll be present and reading in Toronto, but sadly cannot make London. Hope to see you out, Toronto friends!


The Collected Poems of William Hawkins received a very kind review by Douglas Barbour at his blog, Eclectic Ruckus: “a most worthwhile endeavor, a reminder to some & an introduction to many others, of a witty, sardonic, voice from outside the main centres of Canadian poetry in the late 20th century.” This in addition to the review by Sanita Fejzic at Apt. 613, Bill’s appearance on CBC’s All in a Day, and  a profile in Ottawa Magazine by Rob Thomas. The book is currently on sale at All Lit Up as part of their 1-year anniversary celebrations.

Otherwise, work on new Apt. 9 titles from Nelson Ball and Michael e. Casteels goes on in preparation for the Ottawa Small Press Book Fair on Saturday November 7. See you there!

Chapbook (Baseline Press), Rubber-Stamp Rotary Press

I’ve got a new chapbook coming along in October from Baseline Press. Consider Each Possibility is a set of fairly short poems. The manuscript goes back about two years. Re-reading it now, it seems clear that these poems were a step towards a properly minimalist manuscript I’ve got in the works now. I’m excited about the book, and am looking forward to reading from it. Karen Schindler at Baseline does such beautiful work, and I’m truly thrilled to have my name on the Baseline list.


I also recently picked up a small rubber-stamp rotary press, a “Superior Cub Rotary Printing Press.”



The internet thinks it is from the 40s, 50s, or 60s. The included literature tells me that I can use it to print greeting cards, recipe cards, invitations, as well as “tally cards for [my] mother’s bridge club, programs, for garden or reading clubs, and raffle tickets for fund-raising groups.” I plan to use it to print weird little poems.



I’ve run one small poem off as a test, not using the rotary press but simply pressing the lines of type into paper by hand. Work to be done to get things to come out clean, but I’m happy with it!



Two Recent Publications

I’ve had three tiny poems make appearances online in the last couple weeks. “Chronology”, a plundered thing, is up over at Flat Singles Press (thanks Joe Labine) and I’ve got two (two!) up in the July 2015 issue of The Steel Chisel (thanks David Emery) beside new work from Justin Million and Dave Currie.

To quote Jeff Blackman, “Otherwise / nothing new just work.”

Updates (Congress, Reading, Publication)

I am giving a paper as part of ACCUTE at Congress this coming weekend: “‘Ottawa, / you know nothing / of poems’: William Hawkins and the Small Press in Ottawa.” The paper grew out of editing The Collected Poems of William Hawkins. It looks a bit more broadly at how Hawkins’s life and work make clear some of the contrasts that the small press inhabited in Ottawa in the 1960s, arguing that his poems and their material production as well as his critical reception in the intervening decades are informed by his residence in the capital. The panel is called “Ottawa in Literature / Literature in Ottawa” and will also have papers by Alana Fletcher (Queens) and Zachary Abram (University of Ottawa). Sunday May 31, 1:45-3:15pm. Should be fun!

There is also a reading on Sunday night as an unofficial part of ACCUTE. “A Night of Too Many Poets” runs 7pm at the Carleton Tavern, taking advantage of the sudden influx of poets into the city thanks to Congress. I’ll be reading beside some excellent people, too many to list here. We’re at 13 last I checked. Hopefully it won’t be quite so humid. Come on out!

After far too many years of work, a paper that began its life during my M.A. research will finally see publication.“‘poet and audience actually exist’: The Contact Poetry Reading Series (1957-1962) and the Study of Literary Readings in Canada” is forthcoming in the Spring issue of the Journal of Canadian Studies. I owe a great debt of thanks to a great number of people for helping the paper forward over the years. You will be thanked in person.

You will also find a nice article about Collett Tracey, In/Words, and what some of its past editors are up to now in the latest issue of FASSinate. I am always up for singing the praises of the magazine and its influence on me, and was happy to have the chance to do so once again.