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We’re suckers for the annual Pantone Colour of the Year, and this year is no different! We found covers to match this gorgeous green, Greenery.
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Adrift on the Ark is a collection of personal essays by Margaret Thompson that offers a straightforward study of the complex relationship between human beings and the natural world. The essays look at a wide range of beings—from spiders to peacocks—and cover issues such as our irrational phobias, our fascination with zoos, and the myths and stories we have created around the other occupants of this earth. They also observe the joy animals bring to us as our pets and the altruistic relationship between caregivers and companions. With lively anecdotes and engaging portraits of the animals who have enriched Margaret’s life, these entertaining and personal essays serve a double purpose: as a reminder of our place in the natural order and our intricate connections with animals; and as a warning about how much we stand to lose by ignoring our responsibilities for all life on earth.
Meant to inspire and motivate, Adrift on the Ark is an enchanting reflection on the beneficial relationship between humans and other animals.
Whether it’s medical marijuana (cannabis indica) or recreational marijuana (cannabis sativa), a grower needs clear information and helpful tips presented in a straightforward way.
Medical marijuana must be free of contaminants, which could prove harmful to patients using it, and so it’s usually grown indoors where the environment can be controlled. Temperature and humidity need to be carefully monitored, and the grower must watch out for and get rid of any insects, moulds, or fungi through the use of air filters and positive ventilation.
Sound complicated? Not if you follow Jay Carter Brown’s instructions. With Growing Marijuana Indoors: A Foolproof Guide, growers will learn to breed a variety of plants that can be ingested easily or smoked with a minimum of coughing and which yield a soothing “body high.”
I Don’t Feel So Good is comprised of material selected from the handwritten journals and notes of Elizabeth Bachinsky (1986-2012). Lines and passages were selected by the roll of a die and appear in the order in the die saw fit. In blending confessional and procedural techniques with disjunctive chronology and random chance, this book explores and exacerbates possibilities of the narrative mode both within the text and for the reader. No so much “written” as “received.”
Invasive Species is the eagerly awaited debut collection from poet Claire Caldwell. In these poems the calamities of climate change and the dangers of the natural world are juxtaposed against the intimacies of daily life. You will hear the voice of a woman, mauled to death by a bear, asking only to be remembered for her courage. Wildcats invade condominium balconies. A girl learns how natural it feels to hold a shotgun. And in “Osteogenesis,” the prize-winning final sequence, you will hear the beautifully entwined stories of a student named M, a medical school cadaver, a pair of young lovers and the body of a blue whale decomposing at the bottom of the sea. Caldwell renders all of these improbable connections in startlingly original verse, alive with compassion and wit.
A follow-up to his acclaimed The Porcupinity of the Stars, Moon Baboon Canoe is filled with Gary Barwin’s trademark humour, invention, musicality and craft and continues his exploration of family, modern life, nature, wonder, philosophy, and the absurd.These witty and surprising poems confront subjects as diverse as time machines, elves, hummingbirds, birth and cows yet manage to explore perennial themes of poetry: delight, mortality, childhood, love, the natural world, and squirrels. It is a baboon-paddled canoe of a book guided by the moon, and a round each bend in the river we find the sources of our strength, consolation, goofiness and joy.
From 12 or 20 questions with Stephen Rowe, Rob Mclennan’s blog:
Do you have any theoretical concerns behind your writing? What kinds of questions are you trying to answer with your work? What do you even think the current questions are?
I think the questions I want to answer arise as I go along. Obviously with my first book I was concerned with origins and people I associate with having taken me this far, but I didn’t plan it that way. I’m currently working on a group of poems linked to relocation between rural and urban settings and vice versa. In this case I’m looking at how people deal with moving, what social factors come into play, etc. I don’t know what I will be writing about in the future.
7 – What do you see the current role of the writer being in larger culture? Does s/he even have one? What do you think the role of the writer should be?
One role of the writer is to entertain, whether in a comic/dramatic sense, or in asking the reader to entertain the considerations the writer is presenting, serious or otherwise. I think there should be a level of enjoyment, of ideas and ways of expressing them, new things the reader has yet to be exposed, but also a healthy flirtation with the uncomfortable. In this sense the writer is much like a film maker or artist just using a different medium. Currently I see the writer struggling in larger culture. There are so many media out there, many with instant gratification as their primary appeal. Reading takes time and, to some degree, dedication on the part of the reader. Not everyone is into that.
The stories included in Andrew Hood’s sophomore collection are beautiful, gross, funny, and personal. The Cloaca is a train wreck of awesomeness. It’s your high school gym coach, drunk and dishing dirt on all the other teachers on the crosstown bus-a stomach-turning spectacle that’ll make you laugh out loud now, feel bad later. You won’t be able to look away for an instant.
The Girl Who Was Born That Way is the story of the Berk family, not exactly an ordinary Jewish family, trying to bury its Holocaust past while starting over in post-war USA. The novel centers on the dynamics between the family’s four daughters, the two oldest girls who grew up in the Lodz Ghetto and he two youngest who came of age in an idyllic American suburb. The story is told from the perspective of the youngest child in the family, whose sisterly love and compassion drive the novel’s action. Can her curiosity bring the family’s dark Holocaust history into the open? Can she save her anorexic third sister whose short stature and physical anomalies are a source of family embarrassment and shame? The Girl Who Was Born That Way considers the life of immigrants living in the diaspora, the miracle of their survival and their helplessness when faced with the disabling condition of their third daughter.
The day after their friend Cathy’s funeral, Margot, Tate, and Connie gather for a round of golf in honour of their recently departed fourth. There, they are joined by another woman, an old friend of Cathy’s they’d never met. Over the course of eighteen holes, secrets and confessions unravel as the women discuss love, sex, children, and everything in between. A funny, fast-paced, heartwarming story of friendship inspired by The Foursome.
Carmine Starnino’s latest collection of poems is full of lyrical escapes, exits and embarkations that set out to measure degrees of belonging and proximity to being at home. With his close attention to sound and ease of comparison, Starnino tries on voices and costumes for size, revisiting his childhood stomping grounds and current neighbourhood bars, reliving teenage haircuts and marvelling at the skill of the local butcher. Counterbalancing his own search for place, Starnino delights in locating in other people and favourite objects their aptitude for simply being themselves.
“Nine from Rome” is a series of verse letters written to fellow poets during a sojourn in Italy. Here the poet tests the novelty of new sights and sounds against the sensibilities of his poetics. Inspired in part by the letters of Catullus, the series conjours sunny balconies, food markets and aqueducts, and revels in the escape from routine.
This Way Out closes with “The Strangest Things,” a series of those things for which, William Carlos Williams says, “One has emotions.” A particular fence post, the scent of a woman’s perfume in the Metro, a ball floating in a canalcontained in these are tangible moments of self-discovery. In some of his most candid work to date, Starnino reflects on his own attempts to hit a stride and secure a sense of belonging.
“As a child of immigrants, my sense of being lost between competing origins and tongues can be intense,” Starnino says. “What this in-betweenness often creates, rather unexpectedly, is a feeling of being set apart, of existing as a foreigner in one’s own country. What it also contributes to is a ‘several selves’ state: my life defined not only by the reality it inhabits, but also the potential existences it did not fulfill. This clash of geographical rootedness and psychological uprootedness is, in large part, what I wanted to explore in This Way Out. Whether the setting is the Italian north-end where I grew up, or the multi-ethnic Parc-Ex neighbourhood where my wife and I lived, or our six-month junket to Rome, the book expresses a nostalgia for a home in poems of linguistic restlessness, poems where the language always has somewhere else it wants to go. By using doubletalk and euphemism, subtext and suggestiveness, bilingual fluidity and impurities of diction, I wanted to write poems that could tell me who I was and where I belonged. Taking the hint from Northrop Frye’s famous question Where is here?, ‘here’these new poems answeris always ‘elsewhere’.”
Finalist for the 2009 Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry.
A reSet original. Vital Signs brings together the collected novellas by John Metcalf, a modern master of the form, a writer who Alice Munro has said “often comes as close to the baffling comedy of human experience as a writer can get.”
Ranging from early words like “The Lady Who Sold Furniture,” about an amoral housekeeper who fences the furniture of her employers, to “Forde Abroad,” a mature piece that follows Metcalf’s alter-ego, writer Robert Forde, as he stumbles through the Iron Curtain to attend a meeting of the Literary and Cultural Association of Slovenia, the novellas serve as the perfect introduction to Metcalf’s acclaimed literary style—and as a companion piece to The Museum at the End of the World, his first full-length collection of fiction in three decades.
Elegant, wry, compassionate, and mischievous, with echoes of Kingsley Amis, Evelyn Waugh, and Muriel Spark, Vital Signs taps the funny bone, pierces the heart, and demonstrates why Metcalf has long been considered among the greatest—and most contentious—figures in Canadian literature.