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Friday, 27 September 2019

chapbooks and emails to new Canadian poetry bookstore, The Printed Word

The Printed Word (bookstore)
Dundas, Ontario

Hi James,

I'm so pleased to learn that there's a new generation of booksellers which is enthused about Canadian poetry and also the hippie era  :  )   I'm both things, in spades!

Today I mailed you a small (free) sample of the chapbooks I published from the mid-1970s thru the 1990s, just to pique your interest. Also it's fascinating that you know of jones (Daniel). I published his first chapbook, "Jack & Jill in Toronto", most of which was then included in his poetry collection with Coach House Press.

The chapbooks I mailed today are "Last Minutes Instructions" by Mark McCawley (he was also a small press publisher - he died a few years ago in his 50s), "Qaani Lore" by jw curry, who is a mainstay on the micro press scene, "Poets Who Don't Dance" by Shaunt Basmajian (he died over 30 years ago - stabbed and robbed while driving cab in TO), and "Dear Little Old Lady" by Helen Costain. This is just a random sampling of Unfinished Monument Press chapbooks, of which I had a few extra copies available.

Hopefully the hot link in my email below to Chris H is still live, and it'll fill you in on the list of readers and musicians I featured at the Main Street Library Poetry Series from 1979 to 1985.

Assuming the link is live, it will take you to my blog, riffs and ripples from zenriver gardens, where there's a lot of other info on my involvement with CanPo.

Great to get in touch (thanks to Chris H. for making the connection) -

Best wishes with the bookstore - it's a hard grind making a living in the Canadian cultural field.

peace & poetry power!

Chris (Faiers)

here's the link to the Idden Brook Press edition of "Eel Pie Island Dharma":

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 reply from James, owner of The Hidden Word bookstore

Hi Chris:

The package of Unfinished Monument arrived a few days ago and -- tho I looked at them immediately excitedly noting titles and authors and the fact that Jones edited Shaunt Basmajian's Poets Who Don't Dance which sounds like a Jones title (and the poems are closer to Jones than other Basmajian I've seen - admittedly mostly visual/concrete stuff) -- I've only now had a chance to sit down with them and type out my appreciation and say thank you for reaching out to me and sending a lovely sampling of your press.  I would definitely like to see more of what you have and discuss a purchase of valuables in your collection.  For example, any Jones that you have would be of interest.  I started collecting Jones a few years ago when I first acquired some of his chapbooks from Nelson Ball, and recently a friend traded in Jones' copy of Layton's Balls for a One-Armed Juggler with a stamp that has "Jones" in the middle, "My Book"  along the top and "Fuck Off" at the bottom.. this copy also Rochdale ex-libris). 

I'd love to have a copy or copies of your hippy poet memoir.  I'm sure of at least one buyer, and I would like read it myself.

I've got customers in front of me and work piling up so I will sign off.

thanks for the books!


photo from Google

Sunday, 22 September 2019

Marm equinox update: cougars, coyotes, climate demos, bear caves, bare-faced politiks

(from an email to a UK friend)

Apologies for not sending you a personal email in far too long. I'm pleased the occasional forward or cc has kept you somewhat up-to-date on my activities, which really aren't that many these days. I guess it's normal, tho, to experience a certain amount of ennui or weltschmartz (sp?) in our 70s. I generally feel like 'I've been there, done that' much of the time re involvement with poetry or politikal activities, altho I'm excited that the Extinction Rebellion and Greta's students are taking to the streets around the world this week regarding the climate catastrophe!

UK politiks have looked completely crazy for some time now to those of us across the pond  ;  )-  No one I know here even cares or bothers to discuss the craziness of Brexit these days, and now we're in the middle of our own 4 year federal election campaigning, so we've got enough craziness of our own to deal with. S and I always knew our PM was a narcissistic flake, but even we didn't realize what a complete fool he is. This new blackface/brownface scandal puts paid to his pretensions of being Mr. Progressive. Of course he's revealed the true nature of his 1% spoiled background in other ways as well, esp. with his governments lack of action (but lots of talk) on our First Nations emergencies (e.g.  ongoing boiled water on many FN territories - many decades ago when I was in the Canadian Liberation Movement - CLM - we ran newspaper features exposing the mercury poisoning on the Grassy Narrows First Nations - still unresolved   to this day  :  (   

Re Eel Pie Island Dharmoolie movie script and the Twickenham playwrights, I haven't heard from them since late March. I don't know if they've lost interest, lost momentum, gone rogue or what. Too bad. I played fair with them, but now they don't even respond to my emails. If ever there was a time for an Eel Pie movie, 2019 was the year. Just imagine the soundtrack - the visual content would almost be irrelevant!

Living on the edge of the Canadian Shield, I guess we take wildlife sightings for granted. Not only do we have your UK butterfly and dragonfly sightings, but dog walking friends recently spotted a cougar (panther) passing within 50 yards or so of where they were sitting in our little senior parkette by the river!!! Also coyotes wander about at night on a regular basis in this same park. Last night I did a longer than usual walk, and fortunately my flashlight spotted a large porcupine before I ambled into him! They are bold as brass, as they know no other animals will intentionally tangle with them. He snuffled along with me for about 75 yards before disappearing into the bush.  

Speaking of interacting with local wildlife, a friend was supposed to pick me up this morning to explore the bear caves in nearby Callaghan's Rapids Conservation Area. He had to postpone the adventure until this afternoon due to a surprise visit from his sister. If you never hear from me again, I guess we found the caves, but also found their hungry inhabitants!


Saturday, 21 September 2019

New Writer's Residency: Cardiff House/World Is Wild Lit Fest lll

Hi Chris & folks!

Thank you for the info, Chris!  I'm going to take this opportunity to invite you all the attend my upcoming literary event, "The Word Is Wild Literary Festival III," which will be held in at the community centre in Cardiff, Highlands East, on Saturday, October 12th, 2019, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  I'm attaching a couple of posters, one for the festival, and one for Sharon Berg's writer's residency at Cardiff House, my writing retreat in Cardif

Sharon Berg, Honey Novick, and Nina Munteanu will be making feature presentations at this event, and music will be provided by Albert Saxby.  In addition, a book fair section will be set up where Canadian writers are invited to display their work and offer it for sale.  I'm hoping to include an open mic portion, also.  Admission is by donation and everyone is welcome!

On Sunday, October 13th, Sharon Berg will be offering a free writing workshop at Cardiff House, and on October 9th, 10th, and 11th, she'll be available for private manuscript consultations.  She's asking that people please preregister for these.  (Her contact info is on one of the attachments.) 

If anyone would like additional info about the festival, please don't hesitate to contact me by e-mail at this address, or cell phone at:  (613) 334-9196. 

Best wishes,

Kathy Figueroa

                                                                ~   ~   ~

Hi Kathy,

It's great news that the Purdy A-frame writer's residency, the first one in Ontario, has inspired you and Dallas to found the second one, Cardiff House!

I've posted your email on my blog, the day after posting about the A-frame Open House this weekend. As in the past, my system stubbornly refuses to allow me to cut, paste and post pics or posters from your system. arrgggh technology! I was able to post your email, and I hope it's OK that I've included your cell # in the post?

Here's the link:

peace & poetry power!


p.s. I've cc'ed Jean Baird, the guiding light behind the A-frame restoration and residency, to share the good literary news. 

Friday, 20 September 2019

Purdy A-frame Open House this weekend

Dear A-framers,

Come on out to our open house at the A-Frame, this Saturday, September 21, and Sunday, September 22, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The house, built by Al and his wife Eurithe, has been restored as a retreat for Canadian writers and has welcomed more than 30 authors since 2014.

When Purdy (1918-2000) was in residence - most summers from the late 1950s to when he died - the A-frame became a stop for many of Canada’s literary figures. Halfway between Montreal and Toronto, its callers included Margaret Laurence, Michael Ondaatje, Milton Acorn and dozens of others.

In addition to a tour of the A-frame and adjacent writing shed during the open house, Purdy memorabilia will be available, including books, photos, prints and signed items. All proceeds, including donations with tax receipt, go to supporting the A-frame as a retreat for Canadian writers.

A special guest, Eurithe Purdy, will be present that weekend to share memories.

Parking will be available at the Al Purdy Library on Whitney Rd., a 10-minute walk from the A-frame, as well as along Whitney Rd. leading up to Gibson Rd., where the A-frame is located. There is no parking on narrow Gibson Rd.

The village will be a happening place that weekend, hosting the annual Ameliasburgh Fall Fair at the fairgrounds. Also located in the centre of the village is the Ameliasburgh Heritage Village, a large complex of buildings showing what life was like in Prince Edward County in the 1800s.

Hope you can make it!

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