Just when I was beginning to give up on Helen Humphreys it looks like she has completely invigorated her approach to fiction with this new book…I must go and get this one. I have all the others, and some of them are fabulous, but I had decided that was it, I wasn’t going to get the new one as a matter of course. Anyhow, never say never and all that. And a new publisher…maybe that has something to do with it. In any case, go Helen. I’ll report back on that.

Well, who knew Kay Ryan was a lesbian? I didn’t think the New Yorker published lesbian poetry, but they do publish Ryan. I heard her at the New Yorker Festival in Bryant Park a while back. She’s very funny, but not in that Billy Collins way. Here she talks to the NYT about writing, and the experience of belonging to a vanishing tribe:

Sometimes I go to look for myself in inferior bookstores – at airports, say – and I find I don’t exist. Sometimes my entire people does not exist.

Oh yes, we know that feeling. She means poet, not lesbian…

It has come to my attention that most Canadian poets don’t know Marie Ponsot. Here is a beginning. David, if you’re reading this, can we talk about Ponsot and her influence on your generation of NY writers?

Anansi turns 40. That means Coach House is the older sibling. But hmm, who is leading the way here? Just teasing. I’m not sure there is any real rivalry between these two presses which are both historically important, particularly to Canadian poetry, which isn’t vanishing, not quite yet.

And 50 years ago today, Ginsberg’s Howl was deemed “not obscene.”

A climate change book that’s uplifting…hm…meanwhile the NYT Magazine informs us that the world is drying up.

Susan G. Cole on the failure of Canada’s GG Award jury…I agree that Lawrence Hill’s book is impressive. Hey New York, he’s coming your way November, 11 at the KGB.

Meanwhile the International Festival of Writers is on in Toronto, though I hear they are relegating poetry to single-shot warm up acts for fiction writers…maybe we are disappearing…

I recently discovered Dani Couture’s Good Meat. Nice little book, both in design and content. I laid it out with about half a dozen newish titles by young Canadian women under 30 that I haven’t already mentioned on this blog, and well, it stuck out like neon. A few poems can be found here.

Poetry and film in Toronto.

Oh, Joshua. Clover that is. More on the company of poets.

Much ado over the “real” Carver stories. When I teach Carver I like to include both versions of a story where possible. It’s an interesting question. He cuts back in one. He fleshes out in the other. He reacts to an editor who is reacting to a market. All part of writing. Why pretend it doesn’t exist?

The cynical might think Rowling is courting the gay audience…but of course Dumbledore is gay…and she doesn’t need to court any audiences does she?

What is up with this show?? I thought I slipped twenty years back in time…

And finally, a new, nifty little site on Canadian Arts & Culture.