More Bite Than Bark Since 2005
Monthly archive May, 2009

So long!

Leaving Banff this morning, though probably not done posting about Banff. If you see me on the airporter do give a wave.

Edna Alford

If you did the math, actually tallied up the number of Canadian novels and short story collections that Edna Alford had a hand in crafting, I’m quite sure it would be impressive. Last night members of the 2009 Writing Studio, along with faculty and former participants and faculty had a few words to say about...

John W. MacDonald

Again and again that guy from Ottawa nails it! For your viewing pleasure, Monsieur Bök. You can check out John’s photostream at Flickr.

How to Smoke: Danny Bonaduce

I agree with JWD, who is cooler, photographer or aging actor? It’s impossible to choose… The shot is here. Thanks John.

Night in the Forest

Several night hikes sweetened with resin from the Firs. At night they don’t fold in but the higher one goes the more they sway, and at the very top they are dwarfed by the elements, grow sideways, or squat and thick, or in a circular way, the bark twisting slowly over years.The air at this...

Why Clive James should be the next Oxford Poet

“What male teacher is going to escape a sexual harassment case? All you’ve got to do is stand there, and you’re sexually harassing them.” Ick, ick, ick. Here hear James read his poem for Walcott… It’s his dream job.The SofQ poets are particularly nasty Silliman suggests, but the Hound suspects excessive careerism might bite us...

Do us all a favor and get your big, salmon-eating heads out of your asses, and lighten the hell up

Gawker strikes back at humorless salmon-eating, seal whacking Canadians. Step away from the invisible border people. We don’t like being gawked at up here. Ah hell, of course we do! We live for it.

Thank you Globe & Mail

For another wee trip down the Expressway.And thanks again to Evan Munday for the awesome book trailer. The Hound is a lucky poet.

Everything has been done for you

Why did you leave early?Where are you now?Who are you?Listen, let’s have a talk.Did you leave early?Proven remedy for growthand happiness.Should I book 2 places?Would you like two blouses?Weekend park meeting.Or miracle thought. Sometimes the spam file can be alarming.

All the qs from a certain novel

No question, it was the quality of the quad, the quadrangles quailed with queer queues that no queen—queer or not—would have sufficient qualities to (quarter or no) quarrel her way through. Though quarrelling might be thought common, a quest among quirky and quizzical quartets….it was quite uncommon. Quietly she quivered in the quicksilver quality of...

from A Mark on the Wall

No, no, nothing is proved, nothing is known. And if I were to get up at this very moment and ascertain that the mark on the wall is really—what shall we say?–the head of a gigantic old nail, driven in two hundred years ago, which has now, owing to the patient attrition of many generations...

Soaking up the Green

Can’t quite get enough greens…inside or out. Wishing that, like Jeff wall, I had a large format digital and could take about 36 small images of both scenes below and knit them together. Well not small actually, the bigger the better, but each image say, of a 12 x 12 inch space. The problem with...

A.F. Moritz

A.F. Moritz, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald. Another of the three Canadian poets up for the Griffin Prize and another great shot by John W. MacdDonald. This is a well-deserved nomination for a poet with a consistent voice and style and a long apprenticeship. He isn’t a poet that speaks to me personally, but I can...

Windy day, Tunnel Mountain

Meanwhile the jazz musicians have arrived. So far Turtleboy is the band to beat. Boys gotta get their online house together–nothing to link to. But they are hot: covers of radio head and Johnny Cash (you can find their cover of Hurt here). Oh and yes, new flower on the mountain. Be yellow.

Feminist poetics

Under discussion all over the place right now…branching out from Delirious Hem Mark Wallace featuring a great list of feminist poets Les Figues doing mini-portraits of writers, yay Odd little offering from Martin Earl over at Harriet Indirect again, but Eileen Myles on Harriet too Lots of discussion around Ruth Padel’s Oxford Poetry Professorship, overshadowed...

The Fragments of Samuel Beckett

Not new of course, but scintillating nonetheless. I have been under the spell of Beckett’s production notes, which I assure you, are more interesting than Twitter feed. Peep under H’s handkerchief._____ Ladder business simplifiedmax._____ At bins: 1st Nell. Deepstoop. From H.stet._____ Speech: move to doorkilled after ‘I can’t bepunished any more.’ Cf.8 after ‘…dying of...

The Afterword, Pasha Malla

Increasingly I am turning to the National Post for book coverage. Yes indeed. Ironically I have a subscription to the G&M, not the NP. (I know, I know, writers aren’t supposed to talk about this. It’s all hush, hush, don’t draw the ire of the reviewers down upon ye and subject yourself to the possibility...

Shirin Neshat

Shirin Neshat continues to intrigue but I find myself unable to formulate an opinion. Have you seen this video up at the Walker website. It’s quite moving. Moving where I’m not sure…it feels a little like Maya Deren. Some of the images just seem too glossed, too commercially composed,as with the shot above. Refreshing as...

Cold, cold and more cold. But I’ll take cold if it means fresh, which in this instance it does. “And yet we all yearn for childhood, revel in our own version of it. The dappled clouds, the scent of our father’s labor, our mother’s decadence, our siblings’ discoveries, intellectual, sexual, our childhood in the woods,...

Caryl Churchill

Propagandist? Wow, Rex Murphy has some tough words. Have you seen/heard the Caryl Churchill piece? See it here.


Like most things in Alberta, the Banff Centre is growing.Behind the screens. The old is torn down.Bye, bye, birches.


With apologies to Jin-Me Yoon. This image (below) from her “Souvenirs of Self,” hanging right now in the Banff Centre. “Is it your sky/mountains/land or ours too?” I love how the artist inserts herself into these iconic images and asks so many things in such a simple gesture.Of the photograph:Contemporary Canadian artist Jin-me Yoon (1960...

A few of my favorite tweets

So my current favorite Twitter dude is… christianbok Name Christian Bok Location Calgary Bio Experimental Poet Why? Great one liners: Copyright is dead—because you cannot sign a pixel.11:43 AM May 12th from web Any sufficiently advanced information is indistinguishable from noise.12:47 PM Apr 11th from web Ongoing updates about wacky intersections between poetics, science and...

Kevin Connolly

Kevin Connolly, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald. One of the three poets up for the Griffin Prize, and my editor for Expressway. You can read an interview with Connolly here. Good luck all. Great photo by the way. John W. Macdonald strikes again.

Another day over at the Globe & Mail

One wouldn’t believe that this was the national newspaper of such a diverse country now would one? I capture the list of columnists regularly and it’s always surprising. Commentary ANTHONY REINHARTProtests aren’t the way, Tamil Tiger leader’s Canadian family says GARY MASONCampbell wins again by focusing on governing, not the polls Jeffrey SimpsonMulroney at the...