Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Factory Reading Series pre-small press book fair reading

span-o (the small press action network - ottawa) presents:

The Factory Reading Series pre-small press book fair reading

with readings/launches by:

Rachael Simpson (Ottawa)
David Blaikie (Ottawa)
Christian McPherson (Ottawa)
Michael Lithgow (Gatineau)
+ George Elliott Clarke (Toronto)

lovingly hosted by rob mclennan
Friday, November 16, 2012;
doors 7pm; reading 7:30pm
The Carleton Tavern,
223 Armstrong Street (at Parkdale; upstairs)

Rachael Simpson's chapbook Eiderdown (Apt 9 Press) will appear in Fall
2012. She lives in Ottawa.

David Blaikie grew up in rural Nova Scotia and spent more than four
decades years in journalism and communications, including 18 years as a
Parliamentary Press Gallery reporter with The Canadian Press, The Toronto
Star and Reuters. Returning to poetry in recent years, he won the
inaugural Tree Reading Series chapbook contest in 2011 for his entry,
Farewell to Coney Island, which appeared with Tree Press in 2012. He lives
in Ottawa.

Michael Lithgow is a PhD candidate in the School of Journalism and
Communication. His poetry has appeared in Arc Magazine, The New Quarterly
and Fiddlehead. Selections of his work have been included in Rutting
Season (Buffalo Runs Press, 2009) and Undercurrents: New Voices in
Canadian Poetry (Cormorant Books, 2010). His first solo collection,
Waking in the Tree House, was published in Spring 2012 by Cormorant Books. He is
currently a contributing editor at, research associate with
the Canadian Alternative Media Archive project, and director of His doctoral research explores aesthetics, truth and dissent
in digital and performance cultures.

Poet, playwright, novelist and literary critic George Elliott Clarke won
the Governor General's Award for Poetry for Execution Poems (Gaspereau
Press, 2001). His most recent book is Red (Gaspereau Press, 2011), and his
chapbook Selected Canticles appeared recently with above/ground press. He
is currently the E.J. Pratt Professor of Canadian Literature at the
University of Toronto.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

The 2012 Relit Longlist and other book news

The Sun Has Forgotten Where I Live has made the 2012 Relit Longlist.  Congratulations to all my friends and fellow writers who made the list.

Coming soon, "My Life in Pictures."  A poetic autobiography about my love of cinema.  Spring 2013 from Now or Never.

And "Cube Squared" the sequel to The Cube People.  Coming soon from Nightwood Editions.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

The Factory Reading Series - Anstee, Irwin, Earl + Brockwell: above/ground press at nineteen

The Mercury Lounge, 56 Byward Street, Ottawa
Thursday, August 9, 2012
Door 7pm / readings 7:30pm
Cover $5 (includes a recent above/ground press title)

With readings and launches by:

Cameron Anstee (Ottawa ON),
launching Regarding Renewal

Marilyn Irwin (Ottawa ON),
launching flicker

Amanda Earl (Ottawa ON),
launching Sex First & Then A Sandwich

and Stephen Brockwell (Ottawa ON),
launching Excerpts from Impossible Books, The Crawdad Cantos

Monday, June 11, 2012

Book Review "The Perfect Order of Things" by David Gilmour

David Gilmour, past winner of the Governor General’s award for fiction, has written a new book, a semi-fictional account of his life entitled “The Perfect Order of Things.”  It’s a new book, but it’s the same book.  Before I say more, let me say this: I like David Gilmour.  I liked him from way back, when he was the film critic for CBC’s The Journal.  I really liked him when I read “How Boys See Girls,” (the first novel of his I read).  I’ve been reading all of his books since.  That said, Gilmour tends to write the same book over and over.  Cancel that.  Gilmour does write the same book over and over.  Here is the good news, he seems to be getting better at it.  Nobody writes about the loss of a lover, the pain, the tearing of a heart into pieces, the way Gilmour does.  If you have ever had your heart torn out and stepped on, Gilmour manages to capture it perfectly.

As much as I like David Gilmour, he comes across often as a man-child, needy for attention, unsure of himself as both a lover and writer, and often afraid of his own shadow.  Why would someone write about themselves like that?  Not only in this latest book, but in all of his books.  I think this answer is this: David Gilmour is honest to a fault.  It’s what simultaneously draws me to him and pushes me away.  He writes honestly about his failings, his insecurities, and his own vanity.  There is a very funny scene in “The Perfect Order of Things” where he bumps into Robert De Niro outside a bathroom at a TIFF party.  It makes me like Gilmour, but at the same time there is a part of me that wants to say, “David, come on man, don’t be such a baby.”

David Gilmour is taking stock of his life, putting it order, getting ready to die (well I certainly hope not anytime soon).  He does so by revisiting the places and people of his past.  For the reader, it’s like going through all his books once again.  The childhood of “Lost Between Houses,” the obsessive love of “Sparrow Nights,” and even his last book, a non-fiction book about the relationship with his son, “The Film Club.”  I would imagine the narrative comes across a tad convoluted, unless you were familiar with Gilmour’s other books.  One chapter is dedicated to why he likes to read, Leo Tolstoy.  I thought it would be horrible.  I loved it.  When my kids are older and I have more free time, I will pick up a copy of “War and Peace” and read it because of David Gilmour.

One of my favourite sections of the book is when the protagonist gets a bad book review for the new novel he has written.  He stews about it, loses sleep over it.  Months later he runs into the reviewer on the street and slaps him across the face.  It is every writer’s fantasy comes true.  I cheered.

The Perfect Order of Things” isn’t perfect, but it’s a Gilmour book, and I like David Gilmour.  Maybe one day he will slap me in the face?  I’m hoping for a hug.  Or just a handshake and a conversation over a beer.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Quick Movie Review: A Little Bit Zombie (2012)

Steve (Kristopher Turner) drools like a Pavlovian dog every time he hears the word “brains.”  This is because he is a zombie.  Or at least a little bit of a zombie.  You see, Steve is getting married in six days and his bridezilla, Tina (Crystal Lowe) won’t let anything ruin her big day, including her fiancé turning into a brain sucking zombie.  Such is the premise for the delightfully funny, smartly written and quirky zombie film, “A Little Bit Zombie.”
Many low-budget Canadian films often aren’t very funny, even when they are trying to be.  I’ve never been able to put my finger on what goes wrong, but inevitably it does.  They all have the stench of an unfunny CBC sitcom.   I’m very happy to report “A Little Bit Zombie” gets it right.  The laughs are real and plentiful.  I believe it’s because of the good script and great cast.  Everyone does a fine job, but Kristopher Turner is spectacular as Steve.  His performance, intentionally over the top in its maniacal optimism, echoes Johnny Depp’s role in “Ed Wood” and has the slap stick physicality of Jim Carrey’s in “Ace Ventura.”  Watch this kid, he will be a star.

If you are a fan of what I suppose is becoming its own genre, the zombie-comedy, following in the footsteps of “Shaunof the Dead,” and “Zombieland,” then “A Little Bit Zombie” is must viewing.

I had the joy of watching this film at Ottawa’s Mayfair Theatre, my favourite place to watch films.  If you have never been, go.  The programming is great as is the popcorn.  Located at 1074 Bank St. (at Sunnyside).

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Book Clubs in Carp

Last night I was invited by two book clubs from Carp because their selection of the month was "The Cube People."  It was a good time and the ladies even gave me a bottle of wine - most excellent.  Thank you ladies!  Here are a few pics from the night:

Saturday, March 10, 2012

New On Spec Magazine - #87 vol 23 no 4

The new issue of On Spec, Canada's speculative fiction magazine came in the mail with poems by little old me.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Come see me at VerseFest

Come see me and Rachael Simpson at VerseFest Wednesday, Feb 29th, 9PM for the In/Words launch of Issue 11.1

Arts Court Theatre
2 Daly Ave

Tune in to CKCU on Thursday Feb 9th @ 6:30

6:30 PM Literary Landscape on CKCU

Anticipating the launch of In/Words 11.1 and The Moose & Pussy's Codename: ORAL at VerseFest (, the Feb 9 show will feature an interview with and reading by Christian McPherson, readings by In/Words 11.1 contributors and a trailer for the M&P's upcoming audio CD issue. Founded in 2001, In/Words is Carleton University's student-run literary magazine and small press.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Bureaucracy at Gallery 101

Gallery 101

Come to Gallery 101 for a Panel Discussion about

BUREAUCRACY and how it has influenced art.

Saturday, January 14, 2012 - 1:00am - 2:30am
301 1/2 Bank Street, Ottawa K2P 1X7
Immony Men and René Price • Curator Leanne L’Hirondelle

Panel Discussion: Immony Men, René Price and authors Dick Bourgeois-Doyle, Christian McPherson

Thursday, January 05, 2012