Jason Christie

Episode 58 – Experiment-O – Part 1

The Small Machine Talks

Episode 58: Experiment-O Part 1 with audio recordings. Episode recorded on Wednesday, May 6, 2020.

Hello everyone and welcome to the Small Machine Talks Episode 58. For this episode I invited contributors to Experiment-O to send me their audio readings of their poetry.

Experiment-O is an AngelHousePress publication. It’s published online annually to celebrate the art of risk. It includes poetry, visual poetry, visual art and occasionally experimental prose from contributors all over the world. We started it in 2008 and I’m now working on the 13th issue.

Every year I invite 10 or 12 participants. Each issue has a dedication. Issue 12 was dedicated to the late bill dimichele, who was a great contributor to AngelHousePress and a wonderful artist, poet and publisher. I’ll share the link to Experiment-O in the show notes: http://experiment-o.com/.

For this episode, I received poetry and recordings by six contributors: Gary Barwin, JC Bouchard, Jason Christie, Concetta Principe and Elaine Woo. I’ll introduce each reader and they’ll read a few poems.

Gary Barwin is a writer, composer, visual and multidisciplinary artist and the author of twenty-four books of poetry, fiction and books for children. His latest books include A Cemetery for Holes, a poetry collaboration with Tom Prime (Gordon Hill) and For It is a Pleasure and a Surprise to Breathe: New and Selected Poems, ed. Alessandro Porco (Wolsak and Wynn) A new novel, Nothing the Same, Everything Haunted: The Ballad of Motl the Cowboy will appear from Random House in 2021. He lives in Hamilton and at garybarwin.com. Gary was in our first issue in 2008. In 2015 we republished his first chapbook, phases of the harpsichord moon, and in 2014 we published a visual poetry collaboration of Gary’s and mine, Bone Sapling. Here’s Gary reading his poem Leonardo Inventor of Scissors.


Leonardo, inventor of scissors

Gary Barwin


sharp brother to ampersand

crossed hands of the dead

what can this poem do?

he was a great man

but he didn’t invent them


from Latin

to ward off, remove mischief

used for averruncating

the high branches of trees, etc.

how does the snick of blades

compare with applause?

hands coming together

help us celebrate

what is severed

Leonardo on his porch sipping



weapons of war


none of them

the shape of hand

if you were the left blade

and I the right

if we entered a cave


and one of us fell

a left eyeball and a right

impaled in violet light

the best of poems


Leonardo writes

the best of poems


frantic averruncating below

the string that walked into a bar?

I’m a frayed night

scissors like a scar

eyes closed

black cloth of shadow

slow sad goodbye



girl leaves family home

long-ago BC

imagine she says

sharp nothing divides

day night cloth leather

now from before

inventor escapes sack

the tent


from Greek

“to sew songs [together]”

my left leg my right


the Mona Lisa cut

a thousand pieces

returned to paint

then coloured

  1. a forest
  2. a cave
  3. a flock of birds

in the meantime

Leonardo invents

the staircase




when I was a boy they told

about Jesus in the gym

felt figures on a felt Jerusalem

the donkey

palm branches

Our Lord

His cross

where “we” killed him

I looked for my brother

only other Jew

Ireland late 1960s

in school

I invented a language

a prayer on filing cards

the mystery

rosebush from front yard

rosewood what my father’s big desk

was made of

once I fell from a wall

scarred my forehead

bled as I crawled home

sister to Darkness and Night

the third Fate with scissors ready

the clip of scissors a war

on time and its alphabet

the body

we live

Our next reader is Joshua Chris Bouchard. Joshua Chris Bouchard’s collection of poetry and photographs, Let This Be The End of Me (Bad Books Press), was short-listed for the bpNichol Chapbook Award. He lives in Toronto. He contributed to Issue 9 of Experiment-O published In 2016. Here’s Joshua…

RECORDING 2: Joshua Chris Bouchard

Joshua Chris Bouchard

Oh summer

my red hot ass burns to lick

melting ice cream from your fingers

at dawn in the park on a swing set

bucking myself wild and barreling

near the cathedrals of blood puddles

just along the chalkline of where I have

met you

Oh summer

the lampshades are heavy again

my body in the pool of hollow bones

candy thrown from black canvas tote bags

the mouths of awestruck newly weds spread

SPF 50 deep catching seedlings under dumbfuck

half-moons groping themselves like a choir in heat

taking a giant piss on the canopy of eyelashes

We lose everything

the will to smoke and shop and eat and pet

pretending to live forever and ever on feathers

wet with firecracker white-light plumage

woe is me walking towards the picnic table

eating a rotten fig like an apple-stucked piglet

singing songs to the skunky hands in my sweat

and that’s all very good because it is summer

motherfucker it is always bright and spit shined

As I point to the sky

My right temple

This place

Our third reader is Jason Christie. Jason Christie is the author of four books of poetry: Canada Post (Invisible), i-ROBOT (EDGE), Unknown Actor (Insomniac), and Cursed Objects (Coach House Books). Jason’s work appeared in issue 8 of Experiment-O published in 2015. Here’s Jason reading Incantation.


Slow death

“The idle singer of an empty day.”

— William Morris, ‘The Earthly Paradise: Apology’


Burnt umber grey earth rock

Mist and fog clouding and

Occluding the view of my

Yard, the yard, a sick pine

Tilting in the corner, run-

Down wooden garage, and

Pale deck flowing into focus

Arise with me, o world, dawn

First warms then slices through

My dawn. Arise with me, my

Sick pine, rotting garage, and

Pale deck into the hours of a

Day filled with family and fear.


Aghast, I make coffee and

Ask my digital assistant to

Play music in the family room

Before my children wake,

Before my wife wakes, and

Before time succumbs to things.


Before and after breakfast, I

Ride the stationary bike in our

Basement and lift weights. Any-

Thing out of the ordinary recedes

A little into the future. Whatever

That will be when we get there. I

Climb the steps from the basement

Into the noise of my family watching

Videos on the tv, listening to music,

Discussing the particulars of our day.


Comfort and grace, the

Living room is still dark

Even with the lights set

Bright. Grey and rainy

And extending ourselves

One more minute by

Replying to email or a

Text message or phone

Call, deliberately checking

Each person in our lives

Off a mental list with a sigh.


An ordinary day, uninterrupted

Time, minutes unbound from

Necessity, to stand at my kitchen

Counter and write a poem with-

Out children running at me demanding

Milk, hugs, goldfish crackers, candy –

Selfish and unkind thoughts, self-

Isolating, and yet to flip a slow death

And morph it to slow death’s approach

As it broadcasts from the kitchen hub.


I’m the mud all morning, we

Smashed and buried rocks and

Chopped ice at the garage door.

My son asks: where do diamonds

Come from? Do these rocks have

Carbon inside?” And our elderly

Neighbour appears at the fence,

She asks how we are holding up,

Says they are doing fine, nothing

Too bothersome over there. I tell

Her we are happy to help if they

Need anything and she replies the

Same. I return to my son smashing

Rocks, wondering what this means

To him beyond being off school and

Self-isolating with his family? What

Does it mean to any of us? Why

Not smash rocks and dig in the mud?

My neighbours continue to shovel ice

And snow from their deck. My son

And I decide it is lunch time. We

Remove our filthy boots, wash our

Hands, singing happy birthday twice.


More pancakes – the cry interrupts

The writing of this poem. Oh, to be

Living in a time with a surplus of

Pancakes. Why, the child shouts?

Why? Voice raised to the absolute

Limit, chanting and antagonizing

As any good six year old should.

Why can’t we go to the grocery

Store? Not angry, half asleep and

Full of hunger for the next new

Experience, he asks our digital

Assistant to play (Nothing But)

 Flowers by the Talking Heads.


They scream from the basement,

They scream from the stairs, they

Scream from the kitchen, they scream

From their bedrooms, they scream from

The family room, they scream from the

Living room. One wants milk, one wants

New shows to watch, one wants a

Diaper change, one wants a new toy,

One wants a walk outside, one wants

To smash rocks, one wants what one

Wants. They scream in unison for

Either parent to attend, for the adults

To solve their problems, they resort

To social media to plead for help.


Somehow we arrive at dinner

As a family, as individuals neatly

Made from our home, technology,

Relationships, needs, and wants. I

Make plain pasta for the children and

You and I eat leftover lentil pasta in

A tomato sauce while splitting sour beer.


At bedtime we fall into each other,

Exhausted from proximity, from

Filling hours with words, sharing

Minutes we would have spent alone

Instead learning what we each feel

When confronted with night,

With the fear of night permeating

Each thought, tic, gesture, smile — as

News roles along and the numbers rise

Headline after headline showing no peak

And no valley for the virus and the slide.


Faith at four am when you wake

To piss and can’t fall back asleep,

Faith when faced with your failures

And fears in the mirror while your

Children sleep, while no cars go by,

No lights shine in the world, and

All everywhere lay quietly coiled

In dreams without boundaries, in

Want of miracles and trembling,

Trembling and unanchored, adrift

Everywhere, waves upon waves

In silence sleeping, sleeping silently.


Carrie Hunter received her MFA/MA in the Poetics program at New College of California and has two books out with Black Radish Books, The Incompossible and Orphan Machines, and has published around 15 chapbooks. Her third full length book, Vibratory Milieu, is forthcoming from Nightboat books in Fall of 2020. She lives in San Francisco and teaches ESL. Carrie’s poetry was published in issue 9. Here’s Carrie reading two poems

“The Orchard That Was Right for You”

Setting: The Water.

Shawls, a wharf, a rope, a password.
Smiles are a pattern you wear indicating a dagger.
An outfit, an ensemble. An ensembly. An assembly.

Acquiescent demands. The water a place
to be pampered. The setting not a specific setting.

The coded language of a region inaccessible to the uninitiated.
What we think we know, but we don’t.

Always confusing deictic and enclitic.

Sinkholes open up cleverly disguised.
Everyday mundane questions; Another summer
coming to take its hand from the sun.

This is a land memoir.

“Fish tales” is an idiom that means the fish are speaking.

Bluetoothvegetables. Talking in specifics around a nonspecificity.

Pointed accusations coming to

take their hands from the moon.

Not a space for stopping to think or reconsider,
but something to fall into and be lost forever in.

“That odd, dank furor of attention.”

No sense of time rushing past or other people’s sense of time.

Being the pivot, but stopping just short,

but being adorable. And in the shadows,

the memories of everyone else

who’s ever looked down into

Rivers, basins, lobes, deposits, locks, and levees. The Gulf.

Wishes that are shadows.

Wishes you never remember.

Wish’s decline a sort of wholesomeness.

Animistic wish flying but no longer a wish, a bird.

A list of things that are fresh or might be.

A word that reminds you of a previous crisis.

That moment after a sound reverberates.

Negative striation.

We look for a beginning in the wreckage.

Verdancies profligate.

“Nurse of the Arcades”

Question of whether we are at shores or gardens.

“there there,” she says, or there —> pointing. Deictic.

“It nourishes other asides it knows nothing of.”

I don’t want to say what comes after. Dancing
after, sidestepping what’s passed, is still passing,

passes over us. Tedious crossfading.

Something to escape, or something to escape to.

“My fear is like a small house: you can come visit me/

but it will not go away.” Passing through as a sort of

departure. Something is always coming loose in the poem.

Chilly, unripe fruit, timeless or nonspecific time.

Being put to the test, but not now, sometime in the future.

For now, some non-test activity, or battling the weather.

[Not at a] pinnacle of some decision or other.

“Haint” blue, whispers of taint, it is and it ain’t,
what taints, is tainted.

Psychics who are right.

A list of metaphors for building something.

The city and the city’s lair.

All lives have battle sections.

Definition of the one and only in horticultural terms. 

“They handed us over to it/and we were alone.”

The battle scene leads to the Arcadian scene.

The animals, pilgrims, defeated, supplicants, bushes, virtue,

an antidote. The domens, a joke, a centipede, morass.

A beast, a lair. Apathetic wondering.

An unnamable coherence.

Love’s crescendo, but inside a fermata.

Fear’s wall; a depression.

A man walking his dog with a dog ball launcher,

and I say, “That man is walking alone holding a single flower.”

A bird is screeching outside my window. I ask, “What is that?”
He says, “An eagle.”

“No center, only the circuit”

NOTE: Lines in quotes are taken from John Ashbery’s “Flowchart,” unless stated otherwise. Italicized lines are from or inspired by Marthe Reed’s posthumously published “Ark Hive.” Lines that are both italicized and in quotes are also from John Ashbery’s “Flowchart,” but italicized in his text.

Our next reader is Concetta Principe. Concetta Principe is a writer of poetry and creative non-fiction, and scholarship on trauma and literature. Her recent collection, This Real (Pedlar Press 2017) was long-listed for the League of Canadian Poet’s Raymond Souster Award. Her creative non-fiction project on suicide is forthcoming with Gordon Hill Press in the spring of 2021. Her work has appeared in Canadian and American journals including The Malahat Review, The Capilano Review, experiment-o, and Hamilton Arts and Literature. She teaches English Literature and Creative Writing at Trent University, Durham. Concetta’s poems appeared in issue 12 in 2019. Concetta is reading some of the work from the issue.


EXCERPTS FROM – EX NIHILO: 9 Uneasy Steps to a PhD – concetta principe


Fed up, she breaks it. Bursting of things. She breaks it not like the boy who takes the stick to his piniata and screams victory; she breaks it not like the musician does his instrument against the brick, careening; breaks not like the boy’s smile with chocolate all over his face. What she breaks is inside, under cover, near the spine, brittle as flowers to remember walking in summer. She breaks it not like she means it. She breaks it because the fast must end. The fast-lane and Betty is driving again. From the rim of “mother” we are born into a world of naming, rimming the world with our pissy semantics, Romantics, Wordsworth and Byron, Saussure’s signifier and Lacan’s point is…. Badiou and Žižek, Baudelaire and Stein, Freud, Wittgenstein, and philosophy stewed prunes. Derrida’s ‘aleph’, two. Of lips and anus and ears and eyes and then the hidden rim, the second hidden rim, not between her legs, but the one deep deep down between her lips. Very. She aches. 


Beating the board to make her point; beating the dress to flatten her hips; beating the matter into a ghost of itself. Beating the odds at Woodbine. Beating the meat for Dexter’s art. Beating the horse is a crime in all countries. Beating the chest to say, “I did this!” Beating the wall till it crumbled. Beating the neighour in a game of chess. Beating the odds and the bleachers. Beating the Canadiennes teaches you something about passing on the defence-line. Beats me. Beats me. Ears and nose and mouth around the eight-wheeler of another crime, spinning off the tracks of CBCs Hockey Night. Beats. The beating. The ice was as black as her smile was red. So very.


My Marxist was a Derrida cat. My fascist was the Blanchot bird. My cat and bird played crazy eights. Why are eights so crazy? The struggle to stay afloat is called treading the universal. An eight falls over and goes eternal. Tread the halls, the tutorials, students, lectures, essays, and all the effing signifiers without end. Feel the eighties slip around as if you are laddering failure. Forever. It is ok to always be falling or struggling. It is ok never to catch Farah Fawcet and her hair. Shampoo and shoulder pads godawful. Swimming practice in your birthday suit. This very watery, so many particles, so many words, word bubbles, so many pieces of words, so many threads to each piece. So much to count. Things are so very whole numbers. Fuck the fractions. There was chocolate. There was Marx and a fascist. I want a noun now, says the doctor. There were almonds, as well. I will sell you the verb, says insurance. Allergic. The psychoanalyst said nothing but cut deeply.

Our final reader is Elaine Woo. Elaine Woo is a poet, artist, and librettist living on the West Coast of Canada.  She is the author of the poetry collections, Put Your Hand in Mine and Cycling with the Dragon.  Her work is published internationally:   in Canada, the US, Australia, the UK, France, and Hong Kong.  Elaine’s poetry appears in Experimet-O in issue 10, published in 2017. Elaine is reading four poems from Put Your Hand in Mine, which came out with Signature Editions in 2019.


Feeling the Way

                                                                   bleeding colours

                                                                                             hazier than the real tableau


path art     a braid

                                                                                entwining of light and shade strands

dandelion helices—I sing the body electric!

                                                             water daemons flit through meaning

trustworthiness, a boulder

                                                 every boulder, the thermostat whines blue

   willow limbs drape mood

                                a curse            abstract this labyrinth

                                                   trip into gasps

                    skip stepping stones of robust bones

                                                                                      grin in hands

                                                                 retain nylon plane, fly through tears in sky


                                                                                  Grey clouds squat, dulling conifers

                             biting wind curls hair around ears.

    Push on, dead leaves crackle underfoot

                                                                                  crumple, fragments.

                                Ashen curtain sinks

             Feet, too hulking to drag across deck

                                                  in pools of milk of magnesia.

                                                                                                         SLOOGE!  OOGE!

                                                                                                                                  Falcon dive.

                 This, maybe a video game:                       crawl midway before eyelids droop

    Every muscle, drained batteries                   throat dry of words

                               mind manipulates bodily joystick

                                                                                     barrel feet clump on, falter.

                                                      Ambulance siren scrapes past.

                                                                Ambiguity of voices




Spider pauses on her silk nexus considering the wet that pelts her abdomen.  Eight legs

consider                       aluminum ledge.

Mottled mushroom, an awning for ants and other modest behemoths of the forest.

Iridescent mussels on slick rocks by the jagged shore, whether or not the tide should

bring them plankton, they rooted cling.

Indebted to those of soil, oceans, the blue.

Arm’s Reach Away

Not exempt from the rent of loneliness

torn by barbed wire of misunderstanding.

Creek ripples register a companionable shrr  shrr

fronds sweep the air in reply

camellia platters, red buds of depth

wild rhododendrons trumpet

planetary dispatch—lively communion

leaches through this isolate cloak.

Thanks to all the readers and thanks to you for listening. Thanks to Charles for processing and putting the recordings together, and thanks to Jennifer for the intro and outro.

I hope to have more episodes with readings from Experiment-O contributors and others in future. Stay tuned!

The Small Machine Talks Episode 52 Book Club with a.m. kozak, Fiona Mitchell, Helen Robertson, Amanda Earl and Hiram Larew,

The Small Machine Talks Episode 52

Book Club with a.m. kozak, Fiona Mitchell, Helen Robertson, Amanda Earl and Hirem Laraw, recorded on Sunday, November 17, 2019

Fiona Ann Mitchell is a poet from Ottawa, Ontario and holds a MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Victoria. Her work can be found in Freefall, The Maynard, The Capilano Review, Arc Magazine and she does editing for Bywords.

Helen Robertson is a genderqueer trans woman moving through the lifelong process of accepting how lucky they’ve been; using poetry to excise their ire and sorrow — hopefully turning it into something worthwhile.

Their work has appeared or is forthcoming in Bywords, CV2, The Puritan, The New Quarterly, and The Grimoire by Coven Editions. They were long listed for the 2019 Vallum Poetry Prize.


1. Amanda talks about the themes of connection and community in Canthius Issue 7, and reads Emilie Kneifel’s “Sharing Again”



deadline for Canthius’ PRISCILA UPPAL MEMORIAL AWARD FOR POETRY is Dec 1. if you can’t afford the $25 entry fee, let them know. there are a few donations of entry fees available.

and visit the site for reviews, essays, interviews, prose and poetry.

Helen muses about whether they’re still subscribed.

2. Helen discusses Arielle Twist’s Disintegrate Disassociate, Arsenal Pulp Press. We talk about Arielle’s great stage presence when she read at Plan 99 in May.


and also Gwen Benaway’s Holy Wild (Book*Hug Press)

https://bookhugpress.ca/shop/books/holy-wild-by-gwen-benaway/ and specifically mentions A Love Letter for Trans Girls.

Gwen will be reading on December 11 as part of the Governor General Literary Awards at the Canada Council for the Arts at noon. https://ggbooks.ca/events

Amanda discusses the fire in Arielle’s book and the juxtaposition between violence and tenderness. Helen talks about validation from cis het white males for trans women.

3. Fiona talks about Marita Dachsel’s Glsosolalia (Anvil Press) a fictional account of Joseph Smith and his 34 wives, their voices and experiences, pointing particularly to Dachsel’s use of form, including concrete poetry


An interview with Dachsel about the book and why she chose to write about polygamy


4. Aaron talks about Bluets by Maggie Nelson (Wave Books)

He likes how the book uses blue as a centre to talk about science, biography, philosophy, etc. The colour opens up to other subjects. He reads a short paragraph, #215

We talk about the imagery that ends a poem and back of the book blurbs.

Amanda mentions her book, the Argonauts https://www.graywolfpress.org/books/argonauts

We end up talking about line breaks and Amanda mentions Dennis Cooley’s essay “Breaking and Entering (thoughts on the line) published in Open Letter, Sixth Series, No 7, Spring 1987.

Fiona recommends Robert Haas’ prose poems to Aaron.

We talk about going back and revisiting old poems. We learn of Aaron’s plundered line document. And Amanda talks about the process of writing long poems and poem series and mentions her upcoming reading on November 22 from her new above/ground press chapbook, Aftermath or Scenes of A Woman Convalescing.


free play period!

5. Additional Books – not necessarily poetry

Helen elaborates on what she liked about Gwen Benaway’s Holy Wild, its similarities and differences to Arielle Twist’s Disintegrate Disassociate.

Amanda recommends Trish Salah’s Lyric Sexolgy Volume 1 https://metonymypress.com/product/lyric-sexology-vol-1/

and Tanis Franco’s Quarry https://press.ucalgary.ca/books/9781552389812/

Aaron talks about From Walk-Up to High-Rise, Ottawa’s Historic Apartment Buildings, published by Heritage Ottawa.


Gouzenko Apartment https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Igor_Gouzenko

Winnipeg’s Exchange District https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exchange_District

Fiona discusses The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck by Mark Manson

We debate which month is worse: November or February.

Amanda talks about the Blue Road, a fable of migration, written by Wayde Compton and illustrated by April dela Noche Milne and published by Arsenal Pulp Press https://arsenalpulp.com/Books/T/The-Blue-Road

6. Reminder: the ottawa small press book fair takes place from noon to five pm on Saturday, November 23 at the Jack Purcell Community Centre


7.  Book Club response 1: Hiram Larew talks about Gabriele Calvocoressi’s poem Cistern from the New Yorker July 16, 2018 issue. You can read and hear the poem here: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/07/23/mayflower-cistern-i-feel-my-pilgrim-worry

Thanks for listening and thanks to Helen and Fiona for joining us. Stay tuned for our last episode of 2019 in December. Please share with your poetry and book loving pals.

Episode 47: Interview with Anita Dolman and James K. Moran

Poet, editor and writer Anita Dolman is the author of Lost Enough: A collection of short stories (Morning Rain Publishing, 2017), and co-editor of Motherhood in Precarious Times (Demeter Press, 2018), an international anthology of poetry and non-fiction. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in numerous journals, magazines and anthologies, including Another Dysfunctional Cancer Poem Anthology, Canadian Ginger, Hamilton Arts & Letters, Arc Poetry Magazine, On Spec, Grain, PRISM international, The Antigonish Review, and Triangulation: Lost Voices. She is the author of two poetry chapbooks, and was a finalist for the 2015 Alberta Magazine Award for fiction. Dolman is a contributing editor for Arc Poetry Magazine, and was interim Arts editor for This Magazine’s upcoming September issue.

Ottawa author James K. Moran’s speculative fiction and poetry have appeared in Canadian, American and British publications including Icarus, On Spec and Glitterwolf. His poetry recently appeared in Another Dysfunctional Cancer Poem Anthology (Mansfield Press) and Bywords,ca. Moran’s articles have appeared via CBC Radio, Daily Xtra and Rue Morgue. 

In 2012, he founded the Little Workshop of Horrors, an Ottawa-based writers’ group that carves speculative and literary work into the shape it is meant to be. Moran also runs Queer Speculations, a writers’ group that workshops queer-themed stories from far and wide. Town & Train (Lethe Press, 2014) is Moran’s debut horror novel. He blogs at jameskmoran.blogspot.ca. Right now, he is likely at work, editing his second horror novel.

We talk about James and Anita’s first meeting, their relationship to each other’s writing and how it has evolved over the years, balance between writing, making money and child raising, the benefits of both being writers, dealing with rejections, procrastination, the writing life, doing readings together,  the arbitrary labelling of genre vs. literature, being open to genre, writing speculative fiction, featuring at writers’ conferences, ego. I ask for advice for other couples who are writers and James suggests it’s best to know each other as writers first, the importance of being honest with one another and not taking criticism personally. Anita talks about the competition for writers due to the grant system, the scarcity model of industries like writing.

We talk about books and reading, mutual and different interests. We talk about how their son relates to them as writers and about his love of reading and the books James and Anita passed on to him because of their own love for the books when they were his age.

I ask whether either one of them write speculative stuff into their poetry. I ask about their current projects.


Confluence – http://parsec-sff.org/confluence/

Dorothea Brande – Becoming A Writer https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/349430/becoming-a-writer-by-dorothea-brande/9780874771640/

Arc Poetry Magazine: http://arcpoetry.ca/

World of Tea https://www.world-of-tea.ca/

Amber Dawn http://www.amberdawnwrites.com/

The Word Balloon Podcast http://wordballoon.blogspot.com/

Cornwall & Area Pop Event https://cornwallpopevent.com/

Thanks to Anita and James, to Charles for processing the episode, for Jennifer Pederson for the intro and outro and to you for listening. Please share the link to the episode. Stay tuned for a new episode soon!

Episode 46 – 4th Season Opener

The Small Machine Talks

with a.m. kozak and Amanda Earl

Episode 46, Season 4 Opener

Recorded at Occo’s Kitchen and Bar on July 30, 2019

Season 3 Highlights and Season 4 & Beyond Plans

Overview of Season 3

12 episodes

most played – 38 – Bad Nudes with Thomas Molander and Fawn Parker with 153 plays (October)

9 interviews and 3 topics episodes: Small Press Fair, Book Review, Visual Poetry

Statistics as of July 30, 2019

SEASON 3 July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019 had 1,513  plays

OVERALL May 15, 2016 to July 30, 2019 had 4,122 plays

Top Played Episodes: Dalton Derkson interview – Episode 6 with 174 plays, Bad Nudes 38 with 153 plays and 9 with Sarah MacDonell with 151 plays


Aaron talks about why he enjoys interviews and their importance for research for contemporary writers;  We mull over the idea of number of plays and ratings.

Amanda talks about craft and process, the discussion with Cameron Anstee on minimalism and ephemera, books as objects and materiality from episode 34, the opener was quite interesting. Aram Saroyan’s Complete Minimalist Poems.

The Visual Poetry episodes 41 and 42 gave us a chance to go into a bit of depth about a subject, do a little research and discuss.

Amanda also particularly enjoyed episode 43 with Danielle K.L. Gregoire was so much fun because we went all over the place and because Danielle is such a great storyteller with a sexy radio voice.

We talk about the importance of a flexible format. The balance with over and underpreparing. We talk about doing interviews without our co-host.

Plans and Dreams for Season 4 and Beyond

More episodes like A Moveable Podcast with Jennifer LoveGrove, Episode 29, poets in the wild, perhaps a pub crawl or coffee crawl episode where we meet poets at different cafes and pubs and chat with them.

Go to a particular city, such as Toronto or Montreal and set up a space for a few days with interviews with poets we haven’t had the chance to talk to yet. Doyali Islam, Canisia Lubrin, Dionne Brand, Dorothy Palmer, for example.


Interview with Shery Alexander Heinis and Mailyne Morena about the BIPOC reading series they’re creating in the fall.

Interview with Christine McNair about her current manuscript, motherhood and preeclampsia.

Interviews with Jason Christie and Nina Jane Drystek.

To interview long term friends or couples. We interviewed Conyer and Nathanael Larochette in Episode 36. I have plans to visit James Moran and Anita Dolman for an interview.

Aaron talks about revisiting those who were writing together in a group some time ago and interviewing them to talk about that experience and how it influenced their writing. Example is the creative writing workshops with Seymour Mayne at U of Ottawa.

Guest hosts/curators. Decide who you want to interview.

More episodes focused on a specific theme, such as places and spaces.

A bunch of people talking about a single book, such as the podcast On the Line by Rusty Toque: http://www.therustytoque.com/on-the-line

To expand our interviews to other genres, such as the interview with Mariah Horner which focused a bit more on the theatre. Would love to add music and musicians, but that would mean paying for a SOCAN license, so maybe not.

Interviews over Skype, Youtube, Messenger.  Technical advice needed!

Panel discussions, such as a queer poetry panel, and maybe a live episode somehow.

We talk about how we figure out who to interview. Depends on poet’s interest, availability and also publishers sometimes send us books for poets coming to town. Invisible Publishing, Wolsak and Wynn, for example.

We invite suggestions for podcast episodes.

People could send us mp3s or mp4s of to 10 minutes and we’ll include them in the podcast, especially if you’re out of town and haven’t been on the podcast. Possible topics include places that you like to write at, places that appear in your poems or that you feel connected with, a poetry book or chapbook that you’ve recently enjoyed.

Aaron invites people to submit photo essays to the blog he co-runs with Justin Labelle: https://describingspace.wordpress.com/places/


Thanks to everyone who’s listened and shared the episodes. Thanks to those we’ve interviewed, the publishers for sending books, thanks to Charles Earl for processing and Jennifer Pederson for intros and outros. Thanks to a.m. kozak. thanks to the reading series and event organizers who make this town and others damn interesting by organizing and applying for grants and keeping these things running. thanks to poets for continuing to write engaging work that gives us something interesting to discuss.

Stay tuned for the next episode!

Episode 28

a.m. kozak and Amanda Earl talk poetry in Ottawa …

Episode 3 – Interview with Jennifer Pederson

Introduction (0.00)
Jennifer Pederson interview (…