Jason Christie

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.

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

http://www.canthius.com/

http://emiliekneifel.com/

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.

https://arsenalpulp.com/Books/D/Disintegrate-Dissociate

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

http://www.anvilpress.com/Books/glossolalia

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

http://www.therustytoque.com/rusty-talk/marita-dachsel-poet

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.

http://abovegroundpress.blogspot.com/2019/11/the-factory-reading-series-pre-small.html

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.

https://heritageottawa.org/news/new-book-ottawa-historic-apartment-buildings

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

http://smallpressbookfair.blogspot.com/2019/07/the-ottawa-small-press-book-fair-autumn.html

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.

Links

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

Highlights

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.

https://www.facebook.com/BreathingSpaceSeries/

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/

Conclusion

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 (…