Let’s Start the Summer!

A rare, personal look at the creative process of writing by one of its most successful and respected practitioners.

In this book ­ part memoir, part analysis, and part manifesto ­ Governor General’s Award winner Joe Rosenblatt deftly links poetry to the personalities of Milton Acorn, Gwendolyn MacEwen, John Newlove, John Clare, Christopher Smart, Sylvia Plath, and other troubled poets who scholars have termed Poets of the Asylum. To Rosenblatt, the Lunatic Muse often calls on the poet to cultivate the darker, manic side of the imagination, while the act of creation is essentially confessional, cathartic and exhilarating. At the heart of the book, he makes his case in a passionate tribute to his mentor, Acorn, focusing on Acorn’s tragic, driven life, and his signature poem “The Natural History of Elephants.”

“Joe Rosenblatt is a true original. In his early seventies, which Rosenblatt refers to as a ‘crespuscular age,’ he lays out for readers candid interpretations [of many notable Canadian writers, and] he is profoundly adept at celebrating the uniqueness of being human.” –The Glebe Report/Ottawa

Joe reads this evening as a spirit meduium as he attempts to “conjure the spirit” of Milton Acorn from the Lunatic Asylum… a unique Rosenblatt event not to be missed!

“In reading Tana’s poems I have been amazed at how they came directly into my heart and sat down beside me and somehow, for some unknown reason, we wept.” –Joy Kogawa

The poems in Arithmetic of Surrender expose a landscape of ritualized memories. In these telling images ­ dedicated to the past, present, and future of family life ­ Tana Runyan paints her scenes of remembrance. Each of her poems is a sacrificial canvas, depicting a “persistent and influential” moment in the life of a young daughter, as she grows up to be a sister, lover, poet, wife and mother who “pleads forgiveness” from her parents ­ as they all, in accordance with the world’s pulse ­ practice the act of surrender. In the observing language of these poems, we find Runyan ardently attuned to nature, as she captures the rhythmic continuity of the world¹s endless pulse.

“This is a very fine book, full of wisdom and compassion and a dazzlement of language that will make you go back to read individual poems again and again. The air they breathe ‘is dipped in glass, / clear and incisive.'” –Leona Gom

“Unflinching and compassionate, her poignant lyrics move seamlessly from the page into your heart. No detours. And, as only the finest poems can, these ones inspire us to consider ­ and re-consider ­ our own responses to this world.” –Sandy Shreve

“Rare and gripping . . . a timely writer.” –Globe and Mail
Considered to be one of the premier journalists in Canada by Peter C. Newman, Norman Snider’s writings on literature, politics, crime, sports, jazz ­ and more ­ appeared regularly in Toronto Life, Saturday Night, and Macleans.

As a journalist Norman Snider shows extraordinary range and diversity, and this collection of non-fiction runs a wonderful gamut of subjects: portraits of pianist Glenn Gould and politicians Jean Chretien, Brian Mulroney, John Turner and Joe Clark; an exposé on the murder of heiress Nancy Eaton; a recollection of a trip to Los Angeles with renowned filmmaker David Cronenberg; an exploration of the realities of Canadian peacekeepers abroad; critical essays on Robertson Davies, Joyce Carol Oates, Saul Bellow, Morley Callaghan, Edmund Wilson and others; as well as articles on cocaine dealers, the music of Miles Davis and Wynton Marsalis, travels to Mexico, and the title fight in Las Vegas between late Canadian heavyweight champion Trevor Berbick and world champ Larry Holmes. This collection displays the best work of one of our leading cultural commentators!

“Norman Snider is a brave and eloquent writer; his articles a delight to read, he represents the best of our liberal traditions which made Canada admired throughout the world.” ­ Stephen Vizinczey

“These selections are thoughtfully and insightfully written, and delve deeply into the subjects they pursue. Who else other than Norman Snider could have captured an essential decade of our history so convincingly?!” ­ Michael Keefer

This is a unique historical journey that will offer readers a glimpse of our country’s past as it was: renowned Group of Seven painter Lawren Harris boldly brings to us, by way of poetry and painting, a looking-lens onto the ‘urbanizing experience.’

In 1922, as the Group of Seven was emerging as a national phenomenon, Lawren Harris published his only book of poems ­ Contrasts ­ the first modernist exploration of Canadian urban space in verse. Harris also wandered the streets of Toronto, sketching, and creating a powerful set of urban paintings. Lawren Harris: In the Ward brings his poetry and painting together for the first time. The book, including nine previously unpublished poems, offers a new view of Harris’ pre-Group of Seven career, while presenting an exciting window into urban space at the turn of the century.

from the poem “A Note of Colour”
the city that is ever shrouded in sooty
smoke, and amid huge, hard buildings, hides a gloomy
house of broken grey rough-cast, like a sickly sin in
a callous soul…

Two young writers and their new work, found in the pages of the Spring issue of Exile Quarterly

Zoe Whittall’s first novel, Bottle Rocket Hearts, was named one of the Best Books of 2007 by the Globe and Mail and Quill & Quire magazine. Now Magazine awarded her the title of Best Emerging Author of 2007. She has published two books of poetry, The Best Ten Minutes of Your Life (McGilligan Books, 01) and The Emily Valentine Poems (Snare Books, 06). She is a freelance arts critic for a variety of Canadian magazines, teaches writing workshops, and is currently finishing her Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at the University of Guelph. The Globe and Mail called her “the cockiest, brashest, funniest, toughest, most life-affirming, elegant, scruffy, no-holds-barred writer to emerge from Montreal since Mordecai Richler…” She was born in South Durham, Quebec, resided in Montreal during the early 1990s and has lived in Toronto since 1997. Her next book of poems, Precordial Thump, is launching this Autumn with Exile Editions.

Nathan Whitlock’s first novel, A Week of This, was recently published by ECW Press. He is the review editor of Quill & Quire magazine. His writing and reviews have appeared in the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, Saturday Night, Maisonneuve, Toro, Geist, and elsewhere.

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