Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Poem in PEI's The Buzz

Yes, folks, I am alive and well. I realize things have dried up here at the blog over the last several months, and I apologize for the extended radio silence. My main excuse is that I'm actually technically working on three (yes, three!) separate books right now, on top of everything else going on in my life (busy day job; awesome marriage; travel; aging elders; etc.) and so the free-range book reviewing and life updates here on the blog have had to suffer. Not sure if that's going to change any time soon, but I will try to keep my small sliver of web in my thoughts, especially as we draw closer to the release date of my new novel, The Slip.

In the meantime, here is a bit of news: the free monthly arts and entertainment paper on PEI, The Buzz, has reprinted my poem, "Tableau," from my poetry collection, Weathervane, in its December issue. This wintry little number was a fitting choice for The Buzz's poetry column, considering that PEI (which I'll be travelling to in a couple of weeks, by car, Lord love me, for the holidays) has already received a whack of the white stuff since the end of November. Anyway, thanks to curator and fellow poet Judy Gaudet for choosing my piece. Really glad to see it getting another run out there in the world.

M.  

Monday, October 17, 2016

Some love on the 49th Shelf

It has been my experience that recognition - especially of the literary sort - can be a deeply fleeting, perplexing or relative thing. Writing fiction is one of the few activities I know of where it's perfectly normal to spend a lot more time creating something than that will spend in the limelight. So it was very moving to see writer Emily Saso include my novel, Sad Peninsula, in an article she has written for the 49th Shelf in which she lists a handful of books published over the last five years that she feels didn't receive nearly enough kudos. Emily's own novel, The Weather Inside, has just been published by Freehand Books, and by all accounts it is looking to, if you'll forgive the pun, take the world by storm. Anyway, very chuffed to be included on this list along with Matt Cahill, Dani Couture, Erin Bedford and Amanda Leduc. Thanks Emily!

M.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Poetry Weekend in Fredericton

Me, reading at Poetry Weekend in Fredericton.
So a couple of weekends ago I got to take part in what has quickly become one the biggest events in Canadian verse: the annual Poetry Weekend festival at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. Celebrating its 13th year this year, Poetry Weekend gathers many established and emerging poets for two solid days of readings. I was there in support of my debut collection, Weathervane, published by Palimpsest Press back in March. I also got to spend time with a number of really great versifiers, including John Wall Barger, Cory Lavender, Katherine Leyton, Daniel Renton, Shane Neilson, Jan Conn, Roy Adams, Jim Johnstone (my editor at Palimpsest) and event organizer Ross Leckie. It was a fabulous weekend and I hope I get to do it again sometime.

M.  

Friday, October 7, 2016

Review of The Gloaming, by Melanie Finn

So I'm back in the pages of Numero Cinq this month with a review of Melanie Finn's novel, The Gloaming, which I hope a lot of you will seek out. In this review, I praise Finn's range and inventiveness, and also take a gentle dig at one of my own books. Here's a sample of what I have to say:

[I]t is at once exhilarating and humbling to see a writer as immensely talented as Melanie Finn take this standard formula and turn it inside out, to subvert it so thoroughly, so brazenly, so originally, in her new novel, The Gloaming. If you yourself are a writer and thinking about forging your own “going aboard to learn something about yourself” kind of story, you would do no harm to it by reading this small masterpiece. It’s good to know what you’re up against.

It is books like this that remind me why I love reviewing for Numero Cinq: I often get exposed to works that would otherwise not pass over my radar. Anyway, check it out if you have the chance.

M.

Monday, October 3, 2016

My Quill and Quire review of Chasing Utopia, by David Leach ...

... is now online on the Q&Q website. I was very happy to give a glowing review to this very accomplished nonfiction work about the kibbutzim of Israel. As I say in the piece, Leach provides a multifaceted overview of the role that the kibbutz has played in the formation of Israel and its long-protracted conflict with the Palestinian people. He writes with humour and charm, but also deep insight. A book very worthy of a Q&Q star. Go check it out.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Acceptance: Humber Literary Review

Well, I had some good news earlier this week: A poem of mine, called "Dysthymia," as been accepted for the fall issue of The Humber Literary Review, slated for release in late November. It will be a special edition of the magazine focusing on the theme of mental illness. This poem is the first in a batch of new verse I started writing earlier this year to get accepted for publication, so I'm very pleased about that. It looks like there will be a Toronto launch for the issue, which is exciting as well. Anyway, I will keep you all posted as we get closer to the publication date.

M.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Word on the Street 2016

Just a short note to say I'll be appearing at the Word on the Street festival in Toronto this Sunday, September 25, at Harbourfront Centre. You can find me at the Palimpsest Press booth between 4 pm and 5 pm in support of my poetry collection, Weathervane. My spies indicate that there are still several Canadians who have not yet purchased this book, so if you're one of them, why not come by, pick up a copy, and have me sign it for you. The day is always loads of fun, with dozens of writers, publishers and booksellers around to help you get your bibliophilic fix. Hope to see you there!