Well, here’s what the cover looks like. It was designed by Carleton Wilson (see more of his book covers here) who does a lot of Nightwood’s covers. His great design work was definitely one of the things that made Nightwood Editions appealing to me when I was looking around for a home for the book.
There was a a fair bit of back and forth before we got to this final image. It would be interesting to show the progression, but I’ll save it for another time. Anyway, I really like this image. At first I didn’t think I wanted something so directly related to the title but I really have a fondness for those old antennae. We had them on our houses back in Dubai and they always seemed like weird magical objects. Which is what a book is, too.
While I’m here I’ll note that the page for my book is up at the Nightwood site. Check it out.
Really nice to have a piece included in Lemon Hound’s “New Vancouver Poets” folio, among some of my favourites here in this city. This poem, An Ache in the Knot, will probably be the last I get out before my book, Transmitter and Receiver, comes out into the world this Spring (More on that soon!)
Thanks Daniel Zomparelli and Dina Del Buccia for being awesome editors for this folio. And Happy New Year, everyone. I’m going to try to be a bit more present here. And a bit more present in general.
Papirmass is an art print subscription that mails out a print of the work of a different artist, every month with a piece of writing on the back. This September, they picked a poem of mine, Flower Arrangements, to accompany this blossomy print by Carmelo Blandino. This was a really cool thing to be involved with and they were such great people to work with. To check out more, or to order prints, visit them here. (tip: type in YAYRAOUL at checkout for 50% off!) They also did an interview with me that you can read here. Thanks Papirmass!
One of my favourites, Sommer Browning, has a great idea to get people to film themselves reading poems from her lovely new collection, “Backup Singers”. Here’s my contribution which I filmed in three different locations, in our yard, in the skytrain station, and um, in my bathroom. The piece I read is from a section called “Multifarious Array”.
Thanks to my wife Megan for helping me with it! And thanks Sommer for being kind enough to mail me a copy.
There’s bunch of stuff to update and I’m sick today so it’s a good time to do it. I’ll start with the most exciting news: my manuscript has been accepted by Nightwood Editions one of my favourite Canadian publishers. It’ll be out in Spring or Fall of 2015. Nightwood puts out really beautiful books; some on my shelf are by Nick Thran, Elizabeth Bachinsky, Ray Hsu, and Renee Saklikar. Also titles from my dear friend Kayla Czaga and the awesome Alex Leslie will be out this month too. I respect and admire these folk very much so it’s nice to be under this same roof.
Haven’t had a deep look at my manuscript for a while, but I’m hoping to get more work done on it in the next while, and hopefully be able to add a handful of new poems. We’ll see what time allows.
I’ve been not quite sure about the title but I think, unless a new one storms into my head, it’s going to be: Transmitter & Receiver. I just wrote an explanation of my thoughts about it here but then deleted it. I’ll just let it sit here for now.
So that’s the good news. I have other fun things to tell you about but I’ll wait a few days between posts.
Lately been feeling a lot of excitement and pride in some of my friends and acquaintances who are making some waves in the poetry world here in Canada. Garth Martens and Anne-Marie Turza, my co-finalists at the Bronwen Wallace Awards in 2010, both have books out Prologue for the Age of Consequence And The Quiet respectively. Looking pretty good, you guys. My mentor and good friend Jen Currin has got a book out called School. Jen’s been such a great help with my own manuscript and giving me advice about publishers and etc. usually over tasty Mexican brunches. Kayla Czaga (read two of her poems in the latest Maynard issue) has been on fire lately, with a haunting poem in the Walrus and winning the Fiddlehead’s Ralph Gustafson Prize for Best Poem (links to interview). Kayla will have a book out in the fall through Nightwood called For Your Safety Please Hold On. She has been a delightful friend and fellow poet and I’m really looking forward to her collection. The unstoppable Kevin Spenst is touring his chapbook across Canada. I think there’s a plan for me to read with him outside some taco place?
In the world of poets-that-I’ve-only-met-once-or-twice-but-feel-like-I-know-them-closely-because-of-the-generous-nature-of-their writing, I’m really excited about reading Sommer Browning’s new collection Backup Singers, Matthew Zapruder’s Sun Bear, Adam Sol‘s Complicity (Thanks Adam for making the time to have coffee with me when you were in town!) and Bob Hicok‘s Elegy Owed that I just found out about today.
Phew. There’s more that I want to cheer, but that’s a lot for now. I’m just really honored to know these terrific poets who also happen to be lovely, genuine individuals. I’m now gonna put a bunch of book covers below here to remind myself (and suggest to you) to get these books over time.
Well, here we are again. My trusty editor friends and I have put together another issue of The Maynard with some lovely poems by lovely poets. This is a bigger issue and has a lot more audio goodness than the last one. Also, a fantastic cover image by Yuka Aoki. Take some time to spend with this collection, and remember that submissions are always open for future issues.