New Titles


What the Poets Are Doing

NOT YET PUBLISHED
978-0-88971-343-7 - Paperback
6" x 9" - 256 pages - $22.95
November 2018

Edited by Rob Taylor



What the Poets Are Doing is a collection of conversations between millennial and Generation X poets focusing on the role of poetry and poets in the twenty-first century.




In 2002, Nightwood published Where the Words Come From: Canadian Poets in Conversation, a successful first-of-its-kind collection of interviews with literary luminaries like Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Margaret Avison, Patrick Lane, Lorna Crozier and P.K. Page, conducted by “the younger generation” of poets of the day. Sixteen years later, What the Poets Are Doing brings together two younger generations of poets to engage in conversations with their peers on modern-day poetics, politics and more. Together they explore the world of Canadian poetry in the new millennium: what's changed, what's endured and what's next. An exciting “turn of the century” has evolved into a century characterized by social and digital media, the Donald Trump presidency, #MeToo empowerment and scandal, and Indigenous Truth and Reconciliation.

Should we look to our poets as our most articulate analysts and critics of these times? Are they competing with social media or at one with social media?

Poets in Conversation:

Elizabeth Bachinsky and Kayla Czaga

Tim Bowling and Raoul Fernandes

Dionne Brand and Souvankham Thammavongsa

Marilyn Dumont and Katherena Vermette

Sue Goyette and Linda Besner

Steven Heighton and Ben Ladouceur

Sina Queyras and Canisia Lubrin

Armand Garnet Ruffo and Liz Howard

Karen Solie and Amanda Jernigan

Russell Thornton and Phoebe Wang

Afterword co-written by Nick Thran and Sue Sinclair

Take the Torch

NOT YET PUBLISHED
978-0-88971-347-5 - Paperback
6" x 9" - 256 pages - $22.95
October 2018

By Ian Waddell





Take the Torch is a compelling memoir from one of BC’s most widely accomplished and animated politicians, Ian Waddell, QC. Waddell takes us on a journey through his life and career as a storefront lawyer, an NDP Member of Parliament, a Minister of Culture, a writer, a teacher, a film producer and more—delivering a smart, humorous, endearing and impossible-to-forget exploration of public life.

Following up Donna Macdonald’s Surviving City HallTake the Torch is Nightwood’s second publication in a campaign to promote participation in civic affairs and community activism to younger generations. Waddell endeavours “to pass on some of the lessons I learned about setting goals for social change and the methods to use to get there … debating, protesting, and marching to ‘biting dogs’ at press conferences (following the old adage ‘dog bites man is not a story; man bites dog is a headline’), writing op-ed pieces for newspapers, getting elected, taking on prime ministers, dictators and kings, grabbing maces, lobbying diplomats in the lobby of the United Nations, and bucking your own party.” Waddell got his start through his involvement as a young lawyer, from an immigrant family, in both the first consumer class-action lawsuit in Canada and the Berger Inquiry into the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline.

I have always had a revolutionary idea about law: that it is about justice and that it can be used to make change in society. That’s why I started as a criminal lawyer, and why I went on to be a storefront lawyer, assistant to Judge Berger, and then a member of both the federal Parliament and the BC legislative assembly. What I love about Canada is that we are still a young country and still a place where you can make change happen. In this book I describe some of those changes—many of them are big changes, historic events for our country and our people; others are tiny incidents that helped only one person or a small group, but they’re still important. Often I played a minor role, but my part was big enough to give me an inside look at how change happens.

Difficult People

NOT YET PUBLISHED
978-0-88971-339-0 - Paperback
5.5" x 8.5" - 256 pages - $19.95
October 2018

By Catriona Wright





Manipulators and liars, egomaniacs, bullies, interrupters, condescenders, ice queens, backstabbers, hypocrites, withholders, belligerents, self-deceivers, whiners, know-it-alls, nitpickers: these are some of the characters you’ll encounter in Difficult People, a collection of stories that investigates and celebrates difficult people (and some animals).

As these characters fumble through their quests for YouTube fame, stand-up glory, romantic love, stable employment or anyone who can tolerate them, they reveal that we are all, in our own ways, difficult people.

Praise for Catriona Wright’s recent book of poetry, Table Manners:

“... a baroque feast of juicy diction and inventive wordplay that explores food as social ritual and slippery signifier of desire.”

—Barb Carey, The Toronto Star

“Deft, dark, and unflinching, Catriona Wright’s work is stand-up comedy for the mind.”

—Emily Schultz, author of The Blondes

“If you've ever Instagrammed your lunch, or directed distain toward somebody who has, this is the book for you. The poems are vivid, surprising, and pretty much devourable.”

—Kerry Clare, 49th Shelf

“Tightly woven and elaborate in their conceit, the poems in Table Manners linger both on the mind and palate.”

—Gillian Sze, Montreal Review of Books

The Abandoned

NOT YET PUBLISHED
978-0-88971-345-1 - Paperback
5.5" x 8.5" - 192 pages - $19.95
October 2018

By Kyp Harness





Among the strip malls, industrial parks and overpasses of Southwestern Ontario, Tim is a young misfit with an overactive imagination and a heavy-drinking father, surrounded by bullies at school and wondering if he’ll ever be normal. He experiences first love with another high school student, Sherrie, and at the same time he meets his first friend, Russ. In pursuing Sherrie, Tim is drawn into a cult-like religious retreat, and his friendship with Russ takes a strange turn as the three teenagers confront their vanishing childhood.

The Abandoned is the dense and dazzling follow up to Harness’s critically acclaimed novel, Wigford Rememberies.

Praise for Wigford Rememberies:

“Pen in hand, there seems to be nothing Harness cannot do.”—The Globe and Mail

“Kyp Harness’ prose has a unique flow: word and action, thought and thing are all contiguous and combined in lovely braided sentences. There’s some Joyce splashed around Wigford Rememberies, a satisfying read. This is a fantastic book. Please just read it.”—Tony Burgess

“Told with unshrinking honesty and real compassion …these characters and their stories will linger with readers.”—Publishers Weekly

Bec and Call

NOT YET PUBLISHED
978-0-88971-348-2 - Paperback
5.5" x 8" - 96 pages - $18.95
September 2018

By Jenna Lyn Albert





Rife with colloquialisms, irony and a healthy dose of sass, the poems collected in Bec and Call refuse to be silent or subtle; instead they delve into the explicit, the audacious, the boldly personal. Bec and Call subverts the notion of female sexuality as male appeasement, the French wordplay in the title using the meaning of “bec”—a kiss, mouthpiece or beak—to complicate notions of compliance and submission. The roles of Acadienne and feminist come with the responsibility of speaking up, and Bec and Call is a means of vocalizing the societal dérangement of Acadian culture amidst the difficulties women encounter as a result of rape culture and anti-feminism.

These poems are fearless and precise in their aim, but are not without a sense of play:

Menstrual synchrony’s a bitch in a household of women:

some sheets never see the line, endometrial tissue Javexed and tumble-dried.

To captains off-duty, solariums are wheelhouses.

Antique binoculars magnify songbirds, deer and that one black squirrel.

Close the blinds to neighbours. Girl, you’re bodied, full-bodied, embodied.

 

What Your Hands Have Done

NOT YET PUBLISHED
978-0-88971-350-5 - Paperback
5.5" x 8" - 96 pages - $18.95
September 2018

By Chris Bailey





What Your Hands Have Done looks at how life spent in a close-knit fishing family in rural Prince Edward Island marks a person. The book is rooted in PEI but moves from there to Toronto where the malaise of life proves to be unbound to the sameness of small-town days spent hauling gear on the Atlantic or toiling in rust-red potato fields.

Bailey examines the world around him from the inside, observing the minute to account for the vast. These poems are laid bare and free of ornament, revealing the hard-won wisdom just below the surface:

She was there, cooked for you. Helped clean

the mess you’d become from decades

spent on your father’s ocean hauling lobsters

from its depths, gulping down the sea air.

Even when the booze was too much,

she knew you were more than the vomit

caked to your shirt. Less than confessions

made beneath the red summer moon.

O Canada Crosswords Book 19

NOT YET PUBLISHED
978-0-88971-349-9 - Paperback
8.5" x 11" - 224 pages - $14.95
September 2018

By Gwen Sjogren



A rich collection of Canadian crosswords from a bestselling series.




Featuring 2,600-plus Canadian clues—that’s over 20 per cent of the total—the nineteenth instalment of this popular series offers a motherlode of national content, puns and fun. As always, author Gwen Sjogren digs deep into the Canadian landscape with geography themes like “Water Marks,” “Destination: Fredericton” and “Go West, Young Scot,” and taps famous Canadians in “Great Ones of the NHL,” “Broadway Lights” and “Money Men.” She mines new Canadiana with markets, national honours and biographies. In a similar vein, this collection features fifty “Canada Cornucopia” entries which provide as much CanCon as Sjogren can pack in.

Generic-themed crosswords including “Cleanup on Aisle Pun,” “Hat Tricks” and “The Gods Must Be Crazy” drill down into wordplay. And to help solvers unearth their superior skills, five crosswords have no fill-in-the-blank clues.

With one hundred large-sized grids, this book is bursting at the seams with hours of brain-teasing amusement.

Our Familiar Hunger

AVAILABLE
978-0-88971-344-4 - Paperback
5.5" x 8.5" - 96 pages - $18.95
April 2018

By Laisha Rosnau





Our Familiar Hunger is a book about the strength, will, struggle and fortitude of generations of women and how those relationships and knowledges interact, inform, transform and burden. These poems are memories of reclaimed history and attempts at starting over in a new place. They are the fractured reality of trickle-down inheritance, studies of the epigenetic grief we carry and the myriad ways that interferes or interprets our best attempts.

Little Wild

AVAILABLE
978-0-88971-337-6 - Paperback
5.5" x 8" - 80 pages - $18.95
April 2018

By Curtis LeBlanc





Little Wild explores the performance of masculinity in contemporary Canada, with a focus on how toxic masculinity relates to mental health, aggression, substance abuse and crises of identity. Through the reimagining of family histories and personal experiences, the poems in this collection exact a representation of a young man in conflict with outdated ideals of virility, struggling to redefine himself on his own terms. Little Wild is a provocative and revealing portrayal of masculinity as it is understood—and misunderstood—in a contemporary and ever-changing context. The poems are as powerful and unsettling as they are stark, combining unsentimental imagery of the natural world with first-person commentary, while exploring narratives of boyhood, adolescence and adulthood.

Listening to the Bees

AVAILABLE
978-0-88971-346-8 - Hardback
6" x 9" - 240 pages - $24.95
April 2018

By Rene Sarojini Saklikar & Mark Winston





Listening to the Bees is a collaborative exploration by two writers to illuminate the most profound human questions: Who are we? Who do we want to be in the world?

Through the distinct but complementary lenses of science and poetry, Mark Winston and Renée Saklikar reflect on the tension of being an individual living in a society, and about the devastation wrought by overly intensive management of agricultural and urban habitats.

Listening to the Bees takes readers into the laboratory and out to the field, into the worlds of scientists and beekeepers, and to meetings where the research community intersects with government policy and business. The result is an insiders’ view of the way research is conducted—its brilliant potential and its flaws—along with the personal insights and remarkable personalities experienced over a forty-year career that parallels the rise of industrial agriculture.

Army of the Brave and Accidental

AVAILABLE
978-0-88971-341-3 - Paperback
5.25" x 8.125" - 192 pages - $19.95
April 2018

By Alex Boyd





A genre-bending retelling of The OdysseyArmy of the Brave and Accidental is a modern fable: a story about relationships, parenthood, and trying to have an impact on the world told from the shifting perspectives of ten characters. A hundred years after James Joyce stitched together a version of the epic tale, Canadian writer and essayist Alex Boyd updates the story as a reflection of Canadian twenty-first-century culture, allowing it to take a radically different cultural snapshot. These reimaginings newly create and colour a contemporary view of modern love without compromising any of the pitfalls or exaltations.

Army of the Brave and Accidental is funny, deft, wise and poetic all at once. The epic spans major cities such as Toronto and New York and is a coming-of-age story, a journey, a love story and a tragi-comedy.

After the Hatching Oven

AVAILABLE
978-0-88971-342-0 - Paperback
5.5" x 8" - 96 pages - $18.95
April 2018

By David Alexander





After the Hatching Oven explores chickens: their evolution as a domesticated species; their place in history, pop culture and industrial agriculture; their exploitation and their liberation. Alexander takes us deep into the world of this common species, examining every conceivable angle: chicken politics, antics, pretenses and pleasures. These poems delight in the mastery of language and intensity by which Alexander has thought his way into the very cells of his subjects through riffs on Ted Hughes’ Crow, a Burger King ad campaign and a public health advisory for bird flu, as well as self-translations.