New Titles


Tranquility Lost
The Occupation of Tranquille and Battle for Community Care in BC


NOT YET PUBLISHED
978-0-88971-386-4 - Paperback
5.5" x 8.5" - 256 pages - $21.95
October 2020

By Gary Steeves





In 1983, the BC provincial government announced plans to close Tranquille, a large residential institution for persons with intellectual disabilities located outside Kamloops. The announcement was made with no community placement plans for residents. The nearly six hundred employees of Tranquille, members of the BC Government Employees Union and the Union of Psychiatric Nurses, were alarmed by the lack of any Ministry of Human Resources planning for the future of the residents and the ministry’s stated intention to use newly tabled legislation to terminate Tranquille employees without cause and avoid any other collective agreement obligations to employees. Consequently, BCGEU members decided to sit-in and occupy the institution by expelling management, running the institution themselves and publicly advocating for quality community care for people with intellectual disabilities. They did so for nearly a month.

Tranquility Lost chronicles the political and public policy conditions leading up to the occupation, the day-to-day activities of the occupation itself, the challenges faced by the workers and negotiations leading to an agreement. Steeves’s account profiles the courage of Tranquille employees and their unprecedented use of collective bargaining as a tool to address conditions faced by government clients as well as government employees themselves.

Fake It So Real

NOT YET PUBLISHED
978-0-88971-388-8 - Paperback
5.5" x 8.5" - 224 pages - $21.95
October 2020

By Susan Sanford Blades





Fake it so Real takes on the fallout from a punk-rock lifestyle—the future of “no future”—and its effect on the subsequent generations of one family. In June of 1983, Gwen, a gnarly Nancy Spungen lookalike, meets Damian, the enigmatic leader of a punk band. Seven years and two unplanned pregnancies later, Damian abandons Gwen, leaving her to raise their two daughters, Sara and Meg, on her own.

The fourteen stories that make up this book usher Gwen and her daughters through five decades, haunted by Damian’s ghost. Fuelled by vodka and scrappy determination, Gwen balances a responsibility to her daughters with her narcissistic, self-destructive tendencies. Sara and Meg scramble through adolescence and enter adulthood walking the line between selfishness and self-sacrifice, attempting to avoid their parents’ mistakes, all the while making a whole new set of mistakes of their own.

In the voices of Gwen, Damian, Sara, Meg, Damian’s bandmate and Gwen’s true love, these stories weave a raw and honest tapestry of family life as told from the underbelly, focused on the grey area between right and wrong, the idea that we are all equally culpable and justified in our actions, and the pain and ecstasy that accompany a life lived authentically.

Notice

NOT YET PUBLISHED
978-0-88971-384-0 - Paperback
5.5" x 8.5" - 256 pages - $21.95
October 2020

By Dustin Cole





The context is Summer 2017, Vancouver, British Columbia, where economic imperatives are making space less and less accessible to lower-income individuals. The rental crisis is intensifying, ravenous real estate development is thriving and there is a province-wide forest fire emergency, which blankets the city in smoke. The protagonist, Dylan Levett, is a recent university graduate being “renovicted” from his rent-controlled apartment, the central point of view of the story.

Notice is a Kafkaesque story about a man caught in the gears of a bureaucracy, a spiral-down, bad-to-worse kind of story. Socially relevant, this is a funhouse mirror held up to Vancouver, a working-class story that stands apart with its composite of literary techniques. Overall, Notice focuses on displacement and petty frustration, applying a documentary sensibility to an original and topical scenario.

The East Side of It All

NOT YET PUBLISHED
978-0-88971-380-2 - Paperback
5.5" x 8" - 96 pages - $18.95
October 2020

By Joseph Dandurand





Dandurand’s work tackles complicated personal and social issues by drawing on his observations of the natural world. His voice is lyrical yet intimate, obscured yet sitting with you at the kitchen table having a cigarette. The East Side of It All is the journey of a broken man gifted with stories and poems who finally accepts his gift and shares with the world his hidden misery and joy:

there was this woman that I fell in love

with but she will never know who I am and I hide

in the back of the room as she goes about her thing

and I go about mine, and once I tried to look

into her eyes but when she looked back, I knew

she was a spirit and I was still a human and she passed

right through me and I felt the coldness of her

The Whole Singing Ocean

NOT YET PUBLISHED
978-0-88971-378-9 - Paperback
5.5" x 8" - 128 pages - $19.95
October 2020

By Jessica Moore





The Whole Singing Ocean is a poetic narrative that circles around the central story of a boy and a whale, and the 2013 investigation into the École en bateau, a French countercultural “boat school,” or school at sea, which was based not only on the ideals of the sixties, but also on twisted ideas about child psychology, the theories of Foucault and an abolition of the separation between adults and children.

The narrative begins with a boat builder and his encounter with a whale when he was a student of the École en bateau himself, and moves on to explore threads of philosophy, memory and various kinds of destruction, fragmentation and wholeness. The text weaves in several voices and threads of rapture and horror, as it explores adventure, childhood, abuse and environmental degradation.

This work becomes a self-conscious documentation of the boat builder’s story as it unfolds, and as the narrator learns more of what happened and uncovers echoes from her own life and family history. Her discoveries cause the narrative to take some unexpected, and at times resisted, turns. Themes of memory and trauma, reliability and unreliability, binaries and magic, and the question of how to hold two very different things at once, are at the heart of this book.

it was never going to be okay

NOT YET PUBLISHED
978-0-88971-382-6 - Paperback
5.5" x 8" - 96 pages - $18.95
October 2020

By jaye simpson





it was never going to be okay is a collection of poetry and prose exploring the intimacies of understanding intergenerational trauma, Indigeneity and queerness, while addressing urban Indigenous diaspora and breaking down the limitations of sexual understanding as a trans woman. As a way to move from the linear timeline of healing and coming to terms with how trauma does not exist in subsequent happenings, it was never going to be okay tries to break down years of silence in simpson’s debut collection of poetry:

i am five

my sisters are saying boy

i do not know what the word means but—

i am bruised into knowing it: the blunt b,

the hollowness of the o, the blade of y 

The Sasquatch, the Fire and the Cedar Baskets

NOT YET PUBLISHED
978-0-88971-376-5 - Paperback
7" x 8.5" - 24 pages - $14.95
June 2020 - B&W illustrations

By Joseph Dandurand; illustrated by Simon Daniel James





“Deep in the thickest part of a cedar forest there lived a young Sasquatch. He was over nine feet tall and his feet were about size twenty. He had long brown hair that covered all of his body. His hands were so big and his arms so long he could wrap them around the biggest of the cedar trees. He had been born here many years ago and he did not know his parents, as they had been scared away by a great fire. He was left on his own and he had survived by eating berries and he had grown into the Sasquatch he now was...”

So begins this charming story for children by Kwantlen storyteller Joseph Dandurand. The Sasquatch, spirit of the great cedar forest, eludes human hunters, falls in love, fathers a lovely daughter and saves his little family from a forest fire by dousing the flames with water stored in baskets carefully woven by his mate.

The story is told with grace and simplicity by a master storyteller in the great tradition of the Kwantlen people. Accompanied by whimsical illustrations from Kwakwaka’wakw artist Simon Daniel James, The Sasquatch, the Fire and the Cedar Baskets follows a similar style to popular Nightwood titles such as Salmon Boy, Mayuk the Grizzly Bear and How the Robin Got Its Red Breast.

Birding in the Glass Age of Isolation

AVAILABLE
978-0-88971-368-0 - Paperback
5.5" x 8" - 80 pages - $18.95
April 2020

By Curtis LeBlanc





Birding in the Glass Age of Isolation explores the experience and greater social implications of mental illness, specifically OCD and Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder. It asks the questions: How does anxiety inform both how we act and how we interpret those actions afterwards? How does the fear of retribution from one’s own mind lead to miscalculations or total inaction? Finally, how is one’s self-worth effaced in the balancing act between trying to do the right thing and doing nothing at all?

Body Count

AVAILABLE
978-0-88971-370-3 - Paperback
5.5" x 8" - 96 pages - $18.95
April 2020

By Kyla Jamieson





In this vital début, Kyla Jamieson sifts through the raw material of her life before and after a disabling concussion in search of new understandings of self and worth. Energized by the tensions between embodiment and dissociation, Body Count flickers between Vancouver and New York, passing through dreamscapes and pain states. Both earnest and irreverent, comedic and cosmic, these poems come from a full heart (“You came here / for a kind of truth / & I want to give / you everything”) that often finds its way obstructed by fear, anxiety, and the myriad ways trauma can pattern a life. Here, we see the work of removing the barriers between this heart and the world, and glimpse the labour it takes to heal a body and mind discarded by capitalism. One part rape culture protest anthem, one part long-distance love story, one part invisible illness testimony, and 100% epistolary intimacy, Body Count is a tonic for the times we live in, an open invitation to question the textures of our realities, the ways we inhabit our bodies, and the futures we envision for ourselves and our communities.

In the Beggarly Style of Imitation

AVAILABLE
978-0-88971-372-7 - Paperback
5.5" x 8.5" - 192 pages - $19.95
April 2020

By Jean Marc Ah-Sen





Born on the twin backs of torpidity and obsession, In the Beggarly Style of Imitation is a voyage into the mind of one of the Canadian literary underground’s most unruly writers. Equal parts tribute to the historical genesis of the novel and the well-trodden subject of love, the exercises of imitation contained in this collection offer a brief survey through the illustrious forms and genres of literary expression: epistolary, aphorism, essay, picaresque, romance and satire culminate in a celebratory brand of fiction that proves with finality that imitation is truly the vilest form of flattery.

Pluviophile

AVAILABLE
978-0-88971-374-1 - Paperback
5.5" x 8" - 80 pages - $18.95
April 2020

By Yusuf Saadi





Pluviophile veers through various poetic visions and traditions in search of the sacred within and beyond language. Its poems continually revitalize form, imagery and sonancy to reconsider the ways we value language, beauty and body. The collection houses sonnets and other shorter poems between larger, more meditative runes. One of these longer poems, “The Place Words Go to Die,” winner of The Malahat Review’s 2016 Far Horizons Award for Poetry, imagines an underworld where words are killed and reborn, shedding their signifiers like skin to re-enter a symbiotic relationship with the human, where “saxum [is] sacrificed and born again as saxifrage.” From here the poems shift to diverse locations, from Montreal to Kolkata, from the moon to the gates of heaven.