New Titles


O Canada Crosswords Book 18

NOT YET PUBLISHED
978-0-88971-334-5 - Paperback
8.5" x 11" - 232 pages - $14.95
October 2017

By Gwen Sjogren





Climb aboard the O Canada Crosswords express and embrace the adventure of 100 new crosswords. The 18th instalment of this popular series features several wordplay puzzles--including "Rank and Guile," "Sounds Fishy to Me" and "Forecast: Fun!"--as well as a suitcase full of Canadiana like "Quotable Notables," "Witty Women," "Au Naturel" and "Great Scotts!" Along the way, you'll stop off in Hamilton and Quebec, disembark at Rio to relive Canada's Olympic achievements and detour to Sweden to celebrate hockey stars who lit up the NHL.

Fifteen puzzles veer off the beaten track, including four circle-in-the-square offerings, and three with hidden shapes or phrases embedded in the grids. For an extra cerebral challenge, five puzzles have no fill-in-the-blank clues. Author Gwen Sjogren also debuts a new format called Four-Square, in which solvers complete four mini puzzles to unlock a CanCon phrase.

With 97 larger grids, O Canada Crosswords Book 18 takes you on brainteasing journey across 13,000+ clues. So punch your ticket for hours of trivia, puns and fun!

Cop House

NOT YET PUBLISHED
978-0-88971-335-2 - Paperback
6" x 9" - 232 pages - $19.95
October 2017

By Sam Shelstad



A humorous short story collection about characters struggling to cope with misfortune.


Cop House is a short story collection about people desperately trying to recapture--or replace--the things they've lost. There are secret vacations, library book fetishes, women who participate in "fully-clothed, free-form touching and explorative play experiences" in exchange for protection from teenage vandals, and a doomsday cult operating out of an aquatic centre. An exiled polar bear spies on his old community and fights to survive in unfamiliar territory. A man campaigns to keep the sitcom Friends on the air after the collapse of his family. A masochistic deer wants to feel something other than the slow digestion of cud:

"The thing I really fantasize about is that one night a driver will stop and reverse slowly over my tail. And then maybe they get out, and slam one of my legs in the car door. Oh god. Maybe they tie me up like they're going to mount me on the roof rack, but instead they just douse me in windshield washerfluid."

Infused with dark humour, each of the sixteen stories included in the collection explores the absurdity of life when the things that really matter are placed just out of reach. Cop House is a book about the lengths people will go to undo the things that can't be undone.

Landfall

NOT YET PUBLISHED
978-0-88971-336-9 - Paperback
5.5" x 8" - 96 pages - $18.95
October 2017

By Joe Denham





In Landfall, Governor General's Award–nominated poet Joe Denham revisits the plaguing environmental issues in the poetic journey he began ten years ago with his second collection, Windstorm. Writing in long elegy form, using a voice harnessed by concern, pathos, anger and empathy, Denham's fourth collection is the result of age, time and love, drawing on the poet's relationship to the world we think we know. Denham's latest is a frustrated call to arms, told with the directness and compassion we've come to expect from him.

"When we finally make landfall, when we torch the landfill or fall from the pedestal we're perched upon, precarious precipice--when the men and women who want war want war to end: send me a postcard with a picture of your god pinned to a corkboard and the word of your god etched in desert sand in the hand of the first witness to survive… which ism should we use as filter?"

--"Landfall"

Cruise Missile Liberals

NOT YET PUBLISHED
978-0-88971-333-8 - Paperback
5.5" x 8" - 96 pages - $18.95
October 2017

By Spencer Gordon





WARNING: Cruise Missile Liberals contains few proper poems. That is, poems with proper manners, proper etiquette, or proper service to our national narratives. Poems that reassure the powerful.Poems that lie inert—with the smell of the museums. Poems that are, in a word, nice.

Instead, Spencer Gordon's debut smoulders with explosive contradiction—with a charismatic voice that rewires what we could ask for in a collection. Blending gaudy lyrical excess with blemish-ridden found material, it presents the reader with guilty pleasurable collisions. It is of the wretched present: online, urban, urbane, and sweetly ironic. These are poems of play, rant, irreverence, and lip; of sparkling newness haunted by the opulent, hungry dead. Works brimming with cheek that, every so often, stiffen to a punch to the gut.

Like an updated Civil Elegies for a digital generation, Cruise Missile Liberals is a blistering debut from an author leaving his own bite-mark on "Canadian Literature."

Advance Praise

Spencer Gordon’s Cruise Missile Liberalsis, as its title suggests, a very funny, often despairing book. Jammed with on-point pop and breathtaking turns of phrase, this collection of poems is genuinely compelling: it is hard to stop reading, so sweetly twisted is Gordon’s world.

—Lynn Crosbie, Author of Where Did You Sleep Last Night, Life Is About Losing Everything, and Liar

"Hot, hot, hot! Spencer Gordon’s Cruise Missile Liberals is an exquisitely detailed and passionately directed collection which finds vibrant resolve at the intersection of nation and art. With considerable heart and thrilling precision, these poems gratefully adopt the argot (and trouble) of the times and they discover a much different Canada, sweet with chipmunks and as untameable as Sk8er Boi."

—David McGimpsey, author of Asbestos Heights

There is a generosity of spirit on offer here for we who are tired, placeless, saturated in social media, and wasted on the bright horror of a future that never arrives. This collection is deft, intelligent, and tender, if tenderness is something that can also crush you—an intimacy that panics shut. For we who are “Nature Woke,” “alchemical kids with gold teeth,” “wanting to live as I do, shockingly new,” Gordon sings and memes against “Canada the Good” and presents us with an arresting portrait of our present moment.

—Liz Howard, Griffin-Award winning author of Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent
The Panic Room

NOT YET PUBLISHED
978-0-88971-338-3 - Paperback
5.5" x 8" - 96 pages - $18.95
October 2017

By Rebecca Păpucaru





Preoccupied with the complexities of identity and selfhood, memory, embodiment, loss, and family, Rebecca Păpucaru carefully examines details that make up one's lived experience.

"Lobster Dinner" describes a happy childhood memory of eating an entire lobster with an admiring father as her audience. "Take It or Leave It" is the casual and quotidian, yet heartbreaking, failure of a daughter and her mother to find an emotional connection during an art gallery outing. "Your Women Are Beautiful" betrays the dreamy excitement of travelling in an unfamiliar place, juxtaposed with the blunt reality of arriving home again.

The Panic Room is about the giants that loom over us, too. A second-generation Eastern European Jewish immigrant, Păpucaru attempts to grapple with connecting with her family's past as well as the distinct feeling of being disconnected. In "On Watching an Eastern Bloc Comedy" she writes, "I'm one generation apart from all this, / and ashamed. Of my father, before his / refrigerator, mourning age spots on lettuce."

Păpucaru offers unabashed honesty: the sort of reflections you'd only tell your dearest friend.

The Ferryboat Ride

NOT YET PUBLISHED
978-0-88971-340-6 - Board book
6" x 6" - 20 pages - $9.95
August 2017 - colour illustrations

By Robert Perry; illustrated by Greta Guzek



A West Coast children's favourite, now available as a sturdy board book.


"Greta Guzek's 'child's paint-box' renderings … effortlessly convey some of the beauties and magic of this world of islands and boats and whales."

--Books in Canada

"Do you believe / in ferry tales / of seeing pods / of flying whales?" Robert Perry's simple four-line rhymes, paired with Greta Guzek's vibrant illustrations, take readers on a ferry ride along the magical British Columbia coastline. On the trip, young children will enjoy spotting seagulls, lighthouses, kayaks, tugboats, sailboats, whales and other coastal sights before pulling up at the dock and waving goodbye to the ferryboat. The original hardcover edition of The Ferryboat Ride has sold over 15,000 copies, and this new sturdy board book edition is certain to be just as popular with a new generation of young readers.

The Clothesline Swing

AVAILABLE
978-0-88971-332-1 - Paperback
5.5" x 8.5" - 288 pages - $21.95
May 2017

By Ahmad Danny Ramadan





The Clothesline Swing is a journey through the troublesome aftermath of the Arab Spring. A former Syrian refugee himself, Ramadan unveils an enthralling tale of courage that weaves through the mountains of Syria, the valleys of Lebanon, the encircling seas of Turkey, the heat of Egypt and finally, the hope of a new home in Canada.

Inspired by One Thousand and One Nights, The Clothesline Swing tells the epic story of two lovers anchored to the memory of a dying Syria. One is a Hakawati, a storyteller, keeping life in forward motion by relaying remembered fables to his dying partner. Each night he weaves stories of his childhood in Damascus, of the cruelty he has endured for his sexuality, of leaving home, of war, of his fated meeting with his lover. Meanwhile Death himself, in his dark cloak, shares the house with the two men, eavesdropping on their secrets as he awaits their final undoing.

Bad Ideas

AVAILABLE
978-0-88971-326-0 - Paperback
5.5" x 8" - 96 pages - $18.95
May 2017

By Michael V. Smith





Nobody knows bad ideas quite like Michael V. Smith. In his new collection of poetry, he speaks to an intangibility of sense, or a sense beyond the rational. Bad Ideas explores the inevitability of loss and triumph with characteristic irony and tenderness. Through this dazzling collection of a remembered life, hung out to ogle like laundry on the line, Smith recalls a mother who discovers a sex tape, a man who dreams of birthing his own son and a woman who blends her baby girls into milkshakes.

Bad Ideas is a testament to how an altered perspective effects change, how stories can be recast. The collection forms itself into an exercise in which optimism is a practiced art recaptured in dreams and prayers and combined to acknowledge the unknowable, the contradictory, the ungraspable: "An evening is composed / in a hundred unchoreographed / dramas”; "I pull a Clark Kent / transform, dressed as a monk / in burgundy and gold robes. I think / this will protect me, but it doesn't”; "Dear Hatred, sweet / Hatred, do you not move our enemies / to know us better?” Hyperbolic and sincere, this collection brawls with the unquantifiable themes of family, loneliness and love.

Next Door to the Butcher Shop

AVAILABLE
978-0-88971-330-7 - Paperback
5.5" x 8" - 96 pages - $18.95
May 2017

By Rodney DeCroo





Acclaimed singer-songwriter Rodney DeCroo's second poetry collection, Next Door to the Butcher Shop, explores the permeability of memory and uncovers heart-wrenching beauty from shadowy grit.

How quickly age

descends on us. Our memories are maps

to places that don't exist. I was an emperor

on a green lawn wearing a white sheet

and a paper crown. The birds sang my praises

from the hedges and the trees

DeCroo unsentimentally recounts moments suffused with grief, longing and loss, and offers a refreshingly unfiltered view of one's self.

I'd stand for days along the edges of expressway

to sing off-key into the screams of semi-trailers and cars

until I stood within a cocoon of silence and flashing shadows

In a deft combination of lyrical and visceral imagery, Next Door to the Butcher Shop offers a rare, sharp, first-hand perspective of life around the edges, with dark comedy dispersed throughout.

then/again

AVAILABLE
978-0-88971-331-4 - Paperback
5.5" x 8" - 96 pages - $18.95
March 2017

By Michelle Elrick





Michelle Elrick's then/again is a poetic account of finding home, and the meanings and moments that the concept of home can come to embody. The collection tracks the poet through a landscape of intimate places—an ancestral home in Scotland, a mother's birthplace in Salzburg, a childhood home on the West Coast—as well as the memory-warped terrain of the poet's past houses.

In brief poetic capsules that combine to form long, lyrical narratives, Elrick enfolds layers of tactile and remembered experience, offering continual moments of surprise. In the observer's eye, the double act of perceiving and writing lends transformative and mythic properties to the everyday: "a heron drums a pattern of shadows on the surface of the sea, wings tick with quartz regularity. bay clouds spot red, bulbs of peach bloom, smoulder and die down into blue.” The collection is infused by a sense of nostalgia and longing within the present moment, illustrating the elusiveness of home even while it is being lived: "I watch as the day opens, expanding its geometry. diffuse light penetrates the blind. hot sun yellows cold concrete (caress stretching across the courtyard).”

Each quiet moment of reflection builds upon the others to produce a sense of place that is as immediate and fleeting as home itself. Elrick has an uncanny sense for capturing and illuminating those moments that will later glow in memory.

“I am thrilled with the sudden left turns within these poems. A reader, in almost every stanza, ends up in a different place than where she assumed she was going to go. There are wonderful small grenades of surprise and such deftness with the syntax and diction.” –Lorna Crozier