New Titles


O Canada Crosswords Book 17

NOT YET PUBLISHED
978-0-88971-322-2 - Paperback
8.5" x 11" - 232 pages - $13.95
October 2016

By Gwen Sjogren





Puns, fun and Canadiana–they’re all standing on guard for solvers in O Canada Crosswords 17. These ninety-five new crosswords provide a playful mix of sixty-five Canadian- and other-themed puzzles in larger grids, plus thirty non-themed Canada Cornucopia crosswords.

For anyone passionate about puzzles, author Gwen Sjogren’s books are a go-to source for an invigorating crossword-solving experience. This collection taps Canadian themes like Retail Therapy, NHL Icons, Power to the People and Urban Islands, as well as whimsical offerings like Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow, Loco Loci and You Had Me at Hello.

To further put solvers’ wits to the test, ten crosswords have no fill-in-the-blank clues. And for an added element of intrigue, Sjogren debuts “Puzzle Link-up” where figuring out the themes of four consecutive puzzles allows solvers to unlock the theme of a fifth.

So get your pencil (or pen) ready, engage your brain and see thee rise to the challenge of O Canada Crosswords Book 17!

The Woods
A Year on Protection Island


NOT YET PUBLISHED
978-0-88971-329-1 - Paperback
5.5" x 8.5" - 160 pages - $19.95
October 2016

By Amber McMillan





"The Woods is the cure-all to Perfect Island Getaway nostalgia. It's a story of everyday domestic survival, peopled by both loveable eccentrics and possibly murdersome cranks, foregrounding the little-known history of violence on Protection Island. Amber McMillan's writing balances an eye for the unusual and resiliently beautiful with a sympathy for the frailties common to all her islanders." -Kevin Chong, author of Baroque-a-Nova, Neil Young Nation and Beauty Plus Pity

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The Woods: A Year on Protection Island is a book of non-fiction stories that probes and witnesses the unique and sometimes unsettling atmosphere of small town-island life in the Georgia Strait. The measure of one’s success here doesn’t rely on status or income, but on the skillful handling of neighbours, the resourcefulness for survival, and the adaptation to both the rigorous outdoors of the Pacific Northwest and equally challenging human community of need, trade, and negotiated civility.

These are stories of the people and families who sought refuge here, for different reasons and with different outcomes: Keith, a cross-dressing retired sea captain who can’t overcome the death of his wife; Steve, the contractor who escapes his deaf wife and the silence of his domestic life by perfecting his physical property, using only the loudest of electric chainsaws and lawnmowers from morning until dusk; Cris, the seventy-six-year-old library curator who has recently discovered scotch whiskey and sex again after twenty-five years; and of various other transplants making their way through the murky terrain of living on an island.

Like no other community on Earth, this small place is packed with secret corners, eerie histories and a whispering darkness. This is the complicated convergence of human capacities: from homicides (both in the same house, unrelated and years apart) to some of the greatest gestures of generosity, social reform and equality. This is the place of the close-up encounter of who we are stripped of distractions and escapist entertainment; who we are in the woods.

Witness, I Am

NOT YET PUBLISHED
978-0-88971-323-9 - Paperback
5.5" x 8" - 96 pages - $18.95
October 2016

By Gregory Scofield





Witness, I Am is divided into three gripping sections of new poetry from one of Canada’s most recognized poets. The first part of the book, “Dangerous Sound,” contains contemporary themed poems about identity and belonging, undone and rendered into modern sound poetry. “Muskrat Woman,” the middle part of the book, is a breathtaking epic poem that considers the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women through the reimagining and retelling of a sacred Cree creation story. The final section of the book, “Ghost Dance,” raids the autobiographical so often found in Scofield’s poetry, weaving the personal and universal into a tapestry of sharp poetic luminosity. From “Killer,” Scofield eerily slices the dreadful in with the exquisite: “I could, this day of proficient blooms, / take your fingers, / tie them down one by one. This one for the runaway, / this one for the joker, / this one for the sass-talker, / this one for the judge, / this one for the jury. / Oh, I could kill you.”

The Duende of Tetherball

NOT YET PUBLISHED
978-0-88971-325-3 - Paperback
5.5" x 8" - 96 pages - $18.95
October 2016

By Tim Bowling





The Duende of Tetherball fearlessly ransacks the scrutinizing role of the past on the present; the interactions and accountabilities of ourselves and other species; the challenges and pleasures of getting older and forever striving to balance our most cherished and often incomprehensible relationships both with the world and each other.

Bowling strives to account for and address our human need to resolve the tension between personal freedom and a world burdened by increasing homogenization and centralized control by adopting an industry of personal fortitude and thoughtful redress. He seeks to remember and to remember again the lessons polished over a lifetime: “Fifteen, scared but still apt / to toss “damn thee black / thou cream-faced loon” / in PE class at the rippling back / of some hoop or net-bound jock, / I was learning – too soon – / the only lesson that counts: / how to be alone.”

If I Were In a Cage I'd Reach Out For You

NOT YET PUBLISHED
978-0-88971-327-7 - Paperback
5.5" x 8" - 96 pages - $18.95
October 2016

By Adèle Barclay





If I Were In A Cage I’d Reach Out For You is a collection that travels through both time and place, liminally occupying the chasm between Canadiana and Americana mythologies. These poems dwell in surreal pockets of the everyday warped landscapes of modern cities and flood into the murky basin of the intimate.

Amidst the comings and goings, there’s a sincere desire to connect to others, an essential need to reach out, to redraft the narratives that make kinship radical and near. These poems are love letters to the uncomfortable, the unfathomable, and the altered geographies that define our own misshapen understandings of the world.

Digsite

NOT YET PUBLISHED
978-0-88971-324-6 - Paperback
5.5" x 8" - 96 pages - $18.95
October 2016

By Owain Nicholson





Digsite draws on Nicholson’s experience working in the Alberta oil sands and arboreal forest, taking an archaeological lens to its subject, and in this way, reimagines tens of thousands of years of human existence. These poems grow from a schism between the current place of living and the ones in which we are pulled back to, in particular, the places we no longer occupy.

Nicholson’s language draws on his archaeological and fieldwork background as he burrows and grinds the places we have lost, consistently underpinned by the grief that must accompany such a fervent exploration. In these discoveries, Nicholson presents us with the material remains of our own abandonment, of loss and acceptance, and ultimately leaves us with more questions than when we began.

Surviving City Hall

AVAILABLE
978-0-88971-320-8 - Paperback
6" x 9" - 224 pages - $22.95
May 2016

By Donna Macdonald



Based on a small town in British Columbia, this book is relevant to communities and the people who care about them, right across the country.




With humour and humanity, Surviving City Hall reveals the workings of the municipal world based on author Donna Macdonald's nineteen years as a city councillor. Wrestling with ground squirrels, dealing with dogs and grappling with the Three Bears of Governance, Macdonald offers an insider's view into how things work at city hall in a call to citizens in communities of all shapes and sizes.

From the table where council members make decisions—to lock out city workers, detoxify a workplace issue, permit high density development and ban dogs downtown—to the richness of community life, including meetings, memorials, meat banquets and rallies for the protection of endangered animals, this book is a big-hearted take on small-town politics.

It's also a reflection on leadership and on democracy, and how we could do both better. Macdonald ponders women's participation in local governance, why it's critical and what the barriers are that can dissuade women from engaging more fully in the governance of their communities.

Wigford Rememberies

AVAILABLE
978-0-88971-319-2 - Paperback
5" x 7.5" - 192 pages - $19.95
May 2016

By Kyp Harness





“a great writer” –Daniel Lanois

“one of the finest songwriters on the planet... his lyrics [are] every bit as powerful as the best Dylan, Cohen and Lennon combined.” –Ron Sexsmith

“a national treasure” –Michael Barclay, Exclaim

“he’s a stone genius” –CBC

“Kyp Harness scrapes at the backdrop of reality to reveal the tired, the broken, the lost and desolate, imbuing their agony with a fine and desperate dignity and allowing the reader to be swept along as well.” –Mike Blouin, award-winning author of Chase and Haven

“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, a satisfying read. This is a fantastic book, please just read it.” –Tony Burgess, author of Idaho Winter, finalist for the Trillium Award and author of Pontypool Changes Everything

Wigford is a small town in rural Southwestern Ontario, home to a cast of recurring characters: Buzz, a drunk-driving father of two; his wife, who should have married Bert Walmsley instead; Happy Henry, a devout, socially inept apostle who loves to play the organ; Elmer, a stroke survivor.

Wigford Rememberies tells this community's stories through an impressionistic series of vignettes. The language is inventive, innovative and exciting, and whether describing mucking out the pig barn—“there in the dust and the sweet smells of grain and straw and the heavy brown odour of shit so strong it makes you sneeze"—or helping a drunk articulate how to manipulate God's forgiveness—“‘if I gave my heart to Jesus—right there on my deathbed the minute before I died—he'd forgive everything an I'd go up into Heaven and be saved just as much as the other guy who never did nothin' wrong at all with no difference?'"—Harness wields words with an eye for detail, musicality and style.

Visceral, reflective and lyrical, Wigford Rememberies is a poetic evocation of mood and epiphanic realizations, and will resonate with anyone who has ever confronted suffering, love or the unknowable.

How Festive the Ambulance

AVAILABLE
978-0-88971-321-5 - Paperback
5.5" x 8" - 96 pages - $18.95
May 2016

By Kim Fu





In this debut poetry collection by award-winning author Kim Fu, incantations, mythical creatures and extreme violence illuminate small scenes of domestic life and the banal tragedies of modern love and modern death.

A sharp edge of humour slices through Fu's poetry, drawing attention to the distance between contemporary existence and the basic facts of life: “In the classrooms of tomorrow, starved youth will be asked to imagine a culture that kept thin pamphlets of poetry pinned to a metal box full of food, who honoured their gods of plenty by describing ingredients in lush language."

Alternating between incisive wit and dark beauty, Fu brings the rich symbolism of fairy tales to bear on our image-obsessed age. From “The Unicorn Princess": “She applies gold spray paint to her horn each morning, / hoping to imitate the brass tusks / on the unicorns skewered to the carousel, / their brittle, painted smiles, harnesses / embedded in their backs and shellacked to high gloss." These poems are utterly of-the-moment, capturing the rage, irony and isolation of the era we live in.

The Red Files

AVAILABLE
978-0-88971-316-1 - Paperback
5.5" x 8" - 96 pages - $18.95
May 2016

By Lisa Bird-Wilson





This debut poetry collection from Lisa Bird-Wilson reflects on the legacy of the residential school system: the fragmentation of families and histories, with blows that resonate through the generations.

Inspired by family and archival sources, Bird-Wilson assembles scraps of a history torn apart by colonial violence. The collection takes its name from the federal government's complex organizational structure of residential schools archives, which are divided into “black files" and “red files." In vignettes as clear as glass beads, her poems offer affection to generations of children whose presence within the historic record is ghostlike, anonymous and ephemeral.

The collection also explores the larger political context driving the mechanisms that tore apart families and cultures, including the Sixties Scoop. It depicts moments of resistance, both personal and political, as well as official attempts at reconciliation: “I can hold in the palm of my right hand / all that I have left: one story-gift from an uncle, / a father's surname, treaty card, Cree accent echo, metal bits, grit— / and I will still have room to cock a fist."

The Red Files concludes with a fierce hopefulness, embracing the various types of love that can begin to heal the traumas inflicted by a legacy of violence.

How to Be Eaten by a Lion

AVAILABLE
978-0-88971-318-5 - Paperback
5.5" x 8" - 96 pages - $18.95
May 2016

By Michael Johnson





From the monk who sets himself on fire in a crowded intersection of Saigon (“the familiar corded tendons of his hands, become / a bracken of ashes, a carbon twine of burnt”), to the salmon run in British Columbia (“The salmon word / for home is glacierdust and once-tall trees unlimbed, / a taste, no matter where, they know”), Johnson writes of topics varied and eclectic, unified by a focus on moments both declining and revenant.

Startling and haunting, the poems delve into the ways in which these moments are transformative, beautiful and unexpected. Being eaten by a lion is a gift rather than a loss, an opportunity for grace: “Instead, focus on your life, / its crimson liquor he grows drunk on. / Notice the way the red highlights his face, / how the snub nose is softened, the lips made / fuller; notice his deft musculature, his rapture.”

Lyrical and rich with visceral imagery, How to Be Eaten by a Lion lingers, exploring the world with an eye for detail and an ear for music.