Quill & Quire calls Michael V. Smith’s new collection of poetry, Bad Ideas, a “gorgeous” offering of “awe and hope in a world that can often feel uncertain, dreamlike, and distant.” The poems in this collection explore loss and longing, sexuality and gender, all through Smith’s characteristic tone of humility and humour. Bad Ideas was listed in the CBC Books Spring 2017 Books Preview and 49th Shelf’s Most Anticipated Spring 2017 Poetry Preview, and will be available at your favourite local bookstore in May.
Smith told Nightwood that his new book of poetry came together rather organically: “I’m always tinkering with poetry. My books tend to overlap one with the other; so much of this book was written while I was working on non-fiction. One of the joys in poetry is that you get a fast hit, you know? You slog away on a book of long-form prose, but with poetry you can dip into a poem, finish it, and feel that thrill of finishing something.”
In time with the release of Bad Ideas, Smith will be touring the country to share his bad Ideas in the Dirty Spring Book Tour, alongside fellow writers Marcus McCann, Tara-Michelle Ziniuk, Pierre-Luc Landry, with visits from special guests Sarah Pinder and Ben Ladouceur along the way. Stops include Montreal, Kingston, Hamilton, Toronto, and Ottawa. He will also be reading on the West Coast, so stay tuned for more dates. For details, head to our events calendar.
The author, whose memoir My Body is Yours, published in 2015 by Arsenal Pulp Press, was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award, is the winner of the inaugural Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBT Emerging Writers. He is also a writer, comedian, filmmaker, performance artist, and occasional clown, and teaches creative writing at UBC’s Okanagan campus in Kelowna. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, and check in with Nightwood Editions for more information on these and more events!
The Red Files, Lisa Bird-Wilson’s acclaimed debut collection of poetry, grew out of a very personal place: her own family history as depicted in photos. “I went looking in archives for more photos from the same era,” Bird-Wilson recalls, “and found the children were not identified in any of the archival photographs—a form of silencing and treating individuals as if they are anonymous and uniform, rather than real people. I wanted to try and deconstruct that and poetry emerged as the vehicle to do so. Poetry becomes an act of resistance, of what is available to me as a writer.”
The Malahat Review praises Bird-Wilson’s work, calling The Red Files a “haunting, sorrowful and lovely” collection that “takes us on a journey through mourning and grief, denial of history, demands for truths, and the curiosity for a history that has long been silenced, ultimately pressing on toward healing. It is an unsettling and beautiful read and Bird-Wilson tells her stories with ferocious grace.” The Red Files is a powerful contribution to uncovering the legacy of residential schools and moving toward reconciliation.
The Red Files was recently shortlisted for two Saskatchewan Book Awards: the Rasmussen, Rasmussen & Charowsky Indigenous Peoples’ Writing Award and the Saskatchewan Arts Board Poetry Award. The winners will be announced on April 29, 2017.
Barclay’s collection has been previously shortlisted for the 2015 Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry, and received the 2016 LitPop Awards for Poetry and the Reader’s Choice Award for the 2016 Walrus Poetry Prize. Her poetry has been called “witchy and wise, erotic and tender” by Matrix Magazine, and The Puritan calls the collection “a testament to the intricacies of, and possibilities within, language.”
The Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, established in 1986, is awarded annually to the best collection of poetry by a resident of British Columbia. Other nominees include Rob Taylor, Anne Fleming, Richard Therrien and Juliane Okot Bitek. The winner will be announced at the 33rd Annual Lieutenant Governor’s BC Book Prizes Gala on Saturday, April 29, 2017, in Vancouver.
Expect Something and Nothing at Once is the cinematic depiction of Michelle Elrick’s poem of the same name from her forthcoming collection, then/again. The film, written and directed by Elrick, was filmed in Winnipeg and has screened internationally and was awarded Best Cinematography at the Suffolk International Film Festival in 2013.
expect something and nothing at once: a car coming down the road,
a tilted x, a feeling of enough enough/a rapture love. count: two
days without sleeping, three hours spent hiding, seventeen years
of limiting love and one long highway, the way it dips and caresses
the shouldering hills. wait with squint and exhaustion: breath
condensed on a cold brass hinge, fields scraped clean of snags
and novelty. wander in/out of rooms with a mirror under your chin.
climb out of the bed, the window, the car and threadbare drapery
of blue velour: gold exponential on the carpet. don’t talk, listen
to the curve of this particulate. stare at the cabin past the dim
of trees: its red roof, the taste of warm tomato.
the mountain rises under your knees: algae, juniper. humming
hydro electric box: (red rover, red rover) call and careen, your name
still ringing, still ringing, drawing circles around your face, around
the many lips of the rose’s middle. gulls follow the tractor,
picking out dew worms. sunset between Olympic and North Shore,
grazing red and spotted land of white and orange stars. clouds pass
behind the tree: you say the name of the book you are reading,
I touch your leg under the table, we leave the condom on the desk
(how many brothers/sisters do you have?). mathematics of hunger,
of silence, noise. the universe expands beyond dead stars shining.
asymptotic crush. the things that used to be true.
Michelle Elrick launches then/again at McNally Robinson in Winnipeg on March 25, 2017.