New Titles


The Death of Small Creatures

NOT YET PUBLISHED
978-0-88971-307-9 - Paperback
6" x 9" - 240 pages - $22.95
April 2015

By Trisha Cull





In her lyrical memoir The Death of Small Creatures, Trisha Cull lays bare her struggles with bulimia, bipolar disorder and substance abuse. Interspersing snatches of conversations, letters, blog entries and clinical notes with intimate poetic narrative, Cull evokes an accessible experience of mental illness. In The Death of Small Creatures, Cull strives to cope with her hopelessness. She finds comfort in the company of her two pet rabbits until one of them dies as a result of her lethargy. She numbs herself with alcohol. She validates her self-worth by seeking the love of men—any and all men—and three relationships significantly impact her life: her marriage to Leigh, a much older man; her unrequited love for Dr. P, her therapist; and her healthier relationship with Richard, an American she meets through her blog. She tries drugs—Neo Citran, Ativan, Wellbutrin, crack, crystal meth—and after two hospitalizations, she undergoes electroconvulsive therapy. Haunting and expressive, this immersive memoir explores love in all its facets—needy, obsessive, healthy, self-directed—and plunges the reader headlong into the intense and immediate experience of mental illness.
undercurrent

NOT YET PUBLISHED
978-0-88971-308-6 - Paperback
5.5" x 8" - 96 pages - $18.95
April 2015

By Rita Wong



“We do not own the water. The water owns itself.”
— Lee Maracle




The water belongs to itself. undercurrent reflects on the power and sacredness of water—largely underappreciated by too many—whether it be in the form of ocean currents, the headwaters of the Fraser River or fluids in the womb. Exploring a variety of poetic forms, anecdote, allusion and visual elements, this collection reminds humanity that we are water bodies, and we need and deserve better ways of honouring this. Poet Rita Wong approaches water through personal, cultural and political lenses. She humbles herself to water both physically and spiritually: “i will apprentice myself to creeks & tributaries, groundwater & glaciers / listen for the salty pulse within, the blood that recognizes marine ancestry.” She witnesses the contamination of First Nations homelands and sites, such as Gregoire Lake near Fort McMurray, AB: “though you look placid, peaceful dibenzothiophenes / you hold bitter, bitumized depths.” Wong points out that though capitalism and industry are supposed to improve our quality of life, they’re destroying the very things that give us life in the first place. Listening to and learning from water is key to a future of peace and creative potential. undercurrent emerges from the Downstream project, a multifaceted, creative collaboration that highlights the importance of art in understanding and addressing the cultural and political issues related to water. The project encourages public imagination to respect and value water, ecology and sustainability. Visit downstream.ecuad.ca.
Hastings-Sunrise

AVAILABLE
978-0-88971-310-9 - Paperback
5.5" x 8" - 96 pages - $18.95
March 2015

By Bren Simmers



“A beautifully nuanced look at the challenge of allowing ourselves to claim and be claimed by a place. In this year-long cycle of poems, Simmers brings the sharp focus of a naturalist’s eye to the urban everyday of the Vancouver neighbourhood for which the book is named. Text becomes mapping, observations become ecology, dates become narrative. The poems are both fierce and faltering; they experiment with form without ever losing the voice and vulnerability that make them compelling.”
—Anna Swanson




Hastings–Sunrise is a love letter to a fleeting place and time. Bren Simmers’s second collection captures her old East Vancouver neighbourhood in the midst of upheaval. As it is colonized by tides of matching plaid and diners serving pulled-pork pancakes, condo developments replace the small businesses and cheap rentals that once gave the area its charm. Much like opening a set of nesting dolls, leafing through the collection exposes further layers of depth and intimacy. Within the context of cultural change, Simmers explores the meaning to be found in everyday things: the making of a home, the life built from daily routines. At the same time, she reveals the dissonance that can occur between personal and large-scale change: “Twitter feed of melting sea ice, / colony collapse / while we picnic under pink ribbons, / kiss again like we mean it.” Throughout the collection, the poet’s eye unfailingly lights on the perfect details to evoke a scene: “On Mr. Donair’s spit, / the earth rotates. Papal smoke emits / from Polonia Sausage, semis shunt / downtown.” Visual poems forming maps of Christmas lights and autumn colours further bring the Hastings–Sunrise neighbourhood to life, illustrating the interweaving of human and natural spaces and locating “home” in between. Like a tree clothed in multicoloured yarn or a miniature house filled with free books, Hastings–Sunrise is a gift to readers, beautiful in its simplicity.
Transmitter and Receiver

AVAILABLE
978-0-88971-309-3 - Paperback
5.5" x 8" - 96 pages - $18.95
March 2015

By Raoul Fernandes



“What I receive from these transmissions is a convincing sweetness, a weird wisdom. This book reminds me of David Berman’s Actual Air, but it’s warmer. Raoul Fernandes writes like a night school teacher teaching us ‘something about night itself.’ It’s an engaging class, an occasionally mind-altering class, and I finished it feeling more hopeful and human.”
— Nick Thran




Debut talent Raoul Fernandes’s first offering is Transmitter and Receiver, a masterful and carefully depicted exploration of one’s relationships with oneself, friends, memories, strangers and technology. The three parts of this collection are variations building on a theme—at times lonely, sometimes adoring, but always honest. Wider areas of contemplation—the difficulty of communication, the ever-changing symbolism of language and the nature of human interaction in the age of machines—are explored through colloquial scenes of the everyday: someone eats a burger in a car parked by the river (“Grand Theft Auto: Dead Pixels”), a song plays on the radio as a man contemplates suicide (“Car Game”), and a janitor works silently once everyone else has gone (“After Hours at the Centre For Dialogue”). Forthright and effortlessly lyrical, Fernandes builds each poem out of candor and insight, an addictive mix that reads like a favourite story and glitters with concealed meaning. Rather than drawing lines between isolation and connection, past and present, metaphor and reality, Transmitter and Receiver offers loneliness and longing hand-in-hand with affection and understanding: “The last assembly instruction is always you reading this. A machine / that rarely functions, but could never without you.”
What I Want to Tell Goes Like This

AVAILABLE
978-0-88971-306-2 - Paperback
5.5" x 8.5" - 256 pages - $21.95
October 2014

By Matt Rader



“These fiercely beautiful stories create a kaleidoscopic vision of a very real but sometimes unsettling world. This is not just another first book of stories, but is something remarkably strong, original and new.”
—Jack Hodgins, author of Cadillac Cathedral


What I Want to Tell Goes Like This is an intensely original first short story collection from acclaimed poet Matt Rader. The last story, "All This Was a Long Time Ago," is the 2014 winner of the Jack Hodgins Founders' Award for fiction from The Malahat Review, and other offerings from the collection have appeared in Event, The New Quarterly, Grain, Joyland, Forget Magazine and the Rusty Toque. Rader's command of tension is masterful in these dark, off-kilter stories that are largely set in the context of the working/labour class in and around the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, BC. They alternate between exploring the history of severe labour struggles in the area over a century ago, and the present-day experiences of people sliding through transitional, ambiguous moments in their relationships and sexuality. The juxtaposition of the two time periods seems to hint at the echoes of the harsh, violent legacy of the earlier age and its power struggles that continue to resonate in contemporary life. In What I Want to Tell Goes Like This, we are witness to the controversial shooting death of infamous union activist Albert "Ginger" Goodwin by a police constable in 1918; to the squalor of tent cities erected on the Royston Bay mudflats during the Great Vancouver Coal Strike of 1912-14; to two boys’ experimentation with sexual violence at the end of a secluded logging road; and to clarity and companionship found in a small cabin by the sea as a son cares for his dying father—a rough man who abandoned him when he was eight. In Rader's artful tales of grit and mystery, danger never feels far away.