Valentine’s Day Reading

For all you moony-eyed young lovers, on February 14th at 8PM, I’ll be giving a poetry reading at the LSPU Hall in St. John’s. The reading also features poets David Benson, Joel Hynes, Monica Kidd, Carmelita McGrath and Des Walsh. Tickets are $10 advance, $12 at the door.

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Riddle Fence

riddlefence2.gifYou’ll find some nice photos from the Riddle Fence launch on the website of the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador. They were taken by local photographer Shane Kelly. Details are still sketchy, but it looks like the journal will continue publication–though in what form exactly I can’t say right now. I’m in the process of building a RF blog, but for now, you can get more information here.

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New Review

Just posted the latest Independent review: George A. Rose’s Cod: The Ecological History of the North Atlantic Fisheries. Read it here.

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Two New Poems

I’ve just added two new poems to this site. You’ll find them under the poems tab or you can follow the links below. “Sea Legend” originally appeared in the now-defunct Lichen literary journal. “At the Butcher’s Shop” was published in my first poetry collection, Scarecrow; it also earned an honourable mention in a Poetry Life (UK) contest judged by British Poet Laureate Andrew Motion.

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Red Ledger Review in CNQ

Red LedgerThis is slightly older news, but I’ve written a review of Mary Dalton’s latest poetry collection, Red Ledger, which appeared in the latest issue of Canadian Notes & Queries. It’s on the stands now–though not in St. John’s, owing to the dearth of decent bookstores in this city (or, for that matter, on the island generally). I like living here, I really do; I just wish you could find a decent place to buy books or get olive oil that actually tastes like olives.

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A New New Quarterly

The New QuarterlyThe most recent issue of The New Quarterly is now out. In it, you’ll find a feature on a panel or poet-critics I took part in in St. John’s along with Amanda Jernigan, George Murray and Carmine Starnino (Patrick Warner moderated the discussion). They’ve published the transcript of our discussion along with a poem and a selection of critical prose from each of the panelists.

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Review of Seamus Heaney

District and CircleI’ve also added an old Books in Canada review I wrote of Seamus Heaney’s latest poetry collection District and Circle. You’ll find it here.

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Riddle Fence Article Appears in Maisonneuve

Riddle Fence

Award-winning Montreal-based magazine Maisonneuve has republished an essay on Newfoundland theatre by Governor General nominated playwright Robert Chafe. His essay, “Is Newfoundland Theatre Dead?” originally appeared in Riddle Fence, a publication of the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador that I edited. To read the essay in its entirety, follow the link below.

Is Newfoundland Theatre Dead?
The Rock is a ‘powerhouse of comedic political satire’ too often ignored by the Toronto-centric press
By Robert Chafe

In the winter of 2007, Eleanor Wachtel hosted a special edition of CBC Radio’s Arts Tonight where she spoke to the two of most recent theatre critics for the Globe and Mail: Kate Taylor, who served from 1995 to 2003, and Kamal Al-Solaylee who took Taylor’s place. True to Globe tradition, most of Taylor and Al-Solaylee’s knowledge and experience centred on Toronto, with brief forays to Montreal, Calgary, and Vancouver. This being a discussion of theatre highlights during their tenure, the Stratford and Shaw Festivals were also heavily mentioned.

I wasn’t surprised that less than a minute was spent on Newfoundland (somewhat touched, actually, since four provinces went wholly unmentioned). What did surprise me was Taylor’s grand revelation that theatre artists in Newfoundland were all comedians and had wisely, she joked, moved into the more lucrative field of television. Theatre in Newfoundland, if one were to extrapolate from Taylor, was dead; a lifeless shell in the wake of Halifax having swooped in and stolen the talents of Codco and Mercer to fuel the nation’s hunger for comedy both intelligent and actually funny…

Read the rest of this article

For more information on Riddle Fence, see the website at: writersalliance.nf.ca/riddlefence.html

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Reading in St. John’s

For anyone who’s interested, I’ll be reading in St. John’s on January 20, 2 p.m. at Coffee & Company on Water Street. It’s part of a new literary salon sponsored by the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Newfoundland and Labrador Musicians’ Association and Coffee & Company. The salon launch will be hosted by musician Dan Rubin and author Joanne Soper-Cook. Musician Mary Barry will also be performing.

The Telegram has written an article about it.

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Review of Sheilagh O’Leary’s Newfoundland Nudes

Check the newly added Reviews section of this site to read my Independent review of Sheilagh O’Leary’s new collection of nude photography. I’m going to be adding more of these as they appear in the newspaper. Actually, I’ll be adding them two weeks behind my latest review piece–my article appears on a fortnightly basis.

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