"The simplicity and grace of the design of this small title is quite striking … these are poems that proclaim a victory through perseverance, survival and a refusal to not exist loudly and joyously…" @robmclennanblog https://t.co/76WRTqUnVm
— knifeforkbook (@knifeforkbook) December 21, 2017
She's bringing it. #bonafide
— knifeforkbook (@knifeforkbook) January 1, 2018
— knifeforkbook (@knifeforkbook) January 8, 2018
— Doyali Islam (@doyali_is) December 21, 2017
First of all, every publisher believes there’s is the best stuff out there this (or any) year. We’re no exception. Our first five, (one cleverly disguised as a ‘bon-bon’), all exceptional, stand alone. Good poetry in [very] pretty packaging with nods to our brilliant book designer, Norman Nehmetallah, and printer John De Jesus at Coach House. And, to poets, Elianna Lev, David Bradford, Jonathan Garfinkel, and Dale Smith, deep gratitude for your work. An extraordinary debut.
Then there are the bestsellers we can never have enough copies in stock (thank you for the trouble) Kaveh, Sam, Danez, Tommy, Morgan, Alex, Chen, CA, Hoa, anything at Wave, kicking it, all.
Which brings me to a list of books (and chapbooks) that remain cherished on my shelf this year, books I place in other reader’s hands. Poets that moved, brought me to a complete stop. Reading that delighted and surprised, poems, sentences, fragments, I read over and over again. What I call, ‘gems,’ (in no particular order). With thanks, Kirby
SARAH PINDER COMMON PLACE (Coach House Books, 2017)
CHELY LIMA (trans. Margaret Randall) LO QUE LES DIJO EL LICANTROPO | WHAT THE WEREWOLF TOLD THEM (The Operating System, 2017)
NIKKI WALLSCHLAEGER CRAWLSPACE (Bloof Books, 2017)
SHANNON BRAMER PRECIOUS ENERGY (BookThug, 2017)
TARA-MICHELLE ZINIUK WHATEVER, ICEBERG (Mansfield Press, 2017)
LYNN CROSBIE THE CORPSES OF THE FUTURE (Anansi, 2017)
ALEX DIMITROV TOGETHER AND BY OURSELVES (Copper Canyon, 2017)
JACK DAVIS FAUNICS (Pedlar Press, 2017)
CANISIA LUBRIN VOODOO HYPOTHESIS (Wolsak and Wynn, 2017)
TIMOTHY LIU KINGDOM COME (Talisman, 2017)
JENNIFER STILL COMMA (BookThug, 2017)
KATHRYN MOCKLER DAVID POOLMAN SOME THEORIES (ST Press, 2017)
ALLY FLEMING THE WORST SEASON (Anstruther Press, 2017)
SONNET L’ABBE ANIMA CANADENSIS (Junction Books, 2017)
JAKE BYRNE THE TIDE (Rahila’s Ghost, 2017)
HOLLY MELGARD CATCALL (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2017)
GEORGE OPPEN 21 POEMS (New Directions, 2017)
MARCUS MCCANN SHUT UP SLOW DOWN LET GO BREATHE (Invisible, 2017)
AIDAN CHAFE RIGHT HAND HYMNS (Frog Hollow, 2017)
SENNAH YEE HOW DO I LOOK? (Metatron, 2017)
JACQUELYN ROSS MAYONNAISE (Blank Cheque, 2016)
RYAN ECKES (traduccion Carlos Soto Roman) PATRIOTISMO (Libros del Pez Espiral)
STACY SYZMASZEK Slow Poetry in America Issue 8
BEST BOOK OF POETRY I’VE READ THIS YEAR
ALICE NOTLEY THE DESCENT OF ALETTE (Penguin, 1992)
ERIN WUNKER NOTES FROM A FEMINIST KILLJOY (BookThug, 2017) not to mention LEE MARACLE’s ‘Conversations’ and THE VIDEOFAG BOOK (day-ym, Bookthug!)
We love you. knife | fork | book
PICTURED: k | f | b MONTREAL 2017 FALL CHAPBOOK LAUNCH featuring DAVID BRADFORD CALL OUT ELIANNA LEV SEX MADE ME DALE SMITH SONS LAUREN TURNER WE’RE NOT GONG TO DO BETTER NEXT TIME Hosted by KIRBY SHE’S HAVING A DORIS DAY at MONASTIRAKI (Thanks BILLY MAVREAS) and the vibrant writer’s community in Montreal for celebrating with us.
k | f | bhttps://t.co/fw5FLb7n07#LAUNCH #poetry #chapbooks @yesmonastiraki #DaleSmith #sons @BartleBeeps #callout @noneandonly #sexmademe @sickpoettheory #werenotgoingtodobetternexttime @itsakirby #sheshavingadorisday pic.twitter.com/ny1ff6Qw1p
— knifeforkbook (@knifeforkbook) December 7, 2017
Secret’s out. JACQUELYN ROSS MAYONNAISE (Blank Cheque) is but one of the chapbook gems of the year. Full list out next week. knife | fork | book
Toronto. Kensington Market. Saturday night. Not a bar. No liquor sales. Full house. 7:30PM Lights dim. Poetry.
Four fresh powerhouses. PAMELA DUNGAO. MIGUEL LEANDRO GAMBOA. TARA-MICHELLE ZINIUK. And the poet in pink ballcap and pleather.
Last night’s Toronto launch of THE TIDE (Rahila’s Ghost Press, 2017), JAKE BYRNE is deserving of every accolade tossed his way, and more. It’s rare to witness the ‘beginnings’ of a major new talent. Such brilliance, such direct flame. Bearing awe.
I was asked earlier this week, “Why am I doing [any of] this?” and, of the numerous reasons, I used to have to travel (at times still do) for nights like these. Now, here.
Thanks poets, friends, family, lovers of poets/poetry. The entire evening, magic. I will never forget.