JESSICA BEBENEK’s k2tog (“knit together”) at KFB’s Poetry Lab was filled with laughter, warmth, and “bitchin’ babe power.” Such fun!
k2tog now available at knife fork book.
KHASHAYAR MOHAMMADI’s 2018 PICKS
1. “Chlorosis” by Michael Flatt and Derrick Mund (The Operating System)
As they describe the book themselves, “A break-up letter to the world.” The Echopoetics of “Chlorosis” forces us to face the bitter truths about our environment. through their rhetoric we sit down with 3D Glasses to watch nature crumble all around us. I highly recommend
2. “An Absence so Great and Spontaneous It Is Evidence Of Light” by Anne Gorrick (The Operating System)
Anne Gorrick’s quirky take on procedurally generated poetry made me question the agency of a poet in the age of internet and Artificial intelligence. this book is a document to the electronic zeitgeist of the timeline during which it was created. a book to be studied endlessly.
4. “ZUSE-80” by Lindsay Cahill (Inspiritus)
I gotta admit that throughout 2018, I often took refuge behind ZUSE-80 as my happy place. It is one of the most uniquely endearing and heartwarming books I came across this year. Its a book that I’ll infinitely revisit in times of sadness and discomfort.
5. “Slogan, Substance, Dream” by John Nyman (Anstruther)
a strong, philosophical look into the substance of poetry. a book that simultaneously inspired and challenged me. I recommend it to anyone interested in the theoretical approach to poetics and writing in general.
6. “Heart & Mouth & Deed & Life” by JM Francheteau (Anstruther)
a thrilling new collection by an introspective mind. I thoroughly enjoyed the micro-journeys the poems took me on. each poem is full of thought and reflection, loss and redemption, weakness and revival. one of my personal favorites this year.
7. “Weak Spot” by Fawn Parker (Anstruther)
a tale of grief told with brutal honesty. Fawn Parker’s latest poetry collection takes you on an emotional ride with bare-bone realism.
8. “Let This Be The End Of Me” by JC Bouchard (Bad Books)
I had always admired Bouchard’s work, but this collection cemented him as a truly unique voice in my mind. His minimalist poetry, along with his wonderful photography, tugged at my heart strings like no other book this year.
9. The Minola Review, edited by Robin Richardson
probably one of the best anthologies I’ve ever encountered. the stupendous quality of the writing aside, Richardson’s gathering of the material was a task beyond my comprehension. the best collection of Women’s writing available right now. Highly recommend it for both literary value and cultural significance.
10. “Everyone In Your Dream Is You” by Lily Wang (Anstruther)
the single most original collection of poetry I encountered this year. It made me laugh, made me tear up, made me feel complex emotions simultaneously. a truly remarkable debut by a truly brilliant emerging writer. Lily Wang is a name to look out for in the future!
We love chapbooks. Tasty morsels of ephemera that opportune small presses, those marginalized, established and emerging writers alike, let their creative juices run on the page to a readership keen on encountering the new.
Through revisiting chapbooks by brilliant writers who lack the representation of more mainstream writers, we ruminate on the importance of their work, discuss the intricacies of their writing and through our effort their work will live on in our hearts for much longer than originally intended.
This club is for poets, lovers of poetry and small presses alike. It’s a way of helping both the writers and the presses, a way of marketing smaller voices and bringing them to the forefront. We’re excited to create a more fertile future for small publishing and we hope you’ll join us in this effort!
-Khashayar Mohammadi (Kramer)
Contrary to what cannot be found in a country’s major newspaper, it was a great year for poetry, Canadian and elsewhere.
What do I read/look for? Did the work accomplish what it set out to do? Does it surprise/delight? Stay with me? As a publisher/programmer the measure is “if this is the one thing we did, well done.”
KFB published four beautiful chapbooks and a stunning broadside (from Dale Smith’s SONS, 2017). Our spring bouquet of ROXANNA BENNETT, JOHN ELIZABETH STINTZI, and LAUREN TURNER were nothing shy of inspired, and KATE SUTHERLAND’s glorious BEASTS of the SEA. A very good year.
In chapbooks, nothing has delighted me more than discovering the creative work coming from Calgary publisher KYLE FLEMMER, and Anstruther has more titles I’ve enjoyed then can be mentioned here, EVAN JONES’ Cavafy poems, JM FRANCHETEAU’s HEART & MOUTH & DEED & LIFE and their Manifesto Series (edited by SHANE NEILSON) with terrific offerings by JOHN NYMAN and JOHN BARTON. Well done.*
Here’s a few that kicked ass, with a decided slant towards Canadian. If there was one poem that tore me a new one, it’s CACONRAD’s Glitter In My Wounds. And Dominique, your debut will stay with me forever. Thank you.
*I must also note, some recent Brick Book titles just came out that I’ve haven’t gotten to, but will, with relish.
Corrections: It’s Shelly Harder (not Sally, forgive!) and I’ve added Chris Bailey’s powerful debut. Kb
With these three striking, extraordinary new chapbooks, all we can say is, “Welcome, The Soap Box.” – Kirby
I’m happy to say, this December is our biggest, most festive month ever at the shop!
Offerings from our new KFB Poetry Lab continue with Montreal-based poet JESSICA BEBENEK launching her newest k2tog (knit together) with a Knitting Circle Sat Dec 15th, followed by HOA NGUYEN celebrating the 40th Anniversary of BERNADETTE MAYER’s Midwinter Day with a writing workshop on the very same day, Sat Dec 22nd, both occuring in our salon space at the back of the shop.
The evening before, (FRI DEC 21st), we’ll be enjoying the Solstice at Kensington Market’s Festival of Lights, with a perfect bird’s eye view from our windows overlooking the festivities with live music and our famous CUSTOMER APPRECIATION SALE 5-8PM (you know she loves to play Santa)!
Our Signature KFBFRIDAYS include Brooklyn-based ROBERT SIEK’s Canadian Launch of WE GO SEASONAL (Sibling Rivalry Press) with the iconic LYNN CROSBIE NOV 30th. Also from New York MICHAEL FLATT and TRAVIS SHARP DEC 7th, and SONIA DI PLACIDO, CAROL BARBOUR, and DOMINIQUE BERNIER-CORMIER DEC 14th.
Our NEW IN STORE SERIES begins SAT DEC 1 with JULIA POLYCK-O’NEILL, RYAN FITZPATRICK AND CAROLINE SZPAK, SAT DEC 8TH MICHAEL NARDONE, SHIV KOTECHA | TIZIANA LA MELIA 3PM These very same two dates are double-billed with JONATHAN PAPPO & APRIL ALIERMO (DEC 1 7PM) and THE SOAP BOX PRESS LAUNCH (DEC 8TH 7PM).
and finally, our SHOP HOURS continue TUES-SAT 1-5:30PM
Don’t forget to wear festive socks!
Her festive self,
KIRBELA and everyone on the KFB TEAM
an album / small book – “collapse”;
an unveiling of a “band” performing the work “live”.