Because we’re here

 

because the one who holds the pen, even if it’s too dark to / see the page and even if the ink is his own blood, is free*

There’s a story here, an ongoing one (thanks to you). Here’s but an excerpt:

Picture this, coldest winter on record, flu bug making the rounds, and we hold two of our biggest events ever, over the holidays.

Poets are a hardy bunch.

Then, an overnight trip to Ottawa, to read at Tree Series (with Margo LaPierre) a warm, remarkable house filled with poets, and Pearl, and love, as well as an amazing conversation with Amanda Earl, and drinks after.

Mid-week, a whirlwind, landing, catching up, prepping for our Friday’s reading, open this email:

There is so much ugliness right now. Perhaps we’re losing our humanity in our fight for it. And so – lovely you – I thought I’d send you this this morning, to give you courage if you need it. To remind you, if you need to remember, what we’re doing, we makers of things, we lovers, we hopers, we us. 
From Anne Michaels.
love,
Jessica

… including Michaels’ powerful poem To Write, from her new collection, What We Saw (McClelland & Stewart, 2017).

Mind you, this came completely out of the blue, much like most ‘tweets’ that drop like bombs (at rare times, blessings) from the sky.

She restoreth my soul.

This poet doesn’t know that I’ve only recently had the pleasure to be Anne’s bookseller at recent events (including this coming Tuesday). Michaels is the reason she writes.

When I first held/read Shannon Bramer’s Precious Energy (Bookthug, 2017), it was so recognizibly human, so tenacious and frail, so well done.

I don’t trust any system, order, that doesn’t allow for human failing.

And Shannon invited Jessica Hiemstra (The Holy Nothing, Pedlar Press) and we invited Catherine Graham (The Celery Forest, Wolsak & Wynn), and the evening, last night, came into being.

At this time, this place, a place that everywhere else I travel is envied. This tiny little poetry shop/haven in Kensington Market.

And dearest Catherine was ill, so the Radish Spirit read Oak. and Jessica read her bravest work. Shannon also reading the work that insists we remain flesh and blood, tenacious and true.

And the poets and publishers came, loved ones to hear, receive. And people marvelled at the beauty of such a place (kisses Audra).

This too, is humanly possible.

And Jessica and Shannon closed the night reading To Write by Anne Michaels.

And a bucket of flowers, each individually wrapped with a handwritten line from this poem was offered for each to take home.

And some ask, “Kirby, why are you doing this?”

And my answer is, “Because I am blessed that this is mine to do.”

 

We launch Garry Thomas Morse with Sonia Di Placido this Friday coming. Garry is here in residence from Winnepeg. Please come welcome him as we celebrate his new collection, Safety Sand from Talonbooks.

*ANNE MICHAELS, from To Write in WHAT WE SAW (McClelland & Stewart, 2017)

NEW KFB imprint announced

fan wu wqr

I’m thrilled to announce a new chapbook imprint at knife | fork |book: wQr, What Queer Reading, with myself acting as editor and Kirby as publisher. We’re devoted to publishing queer poets of colour, and we’re looking for work in which queerness is expressed alongside but also beyond identity: in the shifting of selfhood into cosmic matter; in the cyborg animality of our species being; in the sharp turns of deviant syntaxes and semantics. We seek work that interrogates the systems upholding oppression & normativity; that engages with the infinite variety of language & world; that expresses the mutability of things & the complexities of living contradictions. We hope to release two chapbooks in winter 2018–of inventive, fresh, fierce voices that revel in all the possibilities of queerness.

If you are interested in publishing through the What Queer Reading imprint, please drop me a line at fanwu2@gmail.com.

Yours,

Fan

knife | fork | book ANNOUNCES NEW IMPRINT, wQr, WHAT QUEER READING, SET TO PUBLISH QUEER POETS OF COLOUR, EDITED BY POET, FAN WU

 

Realness

realness
k | f | b FRIDAYS | THIS FRIDAY
PEDLAR PRESS BOOK LAUNCH

CONCETTA PRINCIPE THIS REAL JACK DAVIS FAUNICS w/ MARTHA BAILLIE

FRIDAY DECEMBER 15TH

knife | fork | book at The Dark Side Studio, 244 Augusta Avenue, Second Floor (walk-up above Bunner’s Bakery)

Doors 6:30 Poetry 7-ish  Wear socks (we’re shoeless).

CONCETTA PRINCIPE writes poetry and fiction, and has published four previous works including Hiroshima: A Love Story (2016), walking (2013), Interference (1999) and Stained Glass (1997). She received a PhD in Humanities in 2014; a scholarly work came out with Palgrave Macmillan in 2015. She is a sessional professor of literature / creative writing at York and Trent Universities, and lives in Toronto. She has published in online journals such as Lemon Hound and The Rusty Toque, and in print journals such as The Malahat Review, Grain, and Matrix.
JACK DAVIS was born in northern Ontario and lives in Parry Sound. For the past ten summers he has lived and worked at a remote fire lookout in the woods of northernmost northern Alberta. Faunics is his groundbreaking debut.
MARTHA BAILLIE was born in Toronto, and educated in a French-English bilingual school. She studied history and modern languages (French and Russian) at the University of Edinburgh. She completed her studies at the Sorbonne in Paris and at the University of Toronto. While at university, she became involved in theatre. In 1981, she took an extended trip through parts of Asia including Hong Kong, China, Thailand, Burma, Nepal and India. This experience inspired her to switch her focus from acting to writing. Today, she works part-time for the Toronto Public Library. Cannoing and hiking are two of her principal passions.

 

MONTREAL

mona copyturner roomturner

elianna lev

 

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.
Photos: KIRBY

 

Tidal wave

jake and friendhousepamela1pamela3miguel2miguel3tara1tarajake5jake1jake6jake3jake signingjake bathroom

Toronto. Kensington Market. Saturday night. Not a bar. No liquor sales. Full house. 7:30PM Lights dim. Poetry.
Pink perfect.
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.
Photos: KIRBY

 

This is how we move

FISHER SMALL & FINE PRESS FAIR JULIA POLYCK-O’NEILL AARON TUCKER ANDREW MCEWAN ANAHITA JAMALI RAD DANIELLE LAFRANCE  THE FOLD BRAMPTON BOOK BASH MARK GOLDSTEIN PHIL HALL ERIN MOURE DAVID BRADFORD ELIANNA LEV DALE SMITH RYAN ECKES SUE LANDERS JIMMY MCINNES JACOB MCARTHUR MOONEY GARY BARWIN HUGH THOMAS JAMES LINDSEY A.F. MORITZ JANE MUNRO SUSAN GILLIS MARY DI MICHELE JAN CONN YOKO’S DOGS MARGO LAPIERRE PHILLIP CRYMBLE ROCCO DE GIACOMO EMILY IZSAK RASIQRA REVULVA A. ZACHARY JULIE CAMERON GRAY KIRBY JAMES G. SOUTHCOTT JERAMY DODDS JONATHAN GARFINKEL SPENCER GORDON CANISIA LUBRIN OWAIN NICHOLSON DAVID ALEXANDER GUILLIAUME MORISSETTE MIGUEL LEANDRO GAMBOA HOA NGUYEN MOEZ SURANI VINCENT COLISTRO MICHELLE BROWN SUPARNA GHOSH R. KOLEWE MLA CHERNOFF UPCOMING LYNN CROSBIE NICHOLAS POWER JIM SMITH LILLIAN NECKACOV LYNNE DESILVA-JOHNSON SARAH PINDER MEET THE PRESSES SHIRLEY CAMIA CONCETTA PRINCIPE JAKE BYRNE JIM JOHNSTONE SHANE NEILSON JACK DAVIS Festival International de la Poésie: Poésie Poetry – a Bilingual reading Stéphane Despatie | Corinne Chevarier | Éric Charlebois CHRIS BANKS CORNELIA HOOGLAND SORAYA PEERBAYE not to mention all the poets in attendance and those who visit us daily.

Poets. Poetry. It’s who we are. It’s what we serve.  knife | fork | book

This final week, please contribute to our IndieGOGO funder. Thank you. Kirby

 

Debut

First anniversary. First launch. First reading in our spacious, intimate new digs. Three new k | f | b chapbooks, ELIANNA LEV (Sex Made Me) DAVID BRADFORD (Call Out) DALE SMITH (Sons). Last night.  knife | fork | book

Special thanks to book designer, NORMAN NEMETALLAH, printer JOHN DE JESUS at Coach House, editor DAVID BRADFORD, poetry ambassador HOA NGUYEN, and creator of The Dark Side Studio, AUDRA SIMMONS.
And thanks to all who warmed the hearth welcoming our new home.
TODAY 4-7PM: THIS IS ‘GOOD GOOD’ w/RYAN ECKES SUE LANDERS  JIMMY MCINNES JACOB MCARTHUR MOONEY GARY BARWIN HUGH THOMAS R. KOLEWE EMILY ISZAK RASIQRA REVULVA  JULIE CAMERON GRAY JAMES G SOUTHCOTT A ZACHARY +++ SPECIAL GUESTS 
TONIGHT 8PM: IN CONVERSATION JERAMY DODDS & JONATHAN GARFINKEL 
Photos: KIRBY