rob mclennan’s first reading since his return from his stint at the U of Alberta as Writer in Residence was enjoyable & satisfying to say the least. surrounded by good pals and fans, he read two series of poems and an excerpt from a new novel in progress called Don Quioxte. the latter will be published in a chapbook available at the Ottawa Small Press Fair (all being well) called Departures (more on the chapbook soon!).
something summery langourous about rob’s poems these days. especially lovely were his short histories of L. see another short history of L. here. and hey! the podcast is here
aside from slipping back to ottawa fresh from oil country, rob also arrived with new book in hand, subverting the lyric, essays (ECW Press, 2008). this book is a culmination of years of writings, many of them published in shorter forms in various places, including the Globe & Mail. one of the things i enjoy about rob is that he writes about writing as well as writes. there’s a great essay in this book about rob’s trip with Stephen Brockwell to Ireland. there’s a lot of fun stuff in here. go pick it up.
another wonderful surprise at the reading was rob’s latest chapbook open (prose) body: twenty three (incomplete) poems. beautifully created by Warren Dean Fulton. it’s a limited edition of only 40 copies, (will you be able to get one at the small press fair? better contact rob if you want one) all hand-stamped and dated June 7, 2008. the cover is a work of art and the contents aren’t too shabby either. here’s the opener:
stills into an inconvient nightmare.
construction comes in jars. the only way to
leave this place is to deliberately lift.
everything is gentrified. the peel of a taste
of skin over blue sky blue is a layer of dust.
the skin that would otherwise be.
I am hopelessly incomplete; I am hopeless
and this. green car passes, shakes; green car
is the key to a pardon.
today I am human; thrum on its neck.