Canada Day strikes me as the one day of the year when Canadians can feel absolutely justified in participating in the kind of in-your-face patriotism that we usually eschew as a matter of good breeding. Of course, growing up in a border city probably gives you a skewed perception of patriotism in general. Americans have made it something of an art form, but it seems to me that Canadians have just as much pride in their country (and heck—sometimes more!) than our southern neighbours. It’s only that we’re a bit more circumspect in expressing it, usually. Then Canada Day comes around and it’s all maple leaves and beavers and red-and-white face paint.
But for a diverse country in which defining Canadianness pretty much stalls out somewhere between a collective love of hockey and a shared affinity for poking fun at Americans, it’s not possible to pinpoint one particular thing that makes us love our country. It’s not just freedom or democracy or progress or industry—Canada is the sum of its disparate parts, and it’s our celebration of that very diversity that is so appealing.
I’ve probably watched more American news than any Canadian has a right to, and to my abiding shame, I still can’t make heads or tails of temperatures given in Celcius, but I still consider Canada to be a wonderful, perfectly imperfect country that we are privileged to live in. (Cue lights, banner, national anthem aaaaand scene.)
This month, remember your patriotic duty and be sure to read Canadian. (That’s a hashtag right there: #ReadCanadian). With our selection of Canadian fiction, non-fiction and poetry, we are happy to offer up many fine examples of what our citizens can do creatively *wink wink nudge nudge*.
What’s going on this month…
Looking forward to some essential Canadian poetry for your poolside reading? The Essential Daryl Hine is coming up! The shop will be humming with the printing and binding work, and you should be able to see copies around the end of the month. In the mean time, whet your whistle with more information and a short excerpt here.
In British Columbia.
The Davy the Punk tour lives! Bob Bossin will be attending the Elephant Mountain Literary Festival as part of their All-Star Reading as well as their panel discussion on July. Be sure to check out the Elephant Mountain schedule of events for more details.
Following that, Bob will be on his way to the Denman Island Readers and Writers Festival for a performance of The Songs and Stories of Davy the Punk. Tickets and registration are available here.
In the USA.
The Porcupine’s Quill will be participating in this year’s annual Poets House Showcase, a free exhibit that features a diverse collection of new poetry books and poetry-related texts from over 650 presses. Stop by 10 River Terrace in New York before August 8 to see the showcase in person.
In the World.
If you’re not into BBQ-ing, parading and doing other quintessentially Canada Day things on July 1, consider celebrating Creative Ice Cream Flavours Day. Invent a new taste sensation and test it on unsuspecting friends and family!
July 15 is Cow Appreciation Day, which apparently means you need to go out and hug a cow. So. Yeah. That. (Side note: I once petted a cow. It was smelly and kinda dirty and not terribly fun to pet. Hugs are not in the cards.)
And finally, July 27 is Take Your Pants for a Walk Day. The very name begs many potentially disturbing questions (must one leash one’s pants, one wonders?) but let’s go with the more conventional interpretation and encourage everyone to get up, get out, and go for a walk.
From the porcupette’s corner
In June, this porcupette channeled her nerdy side. One project that has been taking up my time of late has been building EPUB-style ebooks for some of George A. Walker’s wordless novels. What does that mean, you ask? Well, it means smaller file sizes, more flexibility when it comes to reading text, and the ability to reach e-ink devices like some Kobo and Kindle e-readers. We hope to make those ebooks available in the near future.
But the biggie…
Have you noticed any changes around here? Maybe … website changes? I thought so!
You might have noticed a slight revamp to many of the pages of the PQL site, including the home page. Enough was enough with the old website navigation and some of the other limitations of the design. We’re proud of our good-looking books, and now we’re able to show them off better on our home page. Another improvement is the navigation, with logical groupings and improved browseability. My personal favourite is—finally!—the ability to scroll on mobile phones.
We hope you like the new look and functionality, but of course, we are always looking for your suggestions to serve you better. If you have any questions, comments or concerns about our revamp, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.