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PQ Weekly Roundup: 13 Oct 2017

pqroundup2Every Friday, the PQ Weekly Roundup collects the most shared links in our social media network—bookish articles, reviews, quizzes, recommendations and more—in convenient digest form.

 
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Hope you enjoyed today’s roundup. Also, today is Friday the 13th. If that’s a thing that worries you … good luck. 😉

Cheers,sig


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A Poetic Reading List for World Mental Health Day

Neilson books

Every year on October 10th, people around the globe observe World Mental Health Day. This is a day for raising awareness of mental health issues, for supporting not just those who suffer from these issues, but also those with affected loved ones, as well as practitioners who work tirelessly to help those in need. It is a day for empathy, acceptance and solidarity, and an opportunity to try to understand, even in some small way, what it means to suffer from mental illness in our society.

It can be difficult, sometimes, to understand the very real challenges that people suffering from mental health issues face in our communities. If we don’t suffer from mental illness ourselves, or know someone who is, it can be tempting to ignore the problem, to sweep our concerns under the rug and go about our daily business. But there is much to be gained in seeking to recognize, even a little bit, the context of mental illness suffering and treatment. It can teach us to be more empathetic human beings, better friends, and generally more supportive, aware and accepting of the different abilities and disabilities of those around us.

In keeping, we recommend reading Shane Neilson’s trio of poetry collections on affect—books that consider pain, illness, love, life and death from the perspective of doctor, patient and observer.

Complete Physical ponders what it means to be ill, occasionally celebrates what it means to get better and considers the tragic point when illness becomes identity.

On Shaving Off His Face probes the ways in which we are recognized, defined and categorized by others’ interpretations of the maladies written on our faces.

Dysphoria comments on the pain, anxiety and dissatisfaction that arises from mental illness, attempting to bring readers inside the mind of the patient, to depict the history of mental health treatment, and to present an intimate consideration of illness from the point of view of a speaker who is at once sufferer, doctor and observer.

 

These books are raw, emotional and intensely rewarding. I highly recommend that you try one—or all—of these books, and that you keep in mind the importance of mental health awareness and support not just in your family, but also in your wider community.


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PQ Weekly Roundup: 05 Oct 2017

pqroundup2Every Friday, the PQ Weekly Roundup collects the most shared links in our social media network—bookish articles, reviews, quizzes, recommendations and more—in convenient digest form.

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How’s that for a fun bookish diversion? Hope you found something of interest in today’s roundup.

Have a great weekend,sig

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News for October, or, Don’t be a Turkey–Be Grateful for Stories in All Their Forms

I’m already thinking ahead to this (Canadian) Thanksgiving weekend—to ham-and-turkey dinners, to heaps of Stove Top stuffing (don’t judge me), to creamy mashed potatoes and to a nice, quaffable rosé (I thought we agreed, no judgement). Even so, Thanksgiving is about more than just the food.

It’s also a time for stories—stories about your late grandfather’s questionable attempts at shoddy electrical wiring; about your uncle’s inadvertent adventures through Chicago’s sketchiest neighbourhoods; about your brother’s new house or your father’s first car. A rich, oral history is passed down at each family gathering. We see these stories in our mind’s eye, in the flickering candlelight, in the whirls of the wooden table around which we’ve gathered.

turkey

Every turkey can tell a story. The trick is to avoid making them all sound the same. Gobble gobble gets old, you know?.

These stories make me think of the very visual narratives that grow out of such oral traditions. Consider the images in James Simon Mishibinijima’s Pictographs, which depict the legends of his Ojibway elders, or in Tony Miller’s nearly mythical tale of slavery, resilience and reinvention, Daddy Hall, or in George A. Walker’s The Mysterious Death of Tom Thomson, which tells a story that has never found a satisfactory ending in oral or written accounts. These visual stories really do embody unity and togetherness. They have no language to act as barrier. They are equally welcoming to those of different languages or cultures, of different reading levels or learning abilities. They show, rather than tell.

So this Thanksgiving, consider sharing a story. Share it in whatever form feels best to you, whether oral, textual or visual. Your loved ones will surely thank you.

 

What’s happening this month…

At PQL.

This month, we’re gearing up for the publication of Michael Harris’s The Gamekeeper. This book of poetry features some fantastic selections from some of his well known collections, and includes some new poems to whet your poetic appetite.

In Victoria.

Canadian Authors

Plastic author Margaret Gracie will be in Victoria to take part in the Canadian Authors Association Victoria Speak Easy on Tuesday, October 17th at the Good Earth Coffeehouse.

In Ottawa.

Barbara Sibbald, author of The Museum of Possibilities, will join Christine McNair (Charm) and Michael Blouin (Legend) for an event entitled Plan 99: Poetry and Prose at the Manx Pub. Organized by the Ottawa Writers Festival, the event will take place on October 21st.

On the Radio

Yours truly, your favourite porcupette, will be coming at you from the airwaves this month. Christine Cowley will be interviewing me on her Hunters Bay Radio show, “Storylines,” on October 19th. We’ll be chatting about the business and processes of publishing and some of my thoughts on the importance of PQL.

In the World.

October 5th is World Teacher’s Day. Let the wonderful teachers in your life know just how much you appreciate all the important work they do!

October 11th is It’s My Party Day. I think I speak for all of us when I reserve the right to cry if I want to.

And October 18th is No Beard Day. Hear that gents? Shave it off. I dare ya.

 

From the porcupette’s corner.

How much fun was September, amirite? It was just so full of fun stuff to see and do. We had the Fisher Small and Fine Press Fair at the beginning of the month, followed by a couple of readings with Shane Neilson and Margaret Gracie. Then we capped off the month with a bang at Word on the Street Toronto. Plus, Margaret Gracie and Barbara Sibbald had a blast out at the Fog Lit Festival in Saint John, NB. There was a little something for readers, for writers, for collectors, for printers, for publishers—for everyone!

Leon Rooke, Tim Inkster, Doug Gibson

Leon Rooke [L] and Happy gang of book folk at Word on the Street. Doug Gibson [R] stopped by to chat with our own Tim Inkster.

I sincerely hope I got to see and talk with a few of you at some of these events, and if not, I’m looking forward to the opportunity very soon. That’s the great thing about this book business—there’s always another new release to get hyped about.

 

Thanks for checking in with us here at the Porcupine’s Quill. We hope to see you soon, and we wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Happy long weekend,

 

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PQ Weekly Roundup: 29 Sep 2017

pqroundup2Every Friday, the PQ Weekly Roundup collects the most shared links in our social media network—bookish articles, reviews, quizzes, recommendations and more—in convenient digest form.

 

 

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Thank you for reading, clicking, and otherwise enjoying our posts this week. Have a great weekend!

Best,sig


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Out and About with the Quill: Word on the Street Toronto

This past weekend, the Porcupine’s Quill was pleased to have a table at Word on the Street Toronto—that fantastic annual book fair that takes over Harbourfront Centre the last Sunday of September. We positively melted in the scorching heat, but it didn’t stop us from having a grand old time visiting with friends and fans in the big city. Thanks to all who stopped by and checked out our books—and maybe even purchased a few gems to take home!

If you weren’t able to make it, not to worry. We’ve got some photos to keep you in the loop. Many thanks as always to Don McLeod for providing some of these great snaps.

setting up

Setup time at Word on the Street happens bright and early. And a good thing, too, because the sun was blistering!

PQL booth at WOTS

Tim overseeing the PQL table, full of lots of nice books, including hot-off-the-press copies of The Essential John Reibetanz and Pictographs.

behind the table

A vendors eye view of the proceedings. Tons of books and bookish folk around!

Leon Rooke, Tim Inkster, Doug Gibson

Leon Rooke (left) and Doug Gibson (right) stopped by to chat with our own Tim Inkster (centre). Photo by Don McLeod.

Stephanie Small and Chandra Wohleber

Yours truly, with editor extraordinaire Chandra Wohleber. Photo by Don McLeod.

Kitty Lewis

The inimitable Kitty Lewis of Brick Books. Photo by Don McLeod.

 

And a wonderful time was had by all! Good times and great company made this year’s event a whole lot of fun–despite the excessive heat! Hope you enjoyed this little peek at this year’s festival.

Cheers,


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The Porcupine's Quill would like to acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts for our publishing program. The financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF) is also gratefully acknowledged.