March 8 is International Women’s Day, a day of awareness designed to celebrate the accomplishments of women from around the world. It’s an opportunity to consider the challenges women face (from gender equality to violence to reproductive rights), a reminder of the importance of learning about influential female figures in history and in contemporary culture, and a chance to engage with women from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. It also strikes me as a celebration uniquely suited to those interested in literary pursuits—from reading news articles about local female leaders to delving into books about gender equality or purchasing a book by a local woman author.
In keeping with the Women’s Day theme for celebrating female accomplishment, we’d like to shine a spotlight on PQL author Anne Baldo and her debut collection of short stories, Morse Code for Romantics.
Morse Code for Romantics presents wistful, darkly surreal stories set in Southern Ontario. These stories feature ordinary women as they seek to find themselves and to navigate complicated relationships, including friendships, maternal bonds, and romantic entanglements requited and otherwise. The women in these stories struggle and strive and succumb. They learn about themselves and their desires, and as they recognize the patterns of life, they learn the consequences that their actions and inactions can have on their own uncertain futures.
This is a beautifully written and confident debut—a must-have for your collection!
What’s happening this month…
The bindery is humming as we prepare to have first finished copies of Morse Code for Romantics ready at the end of the week. I highly recommend acquiring a copy for yourself. It’s beautiful inside and out!
Next on the docket we’ll be switching gears and starting production on the late Stan Dragland’s book James Reaney on the Grid, an investigation into the work of James Reaney, perhaps best known as the father of the Southern Ontario Gothic. Dragland’s monograph establishes a framework for exploring Reaney’s work, considering influences, patterns and structures that form the foundations of his poems, plays, and other literary works.
This book seemed to me surprisingly personal in the way it approaches Reaney’s process. If you loved The Donnellys or found yourself charmed by A Suit of Nettles, and wish you knew more about their origins, this book is for you!
You’re invited to the reading and launch for Jeffery Donaldson’s new poetry collection, Granted. He’ll be joined by Alexandra Oliver, reading from her book Hail the Invisible Watchman (Biblioasis 2022). The event will take place at Shawn & Ed Brewing Co. in Hamilton, known as “The Shed” to locals. Book sales will be provided by The Printed Word, so be sure to pick up your copy.
In the world.
In addition to being International Women’s Day, March 8 is also National Proofreading Day. If you ask me, the world wouldn’t work without women OR proofreaders.
March 18 is Awkward Moments Day, but if you’re like me, you probably celebrate this holiday every day….
March 21 is World Poetry Day. What a perfect time to pick up a new collection of poetry and bask in the power of the written word.
From the Porcupette’s corner…
Well folks, it sure has been a while. After a series of unfortunate events, including but not limited to backordered paper and an under-the-weather imagesetter, we’re finally able to complete production of a new title. We hope you’re as excited as we are.
Of course, we’ve been keeping busy regardless. Yours truly has helped work on a couple of big grant applications (one down, one to go), completed some editorial revisions, put together festival and review pitches, compiled tipsheets, and finished the accompanying website work for the Fall 2023 season. You’ll see two newly announced titles on our home page, and some exciting new events on our events page. Do poke around and mark your calendars for new releases and new opportunities to chat with us in person!
Thanks for catching up with us after a bit of an absence. We hope you’ve enjoyed this update!
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.