News for January

I have a fool-proof method of making New Year’s resolutions, and it hasn’t failed me in recent memory. What’s the secret, you ask? Easy: only make resolutions that are attainable.

I’m all for resolving to make sweeping life changes if that’s what flips your gluten-free pancake, but I’ve got to be honest, my perfectionist nature dislikes resounding failure. The thought of resolving to, oh, I don’t know, go to the gym three times a week isn’t terribly attractive, especially when I’m certain that that particular bullet on the to-do list won’t make it to February. So I resolve to do the little things. Floss. Moisturize. Drink fewer than three cups of coffee a day. (Yes, it still counts as three cups even if the cups are super-sized—I don’t make the rules, people.)

Man Holding Umbrella

Ah, the new year. A time for family and friends and champagne and parties and strange, harmless traditions. Such as following the (undoubtedly paternalistic) Eastern European tradition of “blessing” the house by making sure the first visitor of the new year is a man. (Also harmless but inexplicable is the superstition of always entering and leaving another person’s house by the same door.)

But this year, I’m making a new resolution—one that you all will probably appreciate. I resolve to read at least one book a month for fun.

With the number of books I read for the Quill and for my various other projects, it’s sometimes easy to neglect that book that you’ve been thinking of reading for months but haven’t quite gotten to. You know the one—the one whose back cover copy seduced you so utterly, the one you put away for that rainy day when you could actually enjoy it, stress-free? Now’s the time to break it out! Now’s the time to determine whether the book lives up to the hype.

Forget new year, new you; I’m going for new year new book!


What’s happening this month?

 At PQL.

Fans of P. K. Page are in for a treat, as the beloved poet’s much-anticipated Mexican Journal is up next. The journals offer readers a window into Page’s time in Mexico as wife of the Canadian ambassador. It provides insight into a time in her life in which art and spirituality, which heavily influenced her later work, were at the forefront of her mind. A must-read for fans of her Brazilian Journal.

And though slightly off topic, I have to mention another publication available in January—the latest issue of The Devil’s Artisan. I’ve been positively drooling over the digital edition of Issue 73, which features the breathtaking etchings of Dan Steeves. I can’t even imagine what the printed edition would do to my mind. Check it out—you can thank me later!

The Light that Lives in Darkness (4)

The Light that Lives in Darkness (4). 2002.
Etchings, 11.2 x 20.2 cm.
Tell me that isn’t beautiful!

In Toronto.

Don’t miss Pigheaded Soul author Jason Guriel as he joins Walrus poetry editor and National Post columnist Michael Lista in a no-holds-barred discussion of contemporary poetry and poetry criticism. Guriel is no shrinking violet, and he is guaranteed never to give a boring interview. Watch him in action on January 8th at the Gladstone Hotel in an event co-sponsored by This Is Not a Reading Series, The Walrus, and The National Post.

In Brampton.

Fans of George A. Walker in the Brampton area will be pleased to hear that his exhibition, based on The Mysterious Death of Tom Thomson, is coming their way! The exhibition will run at the Peel Art Gallery Museum and Archives from January 19 to March 31. If you can make it, stop by on Sunday, January 19 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. for the opening.

In the world.

New Year’s Day ring any bells? You’ve had your fun. Get on with ya!


From the intern’s corner.

The holidays are over, and if you’re anything like me, you’re already prioritizing the stack of books that thoughtful friends and family—who clearly know you all too well—have purchased for you. It’s that happy-sad time of year when we turn our thoughts away from the decorations and the food and the presents and the various goings-on that were so last year, and toward cleaning up, eating healthy, giving our credit cards a rest and concentrating on the blissful promise of a somewhat-cleaner-than-normal slate.

A Year

The new year is a time of rebirth, renewal, reorganization etc. etc. It’s also a good reminder of the coming seasons and the Circle of (publishing) Life … that moves us all …

In other words, the not-so-fun bit.

I’ve decided that that means getting myself organized—or, well, more organized. In particular, I’m committed to streamlining my distribution information so that I always have the proper contact information, the necessary spreadsheets, and of course, all of the instructions I need to get books out to vendors—and to you—as quickly as possible.

In keeping with the New Year’s theme, it’s also time for a bit of refreshing. Some of it will be behind-the-scenes stuff, but keep an eye out for new web features on our site, some social media series posts, and maybe a contest or two.

Wishing you all a very happy New Year!

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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.