News for September, or, Stricken by Book Fever and the Pollen of New Ideas

Alas, Quill friends, I am stricken. As the end of August meanders away, leaving us with vague impressions of heat, humidity, and end-of-summer lassitude, September sneaks in quiet, demure—a bit chilly, it must be said—and smacks us directly in the nose. I find myself quite unable to defend myself, unequal to the task of avoiding the pollinated air.

But it isn’t the ragweed or hay fever that is causing my plight—it is a fever of an entirely different sort. It is a fever of enthusiasm, of anticipation, of excitement. Ladies and gentlemen, I have fallen prey to that malady that strikes me every fall. Book Fever.

doctor and patient

“What’s my prognosis, Doc?” “I’m afraid it’s a serious case of Book Fever. We can manage the symptoms with a heavy course of reading, but there is no cure.”

As the air cools and the days get shorter, publishing folk in North America close up their cottages and return to their desks to get down to the serious business of the fall season. The hottest new releases of the year are introduced in the fall. It is a season of big parties, fancy events and fascinating festivals. You’ll notice that we have quite a few of our own, and we hope you’ll join us during this time of excitement and activity.

The air is full with the pollen of new ideas, new voices, new styles. Breathe deep!


What’s happening this month…


As you might have noticed, the very first book of our Fall 2017 season is already available! You can pick up your copy of The Essential John Reibetanz today, in print and digital formats.

Next up is the fabulous and fascinating Pictographs, by James Simon AKA Mishibinijima. This book offers beautiful depictions of the legends of the Ojibway, reflecting on the forests of the Wikwemikong First Nation on Manitoulin Island and passing down the wisdom of its Elders. Look for it in print soon!

In Toronto.

If you live in the GTA, we’ve got a couple of great events on the books. First off, we’ll be at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto to take part in their biennial Small and Fine Press Fair. We’ll be joined by a host of cool, creative presses and artists, including Aliquando Press, BookThug, Coach House Books, Greyweathers Press, Pedlar Press, George A. Walker and more. Stop by on Saturday, September 9, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to say hello and find some bookish treasures.

Word on the Street Toronto

We’ll also be headed back to Toronto at the end of the month for Word on the Street. The ultimate book festival, Word on the Street hosts an incredible lineup of authors and artists as well as a massive marketplace for all things literary. Visit us at Harbourfront Centre to check out our newest releases.

In other news, Dysphoria author Shane Neilson will be at the Red Head Gallery on September 23, participating in the closing performance of Jack Butler’s art exhibition, Blindfold. The event takes place 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

In London.

Neilson will also be in London for the Couplets Reading Series. He’ll be reading some of his heart-wrenching poems at The ARTS Project alongside Emma Croll-Baehre on September 21.

In Guelph.

The Guelph Black Heritage Society and the Ontario Public Interest Research Group will present Tony Miller, author-artist of Daddy Hall at a talk on Saturday, September 30. Doors open at 6:00 p.m., followed by a presentation and Q&A at 7:00 p.m.

In Ottawa.

Margaret Gracie will be on hand at Perfect Books in Ottawa to promote her book Plastic. Stop by for a meet-and-greet on September 23 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. to pick up your copy and get it signed.

In Fredericton.

It’s that time of year again—time for UNB’s Poetry Weekend. PQL authors Shane Neilson, Jim Johnstone and M. Travis Lane will be participating in this year’s festivities from September 30 to October 1. It is surely an event not to be missed!

In Saint John.

Saint John, NB’s annual Fog Lit Festival will feature two PQL authors for double the fun! Catch Barbara Sibbald, author of The Museum of Possibilities, as she leads a workshop on the editing process on September 27. Don’t forget to stop by the Words & Wine event on September 28 to hear her read from her work. Then, stick around for Margaret Gracie, reading from her book, Plastic, at the Fog Lit Novel Tea event on September 29, followed by her short fiction workshop on September 30. Check out our events page for more information.

In the world.


Remember that September 8 is International Literacy Day. Help promote literacy in your community—read, volunteer, donate, and recognize that there are adults as well as children who could benefit from the power of the written word.

Fortune Cookie Day is September 13. Your fortune: There are many books in your future. Read and enjoy!

September 28 is Ask a Stupid Question Day. I’ve been saving up some doozies all year. Now I finally have an excuse to ask!


From the porcupette’s corner.


Hello world!

A post shared by The Porcupine’s Quill (@porcupinesquill) on

Today, I am very proud to announce that we have officially started a new social channel to interact with all of you wonderful Quill fans. Be sure to follow us on Instagram to see some of our drool-worthy books in a format that does them justice. But be gentle—I’m still learning about this photography stuff, and about Instagram. Helpful tips and tricks are welcome!

Many thanks for stopping by to see what’s new at the Porcupine’s Quill this month. I hope to see you all at our upcoming events. Until then, keep reading!

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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.