Quill Blotter: News for November

I’m pretty sure my mom has a secret stash. No, not of Halloween candy (I’d totally have found that by now), but of piles and piles of my childhood artwork.

In her defence, at the time I was dashing off these masterpieces of juvenile imagination, she probably thought I was some kind of prodigy of the Crayola set. This was a feat of remarkable self-delusion on her part given that my drawings prominently featured monstrous depictions of my family as armless, torso-less heads attached to what can only be described as spider legs.

Clearly I was a budding Picasso. Or a psychopath.


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but sanity is in the hands of the psychiatrists, and I’m pretty sure they’d have a field day with my frightening sketches.

Anyway, the point is that I’ve never had any artistic talent to speak of, which probably explains why I am so fascinated by people who possess a gift for the visual arts.

I love to read books about the way artists see the world (such as Thoughts on Driving to Venus, by Christopher Pratt), about how they developed their talents (as in The Art of P. K. Page by Michèle Rackham Hall) or about how their artistic practice fits in with their day-to-day lives (as in Joyce Wieland by Jane Lind).

We’re pretty proud of the selection of art-related titles we’ve published over the years, especially recently, with the help of Arts Editor Tom Smart, who was also recently appointed Director and CEO of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. We like to think we have an artistic touch, an aesthetic that lends itself particularly well to showcasing works of art.

Needless to say, I stay away from the design side of things!


What’s happening this month.


Tim and Elke are keeping busy at the shop this November preparing a beautiful collection of the short fiction of P. K. Page. Triptych, the latest in the Collected Works of P. K. Page project, is currently getting the pre-press treatment, and will be printed, bound and trimmed in the coming weeks. We’ll let you know as soon as first copies are available.

In Toronto.

Michael Harris is launching his new volume of selected poetry, The Gamekeeper at Ben McNally Books on November 2. He’ll be joining fellow poets as part of the Véhicule Press Poetry Launch.

The Essential John Reibetanz

We are pleased and proud to invite you to the launch of The Essential John Reibetanz! The latest volume in our Essential Poets series will be celebrated at an event on Monday, November 6 at Ben McNally Books. Stop by from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. to hear from volume editor Jeffery Donaldson, as well as John Reibetanz himself!

If you’re ready to do some holiday shopping, stop on by the Meet the Presses Indie Literary Market on Saturday, November 18 at St. Paul’s United Church. We’ll be manning a table with all of our latest releases as well as some backlist gems.

Shane Neilson will be reading from his fantastic poetry collection, Dysphoria, as Part of the Art Bar Poetry Series. The event will be hosted by Jeff Cottrill, and will feature readings by Shane, Glen Downie and Nicki Ward.

Plus, mark your calendars for December 2. We’ll be at the Arts & Letters Club for the Bound Book Arts Fair–a lovely little curated fair featuring handmade books, prints, cards, ephemera, and PQL books, of course!

In Durham.

Words Aloud

Bruce Meyer will be in Durham, Ontario to participate in this year’s Words Aloud Festival. Stop by the Durham Art Gallery on November 4 to hear him read his work along with poets Janet Rogers and Carolyn Smart.

In London.
If you’re in London, don’t miss the annual James Reaney Memorial Lecture, presented this year by Quill friend Tom Smart. Tom will speak about Reaney’s visual art and iconography on November 5 at Museum London.

In the world.

November 15 is Clean Your Refrigerator Day. We don’t claim that it’s fun, but let’s face it—it is probably necessary.

November 20 is Absurdity Day. Personally, I find this holiday preposterous.

And finally, November 28 is French Toast Day. I will happily accept any donations of French Toast … directly to my belly.


From the porcupette’s corner.

I almost feel like I’ve been hibernating for the last month. Lately I’ve been blearily staring at my computer screen for days on end, preparing for the spring sales conference and working my way through manuscript submissions. I’ve been deep in the throes of editing a novel for the new season, too, and not a few days have gone by in which I enter my office in the morning while it’s still dark … and leave it in the evening, when it’s dark once again. It’s a very cave-like feel!

Moon and stars.

“Mom, look! It’s only 4:00 p.m. and the moon is already out. Isn’t that cool?”

But despite the dark and gloomy skies, we’re actually entering into my favourite time of year. With spring plans unfolding, holiday promotions to plan, and fun events coming up, the month ahead looks bright indeed!


Thanks for checking in to see what we’ve got in store for the month of November. Ya’ll come back and visit us here on the blog, y’hear?Steph

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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.