Feelings of Fellowship and Literary Community, and Other News for April at the Porcupine’s Quill

Community. Togetherness. Fellowship. That feeling of closeness. (But, like, not TOO close—we’re Canadians and we respect personal space.) To me, one of the best parts of working in publishing is not just the books, although those are indisputably wonderful, but also the people.

People creating books.

“You can stop singing ‘You’ve got a friend in me” now, Humphrey. I already told you I’ll proofread those pages. Goodness, Martin, can you believe this guy?”

Looking forward to a new season of bookish events, I’m determined to soak up the camaraderie and esprit de corps to be found at upcoming conferences, book fairs, readings and so forth. There’s nothing quite like that feeling of walking into a room full of writers, readers, editors, printers or book fans and knowing that you share something in common with each and every person in the room. I’ve met kindred spirits in the young librarians waiting in line at BookExpo and ALA conferences. I’ve been introduced to literary icons at readings and book launches. I’ve had dinner with a practical who’s who of small press publishing. And I’ve had delightful conversations with you, our newsletter readers, at events from the Grimsby Wayzgoose to Word on the Street.

It can be daunting sometimes, to keep up with the sheer number and variety of book-related events that are held in communities across Canada, but I highly encourage you to check one—or many—out. Whether you’re a seasoned pro with a multitude of literary acquaintances or just a reader looking for a fun night out, join us. Say hello. Make friends. We’d love to see you.


What’s happening this month?


Fluke Print cover

Your wait is almost over, folks. Jeffery Donaldson’s wonderful book of poetry, Fluke Print, is rolling off the presses as we speak. I’m a sucker for poems about writing and creativity, and let me tell you, Donaldson’s don’t disappoint. You’ll be able to get your copy in the next few weeks, so stay tuned!

In Toronto.

PQL poet and Dysphoria author Shane Neilson will be in Toronto taking part in a panel discussion called “Why Are You So Scared?” at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. He will join Molly Peacock and Ronna Bloom in a reading and discussion about poetry, medicine and mortality that you don’t want to miss.

Also in Toronto, the St. Thomas Poetry Series will be celebrating the centenary of Margaret Avison, who was one of Canada’s finest poets. Join PQL friends Jeffery Donaldson, Robyn Sarah and others for this evening of readings and reminiscences.

In Grimsby.

Grimsby Public Art Gallery

We’re pleased to say that the Porcupine’s Quill will once again have a table at the annual Grimsby Wayzgoose Book Arts Fair. Stop by the Grimsby Public Art Gallery to say hello and to steep yourself in the bookish community!

In the world.

It’s April, so you know what that means—it’s National Poetry Month! All this month, we’ll be celebrating by sharing a #PQLPoemADay on social media, and plus, a little birdie told me that there are some awesome book bundle giveaways in store. Make sure you stay tuned next Tuesday for your chance to win a great poetry prize!

Scrabble Day falls on April 13th. What a perfect game to play with your fellow word nerds. Let’s get a tournament going!

April 15th is Rubber Eraser Day. Let’s all take a moment to appreciate the writing implement that consistently saves us from looking like total dummies.


From the porcupette’s corner.

The month of March was certainly a whirlwind that did not let up! I started by preparing our Fall 2018 editorial plans, took several days to fly to Tampa for the AWP book fair, pitched our new Fall books to our friends at the Literary Press Group, worked on our grant application to the Canada Book Fund and started a big web project for The Mysterious Death of Tom Thomson. To cap that off, we ended with a long weekend. Whew—who needs a break?

cat stalking mouse

Me, looking forward to the upcoming wayzgoose, as one does.

I definitely did not have time to get bored, and it looks like April will be just as action-packed, with the cherry on top being the Grimsby Wayzgoose at the end of the month. It’s always nice to have something to look forward to—it will make all the hard work we’ll be doing in the next few weeks totally worth it.

So, what do you think? Will I be seeing you at some book events in the near future? I sure hope so. I love putting faces to names!

See you soon,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.