Seeing Red and Other Bookish News for November at the Porcupine’s Quill

Today’s blog post is brought to you by the colour red.

This weekend, as I strolled along the leafy avenues of one of my hometown’s more mature (read old) neighbourhoods, I was struck by two things: the brisk wind that stung my cheeks, and the fact that the trees have finally grown tired of their summer foliage and donned their more eye-catching seasonal attire. That’s right—it’s full-on leaf-peeper season, and though I normally find that the phenomenon has come and gone before I have a chance to appreciate it, this year I just so happened to be in the right time and place to enjoy the show.

Maple leaf

What are you waiting for? Take a gander out the window and get a load of those leaves before they’re gone and you’re left to rake up all the crunchy, brown dead ones!

Of course, with shades of scarlet and vermilion and garnet and maroon on my mind, I couldn’t help but be reminded of some of the PQL books whose jackets are proving to be particularly appropriate for the season. Consider the earthy hues on the cover of A Serious Call by Don Coles—reminiscent of a late autumn day, but for a bold splash of crimson to draw the eye. Then there’s Antanas Sileika’s Buying on Time, garbed in a fittingly sporty and almost playful poppy red. Mark Frutkin’s The Rising Tide features a pop of Venetian red amid the brown, gold and peach—truly a propos given the subject matter of the novel. And then there’s The Art of P. K. Irwin by Michèle Rackham Hall, a kaleidoscope of fall colours—oranges, yellows, browns, greens and a truly stunning vibrant tomato colour.

I won’t overstate my case and tell you there’s nothing like a collage of bookish colour to get us in the spirit of fall, but I will admit there’s something pleasing about a small display of carefully curated covers to enhance a person’s bookshelf décor.


What’s happening this month…


Ladies and gents, you’ll be pleased to know that now have, for your reading pleasure, a new addition to the Essential Poets series. The Essential Charles Bruce presents a judicious selection of the poetry of Maritime poet Charles Bruce whose rural imagery and direct language set him apart from his more modernist peers. This volume also comes with a critical introduction and biography by poet and critic Carmine Starnino, which helps to contextualize Bruce’s poetry and shed some light on his style and historical milieu. Get your copy today!

In Waterloo.

Button Factory Arts

You’re invited to the launch of Overtime, a book of photographs and interviews by Karl Kessler and Sunshine Chen. The book explores the disappearing trades, practices and cultural traditions of the Waterloo Region in Ontario. Stop by Button Factory Arts on November 8 at 7:00 p.m. to pick up your copy.

In Toronto.

Get a head start on your holiday shopping at the Meet the Presses Indie Literary Market. The event will take place at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre in Toronto, and will feature a wide variety of indie books and magazines that you might not be able to find in stores. The market runs 11:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 17. Hope to see you there!

In the world.

November 6 is apparently National Nachos Day. Bring. It. On.

November 9 is Go to an Art Musuem Day, which actually sounds kind of lovely. Marking my calendar for that one.

November 24 is Small Business Saturday, a fantastic day to step away from the big corporations and online mega-warehouses and support independent businesses. Yes, publishers and bookstores, count!


From the porcupette’s corner.

I find myself feeling oddly … relaxed this month. Not to jinx anything, but it feels pretty good to be almost caught up. We’re midway through our Fall 2018 list, Spring 2019 titles have been presented to the Literary Press Group, and we’ve even lined up a full season’s worth of interesting manuscripts for next fall. I’ll be diving into some editorial work in the coming weeks, but for now, it feels good to finally have some breathing room to accomplish some of the more administrative items that seem to add up on the to-do list.

Industriousness FTW.

Up next, I’m looking forward to one of my favourite nerdy publishing tasks: coding up manuscripts for layout. I love putting my computer science skills (such as they are) to work, and there’s something about the detail-oriented nature of the work that is challenging and even sometimes exciting. There’s nothing quite like solving a fiddly problem to give you a true book-nerd rush!


PortraitThanks for putting up with my rambles over this course of this little update. We’ll be in touch soon with more great fall releases and general bookishness.


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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.