There’s something magical about hearing a poet read his or her own words aloud. The stresses, the pauses, the intonation, are not just part of the recipe for a good performance. These auditory cues can be downright revelatory, suggesting new interpretations and connections between the words.
In this era of Covid, we’re prevented from enjoying in-person readings and launches, but we’re embracing the capacity of the internet to bring them to our screens. Many of us find ourselves with fully booked—or double-booked—live streaming calendars. A literature buff could attend three launches in a night if she wished! But since we also understand that some of us don’t Zoom, we’ve decided to create an “asynchronous” launch, which you can visit whenever it’s convenient for you, in celebration of the latest addition to our Essential Poets series, The Essential Derk Wynand, selected by John Barton.
The poems in The Essential Derk Wynand touch on aspects of daily life both public and private. Wynand is essentially a love poet dedicated to exploring all aspects of his theme: from initial attraction and sustained eroticism, the anxieties and constancies of gradually negotiated connection, the satisfying longueurs of fidelity, to the pleasures of the seemingly timeless domestic moment. A poet of sentiment rather than of sentimentality, he tests the mettle of his vocation in his nimble, unruffled handling of point of view and the poetic line. Whether Wynand sets his poetry in the snows of European folklore, the sunny climes of Portugal and Mexico or the rains of British Columbia, he adroitly maps the inscape of the human heart.
Watch the ten videos in the playlist below at your leisure, one at a time, or all at once—whatever works for you!
Now that you’ve gotten a taste for the beautiful poems in this volume, keep reading to find out how you can win a three-book bundle of Essential Poets volumes in print!
For your chance to win:
1. log in to the form below using email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube. 2. earn up to six entries by visiting Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, tweeting on Twitter, or by signing up to our newsletter. (If you’re already a newsletter subscriber, an avid social media follower, or an avid social media avoider, the bonus entry method is for you!) 3. log out of the form to submit your entry
P.S. Don’t forget that we’re running a “buy two get one free” eBook deal over at the PQL eStore. We even do the work for you and give you recommendations for other eBooks you might like at the bottom of each product page. Just apply the coupon code BUY2GET3 at checkout to get your freebie.
From spruce trees and poinsettias to jolly Santas and delightful toys, the instantly recognizable symbols of the season have a unique ability to evoke warmth, joy and holiday spirit in even the Grinch-iest of hearts.
But there’s something particularly special about the images that inspire a feeling of nostalgia for holidays past. Many hark back to the Victorian era, in which much of the imagery surrounding our modern conception of the Christmas season originated. These images have a particular soft spot in our hearts here at the Porcupine’s Quill, and we’ve put together a wonderful chapbook of them for your viewing pleasure!
The design-minded might already be familiar with the design resource we keep in the Devil’s Artisan’s Dingbats Section. If you’re crafty, you can check out the dozens of ornaments in this chapbook, many of which are new this year, in the Holiday collection. Use them in DIY holiday cards, ornaments, colouring pages, gift tags, and any other design project your creative mind can devise!
We hope you enjoy these seasonal dingbats and find many ways to use them in your creative projects. And if you do, be sure to share your results with us—we’d love to see what you’ve come up with!
Speaking of our eStore, did you know that we are featuring a “buy 2, get the 3rd free” sale in the eBook store? Choose any three eBooks (they’re priced $2.99 – $4.99) and we’ll give you one of them free. Just apply the coupon code BUY2GET3 at checkout. The sale runs until the end of the month.
Welcome to December, Quill friends. We hope you’re enjoying some cozy times indoors surrounded by plenty of exciting reading material. (And if not, we can fix that last bit…)
They say that, of all the numbers, one is the loneliest, and ain’t that the truth?
Faced with lockdowns, quarantines, isolation periods and public health officials recommending—or begging—us all to stay home, we’re starting to realize that we might be in for a somewhat lonely holiday. We’re recognizing how important our social circles are to our happiness and mental heath now that interaction with them has been, of necessity, somewhat curtailed. And while some are refusing to cancel their plans, come what may, most of us recognize that we need to be more careful this year, in order to ensure we are able to gather with all our loved ones when it’s safe.
But it’s not just our social nature that dictates our aversion to the singular. Remember the Lay’s slogan “bet you can’t eat just one”? I would never dare take that bet—I’m self-aware enough to know that it would be impossible for me to eat one single, solitary potato chip without craving another one … or two … or ten. (I am weak.) When I need something sweet with my afternoon coffee, you can bet I’ll reach for two cookies, not one. (See? Weak.) Heck, if I see dish soap or toothbrushes on sale, I’ll buy a backup, just in case. Not hoarding or anything, just making sure I don’t have to make a special trip out, you know.
And books—oh books! It’s rare for me to buy one at a time. I’ll often go for long periods without buying new books (the better to finish the ones still waiting patiently on the shelf), but once those are done, it’s not uncommon for me to procure new ones two or three at a time. (Weak, remember?) And I often have a few books on the go at once, just in case I’m in the mood for a mystery instead of a literary novel, or what have you. Plus, needless to say, of all the book lovers I’ve ever known, I have never met one who has not amassed a collection spanning several books … and by that I mean bookshelves. (Oh, so weak.)
Now, of all times, when faced with a potentially lonely holiday season, I think we can all take comfort in a variety of books and the imaginative, exciting, and Covid-free worlds that they contain. But with books, as with toothbrushes, you would not go amiss having a backup. Besides, we bet you can’t read just one!
Which brings us to a special offer for you…
In order to support your varied reading diet over the holidays, we’re offering a fantastic sale on all the eBooks in our eStore. Buy any two ebooks (priced $2.99 to $4.99) and get the third one free! That’s right, for around ten dollars, you can get any three PQL ebook titles for your reading pleasure. Novels? Absolutely! Poetry? You’ve got it. Non fiction? Or course! Three books for the price of two. Just apply the coupon code BUY2GET3 at checkout for any order during the month of December, and you’ll get the discount. It’s that simple.
What’s going on this month…
This month, the presses will be humming with the dulcet tones of Metamorphosis! Metamorphosis is a collection of the children’s literature of P.K. Page, including beloved short stories, poems and plays by the beloved Canadian author.
Mark Frutkin will be reading from two of his Italian-themed PQL novels! Join us on Thursday, December 3 at 8:00 p.m. on Zoom for this event. You’ll hear a reading from The Rising Tide, featuring the mysterious skeleton bearer, Rodolpho, and Michele, a former priest turn publisher of erotic poetry.
But wait, there’s more! You’ll also be treated to a sneak peek at The Artist and the Assassin, forthcoming from PQL next year. This fascinating novel follows the infamous painter Caravaggio and the fictional assassin paid to end the painter’s life.
December 7 is Letter Writing Day, which I find delightful. How much fun is it to get an unexpected note in the mail … one that’s not attached to a bill?
December 14 is Roast Chestnuts Day. Having never roasted a chestnut … or even consumed a roasted chestnut, if I’m being honest … I am intrigued. Is it worth trying either activity?
Finally, December 31 is Make Up Your Mind Day. I might celebrate. I might not. I can’t decide.
From the porcupette’s corner.
Rather than blather about my schedule (hectic), my editorial endeavours (a struggle as always), my Facebook Ads learning curve (the less said about that the better), I’d rather let you know about all the nice things we’re doing this holiday season to keep you flush with reading material into the new year.
As usual, you can expect to see the return of the #PQLHolidayGiveaway! Be sure to sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social media so you don’t miss a freebie.
Plus, new this year, take advantage of our Buy 2 eBooks, get 1 free promotion over in the PQL eBook store. This will run throughout the month of December, and includes all books on the eBook store (except for the freebies, naturally). For about ten dollars, you’ll get three eBooks. Who could say no to that?
Thank you all for checking in on us here at the PQL this December. We hope you’re keeping safe and well this holiday season, and we encourage you to avoid the crazy crowds and cozy up with a book. If you need suggestions, don’t forget to check out our PQL Holiday Gift Guide!
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.