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Monday, September 04, 2006

Die by the Pen

Last week I got an envelope from The Porcupine's Quill press that contained four chapbook-sized publications. Nice of them. Didn't know I was on their mailing list. The sampler included:

W.J. Keith has undertaken the re-editing the Canadian Literature of English: Volume One. Last time this was pulished was in 1985. The book is due out this December if you're interested. Wayne Clifford has a published new book of verse. It's called The Book of Were. Sharon English's short story contribution in the envelope is called Zero Gravity. The sample story caught my eye - 'The Cosmic Elfs'. Funny, I thought the plural form was 'elves'. And anyway, since this piece is excerpted from the full-length story, I still don't know what the Cosmic Elfs are. Poet J.D. Black's book is Black Velvet Elvis...replete with an Elvis impersonater on the front cover. One poem inside that struck me was 'For Richard Outram'. You'll remember that the Mr. Outram who was so heartbroken that he sat outside on a cold winter day and froze to death.

For Richard Outram

He, light plundered,
his lucent planet
Struck off-axis
to stricken stasis,
Sees seasons freeze
to emptied silence.
In that endless winter
life's will ends
Slender motion
slows to nil
And vital flow
is fixed in crystal.

If you remember (ha!) back in May of 2005 I blogged about DA (The Devil's Artisan) #56 where I first mentioned that Wayne Clifford also wrote a small poem for the late poet:

One Richard Outram froze to death.
He chose that end, from evidence.
Fitting, perhaps, that that last breath
Should seep unseen as heat's last dance.

Speaking of deaths, sadly, I saw the obituary for Brian Nolan who battled lung cancer and who finally passed on August 31st. In the last few years I had the pleasure of meeting him several times. The first time was at the book launch for the late Gordon Sheppard (HA! A Self-Murder Mystery) in 2003 and also during Mr. Nolan's own book launch, for his biography of Donald Brittain: Man of Film (2004). He was also friend of newsman Peter Jennings who also recently succumbed to lung cancer. You can do a search on the following linked page to read Nolan's obit.


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