Monday, June 8, 2015

The Factory Reading Series pre-small press book fair reading, June 12, 2015: Irwin, Steadman, Cumming + Ross,

span-o (the small press action network - ottawa) presents:

The Factory Reading Series
pre-small press book fair reading
featuring readings by:

Marilyn Irwin (Ottawa)
Dean Steadman (Ottawa)
Alicia Cumming (Kemptville)
+ Stuart Ross (Coburg)
lovingly hosted by rob mclennan
Friday, June 12, 2015;
doors 7pm; reading 7:30pm
The Carleton Tavern,
223 Armstrong Street (at Parkdale; upstairs)

[And don’t forget the ottawa small press book fair, held the following day at the Jack Purcell Community Centre]

A graduate of Algonquin College’s Creative Writing program, winner ofArc Poetry Magazine’s 2013 Diana Brebner Prize, and a 2014 Hot Ottawa Voice, Marilyn Irwin’s work has been published by above/ground press, Arc, Bywords, In/Words, and New American Writing, among others. Her previous chapbooks include for when you pick daisies (self-published and above/ground, 2010), flicker(above/ground, 2012), little nothings (self-published, 2012), and tiny(In/Words, 2014). for when you pick daisies was printed in full for the third time in the anthology Ground rules: the best of the second decade of above/ground press 2003-2013 (Chaudiere Books, 2013). Her most recent chapbook the blue, blue there was published by Apt. 9 Press. She is currently working on her first full length manuscript, runs shreeking violet press and lives with her two cats in Ottawa, Ontario.

Dean Steadman’s [pictured] work has been published in Canadian journals and e-zines, as well as in the anthology Pith and Wry: Canadian Poetry(Scrivener Press, 2010). He was a finalist in the 2011 Ottawa Book Awards for his poetry collection, their blue drowning (Frog Hollow Press, 2010). His second poetry collection, Après Satie —For Two and Four Hands, will be published by Brick Books in 2016. AngelHousePress will be publishing his chapbook, Worm's Saving Day, in June, 2015.

Alicia Cumming is an English-as-a-Second Language support teacher based in Kemptville, Ontario. She became inspired to examine our expectations and experiences of womanhood after spending time in community settings where social norms for women were critically questioned. Much of her work seeks to focus on how such norms, innocuous as they may seem, deeply suppress the autonomy of women. Website:

Stuart Ross published his first literary pamphlet on the photocopier in his dad’s office one night in 1979. Through the 1980s, he stood on Toronto’s Yonge Street wearing signs like “Writer Going To Hell,” selling over 7,000 chapbooks. He is the author of more than 15 books of fiction, poetry and essays, most recently Further Confessions of a Small Press Racketeer (Anvil Press, 2015) and A Hamburger in a Gallery (DC Books, 2015). Stuart’s many chapbooks include three released in 2014—Nice Haircut, Fiddlehead (Puddles of Sky Press), A Pretty Good Year (Nose in Book Publishing) and In In My Dream(BookThug)—and others from Room 3O2 Books, The Front Press, Apt. 9 Press, Silver Birch Press, Pink Dog Press and his own Proper Tales Press, which he launched 36 years ago. He is co-translator of My Planet of Kites, by Marie-Ève Comtois (Mansfield Press, 2015). Stuart is a founding member of the Meet the Presses collective and has his own imprint, “a stuart ross book,” at Mansfield Press. Stuart lives in Cobourg, Ontario, and blogs at

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

the ottawa small press book fair : june 12-13, 2015

The spring 2015 edition of the semi-annual ottawa small press book fair, an event more than two decades old, is but a month away! Be sure to come by the Jack Purcell Community Centre on Saturday, June 13 from noon to 5pm.

Some of the participating literary presses and journals this time around include 40-Watt Spotlight, above/ground press, AngelHousePress, Apt. 9 Press, Arc Poetry Magazine, Bookburner Press, BuschekBooks, Bywords, catkin press, Chaudiere Books, GiddyPigs, The Grunge Papers, In/Words magazine & press, Ottawa Press Gang, ottawater, phafours, Puddles of Sky Press, Quattro Books, Renaissance Book Press, room 302 books / 1cent, Textualis Press and Touch the Donkey. Come on by and see some of the best of the small press from Ottawa and beyond!

And: our regular pre-fair event at The Carleton Tavern includes chapbook launches by Marilyn Irwin and Dean Steadman, as well as other authors tba!

Monday, February 9, 2015

the ottawa small press fair, spring 2015 edition: june 13

span-o (the small press action network - ottawa) presents:

    the ottawa
    small press
    book fair

spring 2015 edition
will be happening Saturday, June 13, 2014 in room 203 of the Jack Purcell Community Centre (on Elgin, at 320 Jack Purcell Lane).

contact rob at to sign up for a table, etc.

"once upon a time, way way back in October 1994, rob mclennan and James Spyker invented a two-day event called the ottawa small press book fair, and held the first one at the National Archives of Canada..." Spyker moved to Toronto soon after our original event, but the fair continues, thanks in part to the help of generous volunteers, various writers and publishers, and the public for coming out to participate with alla their love and their dollars.

General info:
the ottawa small press book fair
noon to 5pm (opens at 11:00 for exhibitors)

admission free to the public.

$20 for exhibitors, full tables
$10 for half-tables
(payable to rob mclennan, c/o 2423 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa ON K1H 7M9;

send by June 1 if you would like to appear in the exhibitor catalogue.

note: for the sake of increased demand, we are now offering half tables. for catalog, exhibitors should send name of press, address, email, web address, contact person, type of publications, list of publications (with price), if submissions are being considered and any other pertinent info, including upcoming ottawa-area events (if any).

And don't forget the pre-fair reading usually held the night before, at The Carleton Tavern! (readers tba); also,

given that the spring 2013 was the first to reach capacity (forcing me to say no to at least half a dozen exhibitors), the fair can't (unfortunately) fit everyone who wishes to participate. the fair is roughly first-come, first-served, but preference will be given to small publishers over self-published authors (being a "small press fair," after all).

the fair usually contains exhibitors with poetry books, novels, cookbooks, posters, t-shirts, graphic novels, comic books, magazines, scraps of paper, gum-ball machines with poems, 2x4s with text, etc, including (at previous events) Bywords, Dusty Owl, Chaudiere Books, above/ground press, Room 302 Books, The Puritan, The Ottawa Arts Review, Buschek Books, The Grunge Papers, Broken Jaw Press, BookThug, Proper Tales Press, Phafours Press, and others. happens twice a year, founded in 1994 by rob mclennan and James Spyker. now run by rob mclennan thru span-o. questions,

free things can be mailed for fair distribution to the same address. we are unable to sell things for folk who can't make it, sorry. also, always looking for volunteers to poster, move tables, that sort of thing. let me know if anyone able to do anything. thanks. for more information, bother rob mclennan.if you're able/willing to distribute posters/fliers for the fair, send me an email.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

ottawa small press book fair, 20th anniversary edition: some reports,

[blurry photo of Stuart Ross at the pre-fair reading, with jwcurry and Nina Jane in the background, listening] There were a couple of responses to our most recent edition of the ottawa small press book fair (including my own, here), which celebrated twenty years of activity on November 7 and 8, 2014. Pearl Pirie (exhibiting her phafours) was good enough to write up a little report on the fair itself on her blog (with photos a-plenty!), Stuart Ross (pre-fair reader and publisher/editor) posted a short report on the event, and Brandon Crilly not only wrote a report on the fair, but on the pre-fair reading as well! Thanks incredibly much for everyone who participated! And of course, we are already starting to think about spring...

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Cascadia Poetry Festival Small Press Fair, May 1-3, 2015 in Nanaimo

WHAT: Small Press Fair at 3rd Cascadia Poetry Festival ~
WHEN: May 1-3, 2015 ~
WHERE: Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo, BC ~
COST: $100 full table; $50 half table ~

Cascadia Poetry Festival founder Paul Nelson (left) with George Bowering
at 2014 Festival in Seattle. (Photo by Linda Crosfield)

MORE DEETS: Join us for the Small Press Fair at the 3rd Cascadia Poetry Festival happening in Nanaimo, BC, next spring. The 4-day festival runs from April 30-May 3, 2015. And the Small Press Fair will begin on Friday, May 1 and continue throughout the festival. The festival will be held at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo and at various downtown locations. The Small Press Fair will be staged at the University, adjacent to the auditorium used for morning panel discussions and mainstage poetry presentations in the evenings.

See our 4-day schedule here:

COST: For $100, each participating organization (not limited to small presses) will receive a 4-foot-long table and have its logo featured in our printed program and on the website. Participants receive 4 Gold Passes valued at $25.00 each, granting admittance to all events with the exception of the writing workshops.

For $50, micro-presses and others will receive half a table and have their logo on the website, plus 2 Gold Passes.

(Scroll down to Small Press Fair Table or Half Table)

George Stanley and Joanne Kyger at 2014 Festival in Seattle
(Photo by Linda Crosfield)

The Cascadia Poetry Festival is an international event that seeks to bioregionally animate and culturally construct Cascadia bioregion by gathering writers, artists, scientists and activists to collaborate, discover and foster deeper connection between all inhabitants and the place itself. Over four days the festival features Academic, Democratic and Performance components, late night readings, a Small Press Fair and several workshops. Some of the best poetry minds in the bioregion will gather, discuss this place and begin to better understand Cascadia and our role here. The festival was founded by SPLAB, Seattle Poetics Lab. 

The first two Cascadia Poetry Festivals were held in Seattle where the 2014 Festival attracted 400 participants.

The 40 poets to be featured at the 2015 Festival in Nanaimo include Sam Hamill, Brenda Hillman, Susan Musgrave, Robert Bringhurst, Barry McKinnon, Sharon Thesen, George Stanley, Stephen Collis, Joanne Arnott, Peter Culley, Amber Dawn, Garry Gottfriedson, Robert Lashley, Christine Leclerc, Paul Nelson, Sebastien Wen, Rita Wong and so many more! See the full list here.

See photos from the 2014 festival here.

Dig us on Facebook

Or Twitter: @cascadiapoetry

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Factory Reading Series pre-small press book fair reading, November 7, 2014: Baker, Dolman, Boyle, Currie + Ross

span-o (the small press action network - ottawa) presents:

The Factory Reading Series
pre-small press book fair reading

featuring readings by:
Jennifer Baker (Ottawa)
Anita Dolman (Toronto)
Frances Boyle (Ottawa)
Dave Currie (Ottawa)
+ Stuart Ross (Coburg)
lovingly hosted by rob mclennan
Friday, November 7, 2014;
doors 7pm; reading 7:30pm
The Carleton Tavern,
223 Armstrong Street (at Parkdale; upstairs)

Jennifer Baker
was raised in Exeter, Ontario, where she divided her time between town and her grandparents' farm. She is currently a part-time professor and PhD candidate at the University of Ottawa. Her new chapbook, her first, is Abject Lessons (above/ground press).

Anita Dolman is an Ottawa-based writer and editor. Her poetry and fiction have appeared throughout Canada and the United States, including, most recently, in On Spec: the Canadian magazine of the fantastic, Grain,, The Antigonish Review, ottawater and Geist. Her short story “Happy Enough” is available as an e-novella from Morning Rain Publishing (2014). Follow Anita on Twitter @ajdolman. Her second poetry chapbook is Where No One Can See You (AngelHousePress, 2014).

Frances Boyle is originally from Regina, and maintains a yearning for both the prairies and the west coast where she lived for a number of years. She is the author of Light-carved Passages (BuschekBooks, 2014) and the chapbook Portal Stones, winner of Tree Press’s chapbook contest. Among other awards, she’s received the Diana Brebner Prize, and first place in This Magazine’s Great Canadian Literary Hunt for poetry (with third place for fiction in the same year). Her poetry and short stories have appeared in Canadian and American literary magazines, both print and online, and anthologies on subjects from Hitchcock to form poetry to mother/daughter relationships. She serves on Arc Poetry Magazine’s editorial board.

Dave Currie’s [pictured] Birds Facts is forthcoming from Apt. 9 Press, a sentence that fill him with bashful joy and quiet disbelief. His plays have been produced at the Ottawa Fringe Festival, Carleton University, Algonquin College and at small venues across the province. His origins in theatre transitioned into opportunities in television and film, most of which he accepted, performed adequately and then squandered.

He is currently working on a new play entitled “Clone-Hitler Goes To The Beach” set to be performed in 2015 and a film script simply entitled “Women.” His fiction will be available in magazines – some day.

Dave Currie is not now nor has he ever been a dog.

Stuart Ross published his first literary pamphlet on the photocopier in his dad’s office one night in 1979. Through the 1980s, he stood on Toronto’s Yonge Street wearing signs like “Writer Going To Hell,” selling over 7,000 poetry and fiction chapbooks. He is a founding member of the Meet the Presses collective, and is editor at Mansfield Press. He is the author of two collaborative novels, two story collections, eight poetry books, and the novel Snowball, Dragonfly, Jew. He has also published an essay collection, Confessions of a Small Press Racketeer, and co-edited Rogue Stimulus: The Stephen Harper Holiday Anthology for a Prorogued Parliament. His most recent poetry book is Our Days in Vaudeville (Mansfield Press), collaborations with 29 other poets from across Canada. Stuart has had three chapbooks published this year: Nice Haircut, Fiddlehead (Puddles of Sky Press), A Pretty Good Year (Nose in Book Publishing) and In In My Dream (Bookthug). Stuart is a member of the improvisational noise trio Donkey Lopez, whose first CD is Juan Lonely Night. He lives in Cobourg, Ontario.

[And don’t forget the 20th anniversary of the ottawa small press book fair, being held the following day at the Jack Purcell Community Centre]