The Small Machine Talks, Episode 36 with Amanda Earl, a.m. kozak
Interview with Conyer Clayton and Nathanaël Larochette
Recorded on August 12, 2018
To listen to the episode, click here: https://soundcloud.com/user-301339427/episode-36-conyer-clayton-and-nathanael-larochette
Nathanaël Larochette is an Ottawa-area spoken word poet and musician. He has represented Ottawa at the 2007, 2008, 2012 and 2013 Canadian Festival of Spoken Word, was the 2008 CBC Poetry Face-Off champion for Ottawa, the director for the 2010 Canadian Festival for Spoken Word, a 5th place finalist at the 2014 Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Championship and has spent over a decade facilitating poetry workshops in Ottawa-area schools. He is also a member of the chamber folk trio Musk Ox and the progressive metal band The Night Watch.
Conyer Clayton is an Ottawa based artist who aims to live with compassion, gratitude, and awe. She has 3 chapbooks: Undergrowth (bird, buried press), Mitosis (In/Words Magazine and Press), and For the Birds. For the Humans. (battleaxe press). Her collaborative album with Nathanael Larochette, If the river stood still, will be released August 2018. Her work appears in ARC, Prairie Fire, The Fiddlehead, The Maynard, In/Words, Puddles of Sky Press, Coven Editions, Bywords, Transom, and others. She won Arc's 2017 Diana Brebner Prize, 3rd place in Prairie Fire's 2017 Poetry Contest, and honorable mention in The Fiddlehead's 2018 poetry prize. She is a member of the sound poetry ensemble Quatuor Gualuor, and writes reviews for Canthius. Check out https://www.conyerclayton.com/ for updates on her endeavors.
We talk about their upcoming double launch of Mitosis/If The River Stood Still
Sunday, August 19, 2018, 7-9pm, Happy Goat, 35 Laurel
In/Words Magazine and Press
We discuss the overlap between their work in sound poetry, spoken word and music, the roots of their collaboration, musicality, repetition and rhythm, how their day jobs influence their creativity and work, anthropomorphism, grief, nature and the environment, teenagers, discipline.
The following are mentioned during the episode:
King Crimson – the Night Watch
Undergrowth (bird, buried press) https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/609508780/undergrowth?ref=shop_home_active_1
For the Birds, for the Humans (BattleAxe Press): https://nhannawriting.wordpress.com/publications/
Nathanael Larochette - Threshold of Transformation
We end with Nathanael’s poem, “When She Paints” from Threshhold of Transformation.
Thanks to our guests, Conyer and Nathanael, our sound engineer, Charles Earl, our intro and outro creator, Jennifer Pederson and to you for listening and sharing the podcast with your poetry loving pals.
Stay tuned for our next episode.
The Small Machine Talks
Episode 35 - with a.m. kozak and Amanda Earl
Recorded on Sunday, July 15, 2018
Click here to listen to the podcast.
We discuss events over the last six weeks, beginning with the Ottawa Small Press Book Fair, Spring Edition.
Links and mentions include
above/ground press http://abovegroundpress.blogspot.com/
Chaudiere Books http://www.chaudierebooks.com/
shreeking violet press https://marilynirwin.wordpress.com/shreeking-violet/
40-watt spotlight http://www.40wattspotlight.com/
Gap Riot Press (Toronto) https://gapriotpress.com/
Baseline Press (London) https://www.baselinepress.ca/
Apt. 9 Press https://apt9press.wordpress.com/
bird, buried press (Peterborough) https://birdburiedpress.wordpress.com/
Coven Editions https://coveneditions.wordpress.com/
Arc Poetry Magazine http://arcpoetry.ca/
Puddles of Sky Press (Kingston) http://puddlesofskypress.com/index.html
Stuff Amanda picked up at the fair
Kate Siklosi, Coup (The Blasted Tree) http://www.theblastedtree.com/store/coup
flash haiku contest – Amanda’s win http://www.theblastedtree.com/store/flashhaiku3
We talk about visual poetry.
Chuqiao Yang, Reunions in the Year of the Sheep (Baseline Press)
Margaret Christakos, Social Medea v---s Virtual Medusa (Gap Riot Press)
illiterature 8 (Puddles of Sky Press)
Train : a journal of introduction https://trainpoetryjournal.blogspot.com/
Conyer Clayton, Undergrowth (bird, buried press)
The post fair at the James Street Pub #MichaeleCasteels #jwcurry
Artist Tom Fowler http://tomfowlerstuff.tumblr.com/
Artist Colin White (who was not at the fair) http://www.colinwhite.ca/
Additional Events – Tomson Highway at Library and Archives
Conyer Clayton and Nathanael Larochette,
Shery Alexander Heinis at Tree https://www.sheryalexanderheinis.com/
Sawdust: Margo Lapierre, Manahil Bandukwala; Allie Duff poems on the life of Lucia Joyce; Monty Reid
The Next Wave launch at Pour Boy http://palimpsestpress.ca/books/next-wave-anthology-21st-century-canadian-poetry/
Final Tree of the season w/ rob mclennan and Tanis MacDonald, who read from her books and also from Gush: Menstrual Manifestations for Our Times
the Wild Herb walk with the Ottawa Tea Guild
Avant Garde reading with Stuart Ross, Jaimie Forsyth and Steve Venright – A Feed Dog Book imprint http://www.anvilpress.com/submit/
Aaron’s literary events
Hybrid Heaven launch
Delet This, MLA Chernoff
Let This Be The End Of Me, JC Bouchard
with guests, Lauren Turner, We're Not Going To Do Better Next Time (Knife Fork Book, 2018), Catherine Fatima, Sludge Utopia (Book Thug, 2018)
Mallory Tater and Curtis LeBlanc at Beyond the Pale
Rahila’s Ghost Press https://rahilasghostpress.com/
Aaron talks about non literary events, including the Montreal Jazz Fest and Ottawa’s Glow Fair, Fringe Festival, Dragon Boat, CSArts Talk back where audience asks playwright, actors and director questions
Recent Reads 51.14
Aaron has been reading Erin Robinson’s Rag Cosmology (Book Thug)
101.38 Ghost City Press Microchapbook Series
1.04. 55 Upcoming events – check the Bywords.ca calendar
The Small Machine Talks Episode 34 - Third Season Opener
Sunday, July 8, 2018 at 3pm
with a.m. kozak, Amanda Earl and Cameron Anstee
Click here to listen to the episode.
We celebrate the start of our third season with local poet and publisher, Cameron Anstee.
Cameron Anstee: https://cameronanstee.wordpress.com/
Book of Annotations: https://invisiblepublishing.com/product/book-of-annotations/
Apt. 9 Press: https://apt9press.wordpress.com/
Amanda tortures Cameron by showing him her dog eared copy of Book of Annotations. Our discussion concerned but was not limited to turns in a poem, AHA moments, deliberate repetition, beard stroking, the poetry of Robert Lax,
Robert Lax: http://www.robertlax.com/
The Little Engine That Could: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TPUwrURo6M
Aaron reads the poem “Finite” and we discuss meaning and momentum of the repetition with reference to Justin Million’s interview with Cameron in Electric City:
We discuss how Cameron reads the poems from the book and his revision process during finishing grad school. We discuss but can’t quite remember the three rules of imagism (see link below for a refresher).
We discuss the poem as response and the various influences that Cameron engages with in his work, including his previously published chapbooks. Cameron talks about Rob Winger’s course on Canadian long poems at Carleton University a decade ago, and his discovery of Phyllis Webb’s “Naked Poems” as his turn to the minimalist in his poetic practice.
Octopus Books (http://octopusbooks.ca/) gets a shout out from Cameron.
Cameron talks about Collett Tracey’s lecture on Raymond Souster and on publishing in a Canadian Literature class earlier in his studies.
Cameron talks about his contact with Nelson Ball, who is the poet he probably reads the most and the bibliographic rigour of his collecting. We talk about books before funding-influenced requirements affected book-length, distribution and other conditions, about the type of books that used to exist in the 60s that aren’t necessarily around now in the small press publishing world, versus the micropress, the small and the weird, the folded and stapled. Adventures in material aspects of publishing are happening in the micropress world.
We talk about contracts and page limits for trade books and celebrate arts funding. Aaron muses about professionalism and capitalism/money-oriented connotations of professionalism for artists.
We talk about the different meanings of the word “Admissions” which appears as the title of four poems in Book of Annotations with an aside about launching an above/ground press chapbook in 2012 at the Mercury Lounge:
Cameron talks about the insightful editing of Rob Winger for the book, including organizing the poems into sections. Amanda talks about the connections between Cameron’s work and Jack Spicer’s, who is a poet he’s read a far bit of. We also discuss the erasure poems of section III. Cameron coins the verb “erasuring.” derek beaulieu’s book “a, A Novel” comes up:
We urge our friends who live in Paris to mail us the beaulieu book.
We talk about the collected books coming out of Talonbooks, particularly Phyllis Webb’s “Peacock Blue”: http://talonbooks.com/books/peacock-blue, Fred Wah’s “Scree” http://talonbooks.com/books/scree-softcover
We talk about the act of creation as response. Cameron talks about not being comfortable with Pound’s exhortation to “make it new,” in the 21st century. He talks about the idea of being part of a tradition and thoughtful engagement. Aaron muses about the notion of tradition as artists. Do we try to be part of a tradition? Cameron talks about how traditions can exclude people. Cameron reveals that we passed around chapbooks before the recording of the episode. Cameron sees Book of Annotations as a book of responses. We muse about whether readers could enjoy the book without having the context of the references.
We talk about the dedications to Cameron’s partner, Jenn, which appear throughout all of his published chapbooks as well as Book of Annotations, and Cameron discusses her contribution to his practice and to Apt. 9 Press.
We talk about the materiality and text Cameron engages with in his work, his paper at Kanada Koncrete, Apt. 9 Press’s upcoming 10th anniversary.
Kanada Koncrete (May, 2018) http://artsites.uottawa.ca/canlit-symposium/en/program/
Cameron talks about publishing as an object and being able to see the influence of the maker in the published work. He talks about his time as an editor with In/Words and late nights with the risograph machine.
He talks about the latest Apt. 9 Press chapbook by Elisha Rubacha, “too much nothing” and the blind stamping process of the cover via his letterpress. He talks about how much he enjoys the process of making the books.
We discuss the design of Book of Annotation by Megan Fildes, the questionnaire to the writers, Cameron’s inability to keep his answers short on book design, some of the design issues that needed to be solved. Amanda comments that the book doesn’t smell. Cameron talks about the recognizable house style of Invisible Publishing and the unique quality for each author’s work.
Megan Fildes: https://mfildes.carbonmade.com/
We talk more about minimalism and influences on Cameron’s work. He mentions Mark Truscott’s “Said Like Reeds and Things” (Coach House Books, 2004) as an early and contemporary influence:
as well as Souvankham Thammavongsa’s Small Arguments (Pedlar Press, 2003) https://souvankham-thammavongsa.com/books.html
and his father’s thoughtful offerings of books, including Aram Saroyan’s Complete Minimal Poems (Random House, 1968)
which Cameron reads every few months. Some of the poems are just one word on a page and the book is only two inches thick.
Aaron talks about minimalist poems and social media. Cameron mentions Saroyan’s poem “lighght,” which caused controversy in the 60s:
We finish with a discussion about ephemera and the tensions between being a completist collector and loving ephemera. We learn about one of Cameron’s most treasured pieces of ephemera in his collection, with a shout out to jwcurry’s Room 302 Books. Cameron mentions Justin Million’s Keyboards project, ephemeral typewriter poems.
Thanks to Cameron for helping us to being the third season of the Small Machine Talks. Thanks to Charles Earl for processing and Jennifer Pederson for intros and outros. To Invisible Publishing for giving us “Book of Annotations,” and thanks to everyone for listening to the episode and for sharing it with fellow poetry enthusiasts.
The Tale of the Clam Ear is the story of a mermaid and her struggle to accept her deformity. In 20 poems, Christine Stoddard offers a child’s magical rationale for not fitting in. These poems are for anyone who has been told that their body is wrong. They offer ways of coping and articulate feelings of shame, of loneliness and of celebration and love. If you listen closely you will hear the mermaid’s cries.
In YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE TO KEEP THIS UP FOREVER, Ian Martin writes of societal malaise and failure, robots, insecure sex swings, a cuckolded employee, monotony, sanity, escape, masc top aspirations, lack of communication and the sacrifices of the moon. These humorous and humble poems are insightful. They’re the most gorgeous crushed soda cans in the pile.
The Small Machine Talks Episode 33
Recorded on Sunday, May 13, 2018
with a.m. kozak, Amanda Earl and Manahil Bandukwala
Click here to listen to the episode.
Manahil Bandukwala is a Pakistani born-and-raised writer and artist currently living and studying in Ottawa. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming in the Puritan, Bywords.ca, Room Magazine, Ricepaper, Coven Editions, In/Words, battleaxe press and others. She is currently an editor for In/Words Magazine & Press. She has joined the editorial team for Canthius.
We speak of the visual nature of Manahil’s poetry and her art and how the approaches are similar and different. We spoke about the connections between her art and getting involved in Ottawa’s literary scene.
Plucked - https://ricepapermagazine.ca/2018/03/plucked-by-manahil-bandukwala/
We discuss using non-English words in poems to push back against the idea that English is the dominant language and losing one’s language, things that cannot be said with English. @peacehearty @verseottawa talk 7.12
We speak of Manahil’s poem, In Bloom, which intertwines Urdu, Hindi, Gujarati, Arabic and Persian. http://nationalpoetrymonth.ca/index.php?NPMid=526 8.35
We speak of whether Manahil feels a responsibility to write about her culture. 12.24
16.11 role of food and drink in Manahil’s life and work.
Feast, Bywords.ca September 2017 http://bywords.ca/september2017/index.php?p=1
24.38 moving from prose to poetry
Mini Poetry Interview with Thomas Whyte
26.40 relationship between editing others and own writing and organizing events
30.55 stage fright, performance vs reading
37. We talk about the honour of publishing people’s writing and hosting them at readings. @_amkozak @manaaaahil
39. Current projects @inmagazine Descent – those who submitted will find out soon
40 @sawdustseries May 23 how @manaaaahil found out she was featuring
40. 49 Backyard Worlds: miniature creations by two sisters
Nimra Bandukwala’s art
Stay tuned for our next episode in June and our interview with Cameron Anstee. Thanks to everyone for listening and sharing the podcast!