a collection of interesting and not-so-interesting things. including information on current & upcoming projects.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Witch Grass

Really loving this book Witch Grass by Raymond Queneau, who helped found OULIPO. The book is a very smart and very funny work, I think I'll look to it a little when I get back home and back to work on Kanada. Here is a small excerpt for you:

"The trees are shivering."
"The birds have stopped singing."
"The sky is becoming overcast."
"The sun is becoming obscured."
"Nature refuses to contemplate this atrocious haggis any longer."
"Cock-a-doodle-doo, cock-a-doodle-do," bawled Meussieu and Madame Exosse's cock.
In its youth, this animal had fallen on its head; ever since, it had crowed at sundown, even when there was the extra hour for summertime; it was roasted, the following year, and its flesh delighted the omnivorous palate of its stupid owners.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Conference time

Well, it's been a wonderful month, visiting with Mandy in Saskatchewan and writing and studying and having fun. But tomorrow I'm off to Toronto, for the Film Studies Association of Canada Annual Conference. It's held in conjunction with the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences so I'll be attending both. So if you are going to be in the Toronto area call my cell and we'll hook up for good times. I'm also hoping to meet David Suzuki, one of the featured speakers at the Congress conference.

And feel free to attend the conference panels I'm on. I will be chairing a panel on Sunday, May 28, 9:00-10:40am in room ACW 005 at York called "Concepts of Horror and the Monstrous in Cinema." Then on Monday, May 29, I'll be presenting a paper on John Paizs' cult classic Crime Wave at 3:00-4:40pm in room ACW 206, along with Gene Walz and David Foster, both of whom I know from my time at the U of Manitoba. The panel is simply titled "Winnipeg!" (exclamation included).

For all you Calgary folk, I'll be back in Cowtown on June 3 at 9:30am. Airport pickups accepted.

David Usher...

...what happened to you? you used to be such a great lyricist, who wrote incredibly dark songs. now you're dropping happy-go-lucky numbers which, though still a little dark, are filled with cliches like "i forgot the love i used to have" and talk about burning bridges and growing cold inside. i miss the david usher who had great psychotic lyrics like the following:

"i came to burn the sky and tear away the beauty that it sows"


"all the things i can't replace i will control"

??? -- though "in this light" is still a great song. "in this light / i can see the angels / burning from the inside out / they spread their wings to die"

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


I'm not a huge Henighan fan, but this is a good editorial on the LongPen. Somebody please tell Atwood to pack up her toys.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Honourable Mention

My poem "The Animals are Moving" just received an honourable mention in the Winnipeg Writers' Collective contest, and will appear in an upcoming issue of their member publication, The Collective Consciousness. Yay for collectives!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Spoony B in Banff

Another Spoony B screening I can't attend... but you're welcome to!

The Walter Phillips Gallery at the Banff Centre will screen Spoony B along with some other shorts on May 18th as a closing event to their Reel Time Film Series.

The films that will be screening are:

Mindstone's Slide and the Upright (JAB Film Productions)
The Kay Stories: Strangers in the Mall (Red Smarteez)
From Billie.To Me.and Back Again (Dana Inkster)
Open Window (Ryan McKenna)
Asleep at the Wheel (Mike Maryniuk)
504938C (Ervin Chartrand)
Spoony B in How Spoony Got His Ho Back (Jonathan Ball)
Marcel in Moose Jaw (Stuart Mueller)
Birthday Boy (James Wade & Bryn Hewko)
Crazy (Cam Bush)
The Snow Queen (Danishka Esterhazy)

Friday, May 12, 2006

TromaDance North!!!

I just noticed that Spoony B is playing in Winnipeg tomorrow during the TromaDance North Film Festival!!! Why doesn't anybody tell me these things? Anyway, go to the Park Theatre at 7:40pm, May 13, and check it out! Check out the other films too! Click this link for the schedule.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Small Press + $$$ = ???

Did you know that "nonmainstream presses generated $14 billion in 2005 -- more than half of all books sales" (BusinessWeek online)?

I think I would like to see a number of small presses band together their money and resources into a single group entity/collective of some sort, and really start weilding some capital to change the face of the publishing industry, which is sinking like the movie and music industries, due to the insistence of publishers on concentrating on diminishing mass markets over growing niche markets (and I'm sorry to say it, but "people who read books" are a "niche market" just like "people who regularly watch movies" and "people who care enough to buy albums instead of downloading them").

Robert Walser, near-forgotten genius

Stumbled across a good article on Robert Walser, reviewing two of his novels, written by J. M. Coetzee.

Walser is a stunning writer of great hilarity and genius. If you value innovative writing at all, you should buy "The Robber" right now and read it once it arrives. Or borrow it from me next time you see me. If you doubt me, and you have a University of Calgary library account, the book is available for reading online through the UofC library.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

a question of poetics

what if (for the sake of argument) we make loss the condition of poetry? all work as elegy, the pain of the sign not being its signified, the erotics of this longing to be made manifest and one. (is this what we are seeing in Jenny Boully's "The Body" -- on its fundamental level?)

Monday, May 01, 2006

Martian Press summer & fall schedules

forthcoming from The Martian Press


generations by rob mclennan (OUT NOW)
on stealing lips by Lars Palm
Aberrant Lounges by Kimmy Beach
acts of barbarity and vandalism by Daniel Tysdal


Document 1 by Kevin McPherson
Of Quixote's Lap by Ryan Fitzpatrick
Full On Jabber by Chris Rizzo and Jess Mynes
Ripley Retreats by Ken Kowal

All books are $5 (plus $2 shipping) Canadian and can be pre-ordered by emailing jonathan AT jonathanball DOT com. TRADES ACCEPTED AND ENCOURAGED.

All orders will receive a free mini-chapbook: The Process Proposed by Jonathan Ball


Film/making by Jonathan Ball
The Martian Press Review 01 featuring work by Rehman Abdulrehman, David Annandale, Gloe Cormie, Nathan Dueck, Ariel Gordon, Ken Kowal, Maurice Mierau, Mark Sampson, and Kevin Spenst
The Road to Power by Barbara Berger by Aaron Mauro
oppidum by Norah Bowman
Call & Response by derek beaulieu and Jonathan Ball