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

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

It's not easy...

... being the Pimp King of Winnipeg!

Watch the film here.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Faulkner — you're fired!!!

In 1924, William Faulkner was fired from his job as a US postmaster, which he had held for three years. Below I've copied some excerpts from a letter sent to Faulkner shortly before his firing, for your general amusement.

Dear Sir:

The following charges have been made against you as a postmaster at University, Mississippi:

1. That you are neglectful of your duties, in that you are a habitual reader of books and magazines, and seem reluctant to cease reading long enough to serve the patrons; that you have a book being printed at the present time, the greater part of which was written while on duty at the postoffice [...]

3. That you are indifferent to interest of patrons, unsocial, and rarely ever speak to patrons of the office unless absolutely necessary; that you do not give the office the proper attention, opening and closing same at your convenience; that you can be found playing golf during office hours.

4. That you mistreat mail of all classes, including registered mail; that you have thrown mail with return postage guaranteed and all other classes in the garbage can by the side entrance, near the rear door [...] that this has gotten to be such a common occurrence that some patrons have gone to the garbage can to get their magazines, should they not be in their boxes when they looked for them.

[... it goes on ... Faulkner also let his friends come and play cards with him at work ...]

Respectfully yours

Mark Webster
Postoffice Inspector
Corinth, Mississippi

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Nicole Brossard joined in Calgary by Erín Moure, Robert Majzels, and Robert Kroetsch

The Believer says that "Brossard conflates writing with lovemaking — 'at the hour of bedsheets or ink'—[her] poems forming a grammar of desire, like a diagrammed body." But see for yourself — why believe The Believer?

On September 24, literary legend Nicole Brossard, two-time winner of the Governor General's Award for Poetry, will give a reading in Calgary to celebrate the English translation of her book Notebook of Roses and Civilization (published by Coach House Books). Brossard will be joined by her translators, Governor General's Award-winning authors Erín Moure and Robert Majzels. The event takes place at the Nickle Arts Museum on the University of Calgary campus at 7:30 p.m. The event is a pre-launch for a special themed issue of dANDelion magazine, which focuses on "Radical Translations" and will contain work by all three authors.

Then, on September 25, Brossard is joined by Governor General's Award-winning author Robert Kroetsch for a Q&A on campus at 3:00 p.m., in Science Theatre 147. Don't miss this valuable opportunity to talk with two of Canada's most significant writers in an intimate venue.

Both events are free and open to the public — that's four of Canada's best writers, for the price of none.

Presented by dANDelion magazine, Coach House Books, and the English Department at the University of Calgary, with generous funding from the Canada Council for the Arts, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Calgary Arts Development, and Canadian Heritage.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Can you spot the poor, but somehow amazing, writing?

Greetings, my friend. We are all interested in the future, because that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember, my friends, future events such as these will affect you in the future. You are interested in the unknown, the mysterious, the unexplainable. That is why you are here. And now, for the first time, we are bringing to you the true story of what happened on that fateful day.

--- the opening lines of Plan 9 from Outer Space

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Went to Canmore recently with Mandy, she took the picture on the left. She's becoming quite the photographer. When this picture was taken, her camera was poised on the edge of a bridge and held up only by some pebbles. A risk-taker, that one. The trip was wonderful, we relaxed in Canmore at a cozy bed and breakfast and then spent the next day travelling through the park, stopping to sight-see along the highway and heading as far north as the Athabasca Glacier where it descends from the Columbia Icefields. You can stroll up the foot of the mountains to the glacier and walk over part of it. It's incredible to see the glacier up close like that, seeing them from the highway it's difficult to understand how massive they truly are. We also strolled through Johnson Canyon which was a fun hike, lots of walking and taking in the landscape and no working. It was great to get away from the city for a while and just take a short break before the nightmare of work that is September, when I have to write Clockfire, begin teaching, prepare an issue of dANDelion, organize and promote an event with Nicole Brossard, study for my forthcoming PhD candidacy exams, and live a regular life, and also prepare a paper for an academic conference in Regina. And I still haven't unpacked everything after moving last month. So thanks to Mandy for being so wonderful and helping me relax, and also for being such a clever little budding photographer.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Leacock quotes

Re-reading the Canadian classic Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town by Stephen Leacock. A few choice quotes:

I don't say that there's no justification for [suicide]. There often is. Anybody who has listened to certain kinds of music, or read certain kinds of poetry, or heard certain kinds of performances upon the concertina, will admit that there are some lives which ought not to be continued, and that even suicide has its brighter aspects. (135)
So they had the ice cream, and the poet ate it in buckets-ful. Poets always do. They need it. (139)
And my personal favourite, given my current course of study:

The meaning of this degree [PhD] is that the recipient of instruction is examined for the last time in his life, and is pronounced completely full. After this, no new ideas can be imparted to him. (viii)