Brick Books is celebrating 40 years of publishing Canadian poetry. Brick Books has published some of CanLit’s favourite writers, including Anne Carson, Michael Crummey and Margaret Avison. The press was founded by Stan Dragland and Don McKay in 1975, and is currently run by a team of editors and general manager Kitty Lewis.
Join us in celebrating Brick Books’ 40th Anniversary with Barry Dempster, Naomi Guttman, Monty Reid, Nico Rogers, Sue Sinclair, Carolyn Smart and Dean Steadman. Brick Books’ general manager Kitty Lewis will host the event and Alayna Munce, production manager and editor, will introduce the authors.
Barry Dempster, twice nominated for the Governor General’s Award, is the author of fourteen previous collections of poetry. His collection The Burning Alphabet won the Canadian Authors’ Association Chalmers Award for Poetry in 2005. In 2010, he was a finalist for the Ontario Premiers Award for Excellence in the Arts and in 2014 he was nominated for the Trillium Award. Disturbing the Buddha, Dempster’s fifteenth collection, is disarmingly conversational and, like the best conversations, it moves between reverence and irreverence, sincerity and irony as it grapples with love, loss, loneliness and simple lack of luck. He lives in Holland Landing, Ontario.
Naomi Guttman’s first book, Reasons for Winter, won the A.M. Klein Award for Poetry. Her second, Wet Apples, White Blood, was co-winner of the Adirondack Center for Writing’s Best Book of Poems for 2007. In her third poetry collection, The Banquet of Donny & Ari: Scenes from the Opera, family life is given mythic dimensions. Amid a fictional marriage in a state of malaise and a real world on the edge of environmental disaster, Guttman lays open moments of vexation and tenderness, of grief, guilt, betrayal and love. Raised in Montreal, she now teaches creative writing at Hamilton College in Clinton, NY.
Monty Reid’s books include Garden, The Luskville Reductions and CrawlSpace. Recent chapbooks include Kissing Bug (Phafours), Moan Coach and Site Conditions. Meditatio Placentae, Reid’s twelfth collection, is a gathering of short poems wrapped into longer sequences, this is a book that pays attention to the world, in all its dizzying forms. He has won Alberta’s Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry on three occasions, the Lampman Award, National Magazine Awards, and is a three-time nominee for the Governor General’s Award. He lives in Ottawa where he is currently the Managing Editor for Arc Poetry Magazine and Festival Director at VerseFest, Ottawa’s international poetry festival.
Nico Rogers writes poetry and fiction. He published his first book, The Fetch, in 2010. His latest poems come from being at home with his son and from being a stepfather to a 10-year-old girl. They reach into his personal and family history, while also attempting to flesh out some of the complexities of contemporary, urban maleness. Another of his writing projects is a manuscript based on the diary he kept while on a 50-day canoeing expedition across the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. He lives in Toronto.
Sue Sinclair is the author of four previous collections, all of them nominated for regional and/or national awards. She recently completed a PhD in philosophy at the University of Toronto on the subject of beauty and ethics. Heaven’s Thieves is a collection engaged with the big questions—What does it mean to be alive? What is beauty and why does it have such power over us? What is the point of art? In 2012 she was Writer-in-Residence at the University of New Brunswick, and in 2013 she served as the inaugural Critic-in-Residence for CWILA. Sue was raised in Newfoundland and is now based in Montreal, where she writes, edits and teaches.
Carolyn Smart’s collections of poetry have been Swimmers in Oblivion, Power Sources, Stoning the Moon, The Way to Come Home, and Hooked: seven poems. Her latest work, Careen, is a long poem spoken by the characters—a book of voices speaking out of the desperate Dirty Thirties. She is the founder of the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers, poetry editor for the MacLennan Series of McGill-Queen’s University Press and since 1989 has been Professor of Creative Writing at Queen’s University. She lives in the country north of Kingston, Ontario where she and her husband have raised three boys.
Dean Steadman’s work has been widely published in Canadian journals and e-zines, as well as in the anthology Pith and Wry: Canadian Poetry. He was a finalist in the 2011 Ottawa Book Awards for his poetry collection, their blue drowning. By turns tender, wry, playful and fierce, the poems in Dean Steadman’s second collection, Après Satie – For Two and Four Hands, involves us in the ongoing muddle of pain, sorrow, compassion, passion, joy and curiousness that is our human condition. Though he was born in Montreal and studied in Halifax, he has lived in Ottawa for most of his life.