Thursday, May 17, 2012

How about a little applause?

For the bloggers out there in Canada who keep posting, often to a very limited audience...who are sometimes the only ones to pay attention to a book that falls through the formidable mainstream cracks. These are blogs that focus on content. Not comment. They are about the books, fancy that, not the posturing in the comment stream, not careerist tools for positioning the author as authority. Big round of applause.

Rob McLennan is there day after day. You kind of want him to be more discriminating. You tell him, take more time, be more thorough, but that's not his gig, his gig is touching lightly and often, and pretty much everything. So here's to Rob. Steadfastly who he is.

Vicki Ziegler on 49th book shelf. Come on? Tireless blogger of books.

I'm not sure who David Godkin is, but occasionally there is something insightful here, and whoever the author is, he crafts his posts well, and thoroughly. Agree or not, he makes his points.

Kerry Clare has been reviewing fiction for some time. Smart. Funny reviews. Actual thinking content.  And interviews including Zoe Whittal, Jennica Harper, Heather Birrel, Alison Pick...oh wait, no men! Is that why we don't hear about her blog in the national media?

Michael Bryson has been reviewing fiction in Canada for years. Lots and lots of interviews and reviews. Tireless. Insights. I would love to see this site working with a constraint though: say everything you want to say in 500 words. Boil it down, but bravo.

Mr. Beattie I presume? We don't always agree, and sometimes his flash of rage puts his readers on the defensive, but it's worthwhile. He is a man who knows his positions and I respect that. He makes statements, backs them up. Third year of daily posts offering readings of a short story for the month of May.

Paul Vermeersch!

Stephen Rowe.

Chris Banks keeps at it. He is largely interested in the quietest strands of the quiet, and many American poets that are not my cup of tea. But again, sometimes there is a point to his appreciation of a poet that illuminates me. I would love to see a larger arc in these posts (I mean overall in the blog, not the individual posts). Some frame, or constraint. This is my preference for writing that is attempting to achieve multiple goals...and who is really, really thinking about the notion of consciousness in lyric poetry? The problem I find in discussions of lyric is it quickly falls into sentiment.

Just discovered this one. Well thought-out response to recent Lilburn review in the post.

Oh and then there's Vehicule Books Blog. Mostly to promote it's own authors, which makes sense, and hard to find a post about a woman (even their own authors), but it's there and keeps posting.

Natalize Zed! Bookmark her.

Upstarts such as Rover are worth a bookmark too...and I will add for free if you post links in the comments etc.

GARY BARWIN! I'm not going to get them all...but we all love Gary.

Pearl (adding this one too): Ottawa has to represent.


Schmutzie said...

Great list!

Steven W. Beattie said...

Thanks, Sina, for including me in such good company.

Lemon Hound said...

Hey Steven,
You deserve more commentary. All of you do, but I'm working with what time I have...

Kerry Clare said...

I was also pleased to be among. There is so much good stuff going on (even quietly) all the time. Thank you.

gary barwin said...


So glad that you're drawing attention to these blogs. After the great blog-boom is over, there are left these sweet smokes, braiding and curling Canadians, drawing us to their smoking screens. It's good to know there's a room full of conversation out there, new work to learn about, new discussions to enter into.

If only they'd post more cat videos, though.

Jake Mooney said...

All good blogs, SQ. I seem to remember recognizing a couple of them in a recent letter to the editor, and then getting yelled at a bit for not recognizing anyone.

But, to repeat: Yeay team!! Boo Invisible Strawmen!!

Carmine Starnino said...

Come on, Sina. The Vehicule blog does an annual top ten that ONLY features poetry collections by other presses (something no other Canadian press with a blog does) and when I'm not linking to poems published online by non-Signal poets (Damian Rogers, Alexandra Oliver) I run a Sunday Poem feature that regularly reprints poems by men (Jeffrey Donaldson) AND women (Susan Gillis). More often than not, I find these poems in books published by other presses (mostly chapbooks) And over the past year I've done posts on or about Mary Dalton, Anita Lahey, Leigh Kotsilidis, Ingrid Ruthig and Natalie Zed, not all of whom I've published. You are entitled to your opinion. It would be nice if it were informed.

Lemon Hound said...

Carmine, you're entitled to your opinion.

You're welcome.

Lemon Hound said...

Hey Gary,
As long as there are some female cats in the mix. And not just for comic relief...

Lemon Hound said...

Yay team, Jake.

We'll miss your voice. Though no doubt it will pop up again in other ways.

Oh and straw women?

Lemon Hound said...

p.s. Carmine nice to see you including some women.

Very much looking forward to more balanced representation and paying attention to those numbers, both in the immediate, and historically.

Paul Vermeersch said...

Thanks for the exclamation point!