Interview, Open Book

It was very kind of Ben Ladouceur to ask me some questions about Apt. 9 and small press things, and to let me ramble on in my answers. Thanks Ben, and thanks Open Book for publishing it!

The Same Aspirations Persist: An Interview with Cameron Anstee, editor of Apt. 9 Press

“In 2016, three of the five chapbooks nominated for the bpNichol Chapbook Award came from the same press, Ottawa’s Apt. 9 Press. One of those Apt. 9 Press nominees, Nelson Ball’s Small Waterways, ultimately took the 2016 prize. This is Game of Thrones-level nomination-domination, a formidable accomplishment for a single publisher. But are things like awards very important to Apt. 9 Press editor Cameron Anstee? In the interview below, Cameron lays out why he does what he does.”

Nelson Ball wins the 2016 bpNichol Chapbook Award!

Apt. 9 Press is thrilled to be able to say that Nelson Ball has won the 2016 bpNichol Chapbook Award for his chapbook Small Waterways, published by Apt. 9 Press in 2015. Read the full press release here. Congratulations, Nelson!

Small Waterways cover_0001

Beyond our excitement at Nelson winning, the award feels especially resonant given Nelson’s long relationship to bpNichol as a fellow poet, peer, and publisher, and his longstanding specialization in bpNichol as a bookseller (as well as the long relationship between Nelson’s late wife Barbara Caruso and bpNichol as collaborators and publishers). We couldn’t be happier for Nelson–we love Small Waterways, and are thrilled that it received this tremendous honour. Our thanks to Meet the Presses, the anonymous donor of the prize money ($4000.00!), judges Alice Burdick and Hoa Nguyen, and Brian Dedora and Jim Smith for donating the publisher prize.

Sadly, Nelson’s chapbook sold out last year. That being said, nearly all of the poems in the book are available in Nelson’s most recent trade collection, Chewing Water, from Mansfield Press. Go buy the book if you haven’t already!

As well, two more of the titles on the shortlist this year were published by Apt. 9 Press: Marilyn Irwin’s the blue, blue there and Lillian Nećakov’s The Lake Contains an Emergency Room. Congratulations also to Klara Du Plessis and Anstruther Press, and Christine Stewart and Nomados Literary Publishers for their books on the shortlist, too. We are proud to be listed in such fine company.

Nelson is now Apt. 9’s second winner of the award, following Claudia Coutu Radmore’s win in 2011 for Accidentals. We love all the books that we publish, and it is wonderful when the writers receive a recognition of this sort. We made the trip to Meet the Presses to accept the award on Nelson’s behalf, and it is humbling and inspiring to see the exciting work being done by chapbook presses across the country. We’ll be back from our hiatus in 2017, and have some exciting projects lined up. Stay tuned.