Small Press Book Fair, Reviews

Apt. 9 Press will be present at the upcoming Ottawa Small Press Book Fair on Saturday, June 18th. Sadly, I will not be personally present (though for exciting reasons; I’ll be speaking at this conference in Montreal). Jeff Blackman (poet, friend, father, neighbour, gardener, and publisher of Horsebroke Press), will be running a half-Apt. 9, half-Horsebroke table. Come out to see his new exciting things, and be sure to pick up Apt. 9’s latest chapbook, Lea Graham’s This End of the World: Notes to Robert Kroetsch. We will also have backlist from Lillian Necakov, Michael Casteels, Christine McNair, and of course, copies of Five.

Packed up for the Book Fair.

Speaking of Lea Graham’s chapbook, it has received three separate reviews since it was published last month. We’re very happy that people are responding to it so positively! You can also find a new review of Marilyn Irwin’s the blue, blue there here, and Michael Casteels’s solar-powered light bulb here.

If you’re looking for older Apt. 9 backlist, you can search at Apollinaire’s Bookshoppe. The fine folks running the store have been purchasing Apt. 9 titles for quite a while now, and have copies of things that I am long since sold out of. There is also a new store opening in Dundas, Ontario called The Printed Word that has a number of Apt. 9 titles in stock. Be sure to visit if you’re in that neck of the woods.

Enjoy the book fair! Buy me anything cool if you’re got money to burn!

2015 Reviews

I have been quietly updating individual book pages with reviews and notes as they appear, but haven’t been promoting those reviews here on the main page. Below you’ll find notes on our 2015 books. Thanks to everyone that took the time to read and think about our publications this year. If you said something somewhere about any of our chapbooks and we’ve missed it, let us know!

On Nelson Ball’s Small Waterways:

Small Waterways cover_0001

29 December 2015 | Ryan Pratt: “With each recent title from the prolific, Paris, Ontario based author, we’ve been gifted stunningly clairvoyant poems in Ball’s minimal style. And Small Waterways is perhaps the sharpest, accenting stark vistas with almost imperceptible, existential flourishes that balance his explicit sadness with a renewed acceptance.”

18 November 2015 | Pearl Pirie: “Beautiful encapsulations. Simple but not simplistic. Thought over not to make clever but to make clear as if drawing a line around one awareness. Not around an object or a story or an image but a small eureka, not tied up with a ribbon of form but the size it needs to be.”

17 November 2015 | rob mclennan: “And at thirty pages, Small Waterways reads as a substantial collection (in chapbook terms, at least) of powerful poems, some of which read like sketched out notes, some as deep meditations and others as small thoughts stretched to beyond their outer limits.”

On Michael e. Casteels’s solar-powered light bulb and the lake’s achy tooth:

lakes achy tooth

15 December 2015 | Amanda Earl: “What I love about them and what will make me return to them is their elegance and their shape. White space and the shape taken up by each poem is part of the beauty of this chapbook.”

17 November 2015 | rob mclennan: “There is such a quality of meditative calm in Casteels’ poems, set down with incredible density, but a remarkable amount of silence and breath.”

On Lillian Nećakov’s The Lake Contains an Emergency Room:


1 July 2015 | Christopher McCarthy at Flat Singles Press: “There is a surrealist timbre to the eighteen poems featured in the new sequence; however, this effect is well balanced, emotional, and immediate.”

19 June 2015 | rob mclennan says there is “an odd humour and compelling candor to the surrealism of Lillian Nećakov, one that seems very human in nature.”

And on Marilyn Irwin’s the blue, blue there:


29 December 2015 | Ryan Pratt: “Grounded and gut-punching poems like “murder, old ottawa south” and the stratosphere-ricocheting “transmigration of the soul and other no-no’s” stake opposite ends of Irwin’s yardstick, respectively. But the vast middle tackles the likes of Kim Jong Un, a dead deer in the woods and the FLNJ (le Front pour le Liberation des Nains de Jardin) with a flexible curiosity that accepts the chaos of life, and demands revisiting.”

22 December 2015 | rob mclennan includes the blue, blue there in his 2015 roundup at Queens Mob Teahouse.

22 July 2015 | Pearl Pirie: “Good? Hands down. Hands up. We are not worthy. Jeez. Making the rest look bad.”

15 June 2015 | rob mclennan says that the poems in the blue, blue there are “quiet and sharp, insistently present and remarkably calm.”


Did you say something about one of these books and it isn’t included above? Let me know! 




Ottawa Small Press Book Fair & Meet the Presses Indie Literary Market

Come see Apt. 9 Press at the Ottawa Small Press Book Fair tomorrow. Same book fair place, same book fair time as usual: 12:00-5:00pm at the Jack Purcell Community Centre. We’ll have brand new titles from Nelson Ball and Michael e. Casteels, still-fairly-new titles from Marilyn Irwin and Lillian Nećakov, and somewhat-less-new-but-still-exciting titles from Christine McNair , Ben Ladouceur, and the Accord of Poets poets (and a handful of copies of my own new Baseline Press chapbook).

Next weekend, Apt. 9 hits the road to run a table at the Meet the Presses Indie Literary Market. If you’re anywhere near Toronto, it’d be great to see you at the Tranzac Club from 11:30-5:00pm.

Our latest titles will be available for purchase online at our Etsy shop following both fairs.

Two book fairs in two weeks–hope the shelves in the office are ready for the influx of new books!


An Accord of Poets – One-Year Anniversary and Sale

One year ago today, I was excited and lucky to be starting a five-day poetry reading tour with Jesslyn Gagno, Jeff Blackman, Justin Million, and Rachael Simpson. We read in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, Peterborough (and later Kingston). Apt. 9 published its first book with a spine to coincide with the tour, and today, to mark the one year-anniversary, that book is on sale for 50% off($10.00 down from $20.00). It’ll be on sale October 11-15, the original five days of the tour. If you missed it the first time around, or just feel like buying a backup copy (or three), this is a good time do it! Thanks once again to all in the Accord, to our families for putting up with our extended absence over the Thanksgiving weekend, and to all that helped make the tour possible. ‪#‎itallhappened‬ ‪#‎oneyearago‬