Now available from Apt. 9 Press, Phil Hall’s An Egregore:
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!
“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.”
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!
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.
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.
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!