Time to reach out from the wintry basement perch of this writer. We’ve all cleared out from 2017 and all of creation around here feels cleansed from the meteor a few weeks back. Nothing like a giant rock blowing up above you to clear out the bad funk left from a year a lot of folks plain up struggled with. Can’t say unequivocally that the space rock helped us all. But below ground, right here in Waawiyaataanong (or maybe right across from it still trying to figure that out), things feel shifted. Shifted in what seems to be mostly the right way.
You’ve got to get the sense that Canlit is nice solid spin at this point. And yes, we’ve all heard the analogy of the dumpster fire. I’d like to imagine there are things we’d like to save from Canlit. So knocking it around for bit to clean out of the bad elements might be the way I want to look at it. It’s likely the librarian in me. Regardless, the fact that in bending and yelling back bad things at those outside of it let’s me know things are changing. This is perhaps the first good thing of the year. It should make a lot of us at least a little happier on the path before us all.
The next thing to be mentioned of course is the new work for the year. I can’t control the publisher side of my work, but suffice it to say a new manuscript is being floated around out there by me. “The Gravel Lot that was Montana” marks my third complete collection and is an exploration Montana and Detroit, or my time in those places anyways. Good number of the pieces are in some fine journals out there. Look at the Journal Publications page if you want to see the latest in that way. Time will show us where this one could land, but I’ll keep you posted. It is also a fine thing to have work done.
And what sort of writer would one be without projects? Two new poetry projects have received generous support from the Ontario Arts Council. “Go Down Odawa Way” is a poetry collection that looks into the history of Windsor-Detroit through an Indigenous lens. One that looks at history that stretches back to the Second Fire. This is a history longer than the three centuries of settler history. Very early stages of this one, but interested in the way this shapes the way I look at my neck of creation.
Also receiving funding is “Bearmen Descend Upon Gimli.” This is a novel-in-poems and follows the story of a mythic curling bonspiel in Manitoba. The whole thing becomes a meeting point for a lot of Canada’s cultures and becomes a meditation on the role of sport and competition in that meeting point. The focus is through the multiple First Nations comprised Bearmen rink. It has roots going back a bit and is a lot closer to completion than “Go Down Odawa Way.”
Go into the now, newer year, and know that the meteor above this part of the Three-Fires Confederacy territory shook the earth enough to clean things up a bit. What settles we can’t control. But for the immediate future, it’s better and arcing positive.