I am excited because Thistledown Press has just released my new book of poems, A Matins Flywheel. This is my eleventh book and this particular book has had a slow, long fuse of being written, and is the result of having an opportunity to read a pile of wonderful writers after I retired, working with some great writers like Jake Kennedy, and the result, too, of me & Jude knuckling under and retreating in order to pass through some fairly harrowing health crises over the past ten years, starting with me having a heart attack and quadruple bypass in 2013, and Jude struggling with a kidney transplant and devastating osteoarthritis in her ankles…but hey!… here we are, happy and healthy now. So there ya go! Like so many others of us who have grown into that precarious and loopy ‘zone’ of ageing through our 60s and 70s, we’re truly, quietly grateful and aware of the abundance around us.
So I’m going to post the readings I’m going to give this fall. I do want people to know. I will give ‘launch’ readings in Vernon, Kelowna, Nelson, Nanaimo, Duncan, Vancouver, Edmonton and Saskatoon. I’d love to sell this book, and I’ll use this ‘blog’ as a vehicle for doing just that. And if you want to purchase a copy of A Matins Flywheel, all you have to do is go to my ‘books’ page on this website, and you’ll find a friendly ‘paypal’ link to buy a copy. Either that, or go onto Thistledown Press’ website, thistledownpress.com and they’ll be delighted to pop a copy in the mail to you.
Here’s a Press Release to advertise the first of these readings, in Vernon, at The Okanagan Regional Library, Vernon Branch, on Thursday, September 26, at 7:00pm. Kerry Gilbert will also read from her new book, Little Red.
And here’s a wonderful poster that my close friend Mary Ellen Holland made for the occasion:
We all know how this great, precarious underground world of art works. Aside from the flat-out kicks we get from it and the thrills of being lucky enough to make things like this, it’s also a pretty crazy world to navigate and it can be pretty ruthless and self-diminishing, too, and maybe particularly precarious if you have to do a lot of self-promotion, especially in a country like Canada, so crippled still by a bad case of double-colonization, even triple colonization when you think hard about it, and like the Scots, suffering from a widespread and self-administered dose of the who-do-you-think-you-are syndrome on top of that first insecurity. I still love imagining ghastly and eerily ambiguous critical statements that go something like this: “Mr Lent finally gets the attention he deserves.” Ah, yes. So the Self-Promotion Train can get very tricky and bloated and irritating even, all the ruses of false modesty and lengthy tales of being humbled piling up endlessly, one upon the other, in a breathless first-person narrative of barely concealed earnestness and greed and insecurity and flat-out longing and desperation. Holy crap! that sounds bad, doesn’t it? But the truth is we devote our lives to these arts, and we love making things, and the things love us back, don’t they, and it’s a thrill when other people get to see these things, too, as transitory as all this making might be. Another truth, for me, is simply that I wrote a new book of poems, A Matins Flywheel, that I think might be one of the most arduous books I have ever written. I wrote it in a trance caused by staring quite lovingly into the end of things for me, and still seeing joy at the heart of those things, and a crazy unsolvable puzzle created by the pk page margaret avison optic literally lying at the core of the word, ‘end,’ ambushing me as usual. Anyway, enough.