Curated by Canadian writer, editor and publisher rob mclennan, the “spotlight” series appears the first Monday of every month.

STATEMENT

S.C. Ells (1878–1971), also known as “the father of the tar sands,” was a civil servant who worked for the Department of Mines from 1913 to 1945, devoting most of those years to his dream of industrializing the Athabasca oil/tar sands.

“Envoi” is a poem written in response to the envoi Ells penned to conclude both his illustrated collection of short stories and poems titled Northland Trails and his memoir titled Recollections of the Development of the Athabasca Oil Sands…


Curated by Canadian writer, editor and publisher rob mclennan, the “spotlight” series appears the first Monday of every month.

STATEMENT

I feel my poems are instruments for dropping into a physical body, each felt sensation moment to moment the only true experience I will ever have. The past in its entireties of violence or of pleasure still become a story in memory, the future a dream, the present sinews and tissues of my form holding all relevant and ongoing information to move through. In this way language is material, its function more closely linked to running water than to the…


Curated by Canadian writer, editor and publisher rob mclennan, the “spotlight” series appears the first Monday of every month.

STATEMENT

I have to see a shape. Without a shape, I could have all the language in the world but wouldn’t know where to put it. The shape could be for a single poem or it could be for a sequence, sort of like flipping through the pages of an architectural plan. While it’s true that I’m constantly squirreling away lines and fragments and ideas and quotes and things I’ve heard or misheard (in what we used to call conversations), none…


Curated by Canadian writer, editor and publisher rob mclennan, the “spotlight” series appears the first Monday of every month.

statement: have been holding onto these. handle with care

transcription poem 49
SHADOWS BLINKBLINK FIDDLEHEADS SPINE AS I COME CLOSE CLOSER TO A FULL UNDERSTANDING OF GREEN/ BY WHICH I MEAN — THIRSTY, SPILLING THAT CATCHES, THE BELLY OF EARTH WHERE WE BURIED THE GARLIC WHERE THE LIGHT SWITCHES OUT WHAT I AM

still life / still light / still / still
a brother reads at a table, last of the solstice curling into his hair curling into his ear. …


Curated by Canadian writer, editor and publisher rob mclennan, the “spotlight” series appears the first Monday of every month.

STATEMENT

Constrained poetry mesmerizes me. Although I know it’s not legerdemain, it almost feels that way. Over the last while I’ve tried my hand at these feats, drafting erasures, lipograms (both forward and reverse), and mesostics. At one point, I planned to write a suite of anagrams from the sorts of monologues that actors have to memorize for auditions. I felt defeated after three. This is the best one. A mentor once told me that I sit at a computer the…


Curated by Canadian writer, editor and publisher rob mclennan, the “spotlight” series appears the first Monday of every month.

STATEMENT

My poems often deal with the lack/failure of language to communicate as well as a feminist theory of sorts. My process involves me reading lots of work by other artists, or any material I can get my hands on, and jotting down words, sometimes phrases I like. …


Curated by Canadian writer, editor and publisher rob mclennan, the “spotlight” series appears the first Monday of every month.

STATEMENT

“Vancouver Does Not Taste Like Calgary” appears early in my forthcoming book Coast Mountain Foot, which attempts to map out the material and affective overlap between Calgary and Vancouver. The poem is one of a series of lyrics that anchor the book. Written in moments of transit or repose, these poems reflect on the two cities and their shared politics. Written while procrastinating in the window of a Starbucks at Hastings and Howe, “Vancouver Does Not Taste Like Calgary” takes…


Curated by Canadian writer, editor and publisher rob mclennan, the “spotlight” series appears the first Monday of every month.

STATEMENT

Often my poems begin when I’m walking.
Mostly my poems begin with observing.
Writing is also listening.
Frequently my poems expand.
Touch is important.
I like to sew words while I’m drafting to get a feel for each letter.
Sometimes poems contract.
Here, I present two complete versions of one poem.

our hesitations can easily be noted by passers-by

when our job is one that
must be done in public
it sounds difficult, at most
when others aren’t observing
but merely hoping
to get by
we…


Curated by Canadian writer, editor and publisher rob mclennan, the “spotlight” series appears the first Monday of every month.

STATEMENT

Sonnets have preoccupied my attention for the past couple of years. I like the resistant form, the pressures of syntax and beat. Sonnets are little soundings, architectures for listening into things. And they build on themselves. Mostly, I wonder about the spiritual history of North America, and how blunt materiality makes such an inquiry possible. The sonnet has been an engine of that possibility.

THREE POEMS

[Dark moon drifts in black sky. Floorboard spider]

Dark moon drifts in black sky…


Curated by Canadian writer, editor and publisher rob mclennan, the “spotlight” series appears the first Monday of every month.

STATEMENT

FOLLOWING THE WOULD-BE POETICS MAPPED IN JUST LIKE I LIKE IT (TALONBOOKS 2019), LAFRANCE ARRIVES AT READING AND WRITING FROM A POSITION KNOWING ILLUSIONS ARE DESTROYED. LAFRANCE’S RECENT POETRY PROJECT #POSTDILDO THINKS AND ACTS THROUGH FANTASY, RAPE CULTURE, MODES OF COMMUNICATION, YEARNINGS, AFTERMATHS, AND LOST IDEAS. MUCH ANIMAL LOVE. LAFRANCE INVESTS IN LISTENING AND/OR ADDRESSING AND/OR RESPONDING TO THE RADICAL ROOT OF THINGS.

DRUNKEN WORM

If I were a dildo
You would be all a toilet paper. Whenever You’re around I…

rob mclennan

poet, fiction writer, editor, reviewer, critic, publisher: robmclennan.blogspot.com

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