Frontenac/Dektet poets climbin’ the charts

Pages On Kensington’s (Calgary) Bestseller List

(May 2, 2010)

  • Original Edition Fiction and Poetry

1. Beatrice and Virgil – Yann Martel

2. Other Family – Joanna Trollope

3. Love Market – Carol Mason

4. Hypoderm – Weyman Chan

5. Children of Ararat – Keith Garebian

6. Fallacies of Motion – William Nichols

7. (Sic) – Nikki Reimer

8. Confessions of an Empty Purse – S. McDonald

9. White Shirt – Laurie MacFayden

10. Solar – Ian McEwan

5 minutes avec chemise blanche

on the nightstand:

outliers by malcolm gladwell; left hook by george bowering

on the iPod:

david gray; emmylou harris; the supremes; abba; kd lang; the fugitives; justin rutledge; kate rusby; laura love; rufus wainwright

what white shirt had for breakfast:

egg, potato, spinach & red bean burrito; two coffees with homo milk


‘If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off,
I know that is poetry.’

~ Emily Dickinson

cufflinks of the week:

garlic grilled cheese sandwich at cafe mosaic; raving poets open-mic at the kasbar (wednesday) jocko benoit at greenwoods’ bookshoppe (thursday).

the gospel according to white shirt:

… are you getting any REM sleep, greenland?
(indelirium, page 60)

a white shirt goes with everything

Greetings, poetry lovers. My book White Shirt (Frontenac House; $15.95) is hot off the press and now available for purchase.

White Shirt of the Week

“In this debut collection, best friends scream downhill
on their ten-speed bikes; a tree planter spells out her lover’s name in seedlings; and a mysterious entity
steps out of the mist in Stanley Park. The author
contemplates how best to seduce Joan of Arc
and goes on an abstract-expressionist date with Jackson Pollock.”

Like the white shirt in the title,
these poems are crisp, seductive
and a little bit sweaty.

White Shirt is one of 10 poetry titles selected by blind jury to be part of Dektet 2010, a celebration of Canadian poetry marking the 10th anniversary of Calgary’s Frontenac House publishers.

Please support your local independent bookseller (in Edmonton, Audreys Books, 10702 Jasper Ave; Greenwoods’ Bookshoppe, 7925 104 Street).

If you live further afield, White Shirt and the other Dektet titles may be ordered from the distributor, Alpine Book Peddlers.

Phone: 403-678-2280, (toll free) 866-478-2280
403-678-2840, (toll free) 866-978-2840

It’s also available online via Amazon.

the word on white shirt:

“This is the ‘classic’ hard-drinking, hard-living, gravelly poet’s voice – only it comes from a woman. It’s a bust-out-of-the-closet voice where occasional touchstone rhymes and furious lists score the page. The poems are stripped down, poignant, exact, and as heartily playful as any serious blues.
Here is Sappho crossed with the Supremes.”

— Jury, Dektet 2010


“Laurie MacFayden is one of my favourite poets. Her poems vibrate with a sensorial precision that never fails to capture … She does what all great writers do – that is, she shines her incredible, unique light on what it is to be human. MacFayden pushes at the darkness with her poetry – she titillates, teases, intrigues and entertains – and I hope she keeps doing it for a very, very long time.”

— thomas trofimuk, author of waiting for columbus

“when i first heard laurie macfayden read in edmonton, it was obvious she was a cut above the pack of poets waiting for their turn to be heard. she’s a drag queen in a pink limousine, journalist of whyte ave. & the two-lane world, an important lady in an important time.”

— c.r. avery, beatbox poet/spoken word artist

poetry immersion 101

it’s national poetry month — and what a month it is!

on april 3, i had the pleasure of sharing the stage with michelle boudreau, mary pinkoski and jasmine whenham at a music & poetry shindig at the axis cafe.

on april 10, edmonton’s raving poets celebrated 10 years of spoken word wonderfulness with a big bash at riverdale hall. i was one of 10 featured readers selected to help represent the decade of debauchery & drinking — two things the RPs have helped define (or is it refine?) over the years.

the highlight for me comes near the end of the month. a year ago my debut poetry manuscript, white shirt, was selected for dektet 2010, a 10-title collection being published this month by frontenac house in celebration of their 10 years of showcasing canadian poetry.

the book is now a reality.

if you’re reading this blog and happen to be in the vicinity, you’re cordially invited to attend the edmonton launch of dektet, featuring white shirt, on tuesday, april 27 at stanley milner library theatre (7 sir winston churchill square) beginning at 7 p.m.

all 10 dektet authors will be there, reading from and signing their books, and all 10 titles will be available for purchase ($15.95 each).

two nights later the dektet festivities continue in calgary (thursday, april 29,
7 p.m., john dutton theatre, macleod trail) in conjunction with the calgary international spoken word festival.

to help promote the dektet collection, i’ve been invited to talk poetry with george bowering, canada’s first poet laureate, during the edmonton poetry festival’s ‘book chat’ at CBC centre stage, city centre mall, on thursday, april 22 starting at noon. this event is not being broadcast live, so if you want a front-row window on the conversation, come on down and be part of the audience. it’s free, and audreys will have a book table set up featuring the works of pofest authors.

the rest of the pofest sked is available here.

spread the word.

p.s. my poem ‘things you need to know before you give yourself to a poet’ appears in the lists edition of the new quarterly (TNQ) literary journal. look for it on magazine stands in early may.