Thursday, April 19, 2007

New release from Canada's Poet Laureate: Rattling Books announces launch of audio edition of John Steffler's The Grey Islands

Tors Cove, Newfoundland and Labrador - April 19, 2007- Rattling Books releases unabridged audio edition of The Grey Islands, by Canada's Parliamentary Poet Laureate John Steffler.

Narrated by John Steffler, Frank Holden, Janis Spence, Deidre Gillard-Rowlings and Darryl Hopkins, this audio edition of Steffler's classic The Grey Islands is the first new title from Canada's Poet laureate since his appointment in December, 2006.

Launch Event
John Steffler will celebrate the launch of The Grey Islands and read from his work April 24, 2007, at the Tree Reading Series. The event will take place at the Royal Oak II, 161 Laurier East (near King Edward), Ottawa, Ontario.

Tree Readings are every second and fourth Tuesday of the month at the Royal Oak II Pub at 161 Laurier Avenue East in Sandy Hill. Open-set commences at 8:00 p.m., with featured reader to follow. Admission is free. For more information, please contact Dean Steadman at 613-749-3773 or mail to:

John Steffler

John Steffler was born in Toronto and grew up in a rural area near Thornhill, Ontario. He studied at the University of Toronto and the University of Guelph. He lived in Newfoundland from 1975 where he taught in the English Department at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College in Corner Brook until his recent retirement.

His books of poems include Helix: New and Selected Poems (Signal Editions, 2003), That Night We Were Ravenous (M&S, 1998), The Wreckage of Play (M&S, 1988), The Grey Islands (M&S, 1985; Brick, 2000), and An Explanation of Yellow (Borealis Press, 1981). He is also the author of a novel, The Afterlife of George Cartwright (M&S, 1992; Henry Holt, 1993), and an illustrated children's book, Flights of Magic (Press Porcepic, 1987).

In addition to winning the 1992 Smithbooks/Books in Canada First Novel Award and the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award, his novel, The Afterlife of George Cartwright, was shortlisted for the Governor General's Award for Fiction and the Commonwealth First Novel Award. That Night We Were Ravenous won the Newfoundland and Labrador Poetry Prize and the Atlantic Poetry Prize in 1999. Helix: New and Selected Poems won the Newfoundland and Labrador Poetry Prize in 2003.

In December 2006, John Steffler became Canada's third Parliamentary Poet Laureate, a two year post.

The Grey Islands

A novel in the form of poems, a physical exploration of Newfoundland's past, a search for ghosts in an abandoned settlement on an abandoned island, this is the story of a come-from-away determined to immerse himself in the physical reality of Newfoundland in an abrupt and inescapable way.

A modern classic of Canadian poetry, The Grey Islands is one man's meditation on the interplay between nature and human society in the rugged setting of coastal Newfoundland. The boats and houses of those who tried to live on the Grey Islands have disappeared, but their stories survive in the neighboring settlements - stories of treks on the sea ice, of near-starvation, of hunting ducks at night with muskets loaded with everything from nails to the parts of a gold pocket watch.

This is a book of such excellence that someone in future is liable to say about the author: "Steffler - Steffler? - oh yes, he wrote The Grey Islands, didn't he?"
- Al Purdy, Books in Canada

The Grey Islands is a piece of genius, a psychological drama in poetry and prose...
- Andrew Brooks, Canadian Literature

The Grey Islands is, I suspect, one of the finest long poems written in the last 10 years.
- Mark Abley, Montreal Gazette

Listen to a clip from The Grey Islands.

The Grey Islandsby
John Steffler
unabridged audio edition, Rattling Books 2007
Originally published in print form by McClelland and Steart (1985); Brick Books (2000)

Narrated (in order of appearance) by John Steffler, Frank Holden, Janis Spence, Deidre Gillard-Rowlings and Darryl Hopkins
Island soundscapes recorded off the coast of Newfoundland
Directed, recorded and mixed by Janet Russell

Listening Time: roughly 2 1/2 hours10-digit ISBN: 0-9737586-0-013-digit ISBN: 978-0-9737586-0-3
Audio CDs (2) $24.95
Digital Download $14.95

Rattling Books

Rattling Books is a not just SMALL, but fine Canadian audio press, publishing poetry, fiction, and historical outdoor adventure non-fiction from a perch over looking the Northwest Atlantic.

For background, news and excerpts, visit our blog. You can also visit us on MySpace

Rattling Books are distributed in Canada through House of Anansi Press by HarperCollins. Our titles are available in the US from Ingram Books and Overdrive. Additional distribution information is available on our website.

Anyone interested in obtaining a review copy or interviewing the Author please contact the Publisher :

Rattling Books
Janet Russell
Phone: (709) 334-3911