Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Excerpt: The Lure of the Labrador Wild: The classic story of Leonidas Hubbard by Dillon Wallace, setting: late January 1904

The following excerpt is from Dillon Wallace's classic story of the fateful canoe trip which Wallace, Leonidas Hubbard and George Elson made into the interior of Labrador in 1903 (The Lure of the Labrador Wild originally published in 1905 by Fleming H. Revell, New York) . In 2005 Rattling Books released an unabridged audio edition of The Lure of the Labrador Wild narrated by Jody Richardson.

During January and February the cold was terrific. The spirit thermometer at the camp was scaled down to 64 degrees below zero, and on several days the spirit disappeared below the scale mark before 8 o'clock in the evening. For a week the temperature never, even at midday, rose above 40 below. The old natives of the bay said there never had been such a winter before. Not a man in the camp escaped without a frozen nose and the cheeks and chins of all of them were black from being nipped by the frost. Bently declared that he froze his nose in bed, and Mrs. Bently bore witness to the truth of the statement. But Bently's nose was frosted on an average of once a day.

Nearly all of this time I lay at the lumber camp worrying about Hubbard's body. One day late in January, when I had been hoping that the body had been safely brought out , Mackenzie and George arrived from Northwest River with the news that the storms had been so continuous it had not been deemed wise to attempt the journey inland. I wished to be removed at once to the post, thinking that my presence there might hasten matters, but Dr. Hardy said there would be no use of having two dead men, and I was forced to be content with promises that the expedition would get under way as soon as possible.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Excerpt: Melody, a story from Open by Lisa Moore



50 Words from the story Melody by Lisa Moore

"I felt logy and grateful. Also sophisticated. I'd had an orgasm, though I didn't know it at the time. I didn't know that's what that was. I could count on one hand the number of times I'd said the word out loud, though I'd read about it. I believed myself ..."

Listen to a clip of Holly Hogan reading from Open.

The unabridged audio edition of Open by Lisa Moore, narrated by Lisa Moore, Holly Hogan and Mary Lewis is available from rattlingbooks.com.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Attention Print Publishers & Literary Agents: Tonight's Author on CBC Radio's Between the Covers has never been Between the Covers


Reminder

Tonight on CBC Radio's Between the Covers, hear Newfoundland writer/actor/director Janis Spence finish off Bar Beatty in her work of short fiction, The Painted Ladies.

The Painted Ladies is the first story in a collection of six interconnected short stories available in Audio only (no print edition) in the Earphones Award winning collection on the beach in spanish room (Rattling Books).

An Author as good as Spence should not only be Heard but Read. Some print crowd out there should publish this stuff. In the meantime, if you want to hear more from Spence's collection of short fiction check out the full set of six stories (four hours of listening) on MP3 CD or as a Digital Download from rattlingbooks.com.

Read & Listen Excerpt: Kite, from Hard Light: 32 Little Stories by Michael Crummey


Kite

I was crooked as a rainbow when I was a boy, I'll admit it. Stabbed Hollis with a pocket knife down on the Labrador. Swung at him with a berry can and split his head open. He'd have beat the snot out of me on more than one occasion if I wasn't the faster runner.

He read something about Marconi's kites one summer and made one for himself out of brown paper and scrap wood; it had a tail ten feet long with bits of coloured rag tied every foot. He worked on it for a week in the old shed, and I chased him out into the meadow garden when he finished it. A perfect day for a kite, a brisk easterly and mostly clear. Helped him get it up and stood beside him as he let out yard after yard of string, the kite pulling taut like an anchored boat in a tide, the narrow wake of the tail snaking behind it. And I'm tugging at Hollis' sleeve, wanting to hold it myself; he's leaning back to keep it high in the wind and telling me no, no way, fuck off, it's my kite, no.

Crooked as a rainbow, like I said. I stomped off toward the house, wishing him dead. When I reached the edge of the garden the kite caught a downdraft, arcing to the ground like a hawk afer a rabbit, as if my contrariness had sucked the very wind out of the sky behind me. It landed nose first ten feet in front of where I stood. Hollis was running in my direction, yelling something I couldn't hear over the sound of the wind and I wouldn't have listened anyway. So angry by then I wanted to do something unforgivable. Put both my feet through the kite where it lay and then I ran like hell.

Now he's gone I wish he'd caught up to me that day. Maybe he would have given me something to remember him by, the mark of his hand on my body somewhere. The thin line of a scar I could hold him with a while longer, before the sky carried him off for good.

Hard Light by Michael Crummey is published by Brick Books.

Hard Light: 32 Little Stories by Michael Crummey, narrated by Michael Crummey, Ron Hynes and Diedre Gillard-Rowlings is published by Rattling Books.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Next Big Thing: Poetry? - oscar nomination for The Danish Poet

We're not sure about the exact order of what the NEXT BIG THING is going to be, whether Colouring will come first or Poetry. The way for Poetry is still being laid but there's an early warning sign in the Oscar nomination for Canadian animation The Danish Poet by Torill Kove.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Janis Spence story on CBC Radio's Between the Covers January 25-26


Tune in this Thursday and Friday night to CBC Radio's Between the Covers Program for The Painted Ladies, a short story by Newfoundland writer/actor Janis Spence.

The Painted Ladies, the first story in Janis Spence's collection of short fiction on the beach in spanish room (Rattling Books) will broadcast on the National CBC Radio program Between the Covers, January 25 - 26, 2007

on the beach in spanish room by Janis Spence

What an unassuming but brilliant little gem this recording is. Set in Newfoundland, all six stories stand proudly on their own, but together they have the sweep of a novel. The reason is Janis Spence's marvellous characters, "who wore their lives as casually as big sweaters." ... Spence gives a masterful performance of all the roles she's created - and it doesn't hurt that she's got that incomparable Newfoundland accent."
- AudioFile Magazine, Earphones award winner

Poetry in the Library (Memorial University of Newfoundland)

Poetry in the Library presents new work from four St. John's poets, Susan Ingersoll, Wade Kearley, Agnes Walsh and Shoshanna Wingate, as well as poetry from Memorial's outgoing Writer-in-Residence, Don McKay.
Readers will find poems posted throughout the Queen Elizabeth II Library and online at
http://www.library.mun.ca/qeii/pil/index.php
If you would like to comment on this project or make suggestions, please contact Pat Warner at pwarner@mun.ca.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Excerpt: The Lure of the Labrador Wild: The classic story of Leonidas Hubbard by Dillon Wallace, setting: mid January 1904


The following excerpt is from Dillon Wallace's classic story of the fateful canoe trip which Wallace, Leonidas Hubbard and George Elson made into the interior of Labrador in 1903 (The Lure of the Labrador Wild originally published in 1905 by Fleming H. Revell, New York) . In 2005 Rattling Books released an unabridged audio edition of The Lure of the Labrador Wild narrated by Jody Richardson.

The Photo above is of Dillon Wallace lunching while still on the trail with Hubbard and Elson. The image is from the original glass slide collection housed by the Centre for Newfoundland Studies, University of Newfoundland.

As we pick up the story the tragic canoe trip is behind Wallace and his struggle now is to survive to retrieve his beloved Hubbard's body from the interior and return with it to the US.

...The chill he had received during the trip from Northwest River so affected Dr. Hardy that he was unable to proceed to Muddy Lake. Two days after our arrival he had a severe haemorrhage, and the following day another. They forced him to take to his bed, and thereafter he rose only occasionally for half an hour's rest in a chair. He was a deeply religious nature, and, realising that he was doomed, he awaited the slow approach of death with calm resignation.

And my feet steadily grew worse. Three days after our arrival at Kenemish I could not touch them to the floor. The doctor and I lay on couches side by side. I could not even bear the weight of the bedclothes on my feet, and Dunbar built a rack from the hoops of an old flour barrel to protect them. Under the doctor's direction, Mrs. Dunbar every day removed the bandages from my feet, cleansed them with carbolic acid water and rebandaged them. Dunbar and the other men carried me in their arms when it was necessary for me to be taken from my couch. My temperature ran up until it reached 103 1/2. The doctor then said there was only one way to save my life - to cut off my legs.

"And, " he said, "I'm the only one here that knows how to do it, and I'm too weak to undertake it. So we're both going to die, Wallace. There's nothing to fear in that though, if you trust in God."

The doctor was an accomplished player of the violin, but he had left his own instrument at Muddy Lake, and the only one he could obtain at Kenemish was a miserable affair that gave him little satisfaction. So while he lay dying by the side of his patient who he thought was also dying, he, for the most part, gratified his love of music and sought to comfort us both by softly singing in his sympathetic tenor voice the grand old hymns of the church. "Lead Kindly Light" and "Nearer My God to Thee" were his favourites, and every syllable was enunciated clearly and distinctly.

But he was mistaken in thinking that I, too, was to die. Soon there was an improvement noticeable in the condition of both of my feet, and gradually they grew better.

"It's truly a miracle that the Lord is working," said the doctor. "You were beyond human aid. I've prayed from the bottom of my heart that you'd get well. I've prayed a dozen times a day, and now the prayer is answered. It's the only one of my prayers," he added sadly, "that has been answered since I have been in Labrador."

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Congratulations to Brick Books on 31 years of publishing great Canadian Poetry

Rattling Books loves Brick Books. I just wanted to get that out of the way well in advance of Valentine's Day. Brick Books is 31 and Rattling Books is only 3 so it's not what you're thinking. They've been more than kind to us and we just want to thank them for being like that. Especially after 31 years!

In 2006 Brick Books published the following seven poetry titles:

When Earth Leaps Up Anne Szumigalski Edited by Mark Abley; Preface by Hilary Clark; Afterword by Mark Abley

I, Nadja and Other Poems Susan Elmslie
Kingdom, Phylum Adam Dickinson
Ink Monkey Diana Hartog

Jaguar Rain: the Margaret Mee Poems Jan Conn Preface by Sir Peter Crane, Director of the Royal Botanic (Kew) Gardens, London, England

Ghost Country Steve Noyes

Anatomy of Keys Steven Price
From Brick Books' email update (which you can sign up for on their website) comes the following summary of some other highlights for Brick Books in 2006.

...Barry Dempster won the 2006 Jack Chalmers Poetry Award [Canadian Authors Association] following his nomination for the 2005 Governor General’s Award for Poetry for his book The Burning Alphabet; this book was also longlisted for the Re-Lit Award. On November 22, 2006 Susan Elmslie won the 2006 A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry and was shortlisted for the McAuslan First Book Prize for her first book I, Nadja and Other Poems [Quebec Writers’ Federation]. Anatomy of Keys by Steven Price is a Globe 100 title for 2006.

An Oak Hunch by Phil Hall was nominated for the 2006 Griffin Poetry Prize. Karen Solie’s second book Modern and Normal was nominated in 2006 for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry. David Seymour was shortlisted for a Gerald Lampert Memorial Award for his first book Inter Alia. Lunar Drift by Marlene Cookshaw, Modern and Normal by Karen Solie and Souwesto Home by James Reaney were all longlisted for a Re-Lit Award...

For more information on any of these titles, visit Brick Books website.

There are two Brick Books that have or will appear as audio editions with Rattling Books:

Hard Light: 32 Little Stories by Michael Crummey, narrated by Ron Hynes and Diedre Gillard-Rowlings (2003)

The Grey Islands by John Steffler, narrated by John Steffler with Frank Holden, Janis Spence, Diedre Gillard-Rowlings and Daryl Hopkins (coming in March 2007)

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Kathleen Petty interview with Parliamentary Poet Laureate John Steffler, CBC Radio's The House, January 6

Canada's new Poet Laureate, John Steffler is planning to develop an audio archive of Canadian Poets reading their poetry. He outlined his plans in an interview with Kathleen Petty on The House, CBC Radio, January 6, 2007

To listen to Kathleen's conversation with John Steffler go to The House website and look for the January 6, 2007 Archived Broadcast for that date. Scroll through the broadcast to find John's interview between 37:38 and 44:00 minutes.

John Steffler has an audio recording of his own forthcoming with Rattling Books. The unabridged audio recording of The Grey Islands by John Steffler will be released March, 2007.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Janis Spence short story will broadcast on CBC Radio's Between the Covers January 25-26, 2007


The Painted Ladies, the first story in Janis Spence's collection of short fiction on the beach in spanish room (Rattling Books) will broadcast on the National CBC Radio program Between the Covers, January 25 - 26, 2007

on the beach in spanish room by Janis Spence

Six otherwise unpublished inter-connected short stories follow the lives of a group of friends from early childhood through a rebellious and sometimes catastrophic young adulthood and on into an unsettled middle age. Written and performed by veteran actor, playwright and stage director Janis Spence, this collection garnered Rattling Books an Earphones Award from the US magazine AudioFile.

"What an unassuming but brilliant little gem this recording is. Set in Newfoundland, all six stories stand proudly on their own, but together they have the sweep of a novel. The reason is Janis Spence's marvellous characters, "who wore their lives as casually as big sweaters." ... Spence gives a masterful performance of all the roles she's created - and it doesn't hurt that she's got that incomparable Newfoundland accent."
- AudioFile Magazine, Earphones award winner

"Oh, it’s black. And sometimes bleak, yet amazing in its ability to lift the characters above it through irony, humour and the character’s own sense of the absurd. "
- The Current

"...without sounding the least bit over-the-top, she shifts from hearty priest to ancient crone to drugged-out con artist in the blink of an eye. And she is funny! "
- Northeast Avalon Times

Listening Clip 1:
Listening Clip 2:

Saturday, January 06, 2007

A Rattling Books Razorbill for Old Christmas Day


Rattling Books would like to thankMike Mouland for designing the fabulous Razorbills you see on the Rattling Books website. To your left is one of the Christmas set, perhaps my favorite.

Hope these twelve days of Christmas have been good to you.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

A Bird for the Tenth Night of Christmas


Mike Mouland designed Rattling Books four Christmas Razorbills and so for each of the last three nights of Christmas we will flaunt one here. The Razorbill is also the bird in our logo.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Hats off to a New Year


Rattling Books would like to thank everyone who helped us get through 2006. Looking forward to 2007 and wishing you and yours a safe and healthy year.

May Happiness Betide You.