read the review Throwing Punches from The Ottawa Express
With the response to Decalogue: ten Ottawa poets (2006), we
decided to follow up with Decalogue 2: ten Ottawa fiction
writers. Because we are the capital city, Ottawa as a whole is
often accused of having no identity of its own; instead, some
of our strength comes from our transient nature, interacting
with ideas larger and more multiple than a single base. Edited by rob mclennan and including a contribution from the editor, this collection features the work of Emily Falvey, Matthew Firth, Gabriela Golliger, Alison Gresik, John-James Ford, Clare Latremouille, John Lavery, Nadine McInnis and Ian Roy.
The ten authors that make up this collection highlight both the range of style and the strength of writing happening around the current City of Ottawa, ranging from roughneck prose to lyric exploration to a more straightforward kind of narrative storytelling. Rather than giving you a list of authors you've already heard of, this collection focuses on the works of authors you might not have heard of yet, some of whom have only recently come up on the national radar. These are not stories for the faint of heart.
Originally from Nova Scotia, Emily Falvey is currently an Ottawa-based writer, curator, and art critic. In 2004, she received a Writers Works in Progress Grant from the Ontario Arts Council for her novella, Lessons in Darkness. She is currently working on the final version of this manuscript. Her poetry and prose have appeared previously in Descant. As an art critic, she has written essays for public galleries across Canada, including the Ottawa Art Gallery, the Southern Albert Art Gallery, the Owens Art Gallery, and the National Gallery of Canada. In 2006, she received the contemporary curatorial writing award from the Ontario Association of Art Galleries. She is presently Curator of Contemporary Art at the Ottawa Art Gallery.
Matthew Firth was born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario. He has lived in Ottawa since 2000 with his wife and two children. His new collection of short stories is Suburban Pornography & Other Stories, published by Anvil Press. He is the editor of Front&Centre and publisher of Black Bile Press chapbooks. He works by day for a national trade union.
Gabriella Golliger's first book, Song of Ascent, won the 2001 Upper Canada Writers Craft Award – the largest award of its kind in Canada for a short story collection. She is co-winner of the 1997 Journey Prize for short fiction. She was a finalist for this prize in 1995 and won the Prism International award in 1993. She has also been published in Best New American Voices 2000 (Harcourt), Coming Attractions (Oberon), The Company We Keep (Buschek Books), Quintet (Buschek Books), Parchment: Contemporary Canadian Jewish Writing, Canadian Forum,and Tide Lines: Stories of Change by Lesbians. She has a B.A. from McGill University and an M.A. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She grew up in Montreal and has lived in Jerusalem, Ottawa and Baffin Island.
Alison Gresik moved to Ottawa in 1998, after finishing her MA at the University of Calgary. Her short story collection Brick and Mortar (Oberon Press, 2001) was nominated for the 2001 Ottawa Book Award. Alison blogs at www.gresik.ca, and she is presently working on a novel.
John-James Ford was born in Kindersley, Saskatchewan, in 1972. He studied at the Royal Military College in Kingston and at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. He is a Canadian Foreign Service Officer who lives in Ottawa and abroad. His poetry and short fiction have been published in Other Voices, Grey Borders, Papertiger, qwerty, Carousel and Prairie Fire. His first novel, Bonk on the Head (Nightwood, 2005), was co-winner of the 2006 Ottawa Book Award. Previously published in sub-Terrain magazine, "Are You There" is an excerpt from his second novel.
Clare Latremouille was born in Kamloops, B.C., but has called various places home over the last forty years ― from Toronto, Victoria, and Vancouver to the small town of Alexandria, Ontario. She presently resides in Ottawa with her husband, Bryan, and sons Noah and Sam. Previous work has appeared in journals and magazines across Canada, including paperplates, The Carleton Arts Review, The Backwater Review, Missing Jacket, Hostbox, STANZAS, The Peter F. Yacht Club, graffito: the poetry poster, ottawater, and the anthologies Written in the Skin (Insomniac, 1998), Shadowy Technicians: New Ottawa Poets (Broken Jaw Press, 2000) and Groundswell: the best of above/ground press, 1993-2003 (Broken Jaw Press, 2003).
In 2006, Chaudiere Books published her first novel, The Desmond Road Book of the Dead. The Adventures of Jesus Drysdale is part of a longer work-in-progress.
John Lavery grew up in Montreal. Lavery, in Irish, means a spokes-person which is not quite the same as a sticks-figure, although skinny he is. Also he's the proud author of Very Good Butter and You, Kwaznievski, You Piss Me Off, both ECW Press, and is currently dilly-dallying with a new utterling ententatively titled, Crutches.
Nadine McInnis is the author of Quicksilver, a book of short fiction, which was nominated for the Danuta Gleed Award for best first book of short fiction, Writers Craft Award for best book of short fiction by an Ontario author, and the 2003 Ottawa Book Award. She has also published a critical book, Poetics of Desire, on the love poems of Dorothy Livesay, and four books of poetry, Shaking the Dreamland Tree, The Litmus Body, Hand to Hand and First Fire / Ce feu que dévore. A fifth book of poetry, Two Hemispheres, will appear from Brick Books in 2007.
Ian Roy's book, People Leaving, was short-listed for both the Upper Canada Writers' Craft Award and the City of Ottawa Book Award. His latest book, a collection of poems entitled Red Bird, is published by BuschekBooks. He lives in Ottawa.
Born in Ottawa, rob mclennan currently lives in Ottawa. The author of thirteen poetry collections, most recently The Ottawa City Project (Chaudiere Books, 2007), he has a number of books forthcoming in 2007 including the novella White (The Mercury Press), a collection of literary essays, subverting the lyric: essays (ECW Press), the non-fiction title Ottawa: The Unknown City (Arsenal Pulp Press) and a poetry collection, a compact of words (Salmon Publishing, Ireland). He recently edited There Is No Mountain: new and selected poems by Andrew Suknaski (Chaudiere Books, 2007)
as well as Nebulous medicine: the essays, statements and reviews of Andrew Suknaski (NeWest Press / writer as critic, 2008), a forthcoming issue of Open Letter, and collections of essays on the works of John Newlove, George Bowering and Andrew Suknaski for Guernica Editions. Editor/publisher of above/ground press and STANZAS magazine (both founded in 1993), he also runs span-o (the small press action network - ottawa), and organizes The Factory Reading Series at the Ottawa Art Gallery, as well as the ottawa small press book fair (twice a year since 1994). He regularly posts essays, reviews and other writing
at www.robmclennan.blogspot.com. He was recently named University of Alberta's Writer-in-Residence for 2007-8.
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