Alright, I admit I’m bogged. I have a couple dozen books left to summarize from last year and the year is getting on. I don’t know if I can pare out the time before February.
Following it is the breakdown on self-audit on categories of reading.
In 2014 I read 144 titles, which is only a couple a week. For a while it looked like I might average out to 3 a week.
3/4 were books, the rest chapbooks. In previous years I left out chapbooks unless I wanted to give one a shout out. To a degree I did that again. The push is to read paper and to finish a book rather than browse about. The push is to read wider. I didn’t count online reading but did count ebooks. I don’t tend to read all of magazines so again they don’t make the list.
Invisible are people who are writing who are presenting as one gender but may be genderqueer. If the pen name is one gender, I tick that box. With gender, what counts? I If there is a female translator of male work, which gender is the book? I counted that as multiple as with anthology.
If I count only the book-books and not chapbooks or magazines I get this.
Instead of looking only at gender this year, I added a few more elements into the reading audit including whether it was Canadian or international. It didn’t vary much if I count only the books and not books and chapbooks together. These are the numbers of all together:
And just the books:
Of domestic vs non-Canadian. With a Canadian writer with an American press, which side do I fall on? f it is a Canadian writer translating a European writer, which way to fall? All kinds of fuzzy zones. Maybe next year I should add a column for multiple for nationality as well.
For books vs. chapbooks.
I added genre, generation, and genes.
I added a count, very rough of genre of writing, poetry, or non-poetry. (What finer discrimination does one need? ;)) Mostly the non-poetry was history, essays, non-fiction on typography and memoir/biography.
For generation I added year of composition to consider how much is classic vs new and the shelf drop off after something is over 5 years old.
For what I’ll call here, genes, I also added a count of the proportion of visible minorities. How do we measure? Is there a pantone for that? A century ago Irish, dark Italians, Turks, Greeks southern European Jewish were excluded from white. Do we decant to South African’s 1/64th black blood? Here’s a blog list of racialized Canadians. Bloggers of colour. But it’s a complex business. An ugly sort of business when fine-tuning. But without hard numbers how do we know individual or context? Instincts are wishes.
Of course skin tint shouldn’t matter. Do we presume an exoticism that a skin tint brings a different content? But does it? If you read who you know and only know a white enclave, isn’t something amiss in your sense of writers as tribe if there are visible color lines? What’s perpetuated at individual minute to minute level is responsible for the global picture? (See comic, who wants change? Show of hands from everyone. Who wants to change? No one raises a hand.)
Why is that with Canada’s population of declared being 16% of visible minority [StatsCan] (next census due next year cancelled) I was reading 7%-9% (depending on books and chapbooks or books only by UN definition of books)? Seems disproportionally fewer. although if we consider my geography Ontario visible minority is 6.6% as of a decade ago. But if we look at Ottawa-Gatineau, we’re back up to 16% visible minority.
What’s visible? How to count? Am I asking the right question yet?
There may be people who self-define as native but I am unaware of it. Race being a construction and identity, what do I have to go on for someone’s colour? Malcolm Gladwell presents white to some eyes but self-defines as half-Jamaican. How many do I presume white because I have no data? It feels wrong to make up lists and cross-check cultural background. Here’s my list of Irish Writers, and South African Boer writers, and Scandinavian and Jewish and Australian Aborigine. What ghettos do we paint ourselves into and does it make it better?
To be aware that I’m reading mostly white Anglo Canadian is good to note and inquire into why and how. It would seem reasonable for demographics to consider French vs. English. I read slower in French but i pecked away at some french poetry and am working on reading more. Some I read in translation. I could do more. Goodreads has a list of French CanLit in English but it’s all novels: French CanLit Novels in English. Canadian Literature has recommended French Poetry in translation and the anthologies cover dozens of poets.
What other categories of voices? invisible minorities? Stories by people with strokes, or cerebral palsy or depression. Depression as a swatch would probably cover so many writers that would not be salient.
There are gaps. For some books I have no clue to sexuality or gender. Some authors I could google around for the data, some not. What of writers that are bi but not politically so like myself, or it hasn’t percolated as part of public bio? These are presumed het. If one isn’t writing about sexuality issues is it relevant for demographics or only people writing about sexual dynamics het counted against someone doing the same while in the GLBTQQ? And what to do with poly? Is that under GLBTQQ?
So, for paying attention to whose stories I am listening to, I added a count of queer writers. Here’s a list made by Casey of 2014 in the CanLit queer writers section: 2014 of queer CanLit.
The whole shebang was:
- Chinatown Zodiac by Steve Artelle (self-published, 2013)
- Ignite by Rona Shaffron (Signature Editions, 2013)
- Leaving Howe Island by Sadiqa de Meijer (Oolichan Books, 2013)
- The Innocence of Father Brown by GK Chesterton (1911)
- fur(l) parachute by Shannon Maguire (BookThug, 2013)
- micro haiku: three to nine syllables by George Swede (Inspress, 2014)
- glottal stop: 101 poems by Paul Celan, translated by Nikolai Popov & Heather McHugh (Wesleyan Poetry, 2000)
- Jail Fire by Julie C Robinson (Buschek, 2013)
- Surge Narrows by Emilia Nielson (Leaf Press
- Desire Lines by Glen Downie (Wolsak & Wynn, 2002)
- Strangely Happy by Joan Margarit, translated by Anna Crowe, (Bloodaxe Books, 2008)
- Black Suede Cave by David Reibetanz (Guernica, 2013)
- The Loneliness Machine by Aaron Giovannone (Insomniac, 2013)
- The Blue Tower by Tomaž Šalamun, translated by Michael Biggins (Houton Mifflin, 2011)
- Road Trip River Voices: Canada Liminal: A Travelogue of Longing Across Two Continents by Lynne Pearl (Snell, 2013)
- Muse by Dawn Marie Kresan (Tightrope, 2013)
- Believing the Line: The Jack Siegel Poems by Mark Silverberg (Breton Books, 2013)
- Dewey The Library Cat by Vicki Myron (Grand Central, 2008)
- White Piano by Nicole Brossard translated by Robert Majzels and Erin Moure. (Coach House, 2013)
- The Sea With No One In It by Niki Koulouris (Porcupine’s Quill, 2013)
- The Monument Cycles by Mariner James (Talon, 2013)
- The Sky The by Michael Sikkema (Serif of Nottingham Editions, 2012)
- Not Quite the Classics by Colin Mochrie (Penguin, 2013)
- Acknowledgements and Poems by Avonlea Fotheringham (Self-published, 2014 with design by Stephen Watt)
- Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott (Anchor Books, 1994).
- heart badly buried by five shovels by Hugh Thomas (Paper Kite Press, 2009)
- The Hottest Summer in Recorded History by Elizabeth Bachinsky (Nightwood, 2013)
- The House is Still Standing by Adrienne Barrett (Icehouse poetry/Gooseland, 2013)
- Laws of Rest by David B Goldstein (BookThug, 2013)
- Incarnate by Juleta Severson-Baker (Frontenac, 2013)
- Uncertainty Principle by rob mclennan (Chaudiere, 2014)
- Fidelity by Grace Paley (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009)
- radish ~ a singulaity by Czandra (obvious epiphanies, 2014)
- Works and Days by Edward Kleinschmidt Mayes (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1999)
- Arrhythmia by Janice Tokar (above/ground, 2014)
- from Lamentations by Robert Hogg (above/ground, 2012)
- in the laurels, caught by Lee Ann Brown (Fence Books, 2013)
- Love-Lyrics with Life Pictures by James Whitcomb Riley (Braunworth & Co Bookbinders & Printers, Brookley, NY, 1899)
- Shouting Your Name Down the Well: Tankas and Haiku by David W McFadden (Mansfield, 2014)
- moon baboon canoe by Gary Barwin (Mansfield Press, 2014)
- Blue Sonoma by Jane Munro (Brick Books, 2014)
- The Energy of Slaves by Leonard Cohen
- The Radiation Sonnets by Jane Yolen (2003, Algonquin Books,North Carolina)
- My Journey by Joseph Jurman (self-published, undated).
- In a Country None of Us Called Home by Peg Bresnaham (Press 53, 2014)
- Singing in the Silo by Philomene Kocher (Catkin Press, 2014)
- You must look hard to see what is there by Nelson Ball (press-press-pull, portland oregon, 2014) [end of list 5]
- Three Letter Words by Nelson Ball (a reprint by Press-Press-Pull in 2014 of the 2006 book)
- Ker-bloom! 107, March-April 201Four, (artnoose, Pittsburgh PN, 2014)
- The Counting House, Sandra Ridley (BookThug, 2013)
- Metropantheon, Steven Artelle (Signature Editions, 2014)
- The Polymers, Adam Dickinson (Anansi, 2013)
- The Daughter-in-Law by DH Lawrence (1912)
- Mermaid Road by Louise Carson (broken rules press, 2013)
- Bonsai Love by Diane Tucker (Habour Publishing, 2014)
- School by Jen Currin (Coach House, 2014)
- The Selected Poems of Shuntarō Tanikawa, trans, Harold Wright (North Point Press, 1983)
- What Maisie Knew, Henry James (1897)
- Flurries by LeRoy Gorman (Timberline Press, 1999)
- Echoing Silence: Thomas Merton on the Vocation of Writing, collected letters and notes of Thomas Merton (2007)
- Melancholy Scientist by Nicholas Power (Tekseditions, 2014)
- The Beginner’s Guide: Acrylics by Angela Gair (New Holland, 1994)
- Poemotion, by Takahiro Kurashima ( Lars Müller Publishers, 2011).
- 101 Things I Learned at Architecture School, Matthew Frederick (MIT Press, 2007)
- The Raw Pearl, Pearl Bailey (Harcourt, Brace, 1968)
- bottle rockets, issue no 30
- The Little Office of the Immaculate Conception by Martha Silano (Saturnalia Books, 2011)
- Global Haiku: Twenty-five Poets World-Wide, edited by George Swede and Randy Brooks (Mosaic Press, 2000).
- Reeds and their Shadows by Christina Baillie & Nicholas Power (Gesture Press, 2013)
- in twenty words or less by David Collins & Otto Graser (Black Squirrel Press, 1994)
- Hypotheticals by Leigh Kotsilidis (Coach House, 2011)
- Rivering: The Poetry of Daphne Marlatt edited by Susan Knutson (Wilfred Laurier Press, 2014) (on Kobo).
- Philip Whalen’s Tulip by Marthe Reed (NousZot Press, Dusie Kolletiv, 2014)
- The Ledger by Robert Kroetsch (Brick, 1975)
- Forbidden Books of the New Testament (1820)
- A Writer’s Life The Margaret Laurence Lectures: 25th Anniversary of the Lecture Series (Writers’ Trust of Canada, 2011)
- Poems of François Villon translated by Norman Cameron (Jonathan Cape, 1952)
- Making Your Life as an Artist by Andrew Simonet (Artists U, 2014)
- Shen Fu: Six Records of a Life Adrift, translated by Graham Sanders (Hackett, 2011).
- In Search of Tatiana by Marshall Hryciuk (LyricalMetrical Books, 2014)
- Desperately Seeking Susans: An Anthology of Poetry, edited by Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang (Oolichan, 2012)
- I Shout Love, by Milton Acorn, edited by James Deahl (Aya Press, 1987)
- Ember and Earth (Selected Poems) by Gaston Miron, translated by D.G. Jones and Marc Plourde (Guernica Editions, 1984)
- Portal Stones by Frances Boyle (Tree Press, 2014)
- Naturally Speaking by Sandra Alland, (Espresso, 2012)
- Old Hat by Rob Winger (Nightwood, 2014)
- Complete Sonnets of Archibald Lampman, edited by Margaret Coulby Whitridge (Borealis, 1976)
- A Clearing by Louise Carson (forthcoming, Signature Editions, 2015)
- The Color of Water: A Black Man’s tribute to His White Mother by James McBride (Penguin, 1996)
- Very Special People by Frederick Drimmer (Citadel, 1971)
- Singular Plurals by Roland Prevost (Chaudiere, 2014)
- Sound Ideas: Hearing and Speaking Poetry by B Eugene McCarthy and Fran Quinn (Hobblebush, 2013)
- Astrophel and Stella by Philip Sidney, a translation by A.S. Kline, (2003)
- a thin line between by Wanda Praamsma (BookThug, 2014)
- The Vignelli Canon by Massimo Vignelli (Lars Muller, 2010)
- Theseus: A Collaboration, bpNichol & Wayne Clifford (BookThug, 2014)
- The Green Word Selected Poems, Erin Mouré (Oxford University Press, 1994)
- distinctions: (rob mclennan, above/ground, 2014)
- [from] carcino¼Ґ!Y#86Øi‡ſß™86Ł*,´≈μðm‰г]³4¤±_gen (16 Pages Digital Chapbooks by Nickel Gambles, ed./curated by Daniel Zomparelli, 2014)
- Robert Bly: Selected Poems by Robert Bly, (Harper & Row, 1986)
- Images from Declassifed Nuclear Test Films by Stephen Brockwell (above/ground, 2014)
- Thou by Aisha Sasha John (BookThug, 2014)
- The Alphabet Game: a bpNichol reader, edited by Darren Wershler-Henry and Lori Emerson, (Coach House, 2007)
- Whiskey And Wickedness: Lower Rideau River Valley of Carleton, Lanark, Leeds and Grenville Counties (Whiskey and Wickedness, #1) Larry D Cotton, (Larry D. Cotton Associates Ltd., 1997)
- An Acre in Time by Phil Jenkins (Macfarlane Walter & Ross, 2002)
- Time Was Soft There: A Memoir A Paris Sojourn at Shakespeare & Co by Jeremy Mercer (Picador, 2005)
- The Poems of Aemilia Lanyer: Salve Deaus Rex Judaeorum (1611)
- Five (Apt 9 Press, 2014)
- The Pleasure of Text by Roland Barthe (1973)
- Polyamorous Love Songs: A Novel by Jacob Wren bookthug, 2014)
- Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell (Little, Brown, 2008)
- Hallellujah Anyway by Kenneth Patchen (New Directions, 1967)
- Brood by rob thomas (Bywords, 2014)
- Punctuation: Art, Politics, and Play by Jennifer DeVere Brody (Duke U Press, 2008)
- Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynn Truss (Gotham, 2003)
- Bird Facts by Dave Currie (Apt 9, 2014)
- Klee Wyck by Emily Carr (1941)
- Another Bad Haircut by John Sheirer (Riverstone Books, 1997)
- Blink by Malcolm Gladwell (Little, Brown, 2005)
- Love the Sacred Raisin Cakes by Sarah Burgoyne (Baseline Press, 2014)
- O My God of Apes and Apples by Paul Mackan (Publish America, 2011)
- Shady Characters: The Secret Life of Punctuation, Symbols & Other Typographical Marks by Keith Houston, (Norton, 2013)
- Sonnet in a Blue Dress and Other Poems by Sarah Tolmie (Baseline Press, 2014)
- Tiny by Marilyn Irwin (in/words, 2014)
- is…fog….is: Algonquin Park Haiku by Grant D. Savage (Éditions de petits nuage, 2014)
- Cloudy with a Fire In the Basement by Ronna Bloom (Pedlar, 2012)
- Surreal Estate, edited by Stuart Ross (Mercury Press, 2004)
- Malaria Poems by Cameron Conaway (Michigan State University Press, 2014)
- Capital Poets: An Ottawa Anthology, edited by Colin Morton (Ouroboros, 1989)
- Garden by Monty Reid (Chaudiere, 2014)
- Doxologies by Gil McElroy (above/ground, 2014)
- Confessions of a Small Press Racketeer by Stuart Ross, (Anvil Press, 2005)
- Whisky and Wickedness No 3 by Larry D Cotton, (self-published, 2008)
- Ocean by Sue Goyette (Gaspereau, 2013)
- What the World Said by Jason Camlot (Mansfield, 2013)
- Take Out Window 2014 Haiku Society of America Members Anthology (Haiku Society, 2014)
- Light Carved passages by Frances Boyle (Buschek, 2014)
- Surfaces of Sense by Nicole Brossard, trans Fiona Strachen (Couch House Quebec Translations, 1989)
- The transparent Neighbour by Wain Ewing (Proper Tales Press, 1984)
- Helen Vendler: The Given and the Made: Recent American Poets TS Eliot Memorial Lecture (Faber & Faber, 1995)
- Ora Ga Haru, Mon Année de Printemps by Kobayashi Isa, trad, Bridgette Allioux, (éditions cécile defaut, 2006)
- Secret Leopard: New & Selected Poems, 1974-2005 by Rosemary Nissen-Wade, (Alysscamp Press, 2005)
- Personals, poems by Ian Williams (Freehand, 2012)
- How to Tell Lies: G8 (Handbook, ed by Robin Bell (Bluechrome, 2006)