These Days, continues

Art by Tanya Decarie for Issue #10 of These Days

My creative energy has been focussed on These Days, my COVID-era zine, so apologies for the lack of new poems here. That said, I’m incredibly proud of the work I’ve been able to share over these past 10 issues / 14 months.

In Issue #10 (March / April 20201) I interviewed Brandon Wint, man of many talents and notably the Artistic Director of the Tree Reading Series since last fall. I’ve attended workshops with Brandon and have always found him to be a uniquely inspiring and humble artist. Speaking about workshops he made this great metaphor of poetry as meeting place that has stuck with me:

What I appreciate about the workshops that I’ve witnessed so far is that it has felt like a gathering of poets. There hasn’t been a sense (at least to me) that there is some power disparity between the person facilitating the workshop and the other participants. It feels like there is a pretty potent sense that poetry is the meeting place, poetry is the salve, poetry is the catalyst, and so we are all here to be in the presence of poetry’s good medicine.

Brandon Wint, March 2021

Issue #10 also featured poetry by my old friend Marilyn Irwin, more from These Days regular LN Woodward, plus contributions from Aaron Kreuter and Penn Kemp, and my partner Kate Maxfield.

I remain amazed this project has gone on as long as it has, with contributions from something like 50 writers and artists of all ages, some dear friends and family, some folks who’ve learned about it and wanted to contribute. I’ll continue to use this blog to promote the zine, maybe even reflect on past issues, and hopefully post some original words of my own.

Oh, and for reading here’s a coupon for 33% of pretty much every issue: SPRING.

Running a zine These Days

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[Image above is by Tanya Decarie, and will grace the cover of the next issue]

Since late March I’ve been puttin out a zine called These Days. It’s been possible thanks to the support of Kate Maxfield, Andrew Blackman, Justin Million, Cameron Anstee, Jenn Huzera, Scott Lemoine, Ben Ladouceur, Peter Gibbon, Mark Sokolowski, Bardia Sinaee, JM Francheteau, Jennifer Baker, David Currie, Tanya Decarie, Owen Hewitt, and Jordan Chevalier. My apologies if I forgot you. If you’re interested in a free copy sent to your door please email thesedayszine2020@gmail.com. You can also find These Days on Patreon and support the zine, if you got $ to free.

‘SPLAININ HIMSELF TO HIMSELF

jeff and justin

For the fourth Ottawa Zine Off, my good friend (and great poet) Justin Million & I released a short set of poems called “Leg Brain.” You can download it via the link below.

LEG BRAIN is the product of two periods in our lives, last spring when we got back together after a couple years living in different provinces and were going through, like, stuff, and then this winter, when Justin decided he’d be leaving Ottawa soon and we were going through, like, different stuff. Ultimately it’s all about desire & longing, and held up by the (mutual?) belief the brain’s as much a muscle as the heart’s a home to the soul. We both really want to be happy, and these days are both pretty damned happy.

It just sucks Justin’s no longer just two blocks and a curt text message away.

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LITERALLY MOVE BOULDERS FOR YOU

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Download You Will Be Seeing Unusual Accomplishment – the first concrete collaboration between Justin Million & myself.

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Written over two days on a typewriter and assembled with a flatbed scanner for the 2013 Ottawa Zine Off, YOU WILL BE SEEING UNUSUAL ACCOMPLISHMENT is a poetic exploration of Ed Leedskalnin’s Coral Castle. The American Stonehenge was built for Ed’s “Sweet Sixteen” and to this day it’s construction remains a mystery.

We thank everyone involved in the Ottawa Zine Off (lucky you with your hard-copies!), and anyone’s who’s ever posted or hosted content regarding Ed & his Castle online.

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