Friday, April 22, 2022

issue twenty-three : guest-edited by David Dowker

edited by David Dowker

see here for David Dowker’s introduction

featuring new work by:
Nicole Raziya Fong
Lisa Robertson

ryan fitzpatrick
Catriona Strang

Allegra Sloman
Nikki Sheppy

Fenn Stewart
Pete Smith

Christine Stewart

$5 + postage / + $1 for Canadian orders; + $2 for US; + $6 outside of North America

Canadian/American/International rates (including shipping

Author biographies:

Nicole Raziya Fong is a poet and painter living in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal, Canada. Her work seeks to delimit and reconstruct immaterial ampules of psychic experience, coaxing the incorporeal into inhabiting a more muscular physique. 

She is the author of OЯACULE (Talonbooks, 2021), PEЯFACT (Talonbooks, 2019), the chapbooks 7 Series, Iterated by Colour (Hiding Press, 2021) and Fargone (Poetry Will Be Made By All, 2014), and has composed visual work for the collaborative chapbook Leguminosae Delusion Athletics with text by Andy Martrich (The Blasted Tree, 2022).

Her writing has appeared in various publications including Social Text, the Capilano Review, filling Station, the Volta and carte blanche, and has been translated into Swedish and French.


The components of Lisa Robertson's long poem Boat have gone through several publication lives; first as the single poem "Face/", commissioned in 2002 by Rod Smith for Aerial 10, a journal of critical texts on and responses to the work of Lyn Hejinian, then as the chapbook Rousseau’s Boat, from Nomados (2004), next as the book R’s Boat, from University of California Press (2010) and now as Boat, from Coach House (Spring 2022). Each publication extends and further explores the initial compositional idea — to make a text that indexes a lifetime of accumulated notebooks through systematic re-reading and selection. Each poem in the series approaches the indexical process differently, reusing earlier archival material as well as accommodating newer gatherings. The eventual result will be a life-long autobiographical poem, built on the accumulating detritus of her life.


ryan fitzpatrick is the author of four books and over fifteen chapbooks of poetry, including Sunny Ways (Invisible, 2023) and Coast Mountain Foot (Talonbooks, 2021). He has been involved in the poetry communities of Calgary, Vancouver, and Toronto. In Calgary, he was an editor of filling Station magazine and one of the organizers of the Flywheel Reading Series. In Vancouver, he earned his doctorate at Simon Fraser University, where he worked on contemporary Canadian poetry and space. In Toronto, he completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Toronto Scarborough and started the online poetry micropress Model Press.


A founding member of the Institute for Domestic Research, Catriona Strang is the author of Low FancyCorked, and Reveries of a Solitary Biker, and co-author of BustedCold Trip, and Light Sweet Crude with the late Nancy Shaw, whose selected works, The Gorge, she edited. She frequently collaborates with composer Jacqueline Leggatt, and lives with her two grown kids on unceded xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Swx̱wú7mesh, and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ Lands. Unfuckable Lardass, which includes "Fuck Variations," will be published by Talonbooks in the spring of 2022. 


Born in western Mi'kma'ki in 1958, settled in S'ólh Téméxw since 1996, Allegra Sloman works across a broad range of word forms, including written correspondence with friends and family, homilies, ranting, poems, a conlang called ‘bih-bah’ based on the sounds basketballs make going through hoops, twenty tweets a day, open letters, teaching a cat to speak, songwriting, stand-up comedy, essays, daily blogging, fanfic, parody, and short stories. She is also self-publishing SF novels which are available at Much of her material is available at under creative commons 2.5.


Nikki Sheppy is a poet, editor, and educator with a background in literary scholarship. She was Managing Editor of filling Station magazine, and an organizer for the short-lived, pandemic-curtailed East Loft Reading Series. Her book, Fail Safe (University of Calgary Press), won the 2018 Robert Kroetsch Award for Poetry Book of the Year, and her chapbook, Grrrrlhood: a ludic suite (Kalamalka Press), won the 2013 John Lent Poetry-Prose Award.


Fenn Stewart teaches literature & writing at Douglas College and UBC. She's the author of three chapbooks plus Better Nature (2017). In 2021 she was thinking about settler apocalypticism, and the history of Paldi, BC, with Jastej Luddu. She lives on unceded Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh territories.


Pete Smith, immigrant from 1970s England, lives in Kamloops BC on land belonging to the Secwépemc people. Publications include Bindings with Discords (Shearsman 2015), Strum of Unseen, A New Love/An Aching Stone and Sing . . . Despite, all with above/ground press. Poems, translations, essays, reviews in journals and presses in England, Ireland, Canada, USA, Australia and an expository chapter in The Salt Companion to John James (Salt Publishing 2010). On-line works at the Alterran Poetry Assemblage, Jacket (1st series), Great Works, Dispatches from the Poetry Wars, Fortnightly Review, among others. Short-listed for Malahat Review Long Poem Prize & Montreal International Poetry Prize in 2015. Most recent translations are of Osip Mandelstam’s Petrarch sonnets & the poems for Andrei Bely from the winter of 1933-34, in Anthony Barnett & Ian Brinton’s annual, Snow #9 & #10.


Christine Stewart teaches experimental poetics and creative research in the English and Film Department at the University of Alberta, on Treaty Six Territory/ Métis Region No. 4, and is the founding member of the Writing Revolution in Place Creative Research Collective. Selected publications: Virtualis: Topologies of the Unreal with David Dowker, Book*hug. “Propositions from Under Mill Creek Bridge,” in Sustaining the West, Wilfred Laurier Press. “On Treaty Six from Under Mill Creek Bridge” in Toward. Some. Air, Banff Centre Press. The Odes, Nomados Press and Treaty 6 Deixis, Talonbooks.  

G U E S T #23 : David Dowker : Introduction




assemblage “1 A bringing or coming together; the state of being collected together. spec. The fitting or joining together of a number of components. 2 A number of things grouped together; a collection, a cluster. A number of pieces fitted together; spec. a work of art consisting of miscellaneous objects fastened together. 3 A number of people gathered together; a gathering, a concourse.” [Oxford English Dictionary]

The resonance of various elements placed beside each other, often fortuitous circumstance enacted; an entanglement, perhaps, of emergent narrative possibilities: the idea of the assemblage has interested me for quite some time. With The Alterran Poetry Assemblage each issue seemed to become a sort of semi-coherent whole, at least to my mind, and could be considered as a single (long) poem (or maybe the reading of it as such alters the way in which individual components are interpreted).

While editing this issue of G U E S T a similar process appeared to take place (again, likely, mostly in my own mind). From Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Remarks on Colour to Denise Ferreira da Silva’s On Difference Without Separability, iterations of time and memory and the nonlocal universe, cosmos and Utopia, green girls and women business travellers, the pronunciation and copyright of names (a collective of names: Culley, Maxine Gadd, Stacy, Peter, Etel, Fenn, Fred, David, CJ . . . not to mention Herodotus, Cary, Levinas, Pedro Costa, Dürer, Jake Peralta, Zeno, Sappho, Billie Holiday, Gloucester, Lear and Oppen): a co-dreaming to “unthinking the world.”*

I hesitate to say anything more. There seems to be some sort of “spooky action at a distance” going on that I do not wish to disturb. Perhaps that is how it always is with such a luminous gathering of minds as this.

“the continuous passage of the firmament has always mimicked that which passed beneath it” . . . “The interpenetration of the dreams of co-sleepers” . . . “Doomscrolling the events of the present”
. . . ““now we see the violence inherent in the system”” . . . “describe the action from time adverbial” . . . “the small bodies of language / beating together, then apart” . . . “a word that means itself and its own opposite” . . . “here where desire’s eclipsed / by memory of desire” . . . “in transit from one song to another”**


* Denise Ferreira da Silva
** Nicole Raziya Fong / Lisa Robertson / ryan fitzpatrick / Catriona Strang / Allegra Sloman / Nikki Sheppy / Fenn Stewart / Pete Smith / Christine Stewart


David Dowker was born in Kingston, Ontario but has lived most of his life in Toronto. He was editor of The Alterran Poetry Assemblage from 1996 to 2004 (which can be accessed at Library and Archives Canada). His writing has appeared in The Capilano Review, filling Station, and Touch the Donkey. Machine Language was published by BookThug in 2010 and Virtualis: Topologies of the Unreal (with Christine Stewart) in 2013. Chax Press published Mantis in 2018. He is also the author of the chapbooks Time-Sensitive Material (The Blasted Tree) and Chronotope (above/ground press). Dissonance Engine is forthcoming from Book*hug (Fall 2022).

Thursday, March 17, 2022

issue twenty-two : guest-edited by Kyle Flemmer

edited by Kyle Flemmer

see here for Kyle Flemmer’s introduction

featuring new work by: 

Leslie Joy Ahenda
Jake Byrne
Cobra Collins

nathan dueck
Kyle Flemmer

Helen Hajnozcky
Samantha Jones

Jun-long Lee
Shazia Hafiz Ramji

Helen Robertson
Ben Robinson

Eric Schmaltz
Cristalle Smith

Kevin Stebner

$5 + postage / + $1 for Canadian orders; + $2 for US; + $6 outside of North America

Canadian/American/International rates (including shipping

Author biographies:

Leslie Joy Ahenda is a poet and editor whose work has appeared in CV2, The Fiddlehead, The Malahat Review, and more. She is an MFA candidate at the University of Guelph. She is a poetry editor for Augur Magazine, where she has hosted poetry readings and workshops. She authored THRENODY FOR A DROWNED GIRL (2021), a chapbook published by Moon Jelly House. She lives in Toronto. Find her at

Jake Byrne is a queer writer. His poem “Parallel Volumes” won CV2’s Foster Poetry Prize for 2019. His work has appeared in journals throughout the United States and Canada.  He is a settler based in Tka:ronto, on the traditional meeting places of the nations of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, the Haudenosaunee, and the Missisaugas of the Credit River.

Cobra Collins is a Mohkínstsis based mixed Indigenous and Metis poet of significant height. She has represented her city on a national level at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word as well as collaborated with artists of different backgrounds for dance (Fluid Movements Arts Festival) and performance festivals (IKG 1 ! Live Performance Festival). Cobra was also honoured to be shortlisted as a nominee for Calgary's 2016 & 2018 poet laureate.

nathan dueck lost a staring contest with the US of A after eighteen years. See, he was raised in a town 10 minutes from the border, but he blinked first and had to move away. He is the author of king's(mère) (Turnstone, 2004), he'll (Pedlar, 2014), and A Very Special Episode (Buckrider, 2019).

Kyle Flemmer is an author, editor, and publisher from Calgary in Treaty 7 territory. He studies digital poetics at the University of Calgary where he is a teaching and research assistant. Kyle founded the Blasted Tree Publishing Co. in 2014 and is a former managing editor of filling Station magazine. His first book, Barcode Poetry, was published by The Blasted Tree in 2021.

Helen Hajnoczky is the author of Frost & Pollen (Invisible, 2021), Magyarázni (Coach House, 2016), which was shortlisted for the Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry, Poets and Killers: A Life in Advertising (Snare/Invisible, 2010), which was shortlisted for Expozine’s English Book of the Year award, and the chapbook Bloom & Martyr (Kalamalka Press, 2016), which won the 2015 John Lent Poetry/Prose Award. Helen’s written and visual poetry have also appeared in a variety of chapbooks and magazines. Helen shares her writing and art on Instagram @ateacozyisasometimes and on her website

Samantha Jones (she/her) is a literary magazine enthusiast and contributor with writing in Arc Poetry, CV2, Grain, New Forum, Room, THIS, WATCH YOUR HEAD, and elsewhere. She lives and writes in Calgary, Canada on Treaty 7 territory and is Black Canadian and white settler. Find her on Twitter: @jones_yyc.

Jun-long Lee is the author of the chapbook Two/Ought and several short films; he also paints. His recent work has appeared in Conjunctions, Jubilat, The Malahat Review, Grain, and Contemporary Verse 2.

Shazia Hafiz Ramji’s writing has recently appeared in Galleries West, Canadian Notes & Queries, and Quill & Quire. Her fiction was shortlisted for the Malahat Review’s 2022 Open Season Awards. She was a finalist the 2021 National Magazine Awards and the 2021 Mitchell Prize for Faith and Poetry. Port of Being is her first book.

Witch, bitch, and full-time disaster Helen Robertson is a trans, bisexual, genderqueer woman moving through the lifelong process of accepting how lucky they've been; using poetry to excise her ire and sorrow — hopefully turning it into something worthwhile. She has been published in journals across Canada including The Fiddlehead, The New Quarterly, The Puritan, and others. They were long listed for the 2019 Vallum Award for Poetry. They are I of the collective VII.

Ben Robinson is a poet, musician and librarian. His most recent publication is Without Form from The Blasted Tree and knife | fork | book. He has only ever lived in Hamilton, Ontario on the traditional territories of the Erie, Neutral, Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee and Mississaugas. You can find him online at

Eric Schmaltz is a poet, academic, and editor. He is the author of Surfaces (Invisible Publishing) and several shorter works, including Language in Hues (Timglaset) and Psychic Beach (Paperview Books). He is co-editor of I Want to Tell You Love by bill bissett and Milton Acorn.

Cristalle Smith is published in Arc Poetry Magazine, Room Magazine, QWERTY Magazine, The Maynard, and elsewhere. Cristalle won subTerrain Magazine’s Lush Triumphant Literary Awards for Creative Nonfiction in 2020. She has a chapbook with Frog Hollow Press, Sea Glass for the Chronically Alone, and is a PhD student at the University of Calgary in Creative Writing.

Kevin Stebner is an artist, poet and musician from Calgary, Alberta. He produces visual art using old videogame gear, and produces music with his chiptune project GreyScreen, post-hardcore in his band Fulfilment, as well as alt-country in the band Cold Water. Stebner has spent the quarantine preparing two new manuscripts, his first novel, and a large array of typewriter visual poems, many of which are appearing in chapbooks (recently from Timglaset, Blasted Tree, NonPlusUltra, No Press). He is also the proprietor of Calgary's best bookstore that's in a shed, Shed Books.

G U E S T #22 : Kyle Flemmer : Introduction



I used to specify that I wanted odd stuff when I solicited poetry from people. “My tastes skew toward the experimental,” I would say, like a full-blown doofus, “please send your most challenging and innovative material.” I hoped to goad writers out onto a limb, to take a risk at my behest, as if my support would encourage them to do something daring they would otherwise not attempt. This approach to solicitation rarely brings in the kind of poems one expects, which really just means each poet’s idea of challenging and innovative is unique. I had not realized that poets, by and large, are always out on some sort of limb, or that my understanding of boundary-pushing poetry is only one among many. What’s more, I’ve found that no matter what you say, you can’t bait poets into producing work in too particular a vein, and a lone editor’s idea of good poetry is almost always too particular.

Of course, I still want odd work, I’ve just learned to ask in a less oblivious way. My new approach for soliciting fun, challenging, risk-taking poetry is to ask for what people want to show off, what they’re excited by, what they have cooking right now, what’s been waiting in the wings. Give them an open invitation, the fewer stipulations, the better. Better still: get to know people, support their work, build trust, let them know I want to see what they’re all about, not what they think I want them to be about. Forget about editing and be a human. This strategy is guaranteed to turn up the good stuff because, let’s face it, everybody is a little weird, and poets especially. We all like a reason to keep doing our weird thing out on that limb, so this issue is filled with poets I admire, odd ducks one and all, doing just that.







Kyle Flemmer [photo credit: Sarah Thomas] is an author, editor, and publisher from Calgary in Treaty 7 territory. He studies digital poetics at the University of Calgary where he is a teaching and research assistant. Kyle founded the Blasted Tree Publishing Co. in 2014 and is a former managing editor of filling Station magazine. His first book, Barcode Poetry, was published by The Blasted Tree in 2021.

issue twenty-three : guest-edited by David Dowker

NOW AVAILABLE: G U E S T #23 edited by David Dowker see here for David Dowker’s introduction featuring new work by: Nicole Raziya Fong...