Monday, November 12, 2018

Amanda Earl : issue one : editorial

            – Enter.
    I enter.
            – Love
                I love.

When I was a child, I thought the song “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean” was “My Body Lies Over the Ocean”: “bring back, bring back, bring back my body to me, to me.” It made sense to me after numerous occasions where it was necessary to float out of my body in bed at night, and it is something I still do when I am in a situation out of my control, when I need to escape.

“My body once so familiar with glory, / My body has become a museum: / this part remembered because of someone's mouth, / this because of a hand, / this of wetness, this of heat.” (Leonard Cohen “The Flowers That I Left in the Ground” in The Spice-Box of Earth, McClelland and Stewart, 1961).

The body is awkward, the body is in pain, the body is uncomfortable, the body is out of place. The body assigned is not necessarily the right body. Body in trauma, uneasy body. Body in bliss. Words embody the poem, syllables embody words, sounds breathe life into words. The writer’s hand moves across the page creating shapes from imagination, memory, dream, emotion. The reader leans forward to read the page, her eyes scan words and images. Her body is still. She takes a sip of tea, swallows, turns the page. The body lives and the body dies. The body lies. The body is awake, asleep or in between. We aren’t always aware of our bodies, but they are always there. Until they are not.

In her poem, “When the body,” Chickasaw poet, Linda Hogan writes about how our feet have walked on the ghosts of all those who have gone before. She describes the body as “a miracle of its own” (

I thought we could begin this new series as a body trying to navigate the difficult times we are experiencing in the world, in all our awkwardness, pain, compassion, love, empathy, beauty and bliss, aware of all those bodies that have gone before and will come after.

I acknowledge that this work is published on the unceded and unsurrendered territory of the Algonquin nation.

Thank you to rob mclennan for inviting me to edit the first issue of G U E S T. It is a privilege I do not take lightly. Finally thank you to the fourteen contributors who graciously shared their fierce and honest work. Please follow them on social media, let them know how much you enjoyed their work and buy their chapbooks, books and other works.

People are wary of small books, intimate books that slide effortlessly into a pocket. The book’s measure is the word. But what of the power of the echo ?
                                                                        – Nathanaël, Je Nathanaël (BookThug, 2006)

Amanda Earl has been the managing editor of Bywords.cafor 15 years where she has overseen the production of 180 online monthly issues, 100 quarterly journals and fifteen chapbooks. 

She has been the fallen angel of AngelHousePress for 11 years, publishing 30 chapbooks and broadsides, an essay series, the annual online magazines and, the co-host of the poetry podcast the Small Machine Talks with a.m. kozak now in its third year with almost 40 episodes, and the chief miscreant of DevilHouse, publishing a dozen prose publications and an interview series.

Amanda curated a celebration of visual and concrete poetry as part of Brick Books’ fortieth anniversary feature. She’s written numerous essays and reviews published on, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, Many Gendered Mothers, Evening Will Come, Seventeen Seconds, the University of Ottawa Poetries and Communities site and her literary blog,

Her poetry and visual poetry chapbooks have been published by presses in Canada, UK, USA and Sweden, and Kiki, her trade poetry collection, was published by Ottawa’s Chaudiere Books in 2014. Poems have also appeared in journals both online and in print nationally and internationally. She was inducted into the VERSeOttawa Hall of Honour in 2014 and won the Tree Press Chapbook Award in 2017 for her chapbook, Electric Garden.

Her novel, A World of Yes was self-published with DevilHouse in 2015, and her collection of filthy tales, Coming Together Presents Amanda Earl was published by Coming Together of New York City in 2014 with revenue from sales going to GMHC, a provider of HIV/AIDS prevention, care and advocacy. Her erotic fiction has been published in anthologies and magazines in North America and Europe.

Amanda is a romantic non-monogamous slut, a polyamorous poetesse, publisher, editrix, fictioneer- in-training and vispoet who lives in Ottawa with her husband, Charles. Her life and creative goals are love, compassion, mutual pleasure, whimsy, exploration and connection with fellow kindreds.

For more information, please visit or connect with Amanda on Twitter @KikiFolle or Snapchat: ottawamandy.

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