Friday, October 26, 2012

Monday, October 15, 2012

Official Statement Regarding Snare Books

After this year’s publication of the 2012 Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry winner, Snare Books will no longer be publishing books as an independent press. We received no funding for the second year in a row and there is no way forward for the program in its current incarnation. I sincerely regret that it has come to this. Two years ago we were ranked very high in the Canada Council for the Arts Emerging Publishers Program. Since then, we completed two very strong years of amazing titles. Unfortunately, the Block Grant juries were not as receptive to us, and we were unable to acquire funding.

I want to express my immense gratitude to all of the Snare authors for letting me play a part in their writing careers. I cannot adequately describe the pride and good fortune I feel for having had the opportunity to bring all of their books into the world. I am especially thankful to the authors who trusted me with their first books. One of the early mandates of Snare Books was to showcase emerging poets and experimental writers. I would like to thank Angela Carr, Melissa Thompson, Jason Christie, ryan fitzpatrick, Natalie Zina Walschots, Sarah Dowling, Ian Christopher Goodman, Ian Orti, Geoffery Hlibchuk, Mike Spry, Helen Hajnoczky, Sheryda Warrener, Laura Broadbent and Lesley Trites for allowing me the privilege of being there at the beginning of their careers.

Robert Allen and I began scheming in 2004 about a press that would provide a much-needed space for the kind of strange, experimental, innovative and distinctly non-mass-market writing that we loved. He loved Will Self, Gilbert Sorrentino, and Gail Scott to name a few. I could not get enough of Robert Kroetsch, Nicole Brossard, and bpNichol to name a few. Our hope was to publish books in this risk-taking tradition of the writers we loved. I loved Robert Allen so much as a writer, thinker, mentor, and friend. It is not an exaggeration to say that he saved my life by showing faith in me and giving me the opportunity to work with him. When he passed away in 2006, I vowed to keep his memory alive through Matrix and Snare. My personal attachment to Snare has so much to do with the fact that Rob and I started it together. It was our thing. We started it in part because we saw a need. But as I look back on it now, I realize that we also started it because we thought it would be fun. And it always was.

When Rob died, I was not sure I could make a go of it with Snare. And I wouldn’t have if it weren’t for the mentorship and guidance of so many friends and colleagues. Snare Books survived for seven years because of the guidance of Robert Kroetsch, Alana Wilcox, Karis Shearer, Marisa Grizenko, Karl Siegler, Darren Wershler, Alex Porco, Bill Kennedy, Jason Camlot, Neil Besner, Sina Queyras, Sachiko Murakami, Dennis Cooley, John Goldbach, Karis Shearer, Mike O’Connor, Michael Holmes, David McGimpsey, Rachel Zolf, Elizabeth Bachinsky, and Christian Bok. I am in their debt. I would also like to thank the Canada Council for the Arts for their early support of Snare. I must also thank the people I have worked with on the design and marketing of Snare: Gillian Savigny, Jocelyn Parr, Melanie Bell, Lorne Roberts, Leigh Kotsilidis, Genevieve Robichaud, Chris Tucker, Tyler Morency, and Georgia Webber as well as the staff at LitDistCo and the LPG. 

Thankfully, there is exciting news to report as well. From now on, Snare Books will be the name of the poetry imprint at Invisible Publishing. Further, I am pleased to announce that Invisible has agreed to take on the back list Snare titles and the titles will continue to be available to book buyers. I am thrilled to announce the continuation of The Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry. The administration of this award will fall under the purview of Matrix Magazine in partnership with Invisible Publishing and these books will be published every fall by Invisible under my editorship and the Snare imprint. The prize will be awarded annually to the best poetry manuscript by an emerging Canadian writer (a writer who has published two books or less). Each year the winning manuscript will be selected by established and well-known Canadian writers. The 2013 award will be judged by innovative poet and BookThug mastermind, Jay MillAr. I am also pleased to announce that the first title under the Snare imprint will be kevin mcpherson eckoff's new book, Forge.

Just a few months ago, I was absolutely heartbroken to discover that Snare Books could no longer operate as an independent publisher. But then a series of astonishing and inspiring events happened as a result of the goodwill and genuine interest of astonishing and inspiring people. Nic Boshart and Robbie MacGregor from Invisible reached out to me immediately with a simple message: Snare Books is not dead. When we began formal discussions, I was instantly thrilled to discover that I was dealing with kindred spirits – people who believe that literary innovation has a future in Canada. Beyond this, I was made acutely aware through my observations of the way their publishing co-op works, that there is potential to make the kind of work I love more available to readers through multiple platforms. In its five years, Invisible has already become a vital and cutting edge publisher. And the people behind it are exemplary human beings. In the course of a few weeks, one of the most devastating events of my adult life was transformed into an uplifting and re-affirming experience. I am so lucky, so grateful.  

Jon Paul Fiorentino
October 15, 2012

A Complete List of Snare Books 2006 – 2012


OH THERE YOU ARE I CAN’T SEE YOU IS IT RAINING? by Laura Broadbent (Robert Kroetsch Award Winner)


Thirsts by Pearl Pirie (Robert Kroetsch Award Winner)
easy peasy by kevin mcpherson eckhoff
echoic mimic by Lesley Trites (Expozine Best English Book Award Finalist)
seen of the crime by derek beaulieu


HARD FEELINGS by Sheryda Warrener
The Lateral by Jake Kennedy (Robert Kroetsch Award Winner)
Update. by Bill Kennedy and Darren Wershler
THREE DEATHS by Josip Novakovich
Poets and Killers by Helen Hajnoczky (Expozine Best English Book Award Finalist)


The Olive and the Dawn by Ian Orti (Expozine Best English Book Winner)
The Taste of Penny by Jeff Parker
Generator by Ian Christopher Goodman
Thresh by Kim Minkus
Security Posture by Sarah Dowling (Robert Kroetsch Award Winner)


All our Grandfathers are ghosts. by Pasha Malla
JACK by Mike Spry (A.M Klein Poetry Award Finalist)
Variations on Hölderlin by Geoffrey Hlibchuk (Robert Kroetsch Award Winner)


FAKE MATH by ryan fitzpatrick
Thumbscrews by Natalie Zina Walschots (Robert Kroetsch Award Winner)
the small blue by Jay MillAr


The Emily Valentine Poems by Zoe Whittall
Dreadful Paris by Melissa A. Thompson (McAusland First Book Award Finalist)
Ropewalk by Angela Carr
Canada Post by Jason Christie

Tuesday, October 09, 2012


With decades behind, one still boorishly chases the dull candles
held by those somehow traipsing through the uncomplicated
life; one just an acknowledgment page away from calling it now
one page away from a done. Over it. So very over it

With a brisk rendering of complexity, shrill and shrugged
repeats of days and one is an unparented swiller and one’s tonic and
balm no longer enough. Soon there will be no verb. The countables
wreck their own units; static laughs; lit up and tweak-weary

Diplomacy taints the micropolitic. Countless hours, of course,
spark sluggish decades and one loses games one isn’t even aware of
There is this one thing that all things are made of, one says
and the dull-witted say yes, this. One does not, should not. Still rhetoric eases

The peculiar sting of fact-unchecked quirk factor hymnals and yet, one
chases slow moving candles and one fattens and withers in season –
slow metronome. A slow, stupid metronome. Then, at some point,
there is no real verb but an unrelenting need to call it and to call it
in time, listlessly, to call one’s own over it