Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

PULP FICTION (and poetry takes another hit)

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They've done it again. Every once in a while The Canada Council, short arm of the Conservative Government, sees fit to pulp a literary press. It's the shooting gallery of Upper Canada, totally painless because the disappeared is usually a publisher that serves the hinterland, like Caitlin in Northern BC or Ekstasis Editions in Victoria, and doesn't really reverberate on Bay Street.

Times are tough.

By all means, lubricate the auto workers and strangle the poets.

Ekstasis Editions has been bringing new and established writing to Canadian and international audiences for thirty years. It publishes poetry, fiction and children's books, the Pacific Review of Books, a newspaper review, and organises the Pacific Festival of the Book, now in its third year.

Ekstasis is the only literary publisher in Victoria, arguably the poetry capitol of Canada.

The CC has opined that Ekstasis didn't have authors of substance on its recent list, which includes PK Page, Stephen Scobie, Yolande Villemaire, Lesley Choyce and Hans Plomp.

Give me a break.

When pushed harder, they abstracted that Ekstasis doesn't serve its authors well.

FACTS-

1. Ekstasis is the ONLY publisher that has in my experience paid advances for poetry.

2. Ekstasis regularly transports writers to readings.

3. Ekstasis hosts readings for EVERY writer it publishes.

The publisher has made a terrible mistake, in my opinion. He has been too generous with emerging writers, some of them deserving and some not. The point is, he has given them an opportunity to be heard and allowed the cream to rise.

The mere milk, those first time writers who think authorship is some kind of holy mantle, entitling them to back arching tantrums when the champagne isn't cold enough or the limo hasn't been vacuumed, or, God forbid, they didn't get front page on the Globe and Mail or a major award, are the ones who complain the loudest about their publishers.

Boy are they loud.

It is unprofessional ingratitude for a writer to blame the publisher for his or her failure to resonate.

These are the Canada Council's reasons for cutting off the blood supply of an altruistic publisher and editor who has exhausted himself and his resources to give our literary culture the attention it deserves. Instead, they reward businesses with a big bottom line including the literary love child of Hitler and Gunter Grass.

Shame on you. Shame on all of us. What is happening to the country Michael Moore loves to praise for its altruism?

I can't wait for the next election.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

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Linda Rogers

Linda Rogers is the author of the novels Say My Name (Ekstasis Editions, 2000), Friday Water (Cormorant Books, 2003) and The Empress Letters (Cormorant Books, 2007). She has also published several collections of poetry, including Love in the Rainforest (Exile Editions, 1996), Heaven Cake (Sono Nis Press, 1997), The Saning (Sono Nis Press, 1999) and The Bursting Test (Guernica Editions, 2002).

Go to Linda Rogers’s Author Page