Tightrope Books

Launch for The Best Canadian Essays this Thursday

By Tightrope Books | November 24th, 2009 | Print This Post | Email This Post | Leave a Comment

Don’t miss the launch for the first edition of this exciting and groundbreaking book.

If you were at the launch for The Best Canadian Poetry you know what an awesome venue Revival is (and there will be nibblies!).

Thursday, November 25, 8 pm
Revival (783 College St.)

Carefully selected by editors Carmine Starnino and Alex Boyd, The Best Canadian Essays 2009 showcases fourteen exceptional essays published in Canadian magazines in 2008. These fourteen distinctive voices unite to represent the diversity and breadth of Canadian nonfiction writing today.

With readings from Nathan Whitlock, Alison Lee, and Kamal Al-Solaylee.

Hosted by Alex Boyd.

Door prizes from Good For Her.

With musical guest: Darin Yorston.

Carmine Starnino has published four books of poetry, the most recent of which is This Way Out (Gaspereau Press) nominated for the 2009 Governor General’s Award for Poetry. His poems have won the F.G. Bressani Literary Prize, the A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry and the Canadian Authors Association Poetry Award. He the author of A Lover’s Quarrel, a collection of essays on Canadian poetry, and the editor of The New Canon: An Anthology of Canadian Poetry. A new collection of his poetry criticism is forthcoming from Biblioasis in 2011. He lives in Montreal, where he edits Maisonneuve magazine

Alex Boyd is the author of poems, fiction, reviews and essays and has work published in magazines and newspapers such as Taddle Creek, dig, Books in Canada, The Globe and Mail, Quill & Quire and on various sites such as the late Danforth Review. He was the host of the IV Lounge Reading Series from 2003 to 2008 when the series closed its doors. He’s co-editor of the online jouirnal Northern Poetry Review, and his first book of poems Making Bones Walk was published in 2007 by Luna press, winning the Gerald Lampert Award.

Alex Boyd writes about Best Canadian Essays 2009

By Tightrope Books | November 20th, 2009 | Print This Post | Email This Post | Leave a Comment

Alex Boyd writes about Best Canadian Essays 2009 on Open Book Toronto:

In this deluge of information, both personal and professional, a great deal can be lost in the shuffle – it becomes critical to take a look at some of the most articulate statements of the year, not to mention writing that’s a joy to read. It took two editors to handle the task of putting together the first Best Canadian Essays in nearly twenty years – I co-edited the book with Montreal writer Carmine Starnino – but we found Canadian articles we’re proud to be able to present. Some are important enough to make me hope every politician buys the book – there are some great pieces on energy needs and the environment – and others take a look at topics as diverse as new attitudes to funerals, the changing world of porn or an analysis of a remarkable woman’s life.

Best Canadian Essays launches next week on Thursday, November 26th at the Revival (downstairs) 783 College Street Toronto. 7-11 PM. And is available for purchase now through Tightrope Books or your local bookstore.

Belated Teaser Tuesday!

By Tightrope Books | November 12th, 2009 | Print This Post | Email This Post | Leave a Comment

Welcome to a new edition of Tightrope Teaser Tuesday, where we give our readers the briefest of glances – teases, if you will – into our new, forthcoming, and backlist titles. Today’s Teaser is from The Best Canadian Essays 2009 Edited by Alex Boyd and Carmine Starnino.

Compiled from dozens of Canadian magazines by two award winning authors, this collection of essays covers a diverse range of topics by Canadian writers. By turns these essays move and excite the reader and help shape Canadian cultural consciousness.

The Best Canadian Essays is available now from Tightrope Books. It will formally launch on November 26th, at Revival, 783 College Street 7-11 PM.

Here is a little teaser from the essay The New Face of Porn by Allison Lee, originally published in This Magazine:

I’ve looked critically at sex, society, and porn for years now, and I still maintain that sex is an amazingly telling lens through which to view the world. This continues today, with my work as manager of Good for Her, a feminist sex store in Toronto, where I also organize the Feminist Porn Awards, which honour the hardworking feminists who are revolutionizing the porn industry. If the very idea of someone who cut her teeth on anti-porn theory now handing out butt-plug shaped trophies to pornographers doesn’t make Andrea Dworkin spin in her grave, I don’t know what would.

Today, one only has to turn on the TV, walk down the street, or type “free porn” into their web browser to see how unsuccessful the anti-porn movement was. Where anti-porn feminists of the past condemned the entire industry—often with valid reasons—their dogmatic view failed to take into account that sexual imagery can be positive, and that porn is sometimes created by people acting of their free will, who feel good about what they do and who hold pleasure in high esteem.

Now there is porn for everyone. Literally. There are websites that have audio recordings describing pornographic websites for blind people (pornfortheblind.org), porn full of saucy deaf people getting it on and using sign language to express their desires (deafbunny.com), and sites that cater to everything from our fear and fascination with Middle Eastern and Muslim women (arabstreethookers.com) to snot fetishes (seriously: see snotgirls.com if you dare). There is now porn about pretty much anything that a person could ever think of in a sexy way—and plenty that most of us would never find erotic, either. And, of course, there is pornography made specifically for women, who, according to a recent survey by Internet Filter Review, visit adult websites at a rate of one for every two men. Looking back to the time when feminists viewed pornography as an instruction manual for the degradation of women, the biggest irony may be that sexually empowered feminist women have gone from being critics of pornography to being major consumers of it. Pornography, like sex itself, is fraught with complexity and contradiction, but the failure of anti-porn feminism was ultimately positive. Out of its ashes came a new culture of porn that is serious and steadfast in its dedication to pleasure and politics.