Tightrope Books

“Tuesday Teaser” The Animal Bridegroom by Sandra Kasturi

By Tightrope Books | February 12th, 2010 | Print This Post | Email This Post | Leave a Comment

Here is another teaser for your reading pleasure, this week we present:

The Animal Bridegroom poems by Sandra Kasturi

In the fantastical world of Sandra Kasturi’s poetry, myth intersects with reality resulting in a unique dream world that even those who generally shy away from poetry find irresistible. Filled with instances of role reversal, shapeshifting and gender bending, the feminist streak running through these poems becomes a bedtime story whose ending is suspect, unexpected and filled with dark humour. Whether running with the wolves, or sleeping with them, Kasturi uses her sly words to turn everyday conventions inside out.

Sandra Kasturi is a poet, writer and editor. She is currently working on an animated children’s TV series, a novel and another poetry collection. In 2005 she won ARC magazine’s coveted annual Poem of the Year award for her poem “Old Men, Smoking.” She has also received several Toronto Arts Council grants, and a Bram Stoker Award for her editorial work at the on-line magazine, ChiZine. Sandra has three poetry chapbooks published, as well as the well-received SF poetry anthology, The Stars As Seen from this Particular Angle of Night, which she edited. Her poetry has appeared in various magazines and anthologies, including Prairie Fire, On Spec, several of the Tesseracts series, 2001: A Science Fiction Poetry Anthology, and Northern Frights 4. Her cultural essay, “Divine Secrets of the Yaga Sisterhood” appeared in the anthology Girls Who Bite Back: Witches, Slayers, Mutants and Freaks. Sandra is a founding member of the Algonquin Square Table poetry workshop and runs her own imprint, Kelp Queen Press. The Animal Bridegroom is her first full-length poetry collection.



I have often wondered:

the scales on my bed
butterly tri-coloured
better ice cream
than I’ve eaten in years
coral reefs
of epic proportions
and salt residue
in the bathtub
the mussel shells
on the floor
my hair full of sand
from the pillowcases
webbed fingerprints
waterlogged on the door-latch
and my copies
of Moby Dick and Captains Courageous
left slightly damp and half read

But I never knew love to make much sense

Myna Wallin Tuesday Teaser

By Tightrope Books | February 3rd, 2010 | Print This Post | Email This Post | 2 Comments

In celebration of Myna Wallin being shortlisted for the 2010 Descant/Winston Collins Prize for Best Canadian Poem, here is a Tuesday Teaser from A Thousand Profane Pieces.

Myna Wallin
is a Toronto-based author and editor. She has her Masters degree in English Literature from U of T. She is the author of three chapbooks: Vulnerable Positions (2002), The Old Abandonment (2003), and Warning Signs (2005), all with believe your own press. Her first full-length poetry collection, A Thousand Profane Pieces, was published by Tightrope Books in Spring 2006.


The poems in this collection are erotic and wry, a first hand tour through the world of today s woman for whom desire is no longer a dirty word. Wallin’s poems explore where the sensual woman has been and where she s going. If Candice Bushnell was a poet, these are the sort of poems she would write.


I dreamed of a spelling bee, I was applauding
and you were up next.

MONOGAMY the judge intoned.
Repeat, you said.

You scraped by with M-O-, sounding it out, N-O-,
finding Latin roots, G-A-, gasping, A-M-Y?

Your opponent spelled DISPOSABLE
so quickly I thought he was showing off.

ETERNITY. Perspiring, you looked stymied,
bewildered even,

and I felt sorry for you.
You weren’t expecting such hard words.

You can purchase A Thousand Profane Pieces from the Tightrope Books Website.

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Tuesday Teaser “Open Slowly”

By Tightrope Books | January 15th, 2010 | Print This Post | Email This Post | Leave a Comment

This weeks “Tuesday” teaser is Open Slowly, a charming collection of poems by Dayle Furlong.

In Open Slowly by Dayle Furlong young lovers tangle, tumble and dance their way through the urban landscape. They lose each other and rediscover each other in cafes and bars, over latte and beer while the city watches and waits for solitude to reassert itself. As the title suggests this is a book to be opened slowly, savoured like a surprise gift from a lover who will inevitably be forgotten, even while the gift remains.

Dayle Furlong studied English Literature & Fine Arts at York University. Her writing has appeared in Taddle Creek, Kiss Machine, The Puritan, Word & The Voice. She works as a literary publicist, a screenwriter ‘s assistant and for Descant Magazine. She has lived in all regions of Canada and has travelled throughout Central America, Asia & the US. She currently lives in Toronto.

Bite the Wind

Trinity-Bellwoods Park on an early spring afternoon
the earth smells of clinging soil, desperate to thrive
my niece throws up her arms and tells me she loves nature
questions why we must cut so many trees to make paper.

She’s quick for a seven-year-old, notions of revenge taut:
“If you cut trees for paper,” she says,
“Paper will get back and cut your fingers.”

Got it all figured out, passive paper: sly, full of cunning slits
siphoning into gentle skin.

She tells me she wants to bite the wind, wrangle it,
throw it on the other side of the world, she’s tired of
stray hair licking her face and choking her

Instead we run, up and down the little hill, through the valleys
and briar-like bramble patches that crack and creak, dry as paper,
prickly as leaves.

Open Slowly can be bought directly from our office at 602 Markham Street Toronto, ON M6G 2L8, through your favorite Indie Bookstore, or online from Amazon.

Tuesday Teaser: The Stone Skippers

By Tightrope Books | December 11th, 2009 | Print This Post | Email This Post | Leave a Comment

This weeks Teaser come from The Stone Skippers by Ian Burgham.

In The Stone Skippers, Burgham launches dazzling poems that explore the central core of our humanity upon the Canadian literary landscape. The poems examine how love is a territory we map with little skill. The speaker returns again and again to the distances we set up or have imposed upon ourselves by relationships of desire and love, all against the motif of conversations inner conversations, day-to-day conversations, one-sided conversations, unfinished and halting conversations.


Reaching into midnight, mournful, naked,
you fallow weather’s whispers,
pull at your roots to climb the moonlight,
attempting to close the distance
while shots and booms of lake ice
argue in the dark, and howls of wolves fly
ecstatically out of the hills.
But you cannot sing till leaves
appear in the extravagant spring.

The Stone Skippers can be purchased through the Tightrope Books office (602 Markham Street) E-mail: orders@tightropebooks.com, Amazon or ordered through your favorite independent bookstore.

Tuesday Teaser: Dealers: 36 Portraits of Toronto’s Art Dealers Paintings

By Tightrope Books | December 2nd, 2009 | Print This Post | Email This Post | 1 Comment

In light of the upcoming launch of Dealers: 36 Portraits of Toronto’s Art Dealers Paintings by Viktor Mitic with an Introduction by Gary Michael Dault this weeks Teaser is a little different. Enjoy a sneak peak at one of the images featured in the book:

Zack Z. Pospieszynski – Peak Gallery

Dealers is a remarkable portrait-survey of thirty-six of Toronto’s most distinctive and influential art dealers, artist Viktor Mitic has captured and illuminated the unique individual personalities of his subjects. Depicting by turns their passion, insouciance, vivacity, shrewdness, eccentricity, geniality, and more, these portraits successfully reflect the rainbow of human emotion and expression. As Gary Michael Dault says in his insightful introductory essay, “there isn’t a portrait here that doesn’t provide not only a fine likeness of its subject, but also a telling, charming, incisive route into the sitter’s essential nature.”

Viktor Mitic was born in Belgrade, Serbia. A University of Toronto graduate artist, classically trained in art schools in Europe, Mitic has produced a major body of work that spans a career of over two decades. For a number of years, he was painting non-representational paintings using natural elements such as rain and hail to render surfaces of the paintings in oils on canvas. Mitic has successfully integrated various materials into his recent body of work: charcoal, graphite, oil, acrylic, watercolour, pen and ink, and japanese traditional natural pigment. He has recently developed a distinctive, some would say provocative, method; he paints portraits of international iconic images and later shoots the outline of the figures using various weapons and live ammunition. He has had many successful solo and group shows of his paintings in Europe, the United States, Canada, and, most recently, Japan. Viktor Mitic lives in Toronto.

Gary Michael Dault is a writer, painter, and art critic in Toronto. He is the author—or co-author—of a number of books, including Cells of Ourselves with artist Tony Urquhart (Porcupine’s Quill, 1989), Esko Mannikko: Mexas (Hasselblad Center, Gothenburg, Sweden, 1998), Photographs by Tom Sandberg (Astrup-Fearnley Museum, Oslo, 2000), The Prix de Rome in Architecture: A Retrospective (Coach House Books, 2006), and Captive: The Zoo Photographs of Volker Seding (Les 400 Coups, Montreal, 2007). He has published a number of books of poetry, including The Milk of Birds (Mansfield Press, 2006) and Southwester (Lyricalmyrical Press, 2007). His Handyman: New Poems is forthcoming from the Black Moss Press. A limited edition of his Hebdomeros Suite—with watercolours by David Bolduc—is forthcoming from Coach House Books. Dault has written widely about contemporary art in Canada in journals such as Canadian Art, Border Crossings, Ciel Variable, Prefix Photo, Parkett, and ARTNews. He contributes the weekly art-review column, “Gallery Going,” to the Globe and Mail, and has written innumerable catalogue essays for galleries and museums. As a practicing artist, Dault has exhibited frequently, most recently at Toronto’s Peak Gallery, Gallery Page & Strange in Halifax, and the Michael Gibson Gallery in London, Ontario. Upcoming in 2010, he has exhibitions at Index G in Toronto and Modern Fuel in Kingston, Ontario. Among his writings for television is the six-hour mini-series, Inside the Vatican with Sir Peter Ustinov (1993). His writings for the stage include Alice in the Orchestra (with composer Gene Di Novi, 2005), The Goal (with composer Eric Robertson, 2003), and, also with Eric Robertson, Hauntings for Orchestra (2007).

Dealers: 36 Portraits of Toronto’s Art Dealers Paintings launches on December 10th 6-9 PM at Odon Wagner Contemporary Gallery at 198 Davenport Road, Toronto. The paintings will be featured in the gallery until December 24th.