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the best of above/ground press, 1993-2003

rob mclennan, editor

Introduction by Stephen Cain

full size book cover

“[S]ubstantial. . . There is some enlightened work coming from Canada at the moment, and this book gives a rich array of contemporary poetry . . . Some of the poets featured are well known in the Canadian experimental arena. This book brings together examples of their work and gives the reader an insight into what is happening on the small-press scene.”
New Hope International (UK)

Groundswell is a engrossing guide to one current of Anglo-Canadian “newness” in verse . . . May there be more.”
—George Elliott Clarke, The Nova Scotian/Sunday Halifax Herald

“If you only buy one Canadian poetry anthology, culled from broadsides and chapbooks created by the most dangerous (in a good way) and hardest working poet in Canada, let it be Groundswell. An eclectic buffet of Canadian poetry with too many stars to list, Groundswell also includes a lengthy bibliography that fascinates, plus a superlative introduction by Stephen Cain.”
—Nathaniel G. Moore, Broken Pencil, issue 26 (Nov 2004)

Rob Manery, maria erskine, kath macLean, Dennis Cooley, Michael Londry, George Bowering, Shannon Cowan, Clare Latremouille, Stephanie Bolster, Ian Whistle, Joe Blades, meghan jackson, Carla Milo, Michelle Desberats, jwcurry, Anne Stone, Michael Holmes, Victor Coleman, John Newlove, Lori Emerson, Barry McKinnon, rob mclennan, Gil McElroy.

Groundswell includes a complete, detailed bibliography of all publishing activities by rob mclennan and above/ground press from 1992 to 2002.

“I am impressed by the dedication exhibited by rob mclennan to the Canadian small press through above/ground. While most small press activity in this country, as elsewhere, is short-lived and focused primarily on the publisher’s own creative output, mclennan has created and sustained a remarkably inclusive and wide-ranging publishing company for nearly a decade.
“In reading through the selections collected here, most readers will be surprised at the variety of writing represented by above/ground. mclennan’s tastes are notoriously catholic and demonstrate an awareness of both the historic tradition of Canadian literature (Newlove, Bowering, Coleman) and an acute affection for the contemporary (Holmes, Bolster, McElroy). mclennan has noted that he chose the moniker above/ground to counter the view that small press publishing could only be an underground enterprise and his activities over the last ten years have certainly proven that dictum wrong. The publication of Groundswell can only further consolidate this remarkable achievement.”
—Stephen Cain, from the Introduction

rob mclennan has published poetry, fiction and critical writing in Canada, USA, India, Australia, UK and the Czech Republic. He is the author of seven full-length poetry books (four with Broken Jaw Press) and several dozen chapbooks, the editor of several anthologies, including You & Your Bright Ideas: New Montreal Writing with Andy Brown (Véhicule Press) and Shadowy Technicians: New Ottawa Poets (Broken Jaw Press). mclennan is the editor of Broken Jaw Press’ cauldron books series, runs small press action network-ottawa (span-o), ottawa small press book fairs, the Poetry 101 Reading Series and above/ground press...
His books with Broken Jaw include being one of five poets in Open 24 Hours (1997), Notes on drowning (1998), Manitoba highway map (1999), bagne, or Criteria for Heaven (2000), editor of & contributor to Shadowy Technicians: New Ottawa Poets (2000), and Paper Hotel (2002).


August 2003
poetry (BISAC: POE011000, POE001000)
216 pp / illustrated / 6 x 9 (tp)
Broken Jaw Press’ Cauldron Books series, No. 4
ISBN 1-55391-012-5, $24.95

26 Sept 2003, 8 pm: a night above/ground, celebrating 10 years of above/ground press & the publication of Groundswell: the best of above/ground press, 1993-2003 with readings by rob mclennan (Ottawa), meghan jackson (St. Williams ON) & Michael Holmes (Toronto). IV Lounge Reading Series, the IV Lounge, 326 Dundas St, Toronto ON.

28 Sept 2003, 11 am: Joe Blades reading from Groundswell @ The Word on the Street Calgary. Poet’s Corner @ Barclay’s, Sheraton Suites. Book signing at the McNally Robinson table, Eau Clair Market, Calgary AB.

7 Oct 2003, 9 pm: Reading/book launch in the Ottawa International Writers Festival Pub/auditorium lobby at the National Library, 395 Wellington, Ottawa. Hosted by rob mclennan, editor/publisher of above/ground press, with readings by meghan jackson (Aurora, ON), Stephanie Bolster (Montreal), George Bowering (Vancouver), Michelle Desbarats (Ottawa) & Clare Latremouille (Ottawa).

8 Jan 2004, 6 pm:reading —rob mclennan launching Groundswell in New York City with readings by Clare Latremouille and himself in the series “d.a. levy lives: celebrating the renegade press in america” @ Aca Galleries, 529 West 20th St-5th floor, New York City, USA. For more info visit Boog City, or contact David A. Kirschenbaum", tel 212.842.BOOG (2664).

“rob in London”, by Stephen Brockwell © 2002