rob mclennan, editor

cauldron books is a series edited by Ottawa writer/editor/publisher rob mclennan. Named after the Celtic idea of the cauldron as the keeper & dispenser of wisdom & knowledge. The series will focus not only on worthwhile collections of poetry, but on single author collections of essays, as writing on writing. cauldron books are published by Broken Jaw Press. rob may be reached via

cauldron books has published or scheduled the following titles:

cauldron book 1. Shadowy Technicians: New Ottawa Poets, edited by rob mclennan
Poetry, 9" x 6", 152 pp, ISBN 0-921411-71-5 (tp), $20.95 CDN, $19.00 US
BJP eBook 8 ISBN 1-896647-49-9 (PDF), $6 US. May 2001

Contributors: Stephanie Bolster • Richard Carter • Laurie Fuhr • Robin Hannah • Jim Larwill • Clare Latremouille • Karen Massey • rob mclennan • Ian Whistle

"unifying attention to formal technique, be it traditional...or experimental...earning their stripes."
Quill & Quire

"Every ten years or so, someone in Ottawa feels the need to produce a variation on the same theme—a collection of Ottawa-specific poets. The purpose of Shadowy Technicians is different; less a representation of the city as a whole, than a group of some of the newer poets that are currently living & working in the capital area. Comparable to Brad Cran's Vancouver Hammer & Tongs or Michael Redhill's Blues & True Concussions: Six Toronto Poets, this group have been working here for the last few years, refining their voices & reading their work at open stages & bookstores. Ottawa has always been called a city of poets. Poets don't seem to mind working in silence or small groups. This is the result."
—rob mclennan, editor

cauldron book 2. This Day Full of Promise: Poems Selected and New, by Michael Dennis, edited by rob mclennan
Poetry, 8.5" x 5.5", 88 pp, ISBN 1-896647-48-0 (tp), $16.95 CDN / $15.00 US, May 2002
BJP eBook 37, ISBN 1-896647-49-9 (PDF), $6 US

"michael dennis was the first street-level, street-wise poet I discovered in Ottawa, & as I found out, the only one.
"...there is the story of when he read "hockey night in canada" as part of the opening night of the 1999 ottawa international writers festival, & was the crowd favourite, with glowing personal & media reports including in The Ottawa Citizen...overshadowing CanLit icon Pierre Berton.
"michael dennis' poems are rough & sexual & sometimes brutally sweet & honest, & have an integrity to them, much as he does. The line between dennis & his poetry is very thin, & follows the working class traditions of Charles Bukowski & Al Purdy, of hard living, & sometimes hard drinking. There are poems about Catherine the Great's sexual appetites, & about Fellini... There are poems about working, hanging artwork, about Thor, & about michael being in love with his wife."
—rob mclennan, from the Foreword

Michael Dennis was born in London, Ontario in 1956. Since 1975 he has published 12 poetry collections and his work has appeared more than 200 times in Canadian magazines and literary journals. An artist and poet, he currently works and lives in Ottawa with his wife and her garden.

cauldron book 3. resume drowning, by Jon Paul Fiorentino
August 2002 / 8.5" x 5.5" / 96 pp / poetry / ISBN 1-896647-94-4 (tp) / $17.95 CDN, $16.00 US
BJP eBook 41, ISBN 1-896647-95-2 (PDF), $5 US

from the book's Postscript
In a sense, resume drowning is a response to my first collection, hover. hover celebrated the narcotic possibilities of poetry. Through rhetorical and poetic devices, I attempted to achieve an exuberance of verse. In this book I am engaging in performative melancholy and working in the tradition of the lyric. As opposed to hovering I am drowning; and at times I need to take a quick break from drowning—I resurface, edit and muse, and then resume drowning. Throughout these poems I am engaging intertextually with bp Nichol, Adrienne Rich, Steven Patrick Morrissey, Catherine Hunter, Mary di Michele, Stevie Smith, Emily Dickinson, Sylvia Plath and of course Sappho. The true point of departure for this collection is the poem "Not Waving but Drowning" by Stevie Smith.
—Jon Paul Fiorentino

Jon Paul Fiorentino was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He is currently living in Montreal where he is completing his Master's degree in English Literature and Creative Writing at Concordia University. His previous poetry collections include hover (Staccato) and transcona fragments (Cyclops Press).

cauldron book 4. GROUNDSWELL: best of above/ground press, 1993-2003,
edited by rob mclennan, introduction by Steve Cain
Sept 2003 / poetry / 240 pp / illustrated / 5.5 x 8.5 / ISBN 1-55391-012-5 (tp) / $24.95 CDN, $23.00 US

Contributors: 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

cauldron book 5. Dancing Alone: Selected Poems, William Hawkins
Preface by Bruce Cockburn. Introduction by Roy MacSkimming.
April 2005, poetry, 167 pp, 5.5 x 8.5, ISBN 1-55391-034-6 (tp), $22.00 CDN, $20.00 US

The poems in Dancing Alone are drawn from the six small-press classics, all out of print, that William Hawkins published between 1964 and 1974 plus some new poems. A contemporary of George Bowering, Victor Coleman and Michael Ondaatje, readers will discover in Hawkins’ work an inimitably haunting poetic voice.

cauldron book 6. ancient motel landscape, shauna mccabe

"shauna mccabe’s first trade collection offers up spiritually heavy, often gritty, sometimes sweet poems of Tennessee road trips, maritime love affairs, God in streams, and geomorphology. ancient motel landscape is a dense, stylistic and thematically ambitious collection . . ."
—nick lea, ottawa poetry

Release: September 2005, poetry, 117 pp, 6 x 9, 6 b&w photographs by the author, trade paper
ISBN-13 978-1-55391-041-1, ISBN 1-55391-041-9, $19.00 CDN, $17.00 US

cauldron book 7.