Pooka Press, a literary press founded and operated by the estimable Warren Dean Fulton, will release my chapbook, Deliverance, 1961: A Novella in Thirty-Two Cantos, late in 2023. Pooka is a Canadian publisher of considerable renown that specialises in chapbooks (and the occasional broadside). In entering the Pooka stable, I find myself in fine company: other contributors whose work appears under that imprint include Robert Creeley, Susan Musgrave, George Bowering, bill bissett and rob mclennan.
Unlike some of my writing, Deliverance, 1961—a period piece of fiction in verse—is wholly Canadian in its subject matter; it involves a chance encounter between two troubled characters on an eastbound train travelling from Vancouver to Toronto during what is sometimes referred to as the “Madmen” era. Watch for cameo appearances by Alice Munro and Ethel Wilson, among other worthies.
I embrace Paul Muldoon’s dictum, “Form is a straitjacket in the way that a straitjacket was a straitjacket for Houdini”. For this novella in verse, I adopted a punishingly difficult rhyme scheme, stuck to it, and it nearly killed me! But it’s done and Deliverance, 1961 is now in Pooka’s hands. Watch this space for future updates on the chapbook’s 2023 publication and launch dates.