Thursday, March 5, 2020


periodicities: a journal of poetry and poetics was founded in March 2020 by rob mclennan as a curious extension of above/ground press, as well as an extension of some of the work of the twelve issues of the online seventeen seconds: a journal of poetry and poetics, edited by rob mclennan (2008-2018), and the six issues of, edited by rob mclennan and Stephen Brockwell (2003-2007). Both journals have dropped off the internet due to issues with the web host, which prompted the creation of a new online journal.

Born in Ottawa, Canada’s glorious capital city, rob mclennan currently lives in Ottawa, where he is home full-time with the two wee girls he shares with Christine McNair. The author of more than thirty trade books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, he won the John Newlove Poetry Award in 2010, the Council for the Arts in Ottawa Mid-Career Award in 2014, and was longlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize in 2012 and 2017. In March, 2016, he was inducted into the VERSe Ottawa Hall of Honour. An editor and publisher, he runs Touch the Donkey, The Peter F. Yacht Club and G U E S T [a journal of guest editors], having recently shuttered seventeen seconds: a journal of poetry and poetics as well as the Ottawa poetry pdf annual ottawater, after sixteen issues. His chapbook press, above/ground press, celebrated thirty years of continuous publishing in 2023, and has produced more than twelve hundred items to date. He is editor of my (small press) writing day, an editor/managing editor of many gendered mothers, and is co-founder of the ottawa small press book fair, an event he’s organized twice a year since fall 1994. He is, through hosting/curating/founding The Factory Reading Series (founded January 1993) one of the founding organizing members of Ottawa’s annual VERSeFest Poetry Festival, which celebrated ten years in 2020. He also spent the 2007-8 academic year in Edmonton as writer-in-residence at the University of Alberta.

Recent titles include The Uncertainty Principle: stories, (Chaudiere Books, 2014) and the poetry titles A perimeter (New Star Books, 2016), How the alphabet was made (Spuyten Duyvil, 2018), A halt, which is empty (Mansfield Press, 2019), Life sentence, (Spuyten Duyvil, 2019), the book of smaller (University of Calgary Press, 2022) and World's End, (ARP Books, 2023), as well as a suite of pandemic essays, essays in the face of uncertainties (Mansfield Press, 2022). He has also edited or co-edited numerous anthologies, including groundwork: the best of the third decade of above/ground press, 2013 2023 (Invisible Publishing, 2023), The Calgary Renaissance (w/ Derek Beaulieu; Chaudiere Books, 2016), Ground Rules: the best of the second decade of above/ground press 2003 – 2013 (Chaudiere Books, 2007), Decalogue 2: ten Ottawa fiction writers (Chaudiere Books, 2006) and GROUNDSWELL, best of above/ground press, 1993-2003 (Broken Jaw Press, 2003).

Photo credit (English Bay, Vancouver: February 2020): Christine McNair

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