Wednesday, October 28, 2009

God of Missed Connections & Curio at the Northern Poetry Review

Click here to read Alessandro Porco's double review of God of Missed Connections and the reprint of Curio: Grotesques and Satires from the Electronic Age at The Northern Poetry Review. It's kind of hard to excerpt, but who could help but pull out this nugget:

"At her best, Bachinsky displays a wild vocabulary and a cheeky wit that other poets of her generation can only hope to attain...But what I most admire is that Bachinsky...seems willing to do, say, or try anything at least once. That exploratory sensibility serves her well both in Curio as well as God of Missed Connections."

Right on. Which reminds me...I'm reading an anthology right now called American Hybrid. The introduction by Cole Swenson is particularly great. Check it out.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Liz Reads in Vancouver, Oct 24

The Poetry Bash

Saturday, Oct 24, 8:00 pm
Performance Works, Granville Island

Elizabeth Bachinsky
Robert Bringhurst
Xi Chuan
Carol Ann Duffy
Heather McHugh
Gregory Scofield

Host: Clea Young

Always a Festival favourite event, The Poetry Bash brings to Vancouver’s stage this year six poets who are titans in this field. England’s poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy joins Pulitzer Prize nominee Heather McHugh, CanadianRobert Bringhurst, winner of the BC Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence, and China’s Xi Chuan, widely translated and recognized as one of the most dynamic poets living in China today. Rounding out the team is relative newcomer Elizabeth Bachinsky, herself nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Award for poetry, and Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize winner, Gregory Scofield. This is a formidable line-up, sure to please the ear of word and image lovers everywhere. 

Buy tickets online at 
Vancouver Tix.

Liz Reads in Calgary, Oct 15 & 17

29 - Word of MouthPDFPrintE-mail
Thursday, October 15, 9:30pm
Vertigo Theatre Centre, Studio 

Elizabeth BachinskyKris DemeanorBilleh NickersonHal NiedzvieckiAlexis O'Hara and Roland Pemberton 
An event not to be missed with a lineup that will leave you speechless. Wordsmiths play with music and, as a bit of a surprise, you may find yourself spilling some of your own secrets! Authors are joined by the WordFest house band under the musical direction of Mario Allende.This event is sponsored by CJSW 90.9 FM

Tickets are $20.00, $10.00 for students and seniors – call WordFest at 403.237.9068 for more information.

52 - Afternoon DelightPDFPrintE-mail
Saturday, October 17, 2:30pm
Vertigo Theatre Centre, Studio

Elizabeth BachinskyBarry CallaghanThomas Trofimuk and Zoe Whittall 
These four authors have an honest, in-depth discussion about sex and sexuality and how it ends up in their work. Warning: this event may cause reddening of cheeks and/or hysterical laughter. This event is sponsored by SWERVE Magazine.

Tickets are $15.00, $7.50 for students and seniors – call WordFest at 403.237.9068 for more information.

Sexy News Roundup of the Week

Here, the Calgary Herald prepares you for "Afternoon Delight: Writers Talking about Sex," one of the performances I'll be part of at Calgary's Wordfest this Saturday. Come out and listen to what Yours Truly, Barry Callaghan, Zoe Whitall, and Thomas Trofimuk have got to say about writing sex.

and Winnipeg's Uptown Magazine caught up with me to talk about God of Missed Connections at the Thin Air Festival last month. My favourite quote? "Ukrainians are deadly sexy..." 

The things girls say...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

God of Missed Connections at Prairie Fire

This week God of Missed Connections was reviewed at Prairie Fire magazine.  Here reviewer Gillian Harding-Russell discusses the title poem: 

"Reminiscent of Gwendolyn MacEwen's "Dark Pines Under Water," Bachinsky's poem "God of Missed Connections" employs changing metaphors to reveal her conception of the nature of the mind and unconscious. Unlike MacEwen's poem, which creates an implicit metaphor in the landscape it describes, Bachinsky likens the mind to a alluvial plain with layers of geological markings, only to depart from this ingenious concept and find another analogy in "split obsidium," whose variant smoothness becomes an image for the mind looking back at itself."

I love MacEwen's "Dark Pines Under Water." Incantatory, iconic, chilling—I hadn't considered a debt to MacEwen before now, but it is due. Enjoy.

Dark Pines Under Water
Gwendolyn MacEwen

This land like a mirror turns you inward
And you become a forest in a furtive lake;
The dark pines of your mind reach downward,
You dream in the green of your time,
Your memory is a row of sinking pines.

Explorer, you tell yourself this is not what you came for
Although it is good here, and green;
You had meant to move with a kind of largeness,
You had planned a heavy grace, an anguished dream.

But the dark pines of your mind dip deeper
And you are sinking, sinking, sleeper
In an elementary world;
There is something down there and you want it told.

from The Shadow Maker (1969)

Happy Thanksgiving. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

God of Missed Connections Nominated for the Kobzar Literary Award!

Holy Crow. God of Missed Connections (Nightwood Editions, 2009) has been nominated for the Shevchenko Foundation's $25,000 Kobzar Literary Award. The Kobzar Award is a biennial award recognizing outstanding contributions to Canadian literary arts through presentation of a Ukrainian Canadian theme with literary merit. I'm thrilled. Please Click here for more information about the award. 

The Other shortlisted titles are:  Night Work: The Sawchuk Poems by Randall Maggs (Brick Books); Redemption and Ritual: The Eastern-Rite Redemptorists of North America, 1906-2006 (Redeemer’s Voice Press); and Zo by Murray Andrew Pura (Windhover Marsh)

Award ceremony will take place on March 4, 2010 in Toronto.

Adjudicators:  Sandra Birdsell, Janice Kulyk Keefer, Kerri Sakamoto, Richard Scrimger

God of Missed Connections Reviewed at the Mansfield Press

Click here for the whole review.

God of Missed Connections

God of Missed Connections

Reviewed by Spencer Gordon

God of Missed Connections
Elizabeth Bachinsky
Nightwoord Editions, 2009 
80 pages, $17.95


“History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.” So says Stephen Dedalus, famously, in Joyce’s Ulysses. To the speaker of Elizabeth Bachinsky’s God of Missed Connections, history can indeed be nightmarish — the hard facts of torture and war and famine; the inability to solve or resolve its contradictions and cruelties. But history, both private and collective, can also be drenched in the sunlight of nostalgia — the happy illusion that things were, at some uncertain point in the past, better. So we dwell in old family photos, use our mothers’ handed-down recipes, stoop to smell our fathers’ coats. What else can we do? For Bachinsky, reminiscence is inevitable; “what was lost / returns,” she writes. We ceaselessly dwell and uncover, though that which we unearth can be both beautiful and horrific. As one poem states, “we can neither love [it], nor turn away.”