Monday, December 10, 2007

Stripmalling - coming soon to a Hypermart near you

It's done. My novel is done!! My dream publisher is looking at it and if they accept it, then my life is complete.

Here are some panels from the novel. Illustrated and improvised by the brilliant Evan Munday.

Click here

Monday, October 15, 2007

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Thanks, Anne

When I read Stephen Henighan's article, "A Traitor's Dirge", I was too upset and too emotionally distraught to fashion an appropriate response. I have been thinking about it again recently: Henighan's misreadings and misconceptions about Robert Allen and his work and Henighan's misrepresentation of Matrix Magazine in the article.

I was comforted greatly by Anne Stone's response. Anne says it perfectly. Here is that response.

And here it is below:

Stephen Henighan has a piece in Geist about Rob Allen, his one-time teacher, my good friend. The direction of the piece is pretty much apparent in the title, “Traitor’s Dirge,” and byline (Henighan’s name has been made less for his literary fiction than for the way, in short essay style, he strafes Can Lit’s no-fly zones.) It’s not that Henighan doesn’t have a point. He does. Rob did love America and pop-culture and he loved a good literary line, however long. At times, the esoteric quality of his writing landed its punches far from the gut. Preferring the eye, say. Or what’s behind it.

For a study in the local, emotional power, and quiet perfection, I’d recommend Henighan play catch up by reading the sonnets in Standing Wave, a collection that’s among Rob’s best.

While Henighan does have his point, it’s trivial and expressed meanly: the form Henighan’s dirge takes is a funnel, and all of the broad and generous observations he has about Rob spiral down into a final dismissal of much of Rob’s work. “Traitor’s Dirge” doesn’t strike me as particularly honest or fair. Reading it, I get the same sense I do when reading much of Henighan’s work. Whatever Henighan looks at is an excuse for him to further elaborate himself.

It’s unfortunate that Rob died early. If he’d lived longer, maybe Henighan would have had the chance, and the grace, to kill his mentor off before the man himself died.

Thanks, Anne. You always come through.

Friday, August 17, 2007

I wanna be your alpha male

So... I Wanna Be Your Alpha Male, an animated short film by Farzin Farzaneh, written by Jon Paul Fiorentino will make its big screen debut at the Montreal World Film Festival!

Screening will take place on the following days:

28 aug. 19h40 L14.28.6,

29 aug. 9h10 L14.29.1,

1 sept. 13h20 L14.01.3,

at the Complex de cinema Quartier Latin / Quartier Latin Cinema Complex,
350 Emery (near St Denis)

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

From Russia with Gloves


I am smoking Peter the Great cigarettes with my new friend Sam Pitchel, who is an editor for Post Road -- a really cool US magazine.

I have been writing like a bastard and drinking like, well, like a bastard.

My lecture on bpNichol, Robert Kroetsch, Nicole Brossard, the experimental tradition in Canada and the problematic imperatives of Canadian publishing went surprisingly well. Very well attended and a lively discussion ensued. Thanks to Steven Heighton and George Elliott Clarke for attending and contributing to a wonderful discussion.

I also did a panel on literary periodicals with Radhika Jones (Paris Review), Jeremy Keehn (Walrus) and Bill Pierce (Agni). This was a great opportunity to share ideas and experiences with fellow editors. And the crowd was lovely and equipped with thoughtful questions.

Now, back to the vodka....

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


My next collection of poems is called Mentholism. I'm surprised that it's almost sappy in parts (or at least emotionally available). But the poems are most interested in creating new patterns, new locutions. I've been feverishly writing and rewriting it these days. I'm very pleased.

Mentholism refers to a set of assumptions, values and beliefs based on the practices of smoking menthol cigarettes and moping about.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Coach House Takes Montreal AGAIN!!

May 7 – The Coach House Spring Launch takes Montreal

On Monday, May 7, Coach House will take over Boa to launch 5 new books
at a swinging good party! So round up your pals and drop by for
literature, libations and levity.

with readings by
Sean Dixon (The Girls Who Saw Everything),
Andrew Wedderburn (The Milk Chicken Bomb),
Rachel Zolf (Human Resources),
Amiel Gladstone (Hippies and Bolsheviks & Other Plays)
and the triple threat of Nicole Brossard and translators Erín Moure and
Robert Majzels (Notebook of Roses and Civilization).

Boa Bar, 5301 St. Laurent
Monday, May 7
8:30 p.m.
Free admission

hosted by Jon Paul Fiorentino
music by Ian Orti

* * * * *

The Girls Who Saw Everything chronicles the fall of the Lacuna Cabal
Montreal Young Women's Book Club. Not content to simply read and
discuss books, the club brings to life tableaux from their literary
selections. But when they re-enact the Epic of Gilgamesh during the
early days of the Iraq War, the group begins to splinter and
disintegrate. A cryptographically charming bibliophilic tale from Sean

The Milk Chicken Bomb features one lonely ten-year-old kid looking for
attention in an Alberta town with far too many roman-candle fights,
bonspiels, black-market submarines, exploding booilers,
meat-packing-plant suicides, recess-time lightning strikes and Dead
Kids. A frenetic, hilarious and gently heartrending novel from Andrew

Notebook of Roses and Civilization brings the linguistic experiments
and remarkable sensuality of literary innovator Nicole Brossard into
English. Award-winning poets and translators Robert Majzels and Erín
Moure translate Brossard's GG-nominated Cahier de roses et de

Poetry and 'plain language' collide in the writing machine that is
Human Resources. Positioned at the intersection of creation and
repackaging, the latest collection from Rachel Zolf explores the
visceral and psychic cost of selling things with depleted words.

Hippies and Bolsheviks & Other Plays collects three works – Hippies and
Bolsheviks, Lena's Car and The Wedding Pool – from one of Canada's
dramatic luminaries, Amiel Gladstone.

* * *

For review copies or media requests, contact Evan Munday at 416 979
2217 or

Recent highlights

Seeing Dennis Lee at Blue Metropolis.
Meeting Jessica Johnston.
Seeing Stuart Ross and Kate Sutherland launch their books.
Road trip with Gilly Savigny.
Hosting Anne Stone's launch.
Writing weird new poems.
Designing the 2007/08 Snare Books Catalogue.
Meeting Sandra Alland.
Surviving the hospitality suite.
Not quite surviving a night of vodka shots with Parker, Burke and Goldbach.
Working on Stripmalling.
Hanging out with Lia.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


Attend this:

Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival
Wed, April 25th, 8 p.m.
777, University Street, Square-Victoria Metro.
(Room: La Terrasse; free!)

Anne Stone's Delible is a novel I edited for Insomniac Press. It's one of the best books I've read in the last ten years. I am thrilled to be associated with this stunning novel.

Here's a description:

Growing up on Toronto’s desolate margins in the eighties, sixteen-year-old Mel Sprague has a lot on her mind: The A-bomb. Acid rain. Where her Dad’s been hiding out for the last fifteen years....

Mel’s younger sister, Lora, knows that despite her sister’s ‘talent for misery,’ Mel’s preoccupations aren’t unusual. After all, Mel might stay out all night now and again, but in the Sprague family, teenagers are troubled by definition. When Mel vanishes, however, what were once the diversions of a teenage girl are taken up as evidence, casting questions over her disappearance—and leading investigators to ask if Mel Sprague chose to run away, this time for good. Lora, for her part, just knows that someone has taken her sister and, disquietingly, fears that it wasn’t a stranger.

Being a fifteen-year-old girl isn’t easy—and that’s without experiencing an event that transforms everyone in your life into a suspect or a potential victim. Before her sister vanished, Lora’s world was relatively simple, but Mel’s disappearance creates a new and indelible division, everything changes, and there is nothing that is untouched by her loss.

Delible is Lora’s story. Through her unblinking eyes, we witness one family’s experience of sustained uncertainty and come to see how our identities also exist in those traces we leave behind.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Friday, March 23, 2007

for Rob.

Robert Allen Memorial Tribute Event at Concordia
Friday, March 30, 2007
5-7 p.m.
Room EV2.260
Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Complex
1515 St. Catherine West

For Information Call: 514-848-2424 x2340

Reception & Readings from the works of Robert Allen by his fellow writers, colleagues, friends and family. Sponsored by the Concordia University English Department.

Robert Allen, formerly a member of the English Department at Concordia, died November 3, 2006. He was author of two novels, a collection of short stories, and numerous collections of poetry, including, most recently, Standing Wave (Véhicule Press, 2005) and The Encantadas (Conundrum Press, 2006). Among the authors and colleagues who will read from the works of Robert Allen at this event are Vivienne Allen, Stephanie Bolster, Jason Camlot, Simon Dardick, Mary Di Michele, Jon Paul Fiorentino, Michael Harris, Judith Herz, Steve Luxton, David McGimpsey, David Solway, Caroline Marie Souaid and Carmine Starnino.

Jason Camlot, Associate Professor
English Department LB 501
Concordia University
1455 de Maisonneuve Boulevard West
Montréal, Québec H3G 1M8

Tel: (514) 848-2424 x2353
Fax: (514) 848-4501

Monday, March 19, 2007


Matrix, Delirium Press and the Quebec Writers’ Federation proudly present…


Zac Schnier
Sophie Caird
Greg Seib
Dimitri Nasrallah
Stephanie Bolster
Roy Miki

Hosted by
Jani Krulc
Gillian Savigny

March 25, 2007 @ 8:30 pm
Blizzarts 3956-A St-Laurent Blvd

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Call for submissions and awesome new website

Matrix Presents
The Science Poetry Dossier
edited by Gillian Savigny

We are looking for neurotransmissions capable of navigating the synapse between poetry and science. Send us your sestinas on seismology! Your botanic love poems! Your geodes! Your epics of empiricism! Show us how your interdisciplinary genes express themselves. We at Matrix have been noticing a curious trend in contemporary poetry and like good little scientists we would like to study and classify its range. Until May 1st we will be collecting examples of science poetry: a rare species of literature whose population is set to explode this spring in the 77 th issue of our magazine. Whether you look to entomology or lepidoptery, geometry or chemistry, biology or geology we want the fruits of your creative fermentation. We will accept poems that use science as technique or subject matter as well as those that take it as inspiration or enemy. For the next few weeks think parasite maintenance, fractals, and geopoetry. Raid the scientist's treasury of terminology and dress your poems in the loot.

send submissions to

and check out for our sexy new website!!!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Loser a winner

I won the Expozine Alternative Press award for best English book. I dedicated the award to Rob Allen. And then I had some Jagermeister.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Loser shortlisted again!

Announcing the 2nd Expozine Alternative Press Awards Gala!

Join us for the presentation of the 2nd Expozine Alternative Press Awards! Featuring as master of ceremonies perennial favourite Jean Giscagne, who will share the stage with musical/ lyrical entertainment by Montreal's Les Abdigradationnistes, plus special guests and surprises! You'll also have the chance to purchase copies of the nominated books, zines and comics!

Wednesday March 7, 2007
Mainline Theatre
3997 Boul. St-Laurent,
9:00 pm, FREE admission.

  • Best English Book:
  • The Feast: A Collection of Art in Black and White by Permanent Marker Art Society / Shawn O’Keefe and Harley Smart
  • In Search of Divine Styler by Ryan Somers, a.k.a. Fritz tha Cat (MudScout Press)
  • Jugsaw Youth: Two New Stories by J.B. Staniforth
  • Monsters for Real (Loveletters #1 through 11) by Jim Holyoak
  • Tattoo This Madness In by Daniel Allen Cox, Dusty Owl Press
  • The Theory of the Loser Class by Jon Paul Fiorentino, Coach House Press

Sunday, February 04, 2007

A spring workshop at the qwf!

Eight Wednesdays from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. (March 7–April 25)

1200 Atwater Avenue, Suite 3
Workshop leader: Jon Paul Fiorentino

This course will address the genre of the personal essay with a focus on humour and confessional writing. We will look at examples of successful personal essays by writers like Mark Twain, Timothy Findley, Jonathan Ames, David McGimpsey, Stuart Ross, Sarah Vowell, and David Sedaris. We will also look at some confessional poems in order to place emphasis on the artful transcription of memory.

Most of the course will be devoted to developing the skills required to write effective literary personal essays. Students will be asked to participate in a classic workshop environment and to bring energy and enthusiasm to the class. There will be a few fun in-class writing exercises as well.

We will look at how rhetorical and poetic strategies are used in personal writing. We will explore the different models of the genre. And most importantly, we will discover how we as writers can make memory work by achieving that fine balance between true documentation of memory and strategic deployment of fiction.

Some Suggested Reading:

* Ames, Jonathan. My Less Than Secret Life
* Ames, Jonathan, What's Not to Love?
* McGimpsey, David. Certifiable
* Ross, Stuart. Confessions of a Small Press Racketeer
* Sedaris, David. Barrel Fever
* Sedaris, David. Naked
* Vowell, Sarah. The Partly Cloudy Patriot

Jon Paul Fiorentino is a writer, editor and teacher. His personal essays have recently appeared in Word, Geist, sub-Terrain, and on CBC Radio One's All in a Weekend. He is the author of The Theory of the Loser Class (Coach House Books, 2006), Asthmatica (Insomniac Press, 2005), and Hello Serotonin (Coach House Books, 2004). His most recent editorial projects are the anthologies Career Suicide! Contemporary Literary Humour (DC Books, 2003) and Post-Prairie—a collaborative effort with Robert Kroetsch (Talonbooks, 2005). He lives in Montreal where he teaches writing at Concordia University and is the editor of Matrix magazine.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Upcoming readings

Here are some winter JPF readings!!

Jon Paul Fiorentino at the Festival Voix D'Ameriques
Also featuring Jade Bérubé and Michel Marchildon.
Hosted by Tony Tremblay.
Tuesday, February 6
Casa del Popolo
4873 boul. St-Laurent
Montreal, QC
11:00 p.m.

Grimm Magazine presents…
Cupid’s Hangover Ball
Featuring - The Great Orbax
Literary Readings by
Margaret Christakos, Jon Paul Fiorentino, and Mark Laliberte
With Music by The Machines
February 15th, 2007
The Circus Room
729 King St. E
Kitchener, ON
8:00 p.m.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

from Sina

Sina showed me this: Spiders on drugs.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Questions for the new year

Sina, do you really have to stop blogging?

Why are so many poets and 'critics' afraid of culture? Why is poetry considered by these people something outside of culture?

Why are certain conflicts of interest in the literary world HUGE news (like reviews written for the Toronto Star by people who know people or hate people) but the most blatant and obvious ones never talked about (like editing a periodical and having your own books featured and lauded)?

Why are so many poets afraid of theory and/or experimental writing? Is it REALLY that hard to do the work?