I left nothing inside on purpose

The cover of my book, I left nothing inside on purpose, is complete! The book will be out next spring from McClelland & Stewart (Penguin Random House Canada) in spring 2018.

About the book: 

“Poems of stringent aesthetic demands and volcanic emotional release make up Stevie Howell’s wondrous I left nothing inside on purpose. These poems–bewildering in their linguistic beauty–verge on prayer in their intense plea to be truly seen by another, a sort of devotional sequence addressing the psychological construct of attachment. Can we change? Has anyone ever changed? Does it matter? Lives marred by injury and violence, both physical and psychic, emerge in the book as meditations on trust, endurance, faith, destruction, and love. Howell’s voice combines ferocious intimacy and moral rigour with precision and compassion.

The Hawai’ian surf, the neuropsychologist’s lab, the deliriums of social media, and the recovery room. From geology to theology, lyric pain to the contemplative mind of the quasi-saint, I left nothing inside on purpose is a deeply affecting, glittering analysis of who we are when we claim to be ourselves in the world.”

It’s available for pre-order here or by quoting the ISBN–978-0771039034–to any bookseller. 

How many nights must it take
one such as me to learn
that we aren’t, after all, made
from that bird that flies out of its ashes,
that for us
as we go up in flames, our one work
to open ourselves, to be
the flames?

—Galway Kinnell

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Chapbook “Summer” nominated for bpNichol Award

Really thrilled to tell you my chapbook, Summer, from Desert Pets Press, has just been announced as a finalist for the bpNichol Chapbook Award. We launched this on Oct 29, 2016, so it’s really a lovely anniversary gift! I’m living in & going to school in New York right now, & it’s a challenging transition, so this nomination is a deeply appreciated tether to my hometown & the community of writers who’ve raised me up.

I tend not to be nostalgic, but I have an inordinate amount of nostalgia for this chapbook. I wrote about some painful personal things in it, but I also played a lot w/ form & space in a way that was also really joyous. But I think so much of my nostalgia is rooted in the wonderful work Desert Pets Press did on the flow & layout. Stuff I’m so grateful they imagined! Just like the cover itself is split between light & dark, the second half of this chapbook features black pages, w/ white text. That section contains one long poem, “Dew,” which I’ve described as a “children’s picture book w/o pictures.” I am still so awed at how Emma Dolan (designer) & Catriona Wright (editor) shaped this work into such a beautiful artifact.

It had a print run of 100 copies & is now sold out, & that’s sort of good in that it relieves me here from seeming like I’m writing some kind of advertorial for myself…

September/October poetry selections for This Magazine

I could not be more excited about the poets in the current issue of This Magazine: Billy-Ray Belcourt & Phoebe Wang.

Billy-Ray Belcourt is a Cree poet & a scholar (a Rhodes scholar, no less!), w/an an incredibly unique & urgent voice. His first book, This Wound is a World, just came out this September, & the poem in the issue, “Ode to Norther Alberta,” is from the collection (follow link on his book title to buy). I cannot, cannot recommend his work enough, & I can’t even begin to imagine how far & fast it is going to travel. I am genuinely honoured that Billy-Ray was willing to share his work w/ This. 

Phoebe Wang’s first book, Admission Requirements, was released this past spring from M&S, & I raved about it on Instagram & in The Globe & Mail at the time. It’s an incredibly wise & sensitive collection. You should buy it, too, if you haven’t! I’m extra thrilled about the poem Phoebe shared because it’s one of the first pcs she’s written & shared publicly since the book was released. I’m so grateful she entrusted me w/ her new work.

The September/October issue is on newsstands now, friends!