My book, I left nothing inside on purpose, will be out from McClelland & Stewart (Penguin Random House) March 2018. About the book:
Poems of stringent aesthetic demands & volcanic emotional release make up Stevie Howell’s wondrous collection. These poems verge on prayer in their intense plea to be truly seen by another, a devotional sequence addressing our attachments. Can we change? Has anyone ever changed? Does it matter? Lives marred by injury & violence, both physical & psychic, emerge as meditations on trust, faith, & love. The Hawai’ian surf, the neuropsychologist’s lab, the deliriums of social media, & 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 glittering analysis of who we are when we claim to be ourselves in the world.
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.
A poem of mine is up for a National Magazine Award. The poem is called “Talking w/humans is my only way to learn,” & takes its title from Microsoft’s twitter bot, Tay. That phrase was her mantra in the 24 hours she was… Awake? Alive?
The poem was originally published in The Puritan by guest editor Sonnet L’Abbé, in the Irish journal Banshee, & it’s in my chapbook from last fall, Summer. Enormous gratitude to these publishers & editors.
There are so many great poems on this list, & I am happy to call many of these talented poets my friends.
O hai! I have some news. This Magazine just hired me as the new poetry editor. I’ll be trying hard to keep up w/the great work Dani Couture has been doing there for years. The incoming fiction editor is the excellent Andrew Battershill. You might know this already, but This Magazine has been in print since 1966, & has published some of Canada’s most important & progressive writers.
I’ve got a new poem is about my first job—at Arby’s—in an Irish journal called Southword. Also mentioned in the poem: The Smiths, The Exploited, Charlie Chaplin, a book/film by John Irving (The Hotel New Hampshire), & a book/film by Christopher Bram (Gods & Monsters).