By Jeremy Luke Hill
The city of Guelph now has its very own literary publisher. Gordon Hill Press, launched by Jeremy Luke Hill (publisher) and Shane Neilson (editor), is a feisty upstart publisher of exemplary poetry, literary fiction, creative non-fiction, and criticism. It strives to include a wide diversity of writers and writing, particularly writers living with disability. Its inaugural season, to be launched in September 2019, includes three beautifully written titles.
Roxanna Benentt's unmeaningable is a book of “broken sonnets” that explore disability and medicalization. It welcomes you to the freak show, where the monster on display is a culture that stigmatizes sickness and a system that shames the sufferer. This uncanny collection of poems thoughtfully and insistently poses the question of what meaning can be made of a life lived in pain and isolation.
Tom Prime and Gary Barwin's A Cemetery for Holes is a collection of poems that work through questions of family trauma. Its poetic language bends and breaks, resists and reforms under the stress of non-consensual harm, confronting and eventually overcoming this history of violence. While engaged in this struggle, the poems strive to rebuild, to console, and to rediscover the world, its beauty, tenderness, humour, and joy.
Danny Jacobs' Sourcebooks for Our Drawings is an innovative collection of short prose steeped in rural Southeastern New Brunswick farmhouse, the author’s childhood suburbia, and the commercial sprawl of contemporary Atlantic Canada. Each piece provides a snapshot of New Brunswick in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, a place at once unique and startlingly not-so in our globalized word. Part fragmentary memoir, part genre hybrid, and entirely a compilation of familial lore, Jacobs’ new book is a singular and idiosyncratic portrait of New Brunswick. A formally innovative and very personal work, Source books for Our Drawings nevertheless addresses universal concerns about our fraught relationships with nostalgia and memory.
Upcoming in Spring of 2020, Gordon Hill Press will also be launching Matthew Tomkinson and Geoffrey Morrison’s Archaic Torso of Gumby, a startlingly eclectic collection of essays and stories; Amy LeBlanc’s I know something you don’t know, a lucid and fluid book of poems that explore the intersection of folklore and femininity; and Guelph poet Mike Chaulk’s Night Lunch, a collection of sonnets exploring masculinity and labour in the fishing industry in Eastern Canada.
Gordon Hill Press wants to connect Guelph more closely with the Canadian literary landscape by bringing interesting literary voices right here to our city, and also by sharing Guelph’s most interesting voices with the rest of the country. And they’re hoping that you’ll be involved in what they’re doing, by coming to events, picking up their books, or just spreading the word.
You have your very own publisher now, Guelph. Enjoy.