Anvil Press

Contemporary Canadian Literature with a Distinctly Urban Twist


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cover for I'm Not Scared of You or Anything

I'm Not Scared of You or Anything

By Jon Paul Fiorentino (Illustrated by Maryanna Hardy)

The characters in I’m not Scared of You or Anything are invigilators, fake martial arts experts, buskers, competitive pillow fighters, drug runners, and, of course, grad students. This collection of comedic short stories and exploratory texts is the ninth book by the critically acclaimed and award-winning author Jon Paul Fiorentino. Deftly illustrated by Maryanna Hardy, these texts ask important questions, like: How does a mild mannered loser navigate the bureaucratic terrain of exam supervision? What happens when you replace the text of Christian Archie comics with the text of Hélène Cixous? And, most important of all, what would it be like if
Mr. Spock was a character in the HBO series GIRLS?


Illustrated throughout by the wonderful, full colour artwork of Maryanna Hardy!


ADVANCE PRAISE FOR I’M NOT SCARED OF YOU OR ANYTHING


“I’m sure something scares Jon Paul Fiorentino, and maybe it drives him toward the deadpan magic he
wields so masterfully in these pages. This is a daring and funny collection.”
—SAM LIPSYTE


“Fiorentino takes the path you’re on in life and sidesteps it just enough to create surreal little worlds, worlds where you can’t help but burst out laughing. A master of dark, comedic timing, he’s perfectly complemented by the delicate, terrifying, and hilarious illustrations of Maryanna Hardy. This book is one of my favourite reads in ages.”
—CHIP ZDARSKY


“I’m Not Scared of You or Anything is a collection for readers bored by more traditional CanLit. It’s a book of outcasts, misfits and underdogs written for outcasts, misfits and underdogs.

Unfiltered, Fiorentino deftly writes what some of us may think from time to time, but would never dare say aloud. He really isn’t scared of anything. … I’m Not Scared of You or Anything is accompanied by more than two dozen illustrations by Montreal artist Maryanna Hardy, whose artwork on the front cover alone is stunning.”
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS


PRAISE FOR FIORENTINO’S WRITING:


“[Fiorentino’s writing] is the embodiment of an imagination so wild, a wit so sharp and a sense of humour so dark.”
—MONTREAL GAZETTE


“There is no mistaking Fiorentino’s sharp wit and precise vocabulary, which are entirely individual—something far too few writers can claim.”
—QUILL AND QUIRE


“Fiorentino is wickedly funny.”
—THE GLOBE AND MAIL

ISBN 978-1-927380-94-9
5 x 8 (w/ French flaps + colour illus.) | 176 pp
$20 CAN / $20 US
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Cover for I, Dr. Greenblatt

I, Dr. Greenblatt, Orthodontist, 251-1457

By Gary Barwin

At times comic, tender, dark, and arrestingly bizarre, Gary Barwin’s latest fiction collection marvels at the strangeness, charm, and beauty that is contemporary life in the quantum world.


Ranging from short story to postcard fiction, Barwin’s stories are luminous, hilarious, and surprising. A billionaire falls in love with a kitchen appliance, a couple share a pair of legs, a pipeline-size hair is given the Nobel Prize only so that it can be taken away, a father remembers with tenderness the radiant happiness of his teenage child, trapped inside his body. As the Utne Reader said of his last collection, “what makes them so compelling is Barwin’s balance of melancholy with wide-eyed wonder.”


Praise for I, Dr. Greenblatt, Orthodontist, 251-1457
“There’s so much to love in I, Dr. Greenblatt, Orthodontist, 251-1457. Each story is a portal into a wondrous and mysterious parallel world. Like the great U.S. poet, Russell Edson, Gary Barwin’s work inhabits a transcendent country, one in which surprise, delight, discovery, and, above all, gleeful imagination rule the day.”
– M.A.C. Farrant (author of The World Afloat and Darwin Alone in the Universe)


“These stories are as unexpected as they are beautiful. Each one will have you seeing the world in a slightly different way.”
– Andrew Kaufman (author of All My Best Friends are Superheroes and Born Weird)

ISBN 978-1-77214-013-2
5.75 x 8 | 144 pp
$18 CAN / $18 US
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Cover for Ignite

Ignite

By Kevin Spenst

A finalist for the Alfred G. Bailey Prize and winner of the Lush Triumphant Award for Poetry, Ignite is a collection of elegiac and experimental poetry powder-kegged with questions about one man’s lifelong struggle with schizophrenia. Born into a strict Mennonite family, Abe Spenst’s mental illness spanned three decades in and out of mental institutions where he underwent electric shock treatment and coma-induced insulin therapy. Merging memory and medical records, Kevin Spenst recreates his father’s life through a cuckoo’s nest of styles that both stand as witness and waltz to the interplay between memory, emotion and all our forms of becoming.


ADVANCE PRAISE FOR IGNITE:
. . . with a fearless layering of voice, Ignite is upfront and unswerving. A novel-esque torrent tracing a troubling history of illness—part confrontation and part chronicle—this collection is daring with its dark narrative. Here is a willingness for, and enviable strength in, extending poetic range. Ignite heals and ascends. There are books that need to be written and this is one of them. This is a collection which gives more and more with every read.
– Sandra Ridley (judge for the Alfred G. Bailey prize)


Cover art by Jason McLean

ISBN 978-1-77214-053-8
5 x 8 | 96 pp
$18 CAN / $18 US
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Cover for Imagining British Columbia

Imagining British Columbia: Land, Memory & Place

By Daniel Francis, Editor

The twenty contemporary writers featured in this anthology have one thing in common: a connection to British Columbia, to a specific time, landscape, or community in BC. Their essays and memoirs have been inspired by, or are in some way affected by, the particular “sense of place” that sets that left-hand corner of the country apart from other provinces. Some are humorous; others are poignant. Whether describing a family history in Kitsilano, the difficulties fitting in as an immigrant, or a close encounter with a grizzly bear, these stories communicate a sense of belonging to, or a trying to find, a sense of place.

Some of Canada’s best-known writers, all members of the Federation of BC Writers, are featured in this anthology, including Pauline Holdstock, Harold Rhenisch, George Fetherling, Howie White, Katherine Gordon, and, M.A.C. Farrant. The book features an introduction by editor Daniel Francis, a historian and author of twenty books.

ISBN 1895636906
5.5 x 8.25 | 216 pp
18.00 CAN / 18.00 US
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The Inanimate World by Robert Strandquist

The Inanimate World

By Robert Strandquist

The Inanimate World is an affecting suite of stories, with a novella-length piece at its core. The stories within The Inanimate World traverse both rural and urban landscapes, exploring the terrain of the personal as much as the geographic. They span the time period of 1980 to the present, providing relevant insights into the private lives of people living through rapid social transformation and an unstable changing economy.

Sincere, germane, and tender tales of longing—for love, understanding, acceptance, and peace.

ISBN 1895636337
5.5 x 8.5 | 182 pp
16.95 CAN / 13.95 US
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Cover for The Incomparables

The Incomparables

By Alexandra Leggat

The Incomparables is the debut novel from the Trillium nominated author of Animal. Lydia Templar is obsessed with fabric, the texture and weight of cloth. Through fabrics, curtains, costumes, she expresses herself in a way she feels incapable of doing in words. For the past ten years she’s apprenticed in the wardrobe department of a small Shakespearean theatre company and has finally been given the opportunity to showcase her designs. When she discovers her husband is having an affair with his leading lady, she seeks revenge the only way she knows how: she weaves her panic, pain, and paranoia into the costumes. It costs her the job. She swears she’ll never sew again, packs her things, and returns to her mother and the sprawling country estate she left years ago. Lydia discovers that her mother has turned part of the large family home into a bed and breakfast.


When a group of counsellors from the city book the family’s B&B for the summer to prepare for a special wedding ceremony, Lydia’s plans to never thread a needle again are challenged. Through the one thing she cannot live without, the counsellors lure Lydia into a role she did not see coming — her self.


The Incomparables is a novel about ambition, betrayal, “failure,” love, family dynamics, how we deal with societal, family, and personal expectations, and how we come to accept who we are.


REVIEWERS ON Animal


“I’m tempted to say it’s a slim, distilled masterpiece.”
MICHAEL BRYSON, Underground Book Club


“these quickly unfolding stories are elliptically drawn, tense with action and dark humour. Leggat is a shape-shifting writer”
THE GLOBE AND MAIL


“this immensely rewarding collection is worth picking up”
EYE WEEKLY


“Most short story collections are up and down. Unlike most, however, Animal is more than the sum of its parts.” – HERIZONS

ISBN 978-1-927380-62-8
5.25 x 8.25 | 320 pp
$20 CAN / $20 US
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Intensive Care a memoir by Alan Twigg

Intensive Care: A Memoir

By Alan Twigg

One night in April, after a Sunday soccer game, Alan Twigg couldn’t remember the names of his two sons or his wife—and he couldn’t hold a pen. An emergency CAT scan revealed a large brain tumour squeezed against his motor cortex. Intensive Care tells the story of why this was a good thing.

Intensive Care isn’t a medical survival story; it’s a yearlong reflection on how the imminence of death can enhance life. The grass gets greener. Confirmation that one is loved is exhilarating, more powerful than any drug.

On May 26th, The Globe & Mail ran a front page story about a recent medical study that concluded one in five Canadians will have a tumour in their head at some point in their lives. Two days later, Dr. Christopher Honey, a neurosurgeon at Vancouver General Hospital, removed the benign tumour from Alan Twigg’s head during a five-hour operation. He started writing again, in the Intensive Care ward, three hours later.

ISBN 1895636477
5 x 8 | 80 pp
14.00 CAN / 10.00 US
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Cover of Inventory

Inventory

By Marguerite Pigeon

Inventory is a collection of 58 object poems. Taking as a starting point the reciprocal relation between subjects and objects, the book explores the unique way that objects appear in an individual consciousness. Each object in this Inventory exists on its own and also reflects the author’s experience, from the mundane stapler and tea bag, to the mysterious, extinct dodo bird, to entities that blur the line between person and thing.

In this way, the collection highlights the often hidden dimensions of the objects we encounter, including their temporal, political, locational and psychic aspects. It offers an opportunity for readers to reconsider their own investments in what, by dictionary definition, should be static categories.

Praise for Inventory:

Inventory by Marguerite Pigeon examines life’s often forgotten elements. From her portrait of “meaning” to her idyllic details of a clothespin, Pigeon is a master of naked realism and organic descriptions of expression. Her first publication, lnventory, was short-listed for the 2010 Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. The book explores the lucid philosophy of simple pleasures – it’s a refreshing truth bound in a small package.

lnventory is a front-to-back read that meshes simplicity and intricacy in a witty and intelligent style. Pigeon’s work is a gem of purity in a complex world.”
—Poetry is Dead

ISBN 1895636973
5 x 7.5 | 80 pp
$15 CAN / $15 US
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Ivanhoe Station by Lyle Neff

Ivanhoe Station

By Lyle Neff

B.C. Book Prize Finalist

Ivanhoe Station is a début collection that rivets with poetic imagery as sharp as movie graphics. These poems address, in turn, social and political questions, while focussing—centrally—on a theme of transcendence.

ISBN 1895636167
5 x 8 | 64 pp
10.95 CAN / 8.95 US
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Cover for Jabbering with Bing Bong

Jabbering with Bing Bong

By Kevin Spenst

Kevin Spenst’s much-anticipated debut collection of poetry opens as a coming-of-age narrative of lower-middle class life in Vancouver’s suburb of Surrey, embroidered within a myriad of pop- and “post-Mennonite” culture.

Language is at play with sit-com sonnets, soundscapes of noise, videogame goombas, an Old-Testament God, teenage longing within the power chords of heavy metal, and the complicated loss of a father to schizophrenia. Jabbering with Bing Bong chronicles the heartbreaking and slapstick pursuit of truth in the realms of religion, mental health, and poetic form itself.


Praise for Jabbering with Bing Bong:
“Belief and disbelief rub up against each other in this startling and flawless debut collection. … These important poems do not redeem so much as allow the possibility of redemption.”
—Jen Currin, author of The Inquisition Yours


“Fearless, attentively probing, and sonically sharp, he is a rare counter-theosophist rhapsodist. Spenst’s Jabbering…is the work of a remarkable shepherd.”
—Sandra Ridley, author of The Counting House


“Kevin Spenst provides further proof that the best writing these days is in the practice of poetry. Hang on tight as you are winged deftly through the human strains…curiosity, sexuality, death, religion and striving—it’s all here.”
—Dennis E. Bolen, author of Black Liquor


“Kevin Spenst’s muscular vocabulary, vigorous pace and nimble references to cultural details enliven his exploration of topics ranging from adolescence to God to Fenris wolf.”
—Sarah Klassen, author of Journey to Yalta

ISBN 978-1-77214-014-9
5 x 8 | 88 pp
$18 CAN / $18 US
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