"Edson’s vivid portrayal of the urban area, as well as the working class and underclass, creates a vision of Saint John that highlights the discrepancy between the pre-modern idyllic notion of life in Atlantic Canada and the more complicated reality of the region."


-The New Brunswick Literary Encyclopedia

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

GORD DOWNIE IS ALL OF US (a poem for a poet)



Gord Downie is all of us

He's our winter jacket
Our frozen mitts
Our sneakers in the snow
Our Hockey Night in Canada
And all the things we know

He's our 99
Our 87
His beloved #4
Our Bob and Harry in the booth
Our guy who shoots and scores

He's our Stanley Cup
Our morning skate
Our mullets fit to groom
Our local minor hockey teams
Our beers in dressing rooms

He's our bonfire chairs
Our Blue Jays games
Our fishing at the camp
Our CBC, our Double-Double
Our card games 'round a lamp

He's our Bay of Fundy
Our Hudson Bay
Our tides and waves and breaks
Our rivers, streams, and puddles too
He's all of our Great Lakes

He's our Group of Seven
Our Hugh MacLennan
Our Atwood and MacLeod
Our David Adams Richards
And all who make us proud

He's our Secret Path
Our dew in grass
Our sunlight and our glow
Our morning rain
Our pleasure pain
He's everyone you know

He's our 401
Our CN Tower
Our fields and forests too
He's everything Canadian
He's all of me and you




-Jerrod Edson

(We love you, Gord!)

Sunday, August 14, 2016

THE MOON IS REAL Launch


A great turnout yesterday for the launch of The Moon is Real. Lots of friends, lots of fun. A big thank you to my good friend Clive Baugh for a great introduction and all his hard work helping me sell the book.

Introducing the author Hadley Grace Edson


Hemingway step aside; I've got a new favorite author. Let me be the first to introduce to the writerly world my daughter, Hadley Grace Edson. She's six years old and has already started her first book. It's titled "The Stolen Crown" and is full of adventure; there's a stolen crown, a stolen rabbit, and a kidnapped princess! Can it get any better than that?

Friday, August 5, 2016

THE MOON IS REAL available at Amazon

You can now order your copy of The Moon is Real at Amazon by clicking on the link below. (This is the pre-sale; release date is August 15th.)

Click here to order!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Cover for The Moon is Real


Here it is, the cover for my fifth novel, The Moon is Real, by Urban Farmhouse Press. The background pic is of Saint John and the harbour, taken by friend and fellow NB writer Lee Thompson (whose short story I reviewed on this blog a few months ago). The book design was by UFP Editor-in-Chief Daniel Lockhart and he did a fantastic job. I'm very pleased with it and am looking forward to getting the book in my hands and getting it out there. 


Wednesday, July 13, 2016


My secret crush, and one of the best writers of the 20th Century, Jean Rhys.

Curious Connections by Karen Sylvia Rockwell


I’m one of those readers who has several books on the go at once. This doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m reading all the time, but as busy as life is for me these days, it’s nice to have variety. Fortunately for me, variety is exactly what Karen Rockwell serves up in her new flash fiction chapbook, Curious Connections (Urban Farmhouse Press, 2016). Part of UFP’s Cities of the Straits Chapbook Series, this one doesn’t disappoint.
Right from the first page, Rockwell seamlessly zaps you into her world with “Remembering Corporal Yeryk”; the story of an Afghanistan War vet who has lost his legs and is visiting his daughter’s school to talk to the kids. Rockwell paints a vivid picture of the limbless man struggling to find himself, and all in two-and-a-half pages.
Moving forward to another lovely vignette, the epitaph-like “Knowing Nora” introduces us to a woman whose strength lies in her ability to either mask her worries or shove them down others' throats in typical Scottish bravado. Either way, you’ll find her to be the most interesting character in the book.    
From the curiously connected pseudo-love story, “That’s Amore?”, to the dark humoured “Frankel”, Rockwell does a great job of revealing to readers the (as the back covers says) “disconnect in our modern world”, all the while reminding us that life, with its many curious connections, is such an interesting place to be.
If you’re curious to connect, you can find this title at Urban Farmhouse Press by clicking HERE
     







Tuesday, July 5, 2016

This could be the most honest pic of me ever.


Taken by my sister-in-law. This will never be used on a book as my author photo but for those who know me, it's spot on!

Friday, July 1, 2016

ANOTHER GEM FROM UFP’s CITIES OF THE STRAITS SERIES




Urban Farmhouse Press’s Cities of the Straits Series is producing some of the best chapbooks out there, both in terms of aesthetics and quality of work. Before I talk about this work, let me take a minute to comment on the hold-in-your-hands book itself. It’s beautiful. Tight binding, along with an attractive simplicity makes this series compete with anyone for quality and design. When asked about this, UFP Founder and Editor-in-Chief D.A. Lockhart says: “I wanted to up our game on them. Looking at City Lights’ series and trying to create a good literary line like that.” Mission accomplished.

And now to the words…

SMACK IN THE MIDDLE OF SPOTLIT OBVIOUS by Laurie Smith (Urban Farmhouse Press, 2016)


Along with the likes of Ken Pobo’s Booking Rooms in the Kuiper Belt (part of UFP's Crossroads Poetry Series, and reviewed already on this blog), Laurie Smith adds to a growing reputation for quality poetry in UFP’s lineup. From the dust jacket, this collection “brings us through the wonder and the questionable in our everyday lives” and connects “on a profoundly personal level”.  Case in point, my favourite of the lot, Breakfast with Dad, wherein Smith’s subtle humour and needle-sharp style reveal the profound in something as everyday as having breakfast with her father. With the clarity and simplicity of a written recipe, Smith cleverly separates the parts from the whole into five pieces: 1) how to butter toast, 2) cereal, 3) poached eggs, 4) Quaker, 5) coffee

 5) coffee
he told me I made better coffee than my sister
that was to me a great source of pride
but how could you screw up a teaspoon of instant hills bros or
maxwell house, pour in boiling water from the kettle

no sugar, enough milk to make it the colour of an acorn
in a mug that says World's Best Dad?


Indeed, this is what this collection is: parts that make a whole; the breaking down of the complicatedness of life and simplifying it for us to understand and enjoy. Smith’s work is perfect for summers on the lake, on a couch, a lawnchair, in sun or shade, wherever and whenever you need to cut away from the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives and figure out why, despite it, it’s just so good to be smack in the middle of it all.

To order your copy, check out Urban Farmouse Press online HERE




Monday, May 2, 2016

The Moon is Real coming soon...

No publication date yet, but The Moon is Real is coming this summer. Word from my publisher, Urban Farmhouse Press, is that it'll be here sometime around mid-June / early July. I'm starting to organize readings in Saint John, Moncton, Windsor, and Mississauga so far. I should be getting a cover preview soon enough so I'm excited for that. The photo being used is a beautiful shot of Saint John by my friend Lee Thompson, whose short story I reviewed on this blog a short while back. So here we go again, book #5, and my first since 2010. It's an exciting time.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

BOOKING ROOMS IN THE KUIPER BELT by Kenneth Pobo


With so many companies fighting to be the first to offer space tourism, American poet Kenneth Pobo takes you there and beyond and back again in his whacky-wonderful collection BOOKING ROOMS IN THE KUIPER BELT (Urban Farmhouse Press). And all from a window seat with spectacular views.

Not only does Pobo create a believable journey, but offers laugh-out-loud humour as in-flight entertainment. From "WHITMAN IN McDONALDS" to Ginsberg in Heaven, there are many memorable poems you'll read out loud to your friends. My favourite, "JOSEPH", offers Pobo's take on being the stepfather to Jesus, and the unenviable task of living in the shadow of God:

                                                    Maybe he didn't mind
                                                    working behind the scenes,
                                                    watching his son
                                                    grow up to look
                                                    nothing like him,
                                                    a kid who said,
                                                    "I'm the King of Heaven,
                                                    dad. Thanks for everything."

Pobo then takes us deep into the community of the universe; planetary personifications offer alternate views of our celestial neighbours, with a familiarity close the home. "RED PLANET GREEN" looks at Earth stepping out of a fitting room

                                                    wearing a natty ocean
                                                    the envy
                                                    of Mars

Pobo then returns us home with an elegant landing, highlighted by "9/11: LAVENDER MEMORIAM", a subtly-charged elegy to the gay firefighters lost on 9/11 that history fails to mention:

                                                   We are human beings.
                                                    Lavender.
                                                   We too
                                                    sleep in ashes.

From cosmically comical to heartbreakingly real, this is a collection from a very gifted, and very imaginative poet. What a voyage. BOOKING ROOMS IN THE KUIPER BELT has earned a place on my shelf among my favorites.


To book your flight, visit Urban Farmhouse Press HERE 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

DOGS IN HEAT coming together...

Second draft of Dogs in Heat completed today; I'm nearing the finish line. Will allow it a few months to percolate, go through it again and begin the third and final draft. Hoping to have it ready for submission sometime this summer. It's my first attempt at speculative fiction and I'm excited about it. The idea came to me back in 2001 while working at Chapters during the Indigo takeover. Ernest Hemingway, Satan, and Vincent van Gogh collide in what will no doubt be my most ambitious novel yet.

Also excited to have The Moon is Real coming out this summer with Urban Farmhouse Press. I recently saw the photo being used for the cover and I'm very happy with it. Looking forward to holding the book in my hands. I have no idea why I write novels but there's a real sense of satisfaction seeing the result of months upon months of work, and the urge that comes soon after to begin something entirely new. 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Day I Met Ernest Hemingway


In 1999 I traveled to Oak Park to celebrate Ernest Hemingway's 100th birthday, where I met his three sons. Below is the article I published about the experience. It has been 17 years since I wrote it and my knowledge of Hemingway today is far greater than it was then; I found a glaring error right in the beginning and now must correct myself...Hemingway placed the barrels (there were two) of the shotgun on his forehead, not in his mouth. 

 


Monday, January 11, 2016

A Survivor's Guide to Engine Failure at 35,000 Feet by Lee D. Thompson

Your life will go down in flames and when you pull yourself from the ashes a great black boot will stomp you back into the soil, says Kaye Allan Warwick, the angst-ridden, ranting protagonist in Lee D. Thompson's 8,000-word story A Survivor's Guide to Engine Failure at 35,000 Feet.
 
Warwick is writing a letter to his doctor after he "went off the rails" in their recent appointment, in the hopes the doc will keep him on as a patient again; part audition, part apology, part confession, Warwick is a man humble enough to know he needs help dealing with the psychological weight of being one of two survivors of a horrific plane crash, yet refreshingly haughty in the aftermath of his pseudo-celebrity status that followed.
 
Stories that dare to delve into madness (or to the brink of it, in this case) run the risk of crashing and burning (too much ranting and you lose the reader; too little and it's not believable), but it's not the case here; Thompson holds a steady hand on the yoke. The humour is sparse and well-timed. Indeed, Warwick's voice is manic, yet altogether alive and authentic (imagine a Hunter S. Thompson / Barney Panofsky offspring and you're headed in the right direction). His memories of the crash are honest and raw, and utterly void of any writerly bullshit: 
 
Yes there were 189 others who didn’t make it, who were, as I saw first hand, though the photos were never released, torn to shreds – dismembered, beheaded, rendered unrecognizable as human, strewn about like doll parts. Blood pooled in the oddest places. 
 
Thompson's writing is so clean it makes me want to go back and edit my own stuff. This is a lovely, witty, imaginative piece of fiction. So buckle yourself in and get ready for take-off; you're in for a spectacular patch of turbulence.
 
You can read the full story HERE.