Established in 1966, Argo Bookshop is Montreal's oldest independent Anglophone retail bookstore. With only 200 square feet to stock 6000 titles, we take great care in keeping a choice selection. We have something for everyone, and if you don't find what you are looking for, we will gladly order it for you.

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Opening hours:

Mon-Fri 10h-19h
Saturday 12h-17h

Location:

1915 Ste Catherine W.
Montreal, Quebec
Tel: 514-931-3442

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Events:

Monthly: Argo Open Mics & Featured Reading Series!

Keep yourself posted through our website for all upcoming events! Check us out on Facebook or Twitter.

Feel free to check out recordings from past events either here on the site, or on our MixCloud account.


Blog and Book Reviews

July Newsletter + New & Latest Arrivals (07/02/2014)

The sun. The goddamned sun. As we broil and boil during the first of these heavy summer months, there’s nothing more we’d like than to hit the shores of the nearest body of water with a cold drink, some shade and a book. Wouldn’t you? And while we can now enjoy the long-awaited heat we craved since winter, it has become a bit too hot for in-store events. For those of you who don’t know, in-store events will be on a hiatus from July to September, and we’ll resume again in the month of October.

Want a copy of the July newsletter for offline browsing?

Argo Bookshop Newsletter – July 2014

 

Book of the Month: 20% off

Omon Ra by Victor Pelevin 

Chosen for its absurdity and fluid style, July’s book of the month tells the story of Omon, a young Russian man who yearns to fly to the stars as a cosmonaut. In a rush to actualize his dreams, he abandons his family and enlists himself in flight school, determined to be chosen for the Soviet Space Agency’s next moon-bound project. Doubts begin to arise, however, once Omon is submitted to mysterious drug tests, substandard space exploration technology (leather jackets as spacesuits and bicycle-powered moonwalkers), and the orders and speeches of the Soviet Dr. Strangelove that is Colonel Urgachin.

Victor Pelevin was born on November 22, 1962 in Moscow, and attended the Moscow Institute of Power Engineering, and the Institute of Literature.

“…In light of the truth-is-stranger-than-fiction state of contemporary Russian society, some of the Soviet-era satire seems oddly tame. Nevertheless, as captured in Bromfield’s superb translation, Pelevin is blessed with a distinctive mix of eloquence and nervous energy, inventive storytelling and subversive wit.” (Publishers Weekly)

 

New & Latest Arrivals

Now that Canada Day has come and gone, you may recall some of the fantastic Canadian literature we brought in last month, all of which are highly recommended. In addition to those authors, some highlights of our new arrivals include Book 3 of Karl Ove Knausgaard‘s My Struggle, the Collected Prose Translations of John Ashbery, Hugo Ball’s Flametti from Wakefield Press… all that in addition to new and beautiful local author titles in the store, Su J. Sokol‘s Cycling to Asylum, Matt Murphy‘s A Beckoning War and Dean Garlick‘s Chloes.

Click the title of a book to view information on or a review of that title, or just search for them in our catalogue (recommended for price checks).

 

LITERATURE

  • Chloes by Dean Garlick (local author)

 

POETRY

  • Personae: The Shorter Poems (Revised Edition) by Ezra Pound

 

FILM & ART

  • Mao by Claude Hudelot & Guy Gallice

 

SOCIAL SCIENCES

 

SCIENCE

 

CRITICISM & THEORY

 

Book Club Update

 

Our next read is… Fatale by Jean Patrick Manchette:

Whether you call her a coldhearted grifter or the soul of modern capitalism, there’s no question that Aimée is a killer and a more than professional one. Now she’s set her eyes on a backwater burg—where, while posing as an innocent (albeit drop-dead gorgeous) newcomer to town, she means to sniff out old grudges and engineer new opportunities, deftly playing different people and different interests against each other the better, as always, to make a killing. But then something snaps: the master manipulator falls prey to a pure and wayward passion.” New York Review of Books

“In France, which long ago embraced American crime fiction, thrillers are referred to as polars. And in France the godfather and wizard of polars is Jean-Patrick Manchette… [H]e’s a massive figure… There is gristle here, there is bone.” —The Boston Globe

On July 10th, we’ll get together to discuss the book over some drinks. Everyone’s welcome, and anyone partaking receives a 15% discount off the book.

 

 AND DON’T FORGET:

The Ste-Catherine Street Sidewalk Sale!

 JULY 12th and 13th

The street is closed to automobiles in order to accommodate the huge crowds that turn out for this annual event. Dancers, singers and DJs are on hand to create a festive atmosphere. Stores will be outside so that bargain hunters can take advantage of the biggest sale of the year.

Come by the shop and check out what we have to offer!

June Newsletter + New & Latest Arrivals (06/03/2014)

 

We think it’s safe to say summer’s in full swing, which means it’s time to get some sun and fresh air while enjoying your books, whether it’s a light novel by Mina Loy, a book of Bukowski‘s poems, the whole of Thomas Piketty‘s Capital in the Twenty-First Centuryor new Canadian poetry and prose by David Adams RichardsMike Spry, Jenna Smith, Cora Sire, Jacob Wren, Zoe Whittal and Jon Paul Fiorentino. 

There’s lots of events this month to check out as well: We’ll start off with Brian Bartlett, who will be reading from his new book Ringing Here & There with accompanying readings from Mark Abley, Maxianne Berger, David Manicom, Carole TenBrink, and Robyn Sarah. Then, the Montreal-based publisher DC Books will be holding a poetry reading with Greg Santos and John McAuley. Thirdly, we’ve got great triple-header Featured Reading with poets Daniel Renton, Marc di Saverio Gary Barwin. Lastly, it’s our last Open Mic of the summer until we resume again in October! Read on for more info.

Want a copy of the June newsletter for offline browsing?

Argo Bookshop Newsletter – June 2014

 

Book of the Month: 20% off

Insel by Mina Loy

 

insel

“German painter Insel is a perpetual sponger and outsider—prone to writing elegant notes with messages like “Am starving to death except for a miracle—three o’clock Tuesday afternoon will be the end”—but somehow writer and art dealer Mrs. Jones likes him. Together, they sit in cafés, hatch grand plans, and share their artistic aspirations and disappointments. And they become friends. But as they grow ever closer, Mrs. Jones begins to realize just how powerful Insel’s hold over her is.” (Melville House Books)

Unpublished during Loy’s lifetime, Insel is the only novel published by the surrealist master Mina Loy. Written in the 1930s, during which time Loy continued to engrain herself into the artistic bohemia of Paris and New York, this new edition published by Melville House Books includes an alternate ending recently found in the archives of Loy’s work.

 

New & Latest Arrivals

Click the title of a book to view information on or a review of that title, or just search for them in our catalogue (recommended for price checks).

 

LITERATURE

  • Uvantas Favourite by Martin Wright (local author)

 

POETRY

  • Red Doc> by Anne Carson (paperback edition)
  • Corona: The Selected Poems of Paul Celan
  • Pybrac by Pierre Louys
  • You Get So Alone At Times That It Just Makes Sense by Charles Bukowski

 

MUSIC & ART

 

SOCIAL SCIENCES & WOMENS STUDIES

 

TRAVEL

 

SCIENCE & PHILOSOPHY

 

KIDS

 

SMALL PRESS

 

Book Club Update

 

Our next read is… Fatale by Jean Patrick Manchette:

Whether you call her a coldhearted grifter or the soul of modern capitalism, there’s no question that Aimée is a killer and a more than professional one. Now she’s set her eyes on a backwater burg—where, while posing as an innocent (albeit drop-dead gorgeous) newcomer to town, she means to sniff out old grudges and engineer new opportunities, deftly playing different people and different interests against each other the better, as always, to make a killing. But then something snaps: the master manipulator falls prey to a pure and wayward passion.” New York Review of Books

“In France, which long ago embraced American crime fiction, thrillers are referred to as polars. And in France the godfather and wizard of polars is Jean-Patrick Manchette… [H]e’s a massive figure… There is gristle here, there is bone.” —The Boston Globe

On July 10th, we’ll get together to discuss the book over some drinks. Everyone’s welcome, and anyone partaking receives a 15% discount off the book.

 

June’s Events

#1

Brian Bartlett Reads from 

Ringing Here & There: A Nature Calendar

(with Special Guests)

Wednesday, June 11th

@ Argo Bookshop

Doors @ 7PM, Reading @ 7:30PM

You are cordially invited to celebrate the publication of Ringing Here & There: A Nature Calendar by poet Brian Bartlett alongside readings from Mark Abley, Maxianne Berger, David Manicom, Carole TenBrink, and Robyn Sarah.

Ringing Here & There is a diary of nature writing whose execution is comparable to that of Thoreau’s Walden and Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. Following the arc of one spring season to the next, this book’s 366+ entries, from field reports to sketches and collages, are immediately grounded in Nova Scotia and span out to further travels in Alberta, Nebraska, New York and Ireland.

Winner of both the Atlantic Poetry Prize and Acorn-Plantos Award for People’s Poetry, Brian Bartlett is the author of seven full-length collections of poetry. He has been honoured with two Malahat Review Long Poem Prizes and first prize in the Petra Kenney poetry awards, and has edited volumes of selected poetry by Don Domanski, James Reaney, and Robert Gibbs.

 

#2

DC Books Summer Reading:

Greg Santos & John McAusley

Friday, June 13th

Argo Bookshop (1915 Ste. Catherine West)

Doors at 7PM, Reading at 7:30PM

Come join poets Greg Santos and John McAuley for a night of high-falutin’ wordplay as they read from their books Rabbit Punch! and All I Can Say for Sure.

“The poems in McAuley’s All I Can Say for Sure range from personal archaeology and elegiac fictions of free translations to grammar wordplay for the initiated to a compassionately ironic look at the passing of life to rewired material extensions of our inner and outer spaces. McAuley’s meditations upon the details of quotidian life and historical personae are rendered with the syntactical precision of a linguist and the metaphorical density of a riddler.” (DC Books)

John McAuley is one of the original Vehicule poets, a group which formed in the mid-1970s around the alternative gallery Vehicule Art and the printing operation Vehicule Press, and was instrumental in the publication of the group’s landmark anthology The Vehicule Poets.

“In Rabbit Punch!, Marco Polo reminisces on his friendship with Kublai Khan over deli sandwiches, Wilfred Owen and Ernest Hemingway trade war stories at Hooters, and Senator John McCain remembers that fateful day when his father took him to eat bubble gum ice cream. With punchy poems that are intimate, dark, enigmatic, playful, and surreal, peppered with pop culture figures ranging from Batman, to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Paris Hilton to “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Rabbit Punch! delivers a poetic KO.” (DC Books)

Greg Santos is the author of The Emperor’s Sofa (DC Books). He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School in Manhattan. Greg is a poetry editor for carte blanche and teaches the art of verse to at-risk youth. He lives in Montreal with his wife and two children.

 

#3

Argo Featured Reading #26:

Daniel Renton, Marc di Saverio and Gary Barwin

Friday, June 20th

Argo Bookshop (1915 Ste. Catherine West)

Doors at 7PM, Reading at 7:30PM

Come to the Argo on Friday, June 20th for a three-part reading with poets Daniel Renton, Marc di Saverio, and Gary Barwin!

 

Daniel Kincade Renton has been published in a variety of Canadian journals and anthologies, including Prism international, Hazlitt, CV2, The Fiddlehead, The Fish Quill Poetry Boat 2010-2013, and Sifted: A Collection of Work by Participants at the Banff Centre Writers’ Studio, 2011. He was the guest-host of Readings at the Common in Toronto for the 2014 winter season and has a chapbook forthcoming with Frog Hollow Press.

Marc di Saverio hails from Hamilton, Ontario. His poetry and translations have appeared in such outfits as The Dalhousie Review, Misunderstandings, Modern Haiku, Haiku Scotland and Maisonneuve Magazine. Recently Simply Haiku named him one of “the top ten world’s finest living English haiku poets for the year 2011″. He will be reading from his debut collection, Sanatorium Songs (Palimpsest Press 2013), and more.

Gary Barwin is a poet and fiction writer of numerous titles, and a composer and performer. His music and writing have been performed and broadcast in Canada, the U.S. and Europe. Barwin is also the author of several books for kids, including Seeing Stars, which was nominated for a CLA YA Book of the Year and an Arthur Ellis Award.

 

Barwin’s most recent book of poems is Moon Baboon Canoe, full of “witty and surprising poems confront subjects as diverse as time machines, elves, hummingbirds, birth and cows, yet manage to explore the perennial themes of poetry: delight, mortality, childhood, love, the natural world and squirrels. It is a moon-guided, baboon-paddled canoe of a book, and around each bend in the river we find the sources of our strength: consolation, goofiness and joy.” (Mansfield Press)

 

#4

Argo Open Mic #28:

Last One of the Summer!!!

Wednesday, June 25th

Argo Bookshop (1915 Ste. Catherine West)

Doors at 7PM, Reading at 7:30PM

Montrealers! Come read some of your work for 5 to 10 minutes at our Open Mic! For those of you who might not know: Every month, the Argo Bookshop hosts this open venue for people to share their writing, music, articles and comedy. Bring your friends and enjoy the evening! Make sure to come early to sign up and save yourself a spot!

…Following this session, the Argo Open Mic will be on a hiatus during the months of July, August and September. If we don’t see you in June, we hope we’ll see you in the fall!

 

“From Behind an Ancient Cash Register” by Meaghan Acosta, Argo Co-Owner

 

Again. Again, today, I was asked if I read. Considering I sit behind the cash register of a small independent book store, day in and day out, surrounded with literature, poetry and philosophy, this question baffles me. It’s baffling but also incredibly insulting. I congratulate these folks on their courage to ask what might be the most absurd and demeaning question available to them while in the book store. I also congratulate them on their grace as their jaws drop when I answer in the positive, adding that I am also an owner of the place.

On several days out of a given week, customers walking in may find themselves face-to-face with a woman sitting behind the cash register of our little shop. When she’s not researching titles to add to the shop’s distilled collection, she can give you great recommendations based out of experience, intuition and intelligence. Her name is Meaghan Acosta, a co-owner and indelible member of the partnership since November 2011, when the Argo entered its fourth generation of ownership.

Recently, the online journal of general literary excitement Encore Magazine published an incisive article written by Meaghan Acosta about her experience as both a female bookseller and business owner in lieu of the original author Norm Sibum‘s current hiatus (whose posts are also a recommended read).

But enough with any further digression: This fantastic article is culled together from experiences as a book retailer in the past three years, and it offers numerous revelations not only on the treatment of women in the ‘workplace’ (bookselling and abroad), but also in the world of literature at large:

 

I am forced, for the sake of stocking shelves, to sift through many catalogues put out by publishers. I say forced because rarely am I satisfied with what I find there. Random House is perhaps the best example of what I detest about the publishing industry at the moment. If one were to go through their front list simply by looking at the covers of the books, one would surely notice the fact that almost every book written by a woman is packaged in a rigid and formulaic manner. Generally, there is an image of a woman, or parts of a woman, composed in such a way as to evoke feelings of forlornness, helplessness/brokenness, melancholy and/or loss. The font is almost always cursive and ‘pretty’ and the blurbs, more often than not, contain at least one review from a women’s magazine such as Elle,Vogue or Vanity Fair. These magazines are filled with trite, mostly fashion and beauty-related articles. Following a brief stint in high school during which I read these things, I have never since gone to them, particularly for my reading list, lest I contract illiteracy while stuck in that purgatorial region that births articles with titles like:Panty trade: women who sell their underwear to men. Seriously.””

 

The article as a whole is at once supplementary to oft-shared articles by writers like Roxane Gay and websites like Everyday Sexism, but also stands apart as a two-tiered perspective on the experience of disseminating and digesting the literary in a gender-stilted world. As much as we will tell ourselves, and go so far as to establish in ‘official’ capacities, it’s important to remind ourselves that the preconceptions and pitfalls are still there, however dwindling or omnipresent we consider them to be.

 

R E A D   T H E   F U L L   A R T I C L E   H E R E

 

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Published May 13th, 2014 in Announcements, Recommendations

May Newsletter + New & Latest Arrivals (03/05/2014)

 

Hello, everyone!

We hope the month of April has treated you well. To shake you all out of the initial doldrums of cold, grey weather that accompanies ‘spring’, we’re starting off this month with a bang. We highly encourage you all to check out at least one of our three upcoming events: There’s our 25th Featured Reading with authors Jessica Moore and Kate Cayley on the 3rd of May (tonight!), the Montreal launch of the modernist urban novel Adam Buenosayres by Leopoldo Marechal at Atwater Library on the 6th of May, as well as the talented author Peter Norman‘s launch of his debut novel Emberton (which has been receiving high praise from the likes of the Toronto Star and National Post) on the 8th of May.

Want a copy of the May newsletter for offline browsing?

Argo Bookshop Newsletter – May 2014

 

Book of the Month: 20% off

The Concept of Time

by Martin Heidegger

Regarded as one of the twentieth century’s most important philosophers, Martin Heidegger’s The Concept of Time is widely considered to be the first draft of his celebrated masterpiece, Being and Time. Here Heidegger reveals his deep commitment to the hermeneutic philosophers Wilhelm Dilthey and Count Yorck von Wartenburg. In it, he agrees that historical life constitutes the centre of philosophy, which requires that philosophy itself becomes ‘historical knowledge.’ However, going beyond Dilthey and Yorck, Heidegger also argues for an ontological and phenomenological approach to the problem of history. Based on this ontological turn, he develops time and historicity as central determinations of Dasein (commonly understood as ‘the Being for whom being is a question’).

This text provides a concise and readable summary of the main themes of Heidegger’s Being and Time and as such is an ideal companion to the text. —Continuum Books

 

New & Latest Arrivals

 

Some points of interest for this month’s first selection of new and latest arrivals include Canadian poet Gillian Sze‘s latest book Peeling Rambutan, new poetry by Jason Guriel and Jim Johnstone, the latest novel from Guillaume Morrissette, the new collection of stories by Lydia Davis entitled Can’t and Won’t, as well as paperback editions of some of last year’s best books: The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Something Fierce by Carmen Aguirre… Read on for the whole list. 

Also! If you haven’t heard yet, we are now carrying the fantastic 4th issue of Music & Literature (pictured above), a magazine “devoted to publishing excellent new literature on and by underrepresented artists from around the world. Each issue of Music & Literature assembles an international group of critics and writers in celebration of three featured artists whose work has yet to reach its deserved audience.” This issue in particular features previously unpublished work and other related material by some of our shop’s favourite authors, Clarice Lispector and Mary Ruefle, as well as articles on the musicians Barry Guy and Mary Homburger. Definitely worth checking out.

Click the title of a book to view information on or a review of that title, or just search for them in our catalogue (recommended for price checks).

LITERATURE

  • The Diary of Adam and Eve by Mark Twain

 

POETRY & CRITICISM

 

SCIENCE

 

PHILOSOPHY

 

TRAVEL

 

Book Club Update

Our next read is… On Being Blue: A Philosophical Inquiry by William H. Gass.

Of the colors, blue and green have the greatest emotional range. Sad reds and melancholy yellows are difficult to turn up. Among the ancient elements, blue occurs everywhere: in ice and water, in the flame as purely as in the flower, overhead and inside caves, covering fruit and oozing out of clay… Blue is therefore most suitable as the color of interior life. Whether slick light sharp high bright thin quick sour new and cool or low deep sweet dark soft slow smooth heavy old and warm: blue moves easily among them all, and all profoundly qualify our states of feeling.”

(NYRB)

“Gass is a philosopher-voluptuary, someone who romances language with a roué’s cunning, and isn’t afraid to play with words and ideas for sheer sport.” 

—Diane Ackerman

On May 30th, we’ll get together to discuss the book over some drinks. Everyone’s welcome, and anyone partaking receives a 15% discount off the book.

 

May’s Events

#1

Argo Featured Reading #25:  Jessica Moore & Kate Cayley Saturday, May 3rd @ Argo Bookshop Doors @ 7PM, Reading @ 7:30PM

Jessica Moore is an author and translator. Her first collection of poems, Everything, now, was released with Brick Books in August 2012. She is a former Lannan writer-in-residence and winner of a 2008 PEN America Translation Award for her translation of Turkana Boy by Jean-François Beauchemin. She recently spent four months in residence in Arles, France, while she worked on the translation of a contemporary French novel called Birth of a Bridge in English, forthcoming with Talon Books in August 2014. Jessica writes music as well – her debut solo album, Beautiful in Red, was released last year.

Kate Cayley’s poetry and short stories have appeared in literary magazines across the country. Her play, After Akhmatova, was produced by Tarragon Theatre, where she is a playwright-in-residence, and a young adult novel, The Hangman in the Mirror, was published by Annick Press in 2011. She is also the artistic director of Stranger Theatre, and has written, directed and co-created eight plays.

#2

The Montreal Launch of

Adam Buenosayres by Leopoldo Marechal

Tuesday, May 6th

@ Atwater Library: 1200 Atwater Ave.

6PM to 8PM

You’re  invited to the launch of the English translation of Leopoldo Marechal’s canonical Argentine novel Adán Buenosayres, first published in 1948 and hailed by writers such as Julio Cortazar as a significant landmark in literature.

Participants for this reading will include writer and editor Mark Abley, Emilia Deffis  from Université Laval, and the translator Norman Cheadle. There will be a bilingual reading from the original text and the translation.

“A modernist urban novel in the tradition of James Joyce, Adam Buenosayres is a tour-de-force that does for Buenos Aires what Carlos Fuentes did for Mexico City or José Lezama Lima did for Havana – chronicles a city teeming with life in all its clever and crass, rude and intelligent forms. Employing a range of literary styles and a variety of voices, Leopoldo Marechal parodies and celebrates Argentina’s most brilliant literary and artistic generation, the martinfierristas of the 1920s, among them Jorge Luis Borges.” (McGill-Queens Press)

#3

The Montreal Launch of

Peter Norman’s debut novel Emberton

Thursday, May 8th @ 7PM

@ Argo Bookshop

Join us for refreshments and a reading from Peter Norman‘s debut novel Emberton!

This literary gothic novel follows one Lance Blunt as he struggles with an inability to read. Despite the best efforts of his parents, friends and teachers, Lance’s corneas will bleed if he stares at a word long enough, with the letters lying like “indecipherable rubble. When an anonymous postcard offers him a job at Emberton Dictionary and suggests that there he will find the resolution to his “particular difficulty,” he goes for an interview, hoping that someone at this prestigious repository of words can finally teach him. Behind the revolving doors of the Emberton Tower, Lance finds only more mysteries, like the pretty young etymologist who works there one day and is gone the next, and the company’s private hospital hidden behind frosted glass on the third floor, not to mention what is possibly the world’s worst company cafeteria. With the fate of human language itself at stake, Lance must confront what is hidden in the Tower and discover the cost of harnessing the power of words.” (Douglas & MacIntyre)

Peter Norman is the author of two books of poetry, At the Gates of the Theme Park and Water Damage. His fiction and poetry have been published in The Walrus, SubTerrain, Literary Review of Canada, The Malahat Review, Arc Poetry Magazine and many other publications. He is based in Toronto, Ontario. This is his first novel.

#4

Argo Open Mic #27 Wednesday, May 28th @ Argo Bookshop Doors at 7PM, Reading at 7:30PM

Montrealers! Come read some of your work for 5 to 10 minutes at our Open Mic! For those of you who might not know: Every month, the Argo Bookshop hosts this open venue for people to share their writing, music, articles and comedy. Bring your friends and enjoy the evening! Make sure to come early to sign up and save yourself a spot!

Just a Thought

The Canadian poet Stuart Ross made a good point today in a status update of his:

“I would like to see a Canadian Bookstore Day, in which indie booksellers are celebrated and supported the way record stores are on Record Store Day.”

…Why the hell not?

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Published April 26th, 2014 in Uncategorized

Small Press Arrivals & Hey, What’re You Doing This Saturday?

Always a pleasure to have the shop house local small presses. That said, we want to take a moment to announce two arrivals and an upcoming event this Saturday you should seriously be considering making time for:

#1

M E T A T R O N

We’ve just acquired the complete first (and limited!) print run of the new Montreal-based publisher Metatron‘s six choice chapbooks. Headed by a fantastic, savvy editorial staff, the saddle-stitched and perfect-bound selection of authors includes (in alphabetic order):

1. Interviews by Laura Broadbent, author of the poetry collection Oh There You Are I Can’t See You Is It Raining? from Invisible Publishing in 2012. “Interviews consists of three posthumous interviews with authors beyond the grave: Clarice Lispector, W.G Sebald, and Jean Rhys. Subjects include history, time, decay, the elusive ‘I’, the tyranny of men, fish, obscurity, the you-me, the IT, constellations, etc.”

2. les œuvres se;ected by Matthew E. Duffy, local artist cum mystic cum writer. les œuvres se;ected is a “selection of poetry is composed of six sections that were emailed to (Metatron) editor (in chief) Ashley Opheim in various stages of completion over the span of three years. Upon going over old emails, Opheim discovered this wealth of work she had originally overlooked.”

3. I Am Here by Ashley E. Opheim, founder and co-director of This Is Happening Whether You Like It Or Not, a reading series in Montréal curated with author Guillaume MorrisetteI Am Here “navigates the vast, internal realms of the human mind. Using both stream-of-consciousness and the confessional mode, this collection of poetry offers a fresh perspective, wrought with a depth of feeling that is honest and curious. Tracing the thoughts and feelings of a girl on the verge of womanhood, perils and triumphs are expressed.”

4. Magnetic Days by Roland “Rollie” Pemberton, aka the musician Cadence Weapon, who served as Edmonton’s Poet Laureate from 2009 to 2011.  Magnetic Days is “an abstract rendering of contemporary Canadian youth culture, ‘Magnetic Days’ is a collection of poems and stories about love, class, race, drugs and religion.” It is his first published book of poetry.

5. Tampion by Ali Pinkey. Her first collection of poetry, Tampion is “a collection of disembodied elegies, ‘Tampion’ explores the psychological anatomies of the 21st Century damsel as gun.”

6. How to Appear Perfectly Indifferent While Crying on the Inside by Jay Winston Ritchie,  author of Something You Were, Might Have Been, or Have Come to Represent from Insomniac Press in 2014. How to Appear Perfectly Indifferent While Crying on the Inside features “24-hour diners, swimming pools, haunted McDonald’s, reincarnation and fame in remote East Africa: (poems that follow) a young 20-something as he navigates break-ups, adulthood, technology, and loneliness.”

 

#2

Hey, What’re You Doing This Saturday?

Don Dream And I Dream by Leah Umansky (Kattywompus Press)

…Just thought we’d ask, because, you know, I mean, there’s this reading coming up on Saturday that poetry lovers and fans of the show Mad Men could really sink their teeth into. Leah Umansky will be reading in our shop on April 12th @ 7PM, primarily from her new chapbook Don Dreams and I Dream, published by the Ohio-based Kattywompus Press. Amy Silbergeld from the online literary review HTML Giant had this to say: “Don Dreams and I Dream is compulsively readable, but it is far from a light collection of poems. Most hold the weight of women’s struggles for recognition as human beings over much of the past century. The poems are at once political and confessional, feisty and giddy, aggressive and playfully submissive. The poems are nothing if not sexy, and sensuality is key to their power—just as it is, in large part, the key to Don’s.” You can read the full review here, or this one from Sabotage Reviews.

This will be Umansky’s first reading in Canada.

Ever.

We are stoked.

April Newsletter + New & Latest Arrivals (01/04/2014)

 


 

Despite the sudden snowfalls here in Montreal, spring is apparently around the corner. That means the levy of spring releases and book launches will break, not entirely unlike the book spillage sculptures of Alicia Martin shown above. We have lots of new books to check out in the shop, as well as several excellent events to attend throughout the month. Read on for more info!

Want a copy of the April newsletter for offline browsing?

Argo Bookshop Newsletter – April 2014

 

Book of the Month: 20% off

Guillermo Rosale’s

Leapfrog & Other Stories

Leapfrog is a novella about a boy living in late-‘50s post revolutionary Cuba. He read comic books and hangs around with the neighbourhood kids, yet there is an intense edginess here. Told in the same unrelenting style as (Rosales’) The Halfway House, it is as if Rosales had transcribed all that he’d heard and said as a child into this one moving and very brutal look at lost childhood. Together with a few powerful short stories, we now have the final remnants of the Cuban writer’s work.” (New Directions)

“In the grotesquely comic world of Cuban writer Guillermo Rosales’ collection… children are the original criminals and counter-culture outlaws. (As a friend of the scappy protagonist Agar asks,) ‘Have you ever seen a being more diabolic than a child?’” (The Rumpus)

 

New & Latest Arrivals

Before laying out the list of everything that’s arrived: For those of you who don’t know, we just want to let fans of our shop as well as literary magazine appreciators know that the Montreal issue of CNQ, #89, is available in store. Full of excellent articles, poetry and interviews, this issue includes some great Argo Bookshop-related material to boot, such as a wonderfully loquacious interview with poet Peter Van Toorn by Argo co-owner Meaghan Acosta(!) and an article about our very own Open Mic series by Cory Lavender! Check it out for only $8.

Click the title of a book to view information on or a review of that title, or just search for them in our catalogue (recommended for price checks).

LITERATURE

 

POETRY

  • MxT by Sina Queyras

 

WOMEN’S STUDIES

 

PHILOSOPHY

 

TRAVEL

 

SCIENCE

 

KIDS

  • Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? Board Book by Bill Martin and Eric Carle
  • Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin and Eric Carle

 

Book Club Update

Our next read is…

On Being Blue: A Philosophical Inquiry by William H. Gass.

Of the colors, blue and green have the greatest emotional range. Sad reds and melancholy yellows are difficult to turn up. Among the ancient elements, blue occurs everywhere: in ice and water, in the flame as purely as in the flower, overhead and inside caves, covering fruit and oozing out of clay… Blue is therefore most suitable as the color of interior life. Whether slick light sharp high bright thin quick sour new and cool or low deep sweet dark soft slow smooth heavy old and warm: blue moves easily among them all, and all profoundly qualify our states of feeling.”

(NYRB)

“Gass is a philosopher-voluptuary, someone who romances language with a roué’s cunning, and isn’t afraid to play with words and ideas for sheer sport.” 

—Diane Ackerman

On May 30th, we’ll get together to discuss the book over some drinks. Everyone’s welcome, and anyone partaking receives a 15% discount off the book.

 

April’s Events

#1

A Reading by Leah Umansky
@ Argo Bookshop
Saturday, April 12th
Doors at 7PM, Reading at 7:30PM

For those of you who had hoped to see Leah Umansky back in November 2013, a new reading date has been confirmed for April 12th, 2014! It’ll be her first reading in Montreal. Named #7 of 23 People Who Will Make You Care About Poetry by Flavorwire in 2013, Leah Umansky is the author of the Mad-Men inspired chapbook, Don Dreams and I Dream (Kattywompus Press, 2014) and the full length collection, Domestic Uncertainties (BlazeVOX, 2013). She has been a contributing writer to BOMB Magazine’s BOMBLOG , Luna Luna MagazineThe Rumpus and Tin House, and live tweets occasionally for the Best American Poetry Blog. She also hosts and curates the COUPLET Reading Series in NYC. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in POETRY, The Poetry Review, Barrow Street and The Brooklyn Rail among others. You can visit her website here: www.leahumansky.com

 

#2

I LIVE I SEE: The Poetry of Vsevolod Nekrasov
Presented by translators Ainsley Morse and Bela Shayevich
Saturday, April 19th
@ Argo Bookshop
Doors at 7PM, Reading at 7:30PM



I Live I See: Selected Poems presents a comprehensive survey of the work of Vsevolod Nekrasov (1934-1999), the Soviet literary underground’s foremost minimalist. This is the first collection of Nekrasov’s work in English translation. The book’s translators Ainsley Morse and Bela Shayevich will be presenting.

“Exploring urban, rural, and purely linguistic environs with an economy of lyrical means and a dark sense of humor, Nekrasov’s groundbreaking early poems rupture the stultified language of Soviet cliché while his later work tackles the excesses of the new Russian order. I Live I See is a testament to Nekrasov’s lifelong conviction that art can not only withstand, but undermine oppression.” (Ugly Duckling Presse)

 

#3

Gaspereau Press Presents:
Gillian Sze launches Peeling Rambutan with Jason Camlot
Wednesday, April 23rd @ 7PM
@ Argo Bookshop

Argo Bookshop will be hosting author Gillian Sze’s launch of her latest work Peeling Rambutan (Gaspereau Press 2014) with poet Jason Camlot, who will read from his latest book What the World Said (Mansfield Press 2013).

“A poetic travelogue, Gillian Sze’s Peeling Rambutan meditates upon the rifts between immigrant parents and their Canadian-born children and the struggle of overlapping values which sometimes arises when we view the complexity of our heritage through the lens of the present. Rooted in Sze’s first experience of Asia, these poems mingle the familiar spaces of her childhood home in Winnipeg with impressions of the distant villages of her parents’ origins. The result is a complex exploration of the relationship between identity, place, and history.” (from Gaspereau Press)

Jason Camlot’s fourth full poetry collection, a Kaddish for the post-google age, explores the meaning of ignorance in the face of death—ignorance of how to practice sadness and rituals of mourning, and of how properly to experience longing and loss. Camlot manipulates a wide range of forms to mine the relationship between the most intimate kinds of grief and the impersonal flood of discourse that the world pours upon us. (from Mansfield Press)

 

#4


Argo Open Mic #26
Wednesday, April 30th
@ Argo Bookshop
Doors at 7PM, Reading at 7:30PM

Montrealers! Come read some of your work for 5 to 10 minutes at our Open Mic! For those of you who might not know: Every month, the Argo Bookshop hosts this open venue for people to share their writing, music, articles and comedy. Bring your friends and enjoy the evening! Make sure to come early to sign up and save yourself a spot!

 

Donate Your Books!

 

 

Donate Your Books

Spread the word!

We started a box at the shop to donate books to prisoners through the awesome collective Open Door Books, located here in Montreal. Donate some of your old paperbacks, whether they’re new fiction/bestsellers (John Grisham, Stephen King, et cetera), soft-cover dictionaries, radical literature, self-help/how-to, health, and especially books on aboriginal histories, law and up-to-date legal handbooks… And if you only have hardbacks to give, that’s fine too; they won’t be shipped out as they’re usually too heavy, but are instead sold by Open Door Books to continue funding the initiative.

What’s the cause?, you may ask. Or maybe Hold on. Aren’t prisoners already supplied with books? The collective says it best on their About page:

ODB seeks to support and work in solidarity with imprisoned communities. We believe that prisons and the (in)justice system act as institutions of social control and oppression, further targeting marginalized communities as a result of patriarchy, racism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, ableism and an ongoing history of colonization.

Open Door Books is a collective comprised entirely of volunteers which seeks to provide free reading material and informational resources to prisoners throughout Canada. Unfortunately, the majority of prisons in Canada have a policy of disallowing prisoners from personally receiving books or other “valuables,” thus preventing us from sending to prisoners on an individual basis. As a result, our collective seeks to form relationships with prison librarians in Québec and Ontario in an effort to send boxes of relevant and requested books to the prison libraries.

Problems faced by ODB include unresponsive librarians, prison restrictions on reading material, and the closure of many libraries throughout parts of year depriving prisoners of the ability to access books for three to four months at a time. We receive all our books by donation and invite those with books to donate to get in touch!

If that doesn’t suffice and you need more information, you can either get in contact with us or Open Door Books either by email (bookstoprisoners [at] gmail [dot] com) or by phone (514-848-7583).

 

New & Latest Arrivals – 15/03/2014

Merry mid-March! It’s our pleasure to bring you a list of the new and latest arrivals in the shop, centred around a hefty selection of literature, philosophy and one new travel title from the fantastic Patrick Leigh Fermor. We’re particularly excited for Town & Country, a selection of short stories put together by the wonderful Kevin Barry, the latest novel from Canadian novelist and poet Peter Norman entitled Emberton (who will be reading at the shop on May 8th!), as well as the new title from Lorrie Moore, Bark. Don’t forget to also check out our acquisition of one of University of Minnesota‘s latest releases from the Univocal imprint by Jean EpsteinThe Intelligence of a Machine, and the curious writings of science fiction/philosophy/satire writer Stansilaw Lem in Summa Technologiae.

Click the title of a book to view information on or a review of that title, or just search for them in our catalogue (recommended for price checks).

 

LITERATURE

 

PHILOSOPHY & SCIENCE

 

TRAVEL

 

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Published March 15th, 2014 in New & Latest Arrivals

March Newsletter + New & Latest Arrivals (03/03/2014)

 

 

Grab a copy of the newsletter here (left-click, Save As):

Argo Bookshop Newsletter – March 2014

As winter persists, you may very well resemble the above illustration by NOWNESS, an arts and culture website, which features a copy of Thomas Bernhard’s The Loser, listed as March’s Book of the Month. The rest of those illustrations are definitely worth checking out. That being said, you could probably use a good book to keep you company until the equinox arrives on March 20th and the thaw begins. Take a look at the new arrivals we have to start the month with, and keep in mind that it’s not too late to pick up a copy of this month’s NYRB Book Club selection. This month also has promising upcoming events, with readings by Carolyn ForchéFrancine Prose, and our Featured Reading this month features Daniel Canty and Oana Avasilichioaei. Read on to find out more!

 

Book of the Month: 20% off

Thomas Bernhard’s

The Loser

We’ve been meaning to place The Loser as Book of the Month for some time now. A tried and true favourite of everyone here at the shop, the story follows an unnamed narrator’s recollections of his friendship with Canadian “piano artist” Glenn Gould and their friend Wertheimer during their music studies at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria.

A tale of self-loathing and suicidal tendencies, Wertheimer and the narrator continually struggle with their own aspirations in the face of Gould’s prodigal talent. So great is the presence of Gould that it triggers an undying sense of failure in the narrator and his friend, resulting in a damning meditation: What is the point of trying something if you know there’s someone out there who has already mastered it?

Born Nicolaas Thomas Bernhard in 1931, Bernhard was an Austrian novelist, poet and playwright of more than 60 books, 29 of which are currently available in English. Considered to be one of the most important literary figures since World War II, his general work typically features long, sweeping monologues replete with recurring themes of abandonment and illness while displaying an irrepressible loathing for the airs of society, ego and patriotism.

 

New & Latest Arrivals

Click the title of a book to view information on or a review of that title, or just search for them in our catalogue (recommended for price checks).

FICTION

  • The Penguin Book Of Scottish Short Stories (edited by JF Hendry)

 

SOCIAL SCIENCES

 

MUSIC

 

 KIDS

  • Halifax Hal: An Odd Little Book by Nick Thran & Gabe Foreman

 

Book Club Update

Our next read is…

The Letter Killers Club by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky.

The Letter Killers Club is a secret society of self-described “conceivers” who, to preserve the purity of their conceptions, will commit nothing to paper. (What, after all, is your run-of-the-mill scribbler of stories if not an accomplished corruptor of conceptions?) The logic of the club is strict and uncompromising. Every Saturday, members meet in a firelit room filled with empty black bookshelves where they strive to top one another by developing ever unlikelier, ever more perfect conceptions… (S)et in an ominous Soviet Moscow of the 1920s, the members of the club are strangely mistrustful of one another, while all are under the spell of its despotic President, and there is no telling, in the end, just how lethal the purely conceptual—or, for that matter, letters—may be.  – NYRB

“It is now clear that Krzhizhanovsky is one of the greatest Russian writers of the last century.”

-          Raymond Chandler, The Financial Times

We meet bi-monthly, but we’ll be skipping the month of December to recalibrate. So: On March 27th, we’ll get together to discuss the book over some drinks. Everyone’s welcome, and anyone partaking receives a 15% discount off the book.

 

March’s Events

#1

Concordia University Presents:

Writers Read with Carolyn Forché

Friday, March 14th @ 7PM

1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. Ouest

7th Floor, Room H-767

 

The excellent writer Carolyn Forché will be the first of two readings as part Concordia University’s Writers Read series this month. Join us to listen to this spectacularly accomplished poet read!

Renowned as a “poet of witness,” Forché is the author of four books of poetry. Her first collection Gathering the Tribes (Yale University Press 1976) won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award. In 1977, she traveled to Spain to translate the Salvadorean-exiled poet Claribel Alegaria, and upon her return, received a Guggenheim Fellowship which enabled her to travel to El Salvador where she worked as a human rights advocate. Her second book The Country Between Us (Harper and Row 1982) received the Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay di Castagnola Award, her third book The Angel of History (HarperCollins 1994) was chosen for The Los Angeles Times Book Award. Her fourth and latest book of poems is Blue Hour (HarperCollins 2003).

 

#2

Argo Featured Reading #24:

Daniel Canty & Oana Avasilichioaei

@ Argo Bookshop

Thursday, March 20th

7PM

 

Daniel Canty has produced many innovative works in literature, film, design, theatre, as well as the visual and media arts, and he is well known for his collaborations with other creators from these fields. In addition to his recent literary work (Wigrum, 2011; Le Livre de chevet, 2009), he has produced site-specific installations in libraries and former train stations (Bruire, 2013; Le Tableau des départs, 2010), and produced award-winning films, librettos, and myriad other projects. A solo exhibition, Bucky ball, incorporating a transtemporal auto-science-fiction novellaruns until May at Artexte. His next book, Les États-Unis du vent, a memoir of an American journey following the wind, will be published by La Peuplade this Spring. This July, Daniel will undertake a 6-month residency at the Québec Studio in London, England, through the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.

Poet, translator and editor, Oana Avasilichioaei’s books include We, Beasts (Wolsak & Wynn, 2012, winner of the QWF’s A. M. Klein Prize for Poetry) and feria: a poempark (Wolsak & Wynn, 2008). Her most recent translation is Wigrum, a novel by Daniel Canty (Talonbooks, 2013) and she was the editor of the Quebec poetry feature in Aufgabe 12 (New York, 2013). Her current work-in-progress is Limbinal and she can be found at oanalab.com.

 

#3

Argo Open Mic #25

Wednesday, March 26th @ 7PM

@ Argo Bookshop

 

Montrealers! Come read some of your work for 5 to 10 minutes at our Open Mic!

Every month, the Argo Bookshop hosts this open venue for people to share their writing, music, articles and comedy. Bring your friends and enjoy the evening! Make sure to come early to sign up and save yourself a spot!

 

#4

Concordia University Presents:

Writers Read with Francine Prose

Friday, March 28th

1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. Ouest

7th Floor, Room H-767

 

Francine Prose is the author of seventeen works of fiction. Her novel A Changed Man won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and Blue Angel was a finalist for the National Book Award. her most recent nonfiction books include the highly acclaimed Anne Frank: The Book, her Life, the Afterlife, and the New York Times best seller Reading Like a Writer. The recipient of numerous grants and honours, including a Guggenheim and a Fullbright, a Director’s Fellow at the Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, Francine Prose is a former president of PEN American Center, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She lives in New York City.