2021 was, yet again, an incredibly difficult year filled with loss, cancellations, illness, tension and heartache — it’s been so long and so on-going. Like so many of us this year, our year was defined by the loss of loved ones and the struggle to find meaning during uncertainty.

In 2021 Falmouth’s Guillemot Press published LENS FLARE, a collaboration between Rhys Farrell and I; it remains an honour to have this full-colour book published by Guillemot. They consistently make sensitively-designed and thoughtful books, please do check them out & support their exceptional list.

As Banff Centre’s Director of Literary Arts, i developed a slate of digital residencies which were, yet again, defined by the CoVid-19 Pandemic. Literary Arts residencies — all of which were fully-scholarshipped relieving the artists involved of all costs and tuition — were offered entirely online over Zoom. The year’s residencies enabled international writers to work online with exceptional faculty: January’s Winter Writers Residency with Waubgeshig Rice and Emma Healey; March’s Spring Writers Residency with Jenna Butler and Angela Rawlings; April’s Writing Studio with Caroline Adderson, Karen Solie, and Shyam Selvadurai; June’s Banff International Literary Translation Centre with Rhonda Mullins, Jeff Diteman, and Anita Anand; July’s Literary Journalism Residency with Charlotte Gill, Carol Shaben, and Michael Harris; August’s Emerging Writers Residency with Katherena Vermette, Michelle Good, and Amber Dawn, and the Summer Writers Residency with Kaie Kellough and Jordan Abel; September’s Poetry, Politics, and Embodiment with Sachiko Murakami and Mercedes Eng, and November’s Late Fall Writers Residency with Farzana Doctor and Orlando White. Banff Centre continues to have a long road ahead, but we are slowly bringing people back to campus for 2022/23. I so look forward to greeting artists back on campus when it’s safe.

On December 10th I was named Banff’s 2022-2024 Poet Laureate, following in the footsteps of out-going Laurate Stephen Ross Smith; it’s such an honour to represent the town and the arts in this role. I can’t wait to lean into school visits, readings and workshops, and engaging the town in new forms of writing.

I served on several community juries and committees to help bring artists and projects together in the Bow Valley, Alberta and nationally and spoke, via Zoom, to students at the University of Calgary and Leeds Beckett University. I donated my childhood collection of over 3,900 comic books to the University of Calgary to help facilitate the ongoing study of comic books as a literary and artistic form.

In addition to inclusion in Nancy Perloff’s Concrete Poetry A 21st Century Anthology, I was published in 5 anthologies and 13 different online and print journals over the year; thank you to the editors of those spaces. Invisible Books invited me to edit Helen Hajnoczky’s exceptional book of poetry Frost & Pollen.

There were also 10 different small press editions of my work published in 2021: One Simple Symmetry & Nine Variations (Kingston: Puddles of Sky), a, A Novel (Chile: Pez Espirale), Spalling (New Westminster: pagefiftyone), fine and course aggregate #1, fine and course aggregate #2 and Dilated Aperture (all from California’s poems-for-all), Brevflodslette (Copenhagen: nonplusultra) and Another Piece of Reassuring Plastic, WV/WY (with Sal Nunkachov), and Dendrochronology (all from No Press). I continue to place free PDFs of all of my work online — help yourself. There are a number of very exciting small press editions cooking for 2022, including several projects with Portugal’s Paper View Books.

Through No Press I published 16 different editions of poetry and prose – including 3 issues of the new Minute Review – with contributions by 56 different international, national and local emerging and established writers. You can support No Press through Patreon. Each edition was meant to help spread the word of risk-taking international writing. Thank you for trusting me with your work.

Watch the Coach House Books website for some big 2022 news.

None of this would have been possible without my incredible partner, Kristen, and our amazing daughter Maddie. My parents and mother-in-law have also been a steady voice of support and love; thank you.

In so many ways I only excel because of the strength and support of my community of friends and colleagues, especially Gary Barwin, Greg and Lisa Betts, Christian Bok, Kit Dobson, Kenneth Goldsmith, Helen Hajnoczky, Aubrey Hanson, Nasser Hussain, rob mclennan, and so many others. Thank you.

Here’s to 2022.