Celebrating thirty years of continuous activity with well over twelve hundred publications to date, groundwork celebrates the third decade of rob mclennan’s Ottawa-based above/ground press, publisher of lyric, innovative, and experimental writing across a wealth of chapbooks, broadsides and multiple simultaneous journals, including Touch the Donkey, The Peter F. Yacht Club and G U E S T [a journal of guest editors]. Following on the heels of the anthologies GROUNDSWELL, best of above/ground press, 1993-2003 (Broken Jaw Press, 2003) and Ground Rules: the Best of the second decade of above/ground press 2003-2013 (Chaudiere Books, 2013), groundwork pushes against the short-lived and the ephemeral of small and micro press publishing. Firmly situated in his home base of Ottawa, above/ground press revels in the possibility of expansive conversations between writers, writing and readership, and groundwork works to acknowledge mclennan’s deep and ongoing dedication to the work of hundreds of contemporary writers across North America and beyond.
Shazia Hafiz Ramji
Born in Ottawa, Canada’s glorious capital city, rob mclennan currently lives in Ottawa, where he is home full-time with the two wee girls he shares with Christine McNair. The author of more than thirty trade books of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, he won the John Newlove Poetry Award in 2010, the Council for the Arts in Ottawa Mid-Career Award in 2014, and was longlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize in 2012 and 2017. In March 2016, he was inducted into the VERSe Ottawa Hall of Honour. His most recent titles include the poetry collection the book of smaller (University of Calgary Press, 2022), and a suite of pandemic essays, essays in the face of uncertainties (Mansfield Press, 2022). An editor and publisher, he runs above/ground press, periodicities: a journal of poetry and poetics and Touch the Donkey. He is editor of my (small press) writing day, and an editor/managing editor of many gendered mothers. In spring 2020, he won ‘best pandemic beard’ from Coach House Books via Twitter, of which he is extremely proud (and mentions constantly). He has personally folded and stapled every single of the more than twelve hundred publications above/ground press has produced since the press was founded back in July 1993, and is editor of two prior above/ground press anniversary anthologies: GROUNDSWELL, best of above/ground press, 1993-2003 (Fredericton NB: Broken Jaw/cauldron books, 2003) and Ground Rules: the best of the second decade of above/ground press 2003 – 2013 (Ottawa ON: Chaudiere Books, 2013). He spent the 2007–8 academic year in Edmonton as writer-in-residence at the University of Alberta, and regularly posts reviews, essays, interviews, and other notices at robmclennan.blogspot.com.