Dancing with a switchblade provides some of Truman’s most mature work to date where the burning rage of youth begins to make way to a better understanding of the trappings of the world.
Openly influenced by the likes of Al Purdy and Charles Bukowski, it combines influences from some of the world’s best lyricists in the likes of Henry Rollins, Trent Reznor or Johnny Cash.
This collection is a celebration of all things of life: hurt, pain, anxiety, beauty, love, fighting the good fight, sticking to what you know and doing more with less. Most of all, Dancing with a Switchblade is a celebration of the creative act of writing and hopes to provide an enduring snapshot of the working class today.
You can find it HERE! at ten poems a buck for over 100 pages of poetry for 2.99 US.
So yesterday was a huge night for me…
After graduating from Concordia and putting years of work into my writing, I have received yesterday my first literary award. That’s right, the Expozine Alternative Press Award for Best English Book was awarded to A Teenage Suicide and it came with this amazing blurb.
“Truman’s third self-published novel follows a group of friends working through late adulthood issues of identity, depression, and lots of tough choices. Set in and around Montreal and in particular its punk, art, activist and student scenes, its down-to-earth raconteur style provides an enduring snapshot of young-adult life in the big city today.”
For those of you who don’t know about it, Expozine is Montreal’s bilingual small press, zine and comic fair. It has been going on for almost ten years now in Montreal’s notorious Mile-End district and is often the best place to make a name for yourself as a young author in the city.
This really means a lot to me and I do hope to use it as a springboard for my future projects.
I want to send thanks and praises to the people who worked on it :
Benoit Lelièvre, Editor.
Lori Hettler, Proof-reading and creative comment.
Mary Lee Maynard, Photographer (and lovely spouse)
Also, the three models who agreed to work for very cheap, Charles Laurier, Marianne Lapointe and Catherine Ripchensky.
“Expozine is organized by Arcmtl, a non-profit corporation dedicated to promoting and preserving local independent culture, and is made possible in part thanks to the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des Arts de Montréal.” – Expozine website.
You can find everything here in both French and English : http://expozine.ca/en/awards/2013-2/
Hey everyone, here’s the first of four covers for my upcoming novel, A Teenage Suicide.
Photo by Mary Lee Maynard, I ended up being the model because the previous shoot with Vincent Harnois didn’t turn out fit for print (not enough sun). The layout is by me.
The launch so far is planned for September, with a “paper” launch in Montreal and ebooks worldwide.
I still got two more photo shoots to do plus one cover to edit, I’ll keep you posted.
So, I’ve finally released my first collection of poetry titled Northern Gothic.
It was a project that I’ve been putting aside for too long and now that A Teenage Suicide (my next full lenght novel) is in the hands of my proof-reader I finally had time to work on some side projects.
So here it is, available as an ebook through Kindle or in print at Lulu.com
Northern Gothic is a collection of poetry in four parts.
I didn’t try to reinvent language. I have little use for new ways to twist your tongue and play with words.This is not that kind of book, these are not those kinds of poems. Most of them do not follow any specific form and it wasn’t even intentional.
Most of them just got out that way and I decided to remain as truthful to the original feeling of the poem as possible. In all things of life, I am a pretty straight forward man. Northern Gothic is a collection of tall tales, slices of life, changes of heart struggles, hopes and contradictions.
It’s about real life, about living in the East end of Montreal, dreaming about the north, working in warehouses and factories, trying to go to back to school or founding a family.
It ain’t always pretty and it ain’t always bad. One thing is for sure, these poems are always honest and that’s one thing we could all use a bit more of these days.
Take care, Ian.
I have sworn to myself that I would never hurt anyone ever again. There was a time in my life where anger, hatred were fueled by struggles and idealism. It was years ago that I gave up on hate and followed my beliefs as a Buddhist. “Life is full of suffering, suffering is due to attachment, attachments can be overcome and there is a path to accomplish this.” These are the four noble truths which I now live by, but the eightfold path is hard to walk. And I find it increasingly hard to follow in the kind of decadent society we live in.
Because it is a decadent society we live in. Not because people embrace sexuality freely or because they dare to be themselves. Do not mistake this cry for some re-run of christian morality. I have no need for these. Our society is decadent and decaying by the powers-that-be and in this moment, it has a name : Jean Charest. The prime minister of Quebec has just passed repressive laws that severely restrain freedom of speech, freedom of association as well as encroaching on constitutional rights. (known as bill C-78)
I find it increasingly hard to remain peaceful and to feel compassion towards the police, the media or the people. In some ways I am conflicted because I should love them and understand their situation. But on the other hand, my beliefs come under assault by those very same people who I should love. It is hard to feel compassion when their hearts are so full of hate, when the media has them cranked up on images they know nothing of, cited out of context or edited in such ways that they seem to be taken out of a movie by Michael Bay. Buddha didn’t have to deal with such media manipulation. Siddartha Gautama did not know, as far as I know, the kinds of strife we know today : heroine, alcohol, opium, cocaine, hatred, violence, fascism and brutality beyond belief. Did the Buddha know such dire aspects of human kind and did he manage to overcome his anger anyways. Will I be able to be equally steadfast in today’s world.
As the mass media keeps fueling the fans of hatred in the general public, should I feel like the elite, or a snob because I feel enlightened. Even in my extended family, people are turning to fascist ideals, people are giving in to hate-speech and racism. People are asking the government for more security and to hell with liberty. I have been called a hypocrite because I own a television. Yet I am not plugged into any sort of cable. Am I guilty of hypocrisy just because I love the art form that is known as cinema. Am I to be considered a snob because I’d rather line up two words about the early years of Japanese cinema instead of the latest movie-hype, regardless of what it is?
In the face of such conservatism, I react by closing down on the world. I have found my niche, a spouse and a child, a few friends and colleagues, a limited amount of relationships with people who share my ideals. And as long as I remain in that circle of friends, life seems to be fair, but as soon as I step out of that comfort zone. As soon as I opened up the Right-wing papers, just to see if the world had change while I wasn’t looking, I am thrown aback, repulsed and appalled by what I see. And I am being called upon because of that sentiment. I have been told that it was my fault if the police was beating me, that it would be my fault if I would be arrested, fined or detained by the police. The very people I have been told by the Buddha to love do not want to be enlightened. They are blind and the strongest pliers I know of are not enough, it seem, to take off the thick, rusted steel plate that covers their eyes.
They claim that we have no ideals, that we do not know what world we want to live in. They will claim that the struggles of the youth, worldwide, are divided, distant and unrelated. They ask me (us) what it is exactly that we want, yet they reject our answers without hearing them.
I have decided to never consume any form of drug, alcohol or meat. The former because they are harmful to myself, the latter because it is harmful to my earth.
I want a world where the life I live will not cause suffering here or abroad.
I have decided to never impose my authority on anyone, anytime, anywhere. I believe that dialogue and fair societal-structures will lead to a society where conflicts are not so constant.
I want an economy where the workers elect their own foreman and define their own objectives.
I want an economy where investors do not have an indefinite and eternal “return” on their investments. Where their money will be refunded with a reasonable interest of 4% instead of the “stock market” system.
I believe that credit towards housing and land should not be suggested to interests.
I believe that democracy should be political AND economical with regular assemblies defining the objectives of governments instead of governments defining the objectives of society.
I want a world where there are electric forms of transportation available to all at fair cost. I also want that electricity to come from renewable sources. How is it that our roofs are covered with tar instead of solar panels?
I want a world where I do not feel the need to hate anyone in order to build my own identity.
I want a world where I do not need to steal, hustle, beg or borrow in order to make something of myself.
I want a society where anyone can create without being looked upon as a hippie, a freak or a dreamer.
I want a world where the perpetual pursuit of knowledge and education is not looked upon as petty-intellectualism or a refusal to grow up and “live in the real world.”
If those are now solutions to the decay we now live in, I can invite you to leave now and make your own dystopia elsewhere because the youth of today will build this kind of world and there will be no place in it for your lies, your hatred or your thievery.
I sign this here, on the 21st of May,
Me and my wife have been vegetarian for over a decade now. (Oh! By the way you can find her blog here : http://maryleemaynard.tumblr.com/)
And we also happen to live a Major city (oh! lovely, lovely Montreal). I like nature and trees and lakes and all, but I also enjoy urban life very much which causes a certain problem that contradicts my/our environmental values. We take the bus as much as possible and Mary likes to bike (I’ll be honest, I won’t ride a bike) but having a garden is something we’ve always wanted.
Problem is : We can’t afford to buy our own house or duplex, we don’t have a backyard but what we DO have is a balcony which we wanted to used to its full potential. We (unfortunately) don’t have access to our roof as most rich (and gentrifying) people now do.
We also wanted to use recycled materials as much as possible. So the first three (white) buckets were actually cat litter boxes we kept to grow tomatoes in. We had an extra recycling bin which we converted as a garden pot and a bunch of plastic containers we didn’t need anymore so we just filled them with black soil.
Being on the third floor, we have a lot (a lot) of sun. Which is nice (and I can’t complain) but with the utter absence of trees and such, our kitchen just turns into a oven. So we planned to grow a vine into the green bin and it will hopefully block some of the sun and therefore naturally cool down our home.
We also have one of these super old sheds wich is useful (and I like the ramshackle look) but the tin walls reflect sunlight and again, cooks up our kitchen. That’s a problem.
So the plan is to drill in some hooks and fill the wall with suspended plants, hopefully cutting the reflection and heat from the sun.Also, we will have some green plants to look at instead of a grey walls.
In the end, we might not save a lot on food but if we manage to naturally cool down our apartment, plus add some green to the alley we live in, we’ll have achieved our goal.
Of course we’d like to have access to our roof and turn it into a “Green roof” but as we are not rich enough to do that, we do what we can when the opportunity is there.
That’s pretty much it for now,
Oh! and if you have a minute, buy my novel on kindle (click on the cover):