T he summer and lead-up to fall has been pretty frenzied at Mansfield. This week, three great books go the printer: Something Burned Along the Southern Border, the debut collection by an exciting Windsor poet, Robert Earl Stewart; Back Off, Assassin! New & Selected Poems (I love that title!), by Jim Smith, whose often outrageous readings exhilarated and offended back in the ’80s and ’90s, before he took a decade-long break from the writing scene, and whose return I am deeply thrilled about; and Dog Eat Rat, a spare and stunning new novel by Tom Walmsley, the renowned playwright and poet whose first fiction, Doctor Tin, won the debut 3-Day Novel-Writing Contest back in 1978. (Tom also wrote the introduction to my own first 3-Day Novel, Father, the Cowboys Are Ready to Come Down from the Attic, which was the almost-win of the no-winner 1979 contest.)

Two more excellent books will make their way from the Mansfield office to the printer this season: Early Works, by Pier Giorgio Di Cicco, which resurrects his intriguing collections Virgin Science and Flying Deeper into the Century, and Amy Lavender Harris’s groundbreaking work Imagining Toronto, a lively and exhaustive survey of literature about Hogtown.

Stay tuned for news of launches for these books in Toronto and elsewhere, later this fall. And stay tuned, as well, for news of our spring titles: we’ve got a great debut and a fabulous return lined up so far.

And, finally, Mansfield is thrilled to be, for the first time, a recommender for the Ontario Arts Council’s invaluable Writers’ Reserve Program, through which writers directly approach Ontario literary presses and magazines for funding recommendations. It’s going to mean an awful lot of extra work in the next few months, but I’m looking forward to going through the submissions, discovering the work of writers I’m not familiar with and seeing what writers I know are up to.

Stuart Ross is the Poetry Editor for Mansfield Press.

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