april is national poetry month

Turnlogo


It's National Poetry Month and Turnstone Press is celebrating by bringing you a poem for everyday of the month. We've gathered together a broad selection of our talented poets, recorded their wonderfully rich voices as well as their reflections on the poems we feature. Click BIRDY for John Toone's take on "parts unknown" from his collection From Out of Nowhere.

coming soon . . .

Dumbass cover



Thank you to Dale Cummings (National Newspaper Award winner) for the illustration and to the good folks at Relish New Brand Experience for the design. Click LUNKER for more information on the book.

new non-fiction title

Greatplaisnsiteplains



After spirited negotiations at the Bella Vista, the parties reached an agreement and executed a publishing contract. The working title is Fishing for Dumbasses and these are my guidelines:

- a book for hipsters & city folk
- explore the foodie angle
- ask Ted Nugget?

Well this should be interesting (I have three months to write it!). Okay, forty thousand words starting now . . .

men with beards - now widespread!

Devolverlogo


We are happy to announce a digital distribution agreement for Men with Beards with Devolver Digital Films of Austin, TX.

Men with Beards is now available on iTunes, VHX, Distrify, Vimeo, PlayStation, Xbox, Vudu, Amazon, Google Play and U.S. Cable VOD.

Men with Beards will soon be released on Humble Bundle and Steam. Click BEARDS for more information.

a strange tale of beauty & brotherhood

Mwb-poster-web


Well, it turns out that I helped produce a feature-length documentary film. This is amazing considering that I haven't owned a television in over fifteen years. . . thanks to all our Indiegogo supporters!

​"Men with Beards is a feature documentary that weaves a strange tale of beauty and brotherhood. Journey into the souls of countrymen to experience the triumph and heartbreak of a world-class beard. Delight in their daring stories, futuristic looks, and proud traditions. Men with Beards is a celebration of inner strength and personal growth. Man up.

Men with Beards shares the stories of everyday people whose lives have been touched by extraordinary beards. Growing a beard is like making an indie film; it requires patience, care, delusion, stubborn determination, ego, revulsion for society, confidence in the process and an appreciation for the slow things in life. This is a character-driven film where the talking heads have serious beards and fierce opinions on identity and self-expression. Are you man enough?

Are you woman? Watch Men with Beards and never look at your man the same. This challenging and emotional story lays bare the very essence of what it means to be male. Men with Beards will make women laugh and men cry. Rethink the unshaven, stare down the straight-edge, and know your man better than he knows himself."

Theatre screenings are scheduled for Winnipeg, Calgary, Vancouver, Oakland, Houston, and Boston.

1st Prize - Taboo Literary Contest

New-logo


The Mennonite Literary Society is pleased to announce the $500 prize winners of the Taboo Literary contest. Suitably “Found Money” by John Toone was awarded the poetry prize, ”Smile” by Elizabeth Ross the fiction prize, and “The Devil’s in her Mind” by Sierra Skye Gemma the non-fiction prize.

The judges made their selection from entries that did not include the names of the writers. Thanks to our judges Lorna Crozier (poetry), Armin Wiebe (Fiction) and Andreas Schroeder (non-fiction). The winning entries will be published this fall in Rhubarb Magazine's Power and Politics Issue.

reading - 4/25/13

Jacob_scheier_evite


McNally Robinson Booksellers and ECW Press present Governor General's award winning poet Jacob Scheier with special guests Di Brandt & John Toone. Reading on Thursday, April 25 @ 7:30 pm.

no place like home . . .

35-3-cover-web-200


I wrote this poem called riverboat gambler. And now it appears in the Winter issue of Contemporary Verse 2. Now that's something to smile about.

there's something fishy about . . .

2013-anglerposter-web


This fall, over 700 schools received free copies of Catch That Catfish! and Hope and the Walleye. And now, these posters are finding their way into teacher's mail cubbies . . . thanks to Fish Futures Inc. and the Manitoba Fisheries Enhancement Fund.

workshop - 11/24/12

Dontbet


tip #1 - proofread poster!

top secret

Masquradeposterflat2


hawking wares in the bazaar, that is where you will find me.

breaking news - page 5

Deep-bay-news


Thank you to Anne Nesbitt, a volunteer with the Deep Bay Artist in Residence Program at Clear Lake.

"He thinks that, nowadays, prairie culture, particularly in Manitoba, is more defined by lake life than by farm life."

artist in residence - 8/6/12

John-toone_-deep-bay-2012-p


Thanks to the Manitoba Arts Council and the Friends of Riding Mountain National Park, I will be at Clear Lake for the week of August 6th staying in a log cabin built in 1934 for RCAF pilots. I'll be working on poems from a new series called The Lake. Click here for event information.

new poems in TWR

Issue8



The Winnipeg Review has published three poems from my new work Shot in the Woods. Click here and read the Summer Issue - This is Your Brain on Books.

c*r show - 6/2/12

Oh-california


"Winnipeg musicians pay tribute to Golden State-based and related bands Operation Ivy, Screeching Weasel and The Runaways this Saturday at the Pyramid Cabaret. Dubbed Oh! California!, the summertime show serves as a fundraiser for Call*Response."

Read more of Jared Story's article Good vibes from the Golden State in the current issue of Uptown Magazine.

madman or genius? - im3 review

Wpgreviewbanner_mar2012


Ian Goodwillie's review of The Imagination Manifesto: Book Three appears in the current issue of The Winnipeg Review.

c*r vol. 2 - in lights

Nate-&-jt-@-park


Nathan Terin and I in the glow of the Park Theatre. Thanks to Joey Senft for the picture.

book signing - 5/16/12

Mlc-logo


I'll be at the trade show over the lunch hour flogging my wares. Thanks to Anita Daher and The Writer's Union of Canada.

reading - 5/12/12

Mb-symposium


The Manitoba Writers’ Guild celebrates its 30th Anniversary with a landmark Symposium of Manitoba Writing May 9–12, featuring keynote speakers, readings, panels, papers and presentations examining the last 100 years of Manitoba writing. I will be reading on Saturday, May 12th at the Canadian Mennonite University. Click here for more information.

c*r show - 4/20/12

Callresponse-april20-poster


Metal, punk, hardcore and rock 'n' roll, in support of Volume Two of Call*Response.

reading - 4/19/12

Aqua_banner


Thursday @ 7PM
Winnipeg's Cultural City Hall
Road to the Book Awards
Michael Van Rooy Award for Genre Fiction

Writers Alison Preston, David Annandale, John Toone, and Kate Bitney reading for Susie Moloney.

IM2 on Aurora Award Shortlist

Logobanner



The Imagination Manifesto: Book Two by GMB Chomichuk, James Rewucki and John Toone is on the shortlist for Best Graphic Novel - English. For more on the 2012 Prix Aurora Awards and The Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association click here.

the alliterates launch - 4/4/12

The-alliterates-


@ the King's Head Pub - drinks @ 6:30PM (or sooner)

This will be my first reading with a moustache. Should be a hoot. I will be reading new poems from Shot in the Woods (a true story inspired by when I was shot in the woods). POW! POW! POW!

mb book awards 2012

Qq_header_logo



The Imagination Manifesto: Book Three was shortlisted for the Best Illustrated Book of the Year and for the Michael Van Rooy Genre Fiction Award. Click here for the 2012 Manitoba Book Awards shortlists.

i.l. centenary party - 3/12/12

Cover_laughing_rooster_05


The Winnipeg Review is proud to present and participate in an evening of nationwide centenary celebrations of Irving Layton. Canadians coast to coast are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of one of our greatest poets, who was born on March 12, 1912. Never before in Canadian history has this country united to remember - of all things! - one of its poets. Celebrations are scheduled in all ten provinces and the Yukon.

Layton was the first poet to receive the Canada Council's Governor-General's Award for literature and was nominated for the Nobel Prize by Italy and South Korea.

His life, work and disposition will be celebrated in Winnipeg at The Yellow Dog Tavern on Monday, March 12th at 8:00pm with toasts and readings by special guests including: Clarise Foster, Jan Horner, Alison Gillmor, Victor Enns and John Toone.

#DTUnderground

Du-shoes


click for pics of the event:

Leif Norman - Photographer
Cam Nikkel - Pancakes and Skateboards
Angela - What if No One is Watching?

c*r art show - 12/1/11

Du-poster


We be having a shindig to celebrate Winnipeg's artists and the call for submissions for Call*Response - Volume Two. We just donated $5,000 to Kids Help Phone, meaning we are halfway to our goal. This evening's events include live painting, live music, food from Deseo Bistro, festive drinks, and good times. Here's what Uptown Magazine had to say: The Next Chapter. And look for us on Shaw TV this week.

graphic novel workshop - 11/19/11

Aci


Absurd Machine Studios - 9AM to 4PM

Learn the business of making graphic novels. From marketing to distribution, finance to legal, bring your questions and find ways to make money writing and illustrating graphic novels. We will share our successes and failures, and show you how to take your ideas to the next level.

We've done workshops in the past, but this is a full-day of instruction and creative exercises. Thanks to our friends at the Arts and Cultural Industries Association of Manitoba, we can offer this workshop at $40 per person. Space is limited and you must pre-register. Contact Lisa at admin@creativemanitoba.ca or call 927-2787. Join the Fight. Make Comics!

im3 launch - 10/25/11

Im3-cover---girl


McNally Robinson Booksellers - 7PM

Please join us for an evening of superheroes, robots, monsters, and explosions. To celebrate the launch of The Imagination Manifesto: Book Three, GMB Chomichuk, winner of the 2010 Manitoba Book Award for the Best Illustrated Book, will share a behind-the-scenes look at the making of this graphic novel series. Not only that, attendees will also hear John Toone’s cowboy stories about poems that become the myth that is Sixgun Quixote.

im2 = best illustrated book!

Im2---cover


The Imagination Manifesto: Book Two was awarded the Best Illustrated Book at the 2011 Manitoba Book Awards.

boot camp - 5/18/11

Boot-camp


Teen Writer's Boot Camp
McNally Robinson Booksellers

A workshop experience for writers age 13 and up. Wednesday, May 18th and 25th in the atrium from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm. The cost is $25.00. Pre-registration is required. Call 475-0492 now!

call * response press

Uniter


Read these articles:

Rob Williams – Winnipeg Free Press
Marlo Campbell - Uptown
Don Bailey- Uptown
Aaron Epp - The Uniter
Manitoba Music
eBay!

c*r launch - 2/5/11

Cr-posters

call for submissions

Comic-anthology

workshop - 1/29/11

Eventsgraphicnovel


Join the Fight! Make Comics!
Henderson Library
January 29th from 2-4PM
Click poster for more information.

and the winner is . . .

Cr-cover-web


Thank you Winnipeg for all your votes. Joey Senft's photo of Comeback Kid will grace the cover of Call * Response.

And check out page 49 in the new issue of Style Manitoba for an article on the project and a snappy photo of a stylin' Nathan Terin.

reading - 12/02/10

Hamon


Tracy Hamon is launching her second poetry collection Interruptions in Glass at Aqua Books. (And I also will be reading). Tracy's an award-winning poet from Regina and she is super fun! Thursday @ 7PM, be there.

thank you frontenac school!

Frontenac

workshop - 11/20/10

Fish-talesz-2

call/response show - 11/5/10

Callresponse-nov5-web

audio of mysterious art bar reading

John-toone_14


Reading in Toronto 3/30/10 - Link to Audio Recording

Thank you to Stephen Humphrey and The Art Bar Poetry Series.

"The Art Bar is recognized as Canada’s longest running poetry-only, weekly reading series. Since 1991, it has featured both emerging and established poets from across Canada and occasionally from abroad. It has become a hub for the poetry community, and entry point for new voices, a place for people to enjoy one of the oldest arts."

im2 bestseller!

Bestsellers-oct24

im2 launch - 10/28/10

Im2coverb


October 28th, 2010 @ 7:30PM
McNally Robinson Booksellers - Winnipeg

WARNING: May contain mind-altering agents, the unimaginable, terrorists, and human error.

The Imagination Manifesto: Book Two is a graphic (as in bloody) novel about robots, superheroes, monsters, and cowboys that decide our future will be dark, beautiful, and illusive. Writer/Artist GMB Chomichuk mashes the poetry of John Toone and the screenplay of James Rewucki into this literary experiment where mind-altering agents and the unimaginable define the cosmopolitan as something scary. Book Two of this serial epic conjures four unique stories and is a creation of the strange folks at Alchemical Press in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

regina - 10/4/10

Vertigo-poster

saskatoon - 10/3/10

Tip

hawkweed literary forum - 10/2/10

Explosion

cbc open house - 9/25/10

Cbc-logo


McNally Robinson Booksellers will be participating alongside CBC Manitoba in their open house celebrations. As part of the day's entertainment, a series of readings for children will take place in a tent directly across from the CBC building on the grounds of the University of Winnipeg. Please join me at 11:30AM for a spirited reading and some wholesome family fun.

fortwhyte event

Fortwhyte


. . . a crowd of almost 50 people assembled to share fish stories and learn about habitat and stewardship . . . we got the kids up and moving as they pretended to be catfish swimming in a river using their barbels to hunt while avoiding natural and man-made dangers . . . trees play a prominent part in the narrative and visual elements of these stories, and we like to try a couple of approaches to teach kids about how trees provide fish habitat, shade the water, stabilize the bank, slow run-off, et cetera . . . we got out the construction paper, crayons, scissors and glue to create our own fish stories in a graphic novel format using panels from the books . . . the minnows and nightcrawlers were a big hit, and with about 35 kids fishing along the shores of Lake Devonian, many fishing for the first time, it was a wild and crazy afternoon . . . we hope to include our Fish Tales program in their summer camps next year.

fish tales - 9/19/10

Fortwhytealivefall09-3


Sunday, September 19th, 2010 - 1PM to 3PM
FortWhyte Alive - 1961 McCreary Road

Join author John Toone and graphic artist Gregory "Tom" Chomichuk for the reading of Catch that Catfish! and Hope and the Walleye. Kids will get to the chance to share fish stories by making their own graphic novel to take home. Spend the rest of the afternoon fishing with your family while learning about local fish species and environmental stewardship. All families get to take home a signed copy of Catch that Catfish! Fee: $15/family, $10 for member families.

cordite poetry review - australia

Grease-pencil_large31


"a mad, furious, vibrant volume – perhaps the only children’s book featuring photographs of human skulls."

Read more about the Creative Commons and the rEmiX MACHINA project.

gittin' the word out

Uptown-logo


An article in today's paper:

Here's the call - let's hear the response
by Marlo Campbell

youth and live music

Callresponse-submissions-po


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Call/Response is a book about live music and youth culture in Winnipeg. It is being produced in support of one of Canada's most vital resources - Kids Help Phone. Call/Response will not only show us the musicians, but will feature the energy of the young crowds that make for a great show. This book of art and literature will collaborate works by local photographers, writers, visual artists, and collectors inspired by the Winnipeg music scene. Submissions are open to the public.

The project’s goal is to raise money for Kids Help Phone while increasing awareness for issues facing youth. The book will sell for $25; a minimum of $10 from each sale will be donated to Kids Help Phone. This project is currently seeking support from local businesses and individuals. In order to cover production and print costs, Call/Response must raise $15,000. We accept all donations but ask for increments of $100, $250, $500 and $1000 to help with our goal. All sponsors will have their name and logo printed on a dedicated page with size determined by donation.

"Amazing things happen when the talent of a community comes together. Kids Help Phone is vitally dependent on community support to remain available to kids looking for help. We are thrilled that the organizers have chosen to support Kids Help Phone through this exciting project that will surely become a piece of Manitoba history." Nadine Woon, Manager, Marketing and Fund Development Kids Help Phone, Manitoba Regional Office

Youth have fueled Winnipeg’s music scene. Call/Response will tell this story in a sixty plus page, 12" x 12" large format book made of photographs, collages, writing, and memorabilia. Call/Response will be published in February 2010 and a minimum of 1,000 copies will be distributed across Canada.

Deadline for submissions is AUGUST 31, 2010. Visual elements could include photographs, posters, tickets, memorabilia, and other oddities. Written elements could include essays, lyrics, set lists, and other ramblings inspired by music. You can submit up to 10 photographs, posters, items of memorabilia, etc. You can submit up to 5 pieces of written work.

Photo submission should be in the JPEG format, with a long edge no bigger than 1024 pixels and 72 dpi. Please include the title of the photograph, the names of the bands, the show date, venue, and any other details you think are appropriate. If your work is selected for the book you must provide a high resolution file (either TIFF, or PSD and 300 dpi).

If you are submitting memorabilia, please submit a photo of the piece you wish to contribute. Written works should be submitted as RTF, TXT or DOC files. Submissions depicting drug and/or alcohol consumption will not be eligible.

Yours truly,


Team Call / Response:
www.callresponsebook.com

Nathan Terin, Donations/ Sponsorship / Media Relations
Be:Cause Industries www.because-industries.com
Sidelined Productions www.myspace.com/sidelinedproductions

Mike Sanders, Submissions
Absurd Machine Studios www.absurdmachine.com

John Toone, Publisher
Alchemical Press www.alchemicalpress.com

For all enquiries please contact callresponsebook@gmail.com

Please show your support for Kids Help Phone, the arts and live music in Winnipeg.

super-powered literacy!

Mcnally-workshop---2



The workshops raised $240 for the Manitoba Writers' Guild. Thanks to McNally Robinson Booksellers for hosting, and to the artists and writers who joined the fight to make comics. And hey, check this shit out:

Super-Powered Literacy: The Benefits of Comics in the Classroom

July 21, 2010—Dismissed by generations of parents and educators for being “sub-literate” comic books and graphic novels may hold the key to promoting prose literacy in young boys—who have traditionally lagged behind girls in reading—says the Canadian Council on Learning (CCL).

little help from our friends

Mcnally


Thank you to Septagon Studios for the plug:

Make Comics with John Toone and GMB Chomichuk

Gator Butch, from Septagon Studios, will be live, soon, so stay tuned.

winnipeg fish festival

Fish-fest 1

@ the forks - 7/10/10

Fish-fest 2

mcnally workshops 7/13/10 & 7/20/10

Mcnally-workshop



"Graphic Storytelling Workshop, Tuesday July 13 & Tuesday July 20, 7:00-9:00 pm in the Travel Alcove. Join the Fight! Make Comics! Join Manitoba Book Award nominees John Toone and GMB Chomichuk, the authors and artist of The Imagination Manifesto, in these two special graphic-storytelling workshops. These nights will take you from pen to page, from finding your storytelling strengths to finding a publisher. Bring your portfolio, scripts, concepts, ideas and an open mind for these evenings of discussion and creative brainstorming. Registration is $10 and can be paid at McNally Robinson Booksellers, Grant Park. All proceeds benefit the Manitoba Writers' Guild. E-mail events(at)grant.mcnallyrobinson.ca for further details and please visit McNally Robinson Booksellers on-line at www.mcnallyrobinson.com."

tough-guy's one-liners . . .

Dalhousie-logo



From Out of Nowhere by John Toone
Reviewed by: Karin Cope
The Dalhousie Review – Spring 2010

Written in a tough-guy's one-liners, John Toone's From Out of Nowhere is a marvelous compendium of wordplay and contemporary business, political, cow¬boy and advertising clichés set to stagger in single broken lines. I like the way Toone lets words run down the page—ragged on the left, but (often) towing the line on the right, neatened up, like a fence. For this book is about the occupation (loss) of the land, its colonization, line by line, its shift from wilderness to farm to suburbia, where temporary profits "revolution eyes / the great wide open" ... "untitled / free and clear / site unseen" (85). The speakers are small-town heroes, ancestors or shysters—now and then, their words run into one another; they contaminate one another's utterances, the way clichés do, staggering in single lines down dusty tracks. The book ends with the forever hope that someone will ride out of the wilderness with the answer—even to questions we've not asked. But the poem knows the hero is just a mirage. He's no more a game changer than any of the speakers, who must admit to themselves: "chances / you will spend your life / looking both ways before / deciding to stay put" (21).

Sometimes, particularly towards the end, the neatened lines of the book are broken up; words slide back and forth, cluster—"this is the church's / secret hand/shakin g/ orders / ... finger pointing" (96)—in the middle. It seems as if a new order will assert itself; what is rotten, exposed, what is hoped for emerging, but this in the end, is too just cliché: "i know what you are thinking /... / i give a way I catch the drift / right before our eyes / remains / a straight shooter / at the crosswalk / appearing / from out of nowhere / the end" (102). The would-be game changers—businessmen, cowboys, developers, farmer ancestors—change no games. Only art can do that, slipping the tongue in sideways, showing how "plain english" never is.

KAREN COPE lives in Nova Scotia. Formerly a Gertrude Stein scholar (Passionate Collaborations: Learning to Live with Gertrude Stein), she chose, as Stein did, the happier risks of a creative life. She is currently at work on a novel about a girl who flies (Signs Taken for Wonders) and a play, as well as a book of very short horror stories (Terrible Tales), and several long illustrated poems.

the imaginary army - new recruits

Library-workshop---group

basic training

Library-workshop---class

the IM press release

Bluewater_logo


Check out our splashy press release:

Bluewater Productions - The Imagination Manifesto: Book One

And while your there, check out GMBC's artwork in Insane Jane: Avenging Star #1, Vincent Price Presents #22, and The Claw and Fang #3. Many thanks to Darren Davis and Bluewater Productions for their support.

manitoba libraries conference - 05/18/10

2010-logo---the-power-of-ma


Meet the Author - Table "C" was the place to be for an afternoon of bookish revelry. Thanks to Fish Futures and the Manitoba Fisheries Enhancement Fund, I gave away copies of Catch That Catfish! and Hope and the Walleye to libraries throughout the Province. And thanks to Emma Hill Kepron and the MLC for the invite.

calgary reading - 4/23/10

Calgary_expo_left_logo


Friday, April 23rd @ 7:30PM
Pages on Kensington - 1135 Kensington Road NW

Absurd Alchemy - "Winnipeg storytellers visit Pages on Kensington for an intimate question and answer session about how and why they tell the stories they do. Featuring the poetry of John Toone (shortlisted for five Manitoba Book Awards), the art of GMB Chomichuk (Alchemical Press), photography by Mike Sanders (Absurd Machine Studios), and new media insights from Dylan Fries (Vagabond Brigade)."

And Saturday and Sunday visit us at Booth 212 at the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo

ex machina/kids' remix

Ex-machina-cover


When Jonathan Ball published his first book, Ex Machina (BookThug, 2009), he issued it under a Creative Commons license that allows for non-commercial, unauthorized derivations. This selection is a family affair and perhaps the only example of children's literature to feature human skulls.

Click here for a free look at all 16 pages. And negotiations are ongoing for a JT/JB fall reading tour . . .

book review - 3 of 4 stars - "recommended"

Walleyes


CM Magazine is book reviews, media reviews, news, and author profiles of interest to teachers, librarians, parents and kids.

Click here to see a review of Hope and the Walleye by Danya David.

event poster #1 05/29/10

Librarylettersize

event poster #2 05/29/10

Libraryhalfpage-1

2010 MBA shortlists!

Book_week


The shortlists for the 2010 Manitoba Book Awards, wow:

1. From Out of Nowhere was nominated for the Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book and the Aqua Books Lansdowne Poetry Prize;

2. Catch That Catfish! was nominated for the McNally Robinson Book of the Year for Young People Award and Best Illustrated Book of the Year Award;

3. I was nominated for the John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer; and

4. The Imagination Manifesto by GMB Chomichuk, James Rewucki and John Toone was also nominated for the Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book.

Winners will be announced at the Manitoba Book Awards gala, hosted by the Manitoba Writers' Guild, on Sunday, April 25, 2010, at the Centre Culturel Franco-Manitobain

new general store puts shingle up

Strangemarket


buystrange.com - the official supplier of Beard Team Canada merchandise!

toronto reading - 3/20/10

Art-bar


The Art Bar Poetry Series

Tuesdays @ 8PM
Clinton's - 693 Bloor Street West

As John Lee Hooker said "nothing but the best, and later for the garbage". I will read from Sixgun Quixote and From Out of Nowhere, and maybe just a little from a new collection that I call Shot in the Woods. And sharing the stage with Sandy Pool (writer and classically trained theatre artist) and Dave Morris (storyteller, improviser, and poet).

freedom to read marathon - 02/28/10

Freedom-to-read


Reading from Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck at the Millennium Library. The Freedom to Read Marathon was presented by the Winnipeg Public Library and the Manitoba Writers' Guild.

"In 2000, Terry Lewis, a member of the Reform party’s national executive council, complained about the use of this novel by Winnipeg’s River East School Division and called for the book’s removal from school reading lists. Lewis, who distributed 10,000 copies of a pamphlet arguing against the book, said that Steinbeck’s frequent use of “God,” “God-damned,” and “Jesus” in profane and blasphemous ways offended Christians and couldn’t possibly have any educational benefit. The River East School Division took no action. This objection and its disposition echoed an incident in Alberta in 1994, when a member of the legislature demanded that the novel be withdrawn from all high school reading lists in the province."

Photo Credit: Gloe Cormie (author of Sea Salt, Red Oven Mitts and the Blues).

rEmiX MACHINA

Exmachina


Wednesday February 24th, 2010 - 7PM
Aqua Books - Downtown Winnipeg

Jonathan Ball, with GMB Chomichuk, Patrick Short, John Toone and Colin Smith

When Jonathan Ball published his first book, he issued it under a Creative Commons license that allows for non-commercial, unauthorized derivations. Join Ball as four artists present their own creative work remixing or drawing inspiration from the book: GMB Chomichuk (writer/illustrator/publisher of Alchemical Press), John Toone (poet/children’s author), Colin Smith (poet/miscreant), and Patrick Short (singer/rock god).

a golden egg (?)

The-goose


Winnipeg in Words

From Out of Nowhere by John Toone
Reviewed by: Rhiannon Rogstad
The Goose – Issue 6 Fall 2009
A Journal of Literature, Environment & Culture in Canada

The first glance at John Toone’s collection of poems warrants a small shiver—the form with which he writes looks as barren as the Canadian plain in winter. Sparse is a word that comes to mind, or thin and bare. But, like the Canadian plain in winter, there is a power in the simple presentation of characters and scenes, and the intrepid reader will find the same sort of harsh beauty to be found in a winter windstorm. Toone takes old clichés, washed up caricatures of cowboys, especially, to illustrate his bleak and dismal prairie. As land is cleared for development, titles change hands, and men who worked the land are forced to find jobs in the city, Toone questions whether we can find the kind of meaning in an office building that we once found on a farm.

There are moments when Toone’s insight is so fresh and new regarding things that have always been written about that it raises the hair on your arms. His innovative wordplay and use of a staggered structure make you consider the weight of each word carefully. In the section titled “the urban cowboy,” especially, Toone demands we consider the contradiction of a cowboy in town—how can he truly fit into the structured business of the city or how can he truly understand the power of the natural world? He is, by definition, a soul trapped between the two worlds and, as Toone writes, “bordering on / instable, insecure.” Toone delights in taking worn metaphors and turns of phrase and reusing them in many ways. He unmasks their power to show their banal meaning underneath, uses them in a different sort of situation to give them new meaning, or dismantles them, which in effect deconstructs them so much as to render them silly and ineffective, as they of course are, upon close scrutiny.

There are other moments, however, when Toone’s form is distracting and disconnected, and the reader wonders whether he is attempting to show the jarring differences between the prairie and the city or if he has not managed to illustrate the ways in which they do, in fact, blend together. Though the prairie is a place of such immense space as to allow a similar space in a poem, the spaces are at times too large for a coherent idea to emerge, even upon a second reading. Perhaps this is intentional—the dizzying spaces at the edges of “civilized” Winnipeg are, to be sure, at odds with the city, but there is also something attractive about the structure that the city offers that is lacking in Toone’s collection. At times his lines are just a seeming string of words on top of words, and while the words themselves are heavily weighted, their relationship to one another is somewhat muddied.

Regardless, the reader who tackles this book ought to be ready for a challenge to his or her notion of spaces, both urban and rural; and, the rewards found in conquering the blanks must be not unlike the rewards one must have felt upon wandering into the prairie, homesteading, and conquering the brutal natural forces that are a constant reminder of the frailty of human nature. Toone’s often wry commentary on the contradictions of prairie life is delivered at a precise and measured pace, and a reader willing to slow his usual bustle will find much richness in the carefully selected lexicon of Toone’s landscape. His poems demand that you not get ahead of yourself, just as the landscape he writes of asks you to plan ahead, consider your surroundings, acknowledge your limitations. The natural world is both friend and foe, and in Toone’s poems, even “friend and foe” are to be questioned.


RHIANNON ROGSTAD is an American in Canada. She holds an MA from the University of Idaho and iscurrently a PhD student in the Department of English at the University of Western Ontario. Originally from Seattle, Washington, she presently lives in London with her husband and two small sons.

winnipeg's cultural city hall

Bottle-and-book


January 28th, 2010 @ 7PM
Aqua Books - Downtown Winnipeg

Reading from Sixgun Quixote.
Click here to read a sample of this Imagination Manifesto.

read samples of the kids' stuff

video of mcnally launch 04/28/09

Many thanks to Michael Sanders of Absurd Machine Studios.

From Out Of Nowhere - John Toone from Absurd Machine Films on Vimeo.

book review - 3 of 4 stars - "recommended"

Boy-&-catfish


CM Magazine is book reviews, media reviews, news, and author profiles of interest to teachers, librarians, parents and kids.

Click here to see a review of Catch That Catfish! by Dave Jenkinson, CM Editor.

event poster 12/19/09

Comicsamericaad - jt

a book about winnipeg, the prairie, and big business

Fromoutnowhere


From Out of Nowhere

John Toone; $17.00 paper
978-0-88801-343-9, 102pp.,
5.5" x 8.5", Turnstone Press,
April 2009.

From Out of Nowhere explores how cities have changed the landscape for prairie poetry. The poems find the intersections where nature speaks through cowboys, hunters, fishers, farmers, and businessmen. These voices are captured in cityscapes where they mutate, harmonize, and resonate to give new meaning to old turns of phrase, calls to action, and directions home.

In the end, From Out of Nowhere reveals that it is in our green spaces where we are reminded of our past, our present, and our uncertain future, and how we find ourselves, and our spirit, somewhere between city and country.”

Click here to read a sample of From Out of Nowhere

17$ - Free Shipping

a book about fishing, the river, and local legend

Catfish


Catch That Catfish!

John Toone; GMB Chomichuk, illus;
$9.00 paper 978-0-9813550-1-6, 28pp.,
6.625" x 10.25", Alchemical Press,
October 2009, Ages 4-7.

"A daring young angler gets in over his head, battles a notorious catfish, and becomes part of the legend of the one that got away."

Click here to read a sample of Catch That Catfish!

Fish Futures supporters and Manitoba Wildlife Federation members received a 25% discount on Catch That Catfish!. Please select payment amount below and respect the honour system.

Are you a Fish Futures supporter?

a book about the environment, direct action, and stewardship

Walleye


Hope and the Walleye

John Toone; GMB Chomichuk, illus;
$9.00 paper 978-0-9813550-2-3, 32pp.,
6.625" x 10.25", Alchemical Press,
October 2009, Ages 6-10.

"A brave young adventurer faces environmental destruction and dreams of changing everything, if only she can uncover the secret of the walleye."

Click here to read a sample of Hope and the Walleye!

Fish Futures supporters and Manitoba Wildlife Federation members received a 25% discount on Hope and the Walleye. Please select payment amount below and respect the honour system.

Are you a Fish Futures supporter?

discover the world between the lines

Manifesto1cover


Imagination Manifesto: Book One

Sixgun Quixote was published by Alchemical Press in October 2009 and is distributed in the United States by Bluewater Productions

Sixgun Quixote is a graphic novel (as in bloody) about the last stand of a delusional cowboy. It explores the life of an outsider and the long road home. Sixgun Quixote combines prose and art by GMB Chomichuk, poems and hand-lettering by John Toone to assault the senses with a dark prairie beauty and visions of a grave future.

Click here to read a sample of Sixgun Quixote

Sixgun Quixote is included in The Imagination Manifesto: Book One, a hardcover that contains four serialized graphic novels that challenge the impossible and reveal the world written between the lines.

Click here to read a sample of The Imagination Manifesto: Book One

20$

for immediate release

Comics-america



In the world of the graphic novel, innovations come rarely. They are to be at once devoured and savored, treasured and coveted for blazing new territory in what many have said is an art form that has reached its zenith.



Such an innovation is the hardcover graphic collection, IMAGINATION MANIFESTO, a volume so unique that it is difficult to describe it. Beautiful, bizarre, disturbing, consuming, twisted, delicious. These are but a few of the superlatives that await eager readers in this new format, combining four separate ongoing graphic novellas into one hardcover tome to be issued at regular intervals during the coming years.



Even more important is that this is a Canadian innovation, totally conceived and produced in Canada. The stories are a combination of the writing talents of Greg Chomichuk, James Rewucki, and John Toone, three Winnipeggers with diverse backgrounds, vocations and experiences who share the common trait of literate artistic expression, taking the reader simultaneously from the highs of hallucinogenic dreams to the lows of brutal realities. The artwork is by Greg Chomichuk whose style has been described as “painfully gorgeous”, leaving the viewer salivating for more as each page unfolds into unimagined vistas. The book itself was printed and bound in Manitoba by D.W. Friesen, and is keenly aware of its environmental impact, using only completely recycled (and recyclable) materials.



The three creators will proudly add to the comics heritage of Winnipeg by appearing together at COMICS AMERICA, 552 Academy Road, Winnipeg on Saturday, December 19, 2009 from Noon to 4 pm. They will meet and greet the public and have copies not only of IMAGINATION MANIFESTO, but of several other of their art and film productions available to be signed and purchased by the general public.



This is a groundbreaking event, and we invite all media and interested parties to mark this date and plan to attend! For further information, please call 489-0580 any time weekdays from Noon to 6 pm.

attention holiday shoppers

Im---alt-cover


December 19th, 2009 - Noon to 4PM

Comics America - 552 Academy Road - Winnipeg

In-Store Session with the strange minds behind The Imagination Manifesto

thank you westgrove school!

Westgrove

. . . and stay for the cheese.

Gmb_chomichuk_poster


This Week:
Westgrove School on Monday, November 23rd
U of M - Fine Arts on Wednesday, November 25th

Next Week:
St. James Collegiate on Tuesday, December 1st
Comics America on Saturday, December 5th

video of mcnally launch 10/20/09

Many thanks to Dylan Fries of Vagabond Brigade and Absurd Machine Studios

Winnipeg Free Press Story

Free-press---outdoors-repor


A Fish Story
Local Author’s books get kids interested in angling

By: Don Lamont
Winnipeg Free Press – The Outdoors Report – November 7th, 2009

Want to read about the big one that got away? How about joining hope and the walleye on an incredible adventure? Well, now you can, young angler, thanks to Winnipeg writer John Toone. Two years in the writing and illustrating, these two children’s books were launched recently to a standing-room-only crowd at McNally Robinson Booksellers in Grant Park Shopping Centre. The two comic-style books are titled Hope and the Walleye and Catch That Catfish!. These two copies can be found on the bestseller table at the McNally Winnipeg locations since they currently are in the top five bestsellers in the Books for Young People section.

Toone grew up listening to a bedtime story each evening before lights out, an impression that has lasted a lifetime. He also was lucky enough to have a father that not only love the outdoors and fishing but who was also committed to stewardship. At the book launch, Toone reminisced about his adventures as a young lad working on limno corrals in the Whiteshell with his dad and other members of Fish Futures. Writing came to John a bit later in life, but with his son and daughter aged five and three, what better audience could he have? So now you have a writer who likes to fish, with a family the perfect age to enjoy a bedtime story. All of these factors help motivate Toone to collaborate with illustrator G.M.B. Chomichuk to produce these comic books.

In Hope and the Walleye, Toone tries to impart a stewardship message to his young readers. In this book, a brave young adventurer faces environmental destruction. She dreams of changing everything, if only she can uncover the secret of the walleye.

According to Toone, the second book in what he hopes will turn out to be a series, Catch That Catfish! is aimed at a younger age group. In this tale, a daring young angler gets in over his head when he battles a famous catfish.

Toone believes these types of books will involve young people and help promote the outdoors.

Funding for this project was possible by the Fisheries Enhancement Fund and Fish Futures. Copies of these books will be made available to libraries, teachers and at other public events throughout the province. Toone has also written a very successful poetry book entitled From Out of Nowhere. Look for these books at McNally Robinson bookstores or visit him online at www.johntoone.ca.

Toone and Chomichuk will be hosting a reading and fun day for young people as he launches Catch That Catfish! at McNally Robinsions’ Polo Park store on Sunday, November 15th at two p.m. There will be prizes and all kinds of fun events for the young people in the audience.

poems about Winnipeg, the prairie, and big business

Fromoutnowhere---front-cove


From Out of Nowhere was published by Turnstone Press in April 2009. It is a long poem about growing up in Winnipeg and being from the prairies. As written on the back cover:

From Out of Nowhere explores how cities have changed the landscape for prairie poetry. The poems find the intersections where nature speaks through cowboys, hunters, fishers, farmers, and businessmen. These voices are captured in cityscapes where they mutate, harmonize, and resonate to give new meaning to old turns of phrase, calls to action, and directions home.

In the end, From Out of Nowhere reveals that it is in our green spaces where we are reminded of our past, our present, and our uncertain future, and how we find ourselves, and our spirit, somewhere between city and country.”

Click here to read a sample of From Out of Nowhere

From Out of Nowhere was launched in a festive fashion on April 28th, 2009 at McNally Robinson Booksellers in Winnipeg. Video of my presentation is coming soon . . .

To purchase a signed copy of From Out of Nowhere for $17 please e-mail john@johntoone.ca. On-line store coming soon . . .

“John Toone is in the midst of perfecting the prairie roar, the long poem of multiple perspectives and precise insights. There are echoes of Cooley, Hunter, and Kroetsch in these pages. From Out of Nowhere is a relentless and exhilarating text.”

- Jon Paul Fiorentino, stripmalling

From Out of Nowhere is poetry written against paperwork and the banal language of bureaucracy and control. John Toone’s phrases slip out of the rut of conventional meaning through surprising turns. This book brooks no lazy readers: instead, it fights for a fresh engagement with words and the ideas they carry.”

- Alison Calder, Wolf Tree

poems about cowboys, poverty, and home

Sixgun-cover


Sixgun Quixote was published by Alchemical Press in October 2009 and is distributed in the United States by Bluewater Productions.

Sixgun Quixote is a graphic novel (as in bloody) about the last stand of a delusional cowboy. It explores the life of an outsider and the long road home. Sixgun Quixote combines prose and art by GMB Chomichuk, poems and hand-lettering by John Toone to assault the senses with a dark prairie beauty and visions of a grave future.

Sixgun Quixote was launched in spectacular fashion on October 31st and November 1st at the Central Canada Comic Con in Winnipeg.

Click here to read a sample of Sixgun Quixote

Sixgun Quixote is a strange and unusual publication - a dream of a western cowboy – running amok in the vivid imagination and mind of a big city homeless man”

- Ben T. Traywick, Author and Official Town Historian of Tombstone, AZ

“The cowboy poems as told by Sixgun Quixote is like an audio track on paper, reads like music, antic and dark, wholly evocative of Cormac McCarthy’s apocalyptic masterpiece, The Road, the boys lull you into the dusty, outlaw world of gunslinger and the shoot the shit out of you when they drag you back home. Again with the themes of apocalypse, death and the isolation of the lonely, nasty hero, words and pictures move sensuously, texturally in unison with the absence of hope. This time it’s not fear as beauty, but hopelessness as nostalgia. Sweet.”

- Susie Moloney, The Dwelling

Sixgun Quixote is included in The Imagination Manifesto: Book One, a hardcover that contains four serialized graphic novels that challenge the impossible and reveal the world written between the lines.

Click here to read a sample of The Imagination Manifesto: Book One

To purchase a signed copy of The Imagination Manifesto: Book One for $20 please e-mail john@johntoone.ca. On-line store coming soon . . .

Works in Progress

Clouds



Shot in the Woods is a dark comedy inspired by the true story of when I was shot in the woods. No joke. These poems attempt to solve the mysteries of that day as they explore how stories spread and mutate in the small town of Winnipeg.

The Lake reflects on cottage country and life at the water’s edge. Against the backdrop of Falcon Lake, these poems reveal the stuff of family and friends, wilderness escapes, and endless summers.

Woodlot chronicles the clearing of land and planting of trees on a quarter-section of forest near Prawda, MB. This is about getting back to the land and building a home.

Shot in the Woods, The Lake, and Woodlot will come together in some form or another, my next manuscript maybe . . .

McNally for Kids Event

Walleyecover

Readings, Art Activities, Freddy the Fish, Prizes and Surprises and more!
November 15th @ 2PM
McNally Robinson Booksellers
Polo Park - Events Alcove
Catch That Catfish!
Hope and the Walleye
Special Launch for Kids of All Ages

here fishy fishy fishy

Catfishcover



Catch That Catfish! and Hope and the Walleye were launched in an artsy fashion on October 20th, 2009 at McNally Robinson Booksellers in Winnipeg. Video of our presentation is coming soon . . .

Catch That Catfish! - A daring young angler gets in over his head, battles a notorious catfish, and becomes part of the legend of the one that got away.

Click here to read a sample of Catch That Catfish!

Hope and the Walleye - A brave young adventurer faces environmental destruction and dreams of changing everything, if only she can uncover the secret of the walleye.

Click here to read a sample of Hope and the Walleye!

Thanks to the support of Fish Futures Inc. and the Fisheries Enhancement Fund, copies of these books will be distributed to teachers, libraries, and at public events throughout Manitoba.

To purchase signed copies of Catch That Catfish! and Hope and the Walleye for $9 each please e-mail john@johntoone.ca. On-line store coming soon . . .

blurbs blurbs blurbs

Tasting


“John Toone is in the midst of perfecting the prairie roar, the long poem of multiple perspectives and precise insights. There are echoes of Cooley, Hunter, and Kroetsch in these pages. From Out of Nowhere is a relentless and exhilarating text.”

- Jon Paul Fiorentino, stripmalling

From Out of Nowhere is poetry written against paperwork and the banal language of bureaucracy and control. John Toone’s phrases slip out of the rut of conventional meaning through surprising turns. This book brooks no lazy readers: instead, it fights for a fresh engagement with words and the ideas they carry.”

- Alison Calder, Wolf Tree

“The cowboy poems as told by Sixgun Quixote is like an audio track on paper, reads like music, antic and dark, wholly evocative of Cormac McCarthy’s apocalyptic masterpiece, The Road, the boys lull you into the dusty, outlaw world of gunslinger and the shoot the shit out of you when they drag you back home. Again with the themes of apocalypse, death and the isolation of the lonely, nasty hero, words and pictures move sensuously, texturally in unison with the absence of hope. This time it’s not fear as beauty, but hopelessness as nostalgia. Sweet.”

- Susie Moloney, The Dwelling

“Sixgun Quixote is a strange and unusual publication - a dream of a western cowboy – running amok in the vivid imagination and mind of a big city homeless man”

- Ben T. Traywick
Author and Official Town Historian of Tombstone, AZ

Winnipeg Free Press Review

Press-photo



John Toone debut swift, startling

By: Jennifer Still
Winnipeg Free Press – May 24th, 2009

Winnipeg poet John Toone's debut, From Out of Nowhere (Turnstone, 102 pages, $17), has boldly emerged like a call from the shadows of the Fort Rouge bridge: swift, startling and resonant.

This collection of long poems, which mythologizes the prairie-city boy landscape, challenges "the rules of language / and the game" with a cowboy-cum-word-slinger wit, "giving life to the tired / the old / cliché."

Toone's strongest swing is in the line, his linguistic lasso, which he draws with a tight hold on the sublime: "the line is dark the line is bold / and this is where I am at home."

Invigorating and alive to the risk and play of language, "starving for the undivided attention, a vacant lot," Toone's poems seek an attentiveness in form and content: "tell me something / I don't already know / in a different way."

Canstar News Story

Canstar photo



After Seven Years, Writer Gets His Words Out
First book paved way for three more to come in 2009

By: Melissa Martin
Canstar News – August 20th, 2009

Traditionally, a writer’s prerogative is to write into the night and rise well after the sun does.

John Toone might be like that too, if it wasn’t for the pint-sized energy of son Jackson, 5, and daughter Gloria, 2. As it is, by 9 a.m., Toone has already been up for hours. But with the kids at the library, the writer has a chance to nurse a coffee on the deck of his gallant old Fort Rouge three-storey.

“I would argue,” he says, when asked about his role as past-president of the Manitoba Writers’ Guild, “that Winnipeg in particular, and Manitoba in general, are producing some of the best writers in Canada.”

If early reviews are any indication, Toone himself may soon be counted among them. In April, his debut poetry collection From Out of Nowhere “boldly emerged like a call from the shadows of the Fort Rouge bridge: swift, startling and resonant,” raved Winnipeg Free Press reviewer Jennifer Still.

Toone chuckles. “It sounds better than my writing,” he says. But the review suggests he succeeded at his stated goal: capturing “the contrast between the city and the country, a book about growing up in Winnipeg and having that connection to the prairie, how that is acquired and how it is perpetuated.”

True, he had a long time to study that question. Seven years ago, Toone, 34, left his corporate job, where he travelled the Arctic managing properties for The North West Company. He threw himself into authorship, earning an English degree from the University of Manitoba and workshopping his writing through the guild.

Now, Toone is poised to celebrate 2009 as his breakout year, with a poetry collection out from Turnstone Press and two children’s books slated to be released in October.

The latter, Catch that Catfish! and Hope and the Walleye, funded by a grant from the Manitoba Fisheries Enhancement Fund, will teach kids about the importance of conversation and the “fish in Manitoba that are real characters,” Toone says.

The kids’ books were illustrated in rich, mixed-media palettes by local artist GMB Chomichuk, who is also working with Toone on a darkly provocative graphic novel, Sixgun Quixote.

“Working with John is more like making music than making art,” says Osborne Village resident Chomichuk. “You can tell him exactly what you’re thinking, he’ll tell you exactly what he’s thinking. It’s not about feelings, but about doing your best work, because being nice doesn’t help anyone get better.”

Now, Toone, who grew up in St. Vital, is challenging himself. Traditionally, he’s been happy to retreat from the world – Toone doesn’t have a television or a cell-phone, and homeschools his children with his educator wife Carol Drosdowech – but now, he’s gearing up for the launch of his website, johntoone.ca.

And he’s ready to see what other opportunities come his way. “Will I ever derive 100% of my income from writing? Probably not, no matter how successful I become,” he shrugs, noting that he’s been recently doing readings in schools.

“But I’m a writer not only in the time I commit, but the focus that I have: after my family, it’s on my writing.”