Category Archives: Uncategorized

Sky on sky – photos from the train

Window views reflecting scenes from the opposite windows, between Ottawa and Toronto, returning from a reading for the Tree Series:

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Camille Martin

“Velleity” is on the National Poetry Month calendar!

“Velleity” is on the National Poetry Month calendar . . . it’s “about” logs and peaches and Ma & Pa Kettle. Click below to link to the poem:
Thanks, Amanda Earl and Angel House Press!

Camille Martin

Quill Puddle Anthology – release party in Detroit!

Friday, April 18 – 7:00 p.m. at the Scarab Club in Detroit

Readings with: Will Alexander, Kim Hunter, Rob Lipton, Ken Mikolowski, Christine Monhollen, Julie Patton, Dennis Teichman, Matvei Yankelevich, Barbara Henning, Camille Martin

and Musical Performances by the Doll Hairs & Julie Patton



Camille Martin

Just out: 2nd edition of Anarchy, Geography, Modernity: Selected Writings of Elisee Reclus! (with woman holding the earth on the cover!)

After much re-writing and editing, the second edition of Anarchy, Geography, Modernity: Selected Writings of Elisée Reclus has finally appeared from PM Press!!! Many thanks and much praise to co-editor and co-translator John P. Clark – it’s mostly his book, but I’m so pleased to have played a part in it. And I’m delighted with the cover, which comes from the frontispiece of one of Reclus’ books – a woman holding the earth. Lovely!

Many thanks to the good people at PM Press!


Camille Martin

Robert Zend: Poet without Borders (presentation at The Center for Marginalia)

I’m delighted to be giving a presentation on avant-garde poet, concrete poet, and fiction writer Robert Zend at the University at Buffalo’s Poetry Collection on Monday, October 14, at 4 pm. Many thanks to Edric Mesmer, librarian and curator of the series! Click the link below for a pdf of the flyer:



Camille Martin

Goodbye, Treehouse

AUTUMN (1024x768)
WINTER (640x360)
          Thank you, locust tree outside my window. Hugging the north side of my building, you were always last to sprout leaves in spring. I waited and waited for the little buds at the tips of your branches to blossom. You played dead and I worried, and the relief was all the sweeter when you exploded into green.
          In summer, your thousands of tiny leaves flitting in the breeze cooled and fanned me, and concealed my lover and me behind a screen of intricate patterns.
          Your leaves were last in autumn to morph into a bright yellow curtain for my window, last to flutter to the sidewalk and stain it black with tannin.
          Snow piled impossibly high on your stark winter branches, a lesson in fractals and exquisite monochrome.
          Birds, squirrels, and insects have called you home, and so have I. For years I’ve lived in a treehouse. You eased my loneliness and gave me poetry.
          Today, blue sky and almost no breeze, a good day for the tree cutters. Now you teach me impermanence, a lesson I learn even through tears. Eventually you’ll become soil in which other living things can grow.

Twigs with tiny
variations bob
against the blue.
No gunshot, no
sprint. Earth murmurs
on its axis, volume turned
off. No hearts beating
to drums. Seeds hook
animal fur. No countdown,
but a desert blossoming
between one and zero.
Droplets fed by tiny
catastrophes dangle
from twigs.

(from Sonnets, Shearsman Books; first published in Fell Swoop)

Reaching the border, I forget why I came.
Must be for its own sake; the point seems
moot. It’s a good place to camp and I can still see
out the window. I imagine the vista broader
here: I can quibble as long as I like. I know my disease
but only catalogue symptoms, like eyes the exact shade
of the clutter they invert. And my thoughts
having no passport, no crux, just background noise
to accompany their inevitable mistakes. Here
I can fail the Rorschach out my window, chatter endlessly
about rivers flowing upstream. Still at the border
in a dim room plunging headlong into omens.
I only know that a bit of sand makes a few marbles, that random
is just fingerprints, one planted on aging vellum,
the other on a coin spinning in soft light. Leaves
huddling next to my window last yellow
and fall, still filtering light on children at play.
It’s a more ordinary place than I expected. I’d know
their little calls and yells anywhere, though it seems
I always hear them for the first time.

(from Looms, Shearsman Books; first published in Ditch,)


Earth beckons rain and grape, grape
tugs the sun that makes it ripen.
Screen—stretched across a door frame

or painted with peacocks and towering
waterfalls—keeps moths from flame,
flame from extinguishing gaze.

Untranslatable, trading yellow
crayons for leaves. Undeterred,
every leaf shades us.

(from “Blueshift Road”; first published in Truck)

Camille Martin

Anselm Hollo: Motes & Pellets (a brief tribute)

          I recently published 18 short-short poems in The Puritan from a manuscript entitled “R Is the Artichoke of Rose.”
          As part of that publication, the editors asked me to write an author’s note discussing those poems for The Town Crier. I chose to pay tribute to Anselm Hollo, especially to his penchant for the ultra-short poem, some of which he called “motes” and “pellets.”
          You can read this tribute here.

Camille Martin

18 minimalist poems . . .

. . . in The Puritan.

Camille Martin

“Endless Regression of Heavens” in Similar Peaks

There’s a terrific new online literary magazine in town, Similar Peaks, and I’m pleased to have a poem in it!

Click the image below for more:


Camille Martin

River of Words: Camille Martin’s Poetry Workshops for Teens

     Here are some pictures of me conducting my River of Words poetry workshop at a Toronto secondary school, under the auspices of the Toronto Public Library’s Young Voices program. Below, find out how your school can incorporate River of Words in a flexible and affordable format.

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     A grant that I was recently awarded from the Ontario Arts Council Arts in Education Program is making it very affordable for Toronto secondary schools to invite me to conduct my River of Words poetry workshops. River of Words consists of poetry-writing games, peer discussion and supportive critique, collaborative writing, and confidence-building recitations. With five or more sessions, River of Words culminates in the creation of an anthology of the students’ poetry and a poetry reading, complete with student master of ceremonies and refreshments.
     I love conducting poetry workshops for teens, who I’ve found are hungry for language play, for making mudpies with words. Sometimes, students have anxiety about getting it right, about learning the correct answers to have a successful outcome. River of Words provides a haven for teens to tell that critical voice inside them to take a hike and simply to have fun with language. The student poetry that comes from the River or Words games is always delightful and often astonishing.
     What can these River of Words poetry games do for students?

The ability to relate and to connect, sometimes in odd and yet striking fashion, lies at the very heart of any creative use of the mind, no matter in what field or discipline. —George J. Seidel

This is in essence the benefit of writing poetry: it helps students to think creatively by using language to surprise, delight, and move. This ability to think creatively has far-reaching benefits to students: it’s not only writing beautiful metaphors—it’s discovering that creative solutions to problems often come to us when we give ourselves permission “to relate and to connect” in startling and original ways.
     From years of experience, I know how to unleash creative language in teens–and to have fun in the process, using a series of poetry-writing games. It’s always refreshing to see the initial trepidation that some students feel about writing poetry dissolve as they have fun with the games and take pride in their strange and wonderful creations!
     If you are a Toronto secondary school teacher, librarian-teacher, or principal who would like to explore ways to incorporate River of Words at your school, contact me at

I’m happy to send you more information (including letters of reference from teachers who have witnessed my workshops) and to answer any questions you might have.

Camille Martin

Readings: three Canadian cities and one Cajun hometown

I’ll be reading from Looms and newer work at four venues in the near future: Lafayette, Louisiana (my hometown), Vancouver, Montreal, and Toronto. If you’re going to be in any of these places, please come!

7:00 pm, Saturday, February 16
Voices Seasonal Reading Series

Carpe Diem! / 812 Jefferson Street / Lafayette, Louisiana
Also reading: Matthew Hofferek & Lana M. Wiggins

7:00 pm, Thursday, March 14
Robson Reading Series

Robson Square Bookstore / 800 Robson Street / Vancouver
Other reader TBA

Tuesday, March 19
Argo Bookshop

1915 Sainte-Catherine Street West / Montreal
Also reading: Oana Avasilichioaei

8:00 pm, Tuesday, April 9
Art Bar Poetry Series

Q Space / 5382 College Street West / Toronto
Also reading: Jim Johnstone, Adam Seelig

Carpe Diem! Gelato & Espresso Bar in Lafayette, Louisiana

Carpe Diem! Gelato & Espresso Bar in Lafayette, Louisiana

Camille Martin

New review of Looms: “Impressive and addictive”

Stride Magazine of the U.K. published Steve Spence’s brief review of Looms. A quote:

“[Looms] has a very painterly, noir feel, alienated and penumbral, taut yet expansive. Impressive and addictive.”

And as addictions go, much better for you than Pringles or crack. You can get a copy of Looms at these vendors:

Small Press Distribution (US)
Apollinaire’s Bookshoppe (Canada) (Canada) (US)
The Book Depository (UK, worldwide)


Camille Martin