New Star News

Annharte at McNally Robinson for the Winnipeg International Writers Festival :: October 1




After a great run of summer events here on the west coast, Annharte will be reading from and discussing her latest collection of poetry, Miskwagoode, at an event with our good friends at McNally Robinson in Winnipeg, presented by Our Line in the Sand Manitoba in collaboration with the Winnipeg International Writers Festival for THIN AIR 2022.

Saturday October 1 – 7:00pm
McNally Robinson – Grant Park (in the Atrium) Winnipeg

The event will also be streaming live on YouTube if you’re not able to make it! Check out all the event details here.

Don’t forget to check out the Winnipeg Writers Festival – running from September 20 through October 18 – you can catch a handful of exciting in-person events if you happen to be in Winnipeg. Not a local? Never fear! A hybrid program is on the books this year, register for the festival website today to check out a fantastic program of online events and content!

[ Image: McNally Robinson Booksellers ]

Coming this Fall :: The Sky and the Patio | Guilty of Everything



A forthcoming collection of essays from ecologist and writer Don Gayton is set to hit the shelves on October 13. The Sky and the Patio, a collection of 25 essays blending the personal with the ecological, reveals that there’s more to be told by a tree’s rings than just its age, more to be learned from the sockeye than a suitable wine pairing (though Gayton also offers his expertise there).

From ponderosa to cheatgrass, forest fires to turtle basking, and the intricacies of backyard viticulture, Gayton takes the lessons learned over a long career and sets them to paper with both a keen scientific eye and a careful, reverent pen.

DON GAYTON is the author of four previous books. His career, spanning five decades, includes working for the BC Ministry of Forests and Range, the Saskatchewan Department of Agriculture, the BC Ministry of Environment, the Lower Similkameen Indian Band, as well as numerous local governments and community organizations. He lives in Summerland, BC.

9781554201945 :: $18.00 :: 216 pages :: 5.5 x 8.5


John Armstrong, Buck Cherry of The Modernettes, had an unexcelled view of Vancouver’s punk music scene from its discordant late 1970s birth in the city’s suburbs through its glorious peak and heroin-addled decline. A natural story teller armed with with a sharp eye and a caustic keyboard, Armstrong brings the scene to life in this classic account, now digitally remastered from the original recording, and restores some never-before-seen scenes in Guilty of Everything.

JOHN ARMSTRONG is an award-winning journalist, writer and musician. He is the author of three books, Guilty of Everything (shortlisted for the BC Book Prize), Wages, and A Series of Dogs (longlisted for the Leacock Medal for Humour). After his early days as frontman Buck Cherry of The Modernettes, Armstrong began a 15-year long career as a journalist with the Vancouver Sun. He now lives with his family and dogs in Chilliwack, BC.

978155201914 :: $18.00 :: 136pp :: 5.5 x 8.5

Announcing Naked Defiance, by Patrik Sampler :: April 2023


We’re excited to announce New Star’s acquisition of Naked Defiance: A Comedy of Menace, the new novel by Vancouver writer Patrik Sampler.

Naked Defiance is the story of a turn-of-the-century radical art group and its charismatic leader, written by one of its members, Florian Moore (probably a pseudonym), and which lands on the desk of novelist / editor Patrik Sampler, tasked with preparing Moore’s manuscript for publication.

Unfolding as a report on an investigation into the death of the group’s leader Ganbold Mirzoyan while in police custody, Naked Defiance is a mystery about a series of public performances staged by the eponymous group, and the increasingly disturbing disruptions to which its own interventions become subjected.

Patrik Sampler is represented by Toronto-based TransAtlantic Literary Agency, whose Evan Brown arranged the deal. Transatlantic’s announcement can be found here.

A compelling story laced with dark social comedy, Naked Defiance is Sampler’s second novel, and will be available April 15, 2023. The Ocean Container, a dystopian eco-fiction, was published in 2017.

Tom & Gary’s madcap antics coming to the West Coast


The somewhat delayed West Coast launch for Bird Arsonist, the phlogiston-enriched collaboration between Tom Prime and Gary Barwin released earlier in 2022, is finally happening this month, with events in Victoria (August 19) and Vancouver (August 20).

The Bird Arsonist launch will be a combined happening, enfolding Tom Prime’s Mouthfuls of Space (Anvil Press, October 2021) and (why not?) Gary Barwin’s 2015 Anvil release, I, Dr. Greenblat, Orthodontist, 251-1457.

VICTORIA – Friday August 19
The Spiral Cafe
418 Craigflower Rd
With a reading by Sara Cassidy and music by Novo Drom

VANCOUVER – Saturday August 20
The People’s Co-Op Bookstore
1391 Commercial Dr




CANCELLED :: June 22 at the ANZA :: The Poetry Comeback, featuring Annharte


[ Due to events beyond our control, we have been obliged to CANCEL this event. ]

Here at New Star Books we’re happy & excited to announce our first post-pandemic literary event, a six- or seven-poet group reading at the fabled ANZA Club, headlined by Annharte, whose new book Miskwagoode  launches a few days earlier at Massy Arts. Confirmed readers so far also include Roger Farr, Louis Cabri, and Mercedes Eng.

By “post-pandemic” we mean the onset of the pandemic, not that we imagine it’s over.  The ANZA Club is a pretty big room for even a group poetry event, so there should be enough space for you to keep your distance in, and plenty of empty seats in the back for the socially different.  Admission is FREE (though the fabled ANZA bar is not) and the program commences ca. 7 p.m. The ANZA Club finds itself at 3 West 8th Avenue, at Ontario St.

Some of our authors won’t be able to attend, but we also want to use the occasion to honour new books by Sharon Thesen and Janet Gallant, George Bowering, Gary Barwin and Tom Prime, and Gustave Morin. Their books will also be available at the ANZA.

Book Launch :: Miskwagoode at the Massy Arts Gallery



Join us on June 18 for the launch of Annharte’s Miskwagoode at the Massy Arts Gallery!

Presented by Massy Voices, the launch will also feature performances by Madeline Terbasket (Annharte’s grandchild and artist of the illustration featured on the cover of Miskwagoode) as well as comedian Savannah Erasmus.

WHEN: Saturday June 18 6:00pm
WHERE: Massy Arts Gallery
23 East Pender St, Vancouver

This event is free and open to all, but be sure to register here on Eventbrite.

We’ve got a couple more events up our sleeves for the summer. Watch this space or keep tabs on our Instagram and Facebook for announcements coming soon!


‘sisters fallen but not forgotten’ :: Red Dress Day


The REDress Project, established by Indigenous artist Jamie Black in 2010, draws attention to the gendered and racialized nature of violent crimes against Aboriginal women and to evoke a presence through the marking of absence. Since 2010, May 5 is annually recognized as Red Dress Day, in memory of the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people across the country. The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls released its final report, and its 231 Calls for Justice, in 2019, but today Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people remain three times more likely than non-Indigenous women to be victims of violence.

Miskwagoode, the latest collection of poetry from Anishinaabe Elder and poet, Annharte, is a book about mother loss, about “mothermiss”, about all the women “buried in common enough / cross-generational graves”. Miskwagoode (taken from the Anishinaabe for “woman wearing red,”), is Annharte, and she is Annharte’s mother, who disappeared when the poet was a girl.

The poems of this collection, while at times cheeky and playful, are shot through with the realities of despair and violence still persisting with the legacies of colonialism.

You can read ‘Boast Unanimity’ from Miskwagoode below.

Boast Unanimity


take to the streets  walk swirl spin words
.  incite rabble rouse

unwritten life manifesto re-image nation
.  step out more self-contained
.  wear a shawl over winter parka

talk swirl spin inward yet
outward confident conscious
possible defiant words declare
rebel, revolt, resolve, recollect
walk straight into dystopia

march out more self-contained
wear a ribbon skirt to match others
express compassionate solidarity
red or purple chosen colours of purpose

many red skeletons bump along back streets
make multiple paths toward crowd holding
candle lights in collective gesture to mourn
sisters fallen but not forgotten on this eve

foot after foot motion fumble feel around
awkward in shuffle step sound momentum
form outspoken unwritten life manifesto
zigzag animation an ultimatum showdown

proceed single file to women march
minus below breeze rips through crowd
red skeletal remains scramble to get closer
spirits in deference keep outside inner huddle

join hands thick mitts shield finger bone clutch
phantom fingers and toes dig in crunch together
as if it is all pavement road to navigate from ancestor
lodge while inside they did rest formal introduce
say tansi aaniin boozhoo sisters welcome back
we have work to do  maybe one grisly joke
murder she did not write only Agatha Christie
solved murder mysteries on telly every week
support this exceptional gesture of defiance

police now encircle where was presence
before criminal arrest supposed to take place
vital contact before bureaucratic damage done
now it is mere entrapment to have security
negotiations about safety must serve and protect
taste strange metaphor on tongue about to say
valentine day so boney red is suitable choice

valentine day winter evening
time being always time immemorial

find comforting grip for boney toes
dig in crunch together cannot avoid
bump in journey step over pot hole

as if it is all talk not walk to negotiate
re-image nation copy that

how many lives taken
speckled stones remain along pathways
find one it is divine to remember

Canadian Independent Bookstore Day


Saturday April 30 is Canadian Independent Bookstore Day!
The annual day when readers, writers, illustrators, publishers, and other industry supporters come together to celebrate indie bookstores across Canada. By joining the celebration, you are advocating for independent businesses, supporting a flourishing bookselling community, and investing in Canadian culture.

As a small press, New Star has always had a deep appreciation for independently owned bookstores and their passionately dedicated booksellers. Throughout the years we’ve found our most ardent readers through these stores, through the finely tuned skills of booksellers and their ability to create genuine excitement and connection within their communities. These past few years have only served to strengthen our faith in the indies as the backbone of Canadian bookselling.

So this weekend we encourage you to head out and buy a book or two (or three). Check out CIBA’s handy map to find your closest indie bookstore!
You can find New Star’s books alongside other fantastically curated titles on the shelves of these independent bookstores:

:: Massy Books
:: Munro’s Books
:: Iron Dog Books
:: Mosaic Books
:: People’s Co-op Bookstore
:: Queen Books
:: Book City
:: Type Books
:: Another Story Bookshop
:: Novel Idea
:: Words Worth Books
:: McNally Robinson
:: Shelf Life Books


Available Now :: Miskwagoode by Annharte


‘ This surprisingly tender collection is for mothers missed, a call to “retaliation not reconciliation” for “sisters fallen not forgotten,” for those we honour “valentine day winter eve / time being always time immemorial.” ‘
—Mercedes Eng


Annharte’s fourth collection of poetry, her latest since 2012’s Indigena Awry, publishes today! Miskwagoode, taken from the Anishinaabe for “woman wearing red,” is an unsettling portrayal of unreconciled Indigenous experience under colonialism, past and present.

With an introduction from Annharte’s son and granddaughter, and featuring cover art from her grandchild, the intergenerational waves of Miskwagoode are felt throughout its pages. The woman in the red dress is Annharte, and she is Annharte’s mother, who disappeared when the poet was just a girl. This is a book about mother loss, “mothermiss,” about all the women “burried in common enough / cross-generational graves.”

Suffused with all of Annharte’s usual humour and hard-earned wisdom, the poems of Miskwagoode peek behind the “buckskin curtain” at the margins of settler society. Annharte tells us about granny circles, the horny old guys, and getting your hair done. But these poems about rez life and the community and belonging it offers are set against the background radiation of the poverty and the sicknesses, despair, violence, sexism, and sexual abuse, the legacies of unequal relations.

You’ll find copies of Miskwagoode at these local independent bookstores:

:: Massy Books – Vancouver, BC
:: Iron Dog Books – Vancouver, BC
:: Novel Idea – Kingston, ON
:: Another Story – Toronto, ON
:: Type Books – Toronto, ON
:: Book City – Toronto, ON (Bloor St, Danforth Ave, Queen St E)
:: The Book Keeper – Sarnia, ON 
:: Books on Beechwood – Ottawa, ON
:: Perfect Books – Ottawa, ON
:: The Bookshelf – Guelph, ON
:: The Printed Word – Dundas, ON
:: McNally Robinson – Winnipeg, MB & Saskatoon, SK
:: Librarie Moderne – Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, QC
:: Livres Lac-Brome – Knowlton, QC
:: Pages On Kensington – Calgary, AB
:: Shelf Life Books – Calgary, AB
:: Bookmark – Halifax, NS

Or snag a copy online:

:: New Star Books
:: Chapters
:: UTP Distribution
:: Small Press Distribution

Watch Now! :: Bird Arsonist launch videos


Missed the launch of Bird Arsonist this past weekend? You can watch the full event on YouTube or in the window below!
Hosted by the fantastic Elee Kraljii Gardiner and joined by guest reader Kathryn Mockler, Bird Arsonist launched live on Zoom on Saturday February 5. Check this news post to find out where you can pick up a copy of the book.

And for the highlight reel, here’s Barwin and Prime performing a uniquely auditory poem from the book.