YEAR One in Review

by Kyle Flemmer

With The Blasted Tree's first year anniversary upon us already, we felt this would be a good opportunity to reflect on our journey so far, give thanks for all the fantastic support we've received, and take a quick look at what the future holds in store. The last year has been a whirlwind of activity, we've learned a lot about the contemporary landscape of editing and publishing in Canada, and there's tons more to look forward to, so let's dive straight into our Year One in Review.

TO OUR READERSHIP

First and foremost, we would like to issue a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has taken time out of their busy schedule to lay peepers on our website. It's no secret we live in a culture of mass distraction - social media is chock full of click-bait list articles, auto-playing targeted advertisements, FarmVille invitations, endless ways to spend your day - and we deeply appreciate you visiting us here, browsing the digital stacks, leaving feedback on our posts, and sharing our work with your friends. It means a great deal to the editorial staff and contributing authors that you've responded so positively to this project. We would also like to thank those people who have helped support emergent Canadian literature by purchasing Blasted Tree chapbooks or swag from our online store, at the Argo Bookstore in Montreal, or from the authors themselves. Your continued patronage will ensure this press keeps running for another year, and we look forward to bringing you more quality short stories, poetry, and nonfiction in the future. Lastly, we are truly grateful to both MacCall Bertram and Jeff Wesa, whose generous donations went a long way towards getting The Blasted Tree off the ground. Because of people like this, we were able to undertake far more than we thought possible in our first year. With that said, let's have a look at some of the highlights we were able to share with you...

Highlights of Year One

 Jesse Anger reads at The Blasted Tree Launch Party

Jesse Anger reads at The Blasted Tree Launch Party

The Blasted Tree went online in July of 2014 with four authors and a photographer. Since then, we have grown to accommodate a roster of 18 talented contributing authors and artists, with content ranging from dark lyric poetry to science fiction shorts, psychedelic nonfiction to underground photography, and beyond. It has been our distinct pleasure to be involved with each of these projects - working with an author to perfect a manuscript, putting a piece online, and picking up an order from the printers are all supremely satisfying activities - but the highlight for us was celebrating the opening of our online store at The Blasted Tree Launch Party in December. The turn-out was fantastic, and each of the 6 authors who read performed admirably. Special thanks to everybody in Montreal who came out and showed their support!

Catalog

During our first year of publication, The Blasted Tree released 15 different chapbooks in print and posted numerous titles online. Our catalog represents output by authors from all over Canada, though many of our contributors have come together in the Creative Writing program at Concordia University. We have discovered diversity in voice and perspective while seeking new territory in Canadian letters. Here is a quick summary of our catalog:

In addition, we have also featured online the short fiction of Michelle Browne, several poems by Ivan Fischer, Gavin Lytton, and Gabriel Wainio-Théberge, and the photography of Foster Marshall-Medeiros, among other things! Follow our Blog to stay up to date on our current publications and featured content.

Looking forward

The Blasted Tree has big plans, both in the near future and the long term. We're committed to publishing the best Canadian artistry in as diverse a format as possible, whether that be fiction, poetry, non-fiction, visual media, or otherwise. While we place emphasis on the written word, we are a publishing company with an eye on emergent trends in artistic expression, political activism, and social criticism. With that in mind, The Blasted Tree hopes to maintain a conscientious voice amid the chaos of the digital age, furthering challenging new forms, both analog and digital, while remaining in touch with traditional modes of physical production and distribution. We have several projects on the horizon we know you'll be as excited about as we are, including new fiction by Ivan Fischer and Mitch Brown, poetry by Kyle Flemmer, and video poetry by Adrien Smart. The Blasted Tree will be moving into a wider range of media presentation, expanding our visual art and photography portfolios while branching out into video production, artist interviews, and literary criticism. But we cannot move on alone. We need submissions from people like you in order to keep growing and innovating. If you, or someone you know, produces socially-conscious writing or art, please feel free to drop us a line at theblastedtree@gmail.com, including a sample of your work and a brief artist statement.

Again, we would like to thank everybody who has been involved with The Blasted Tree so far. Publication is all about the interchange of ideas and emotions, and it means a great deal to us that you've opened your hearts and minds to our endeavor. Thank you for your continued support, and we can't wait to bring you more wonderful Canadian content in our next year!


Feature Image by Kyle Flemmer - Photo by Bea Keeler

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