December 31, 2009

New Year

It's better to have booze you don't want than to want booze you don't have.

December 4, 2009

"Men and the Drink" and "20 Grit"

Exciting news! My chapbook "Men and the Drink" and the new issue of Front & Centre which includes my short story "20 Grit" are now available from Black Bile Press in Ottawa.

Matthew Firth November 25 at 7:47pm
– Black Bile Press Media Release –

New From Black Bile Press

One-offs Chapbooks Series Three, featuring:

Tony O’Neill
Julie McArthur
Nathaniel G. Moore

Black Bile Press is back with its third series of one-off, single story chapbooks by three of the literary underground’s hardest hitters.

Tony O’Neill is an internationally-renowned writer of salty fiction. His novels include Digging the Vein (Contemporary Press) and Down and Out on Murder Mile (Harper Perennial). Now Black Bile Press has the honour of publishing his chapbook Bill Bailey, a hilarious story about a man, a hirsute woman and an unlucky, yappy dog. This is a unique opportunity to own a limited edition O’Neill publication that will sell out quickly and never be reprinted.

Julie McArthur is a rising literary gem from Toronto. Her chapbook Men and the Drink centres on a woman’s survival strategy for dealing with men in her life. Told in McArthur’s deadpan, succinct style, the story blends humour and panache just so.

Nathaniel G. Moore is a well-known and respected writer of irreverent short fiction and the perfect fit for a Black Bile Press chapbook. His book “Sensational Sherri” is a ribald tale that mingles wrestling, pornography, booze, obsession and nostalgia like only Mr. Moore can.

This threesome of writers and their books represent the best of the best when it comes to fierce and fiery short fiction. Each story is published as a limited edition, single story chapbook, carefully assembled but anything but precious.

Order all three books for only $10.00 (plus $2.00 postage), for a ridiculously good final price of $12.00 for all three books. Or order one chapbook (please specify the title) for $6.00 ($5.00 for the book, plus $1.00 postage).

Also, the new issue of Front & Centre #22 is now available. Read gripping new fiction from Julie McArthur, Victor Sakalauskas, Drew Gates, Lisa Foley, Joel Williams, Zdravka Evtimova, and Gregory K. Betts. Includes reviews of books by Kerry Kelly, Seymour Shubin, Dan Fante, Richard Labonte & Lawrence Schimel, Lisa Foad, and Cynthia Flood. This jam-packed magazine is also $5.00, plus $1.00 postage.

"Matthew Firth's seminal, wonderful, creme-de-la-creme lit mag is a must for anyone remotely interested in bold new writing. Each issue is full of the cream of new, ballsy, international writing and should be devoured, cherished and held onto as gold-dust for when the painstakingly selected talent on offer make it inevitably massive. One of the very best which I heartily recommend you subscribe to." Laura Hird

Order by sending a cheque (made payable to M. Firth) to:

Matthew Firth
Black Bile Press
573 Gainsborough Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario
K2A 2Y6


November 22, 2009

Cormac McCarthy Interview

Check out this interview in The Wall Street Journal.

"I'm not interested in writing short stories. Anything that doesn't take years of your life and drive you to suicide hardly seems worth doing."

November 1, 2009

Alexandra Haden

I never liked the name Julie, too girlie. I loved Alexandra, it had a nice look to it and could be shortened to Alex. There was a time when I thought being a boy would be easier. I'm not sure where Haden came from, though there is a nice park in Ottawa called Andrew Hayden Park. In high school I wrote a series of Alexandra Haden's Philosophies in and amongst drawings in sketchbooks. Some were thoughtful, others common sense, and some just plain silly. Here is a sampling...

Make up a new language, ie.puppucou-puke with beans and weiners
Listen lots, learn lots
Belch if you want, is it really gross?
Don't base firm conclusions on false assumptions
Dum ends in a b
If someone thinks something false about you, set them straight, but if it works to your advantage and that person is an asshole maybe you shouldn't tell them after all
Don't fall into pitfalls

I planned to use Alexandra Haden as my nom du plume when I grew up, but I guess that hasn't happened yet.

October 28, 2009

Cormac McCarthy

Passages from his novel Suttree.

"The big lemoncolored cat watched him from the top of a woodstove. He turned his head to see it better and it elongated itself like hot taffy down the side of the stove and vanished headfirst in the earth without a sound."

"By now the mother had come from the porch. She was dressed in black and closed upon them soundless as a plague, her bitter twisted face looming, axemark for a mouth and eyes crazed with hatred. She tried to speak but only a half strangled scream came out. The girl was thrown aside and this demented harridan was at him clawing, kicking, and gurgling with rage."

"He saw small figurines composed of dust and light turn in the broken end of a bottle, spidersized marionettes in some minute ballet there in the purple glass so lightly strung with strands of cobweb floss."

October 27, 2009

Fashion Musings

Designer rainboots must go, away
Leggings are not pants
Leggings that look like jeans are not jeans
Those boots-Ughhhhhh!
Crocs do not rock
Wear yoga pants in yoga, don't advertise that you go to a gym


This is my first blog. I'm not sure what I will write about, or how often, or at all. Enjoy.