Bolero Bird

Canadian Publisher of Poetry and Fiction


Jason Emde - little bit die


Jason Emde's poems in little bit die are intimate and haunted recollections of travel and freedom, of friendship and loss, of leaving and getting home. Careening from small-town Canada to Zimbabwe to Mexico to Poland to Tiananmen Square to Gifu, Japan, Emde traces how the heart moves through its spheres of grief and the ways it endures "in the middle of the noise."

"It's a fantastic book; it broke my heart and made me laugh at the same time. Does it get any better than that?"  

Susan Musgrave, author of Exculpatory Lilies

"In heady intimate anaphoras that recall Allen Ginsberg and ecstatic catalogues of rich plurality and particularity reminiscent of Walt Whitman, Jason Emde's little bit die traces a life bisected between Vernon, Canada and Gifu, Japan. These poems lead us through streets layered with the repeated footsteps of growing children, hotels haunted by a single night's drunken laughter, houses that remain identical outside but where "modern-sleek" updates replace the "indescribable nameless junk" that lives on in memory. At its heart, this book is an elegy for a friendship between "two non-macho guys / who loved each other for 30 years" and a testament to what it means to lose a friend who holds so much shared past. Emde plumbs the paradoxes of our inner and outer geographies. little bit die leaves us with a curious and wonderous sense that we arethat every person is, every place is"just as vast / inside as out." These digressive, voice-driven, strange, and funny poems remind us how our daily errands, chores, and acts of care touch on the deepest mysteries of being. Like Frank O'Hara, Jason Emde's infectious voice and astonished attention to the intimate ordinary will follow you long after you set down this book."

Bronwen Tate, author of The Silk the Moths Ignore

"Jason's incredible. Such energy and vision"

John Lent, author of A Matins Flywheel

Jason Emde is a teacher, writer, undefeated amateur boxer, Prince enthusiast, creator and host of the Writers Read Their Early Sh*t podcast, and the author of My Hand's Tired & My Heart Aches. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from UBC and his work has appeared in Real Travel, The Malahat Review, Soliloquies Anthology, The Watershed Review, and numerous other publications.

Available at many indie bookstores, Chapters/Indigo, Barnes & Noble, and e-books available from Google Books, Apple iBooks, Nook Book, Kobo, and more.

Michael Whone - Lo-Fi


"A depraved and offbeat leap out of the fifth wall straight into the loony bin."

"An unofficial love letter to Anaïs Nin, inspired by her three novelettes in 'Winter of Artifice,' and her literature about a writer's experiences in psychotherapy."

An art designer, and music critic at a Toronto music venue, is tracing an almost famous indie rock band, but he's about to become a two-time Master of Fine Arts dropout. In a drunken interview with Guerin Tracy, a semi-famous indie rocker, the interview goes sour when Ox mentions Guerin's infamous Kikkoman Soy Sauce t-shirt that turns out, doesn't fit anymore. Mid-life crisis in bloom, Ox starts to question whether society's distortions, or his own, are detaining him in this hell-bent journey to find a high fidelity, distortion-free existence. A handful of dead-end romantic relationships further drive him into his toxic, yet uniquely magic-sprung brand of disillusionment. When the magic for Ox and his eccentric good intentions start conspiring against him like a scoundrel ex-girlfriend, he finds satisfaction in knowing he's learned to accept a future that's totally distorted.

This amp-cranked, rock and rolling psychological fiction is a transgressive meditation of an ex-musician, turned writer, searching for profound connections from within the desolation of the inner-workings of the music industry, psychotherapy, and in and out of a Toronto psychiatric institution. Luckily, there's a sophisticated love interest he knows he can always turn to as his muse: the timeless voices of the legendary female writers for whom he elicits a quirky yearning and affinity. 

Available at many indie bookstores, Amazon, Chapters/Indigo, Barnes & Noble, and e-books available from Kindle, Google Books, Apple iBooks, Nook Book, Kobo, and more.

Ciara Selene - Poor, Pretty Creature


Observation one: there is no obvious change in Subject's appearance. As it is, Subject is female, aged seventeen to twenty-two, of ambiguous ethnicity (it is presumed that she is mixed-race, judging from her appearance), approximately five feet tall and a hundred pounds. She was discovered in an unconscious state, and thus far, she remains so. Contamination has been confirmed, but to what degree is unknown. More information to follow. 

Observation two: Subject has no memory of The Event. This begs the question-is this peculiar to her? Was she, perhaps, unaware of what was happening to her, and unconscious during it? Is she a hapless victim? Or is this common? Is The Event so terrible, so utterly incomprehensible to the human mind, that one must block it out to protect oneself? And, more importantly, will her memory return with time? More information to follow. 

Observation three: Subject reported unexpected information: she knew her attacker...

Available at many indie bookstores, Amazon, Chapters/Indigo, Barnes & Noble, and e-books available from Kindle, Google Books, Apple iBooks, Nook Book, Kobo, and more.

Michael Whone - There Is a Light That Never Goes Out

(Second Edition - 2018)

"Although loneliness is a quality that we all must endure (sometimes even while we are with someone), in every instance of it that I can think of, there is always an intervening event that rips you up in the end, apprehensively targets the tedium at first and crescendoes into an aggressive stranglehold of the heart. And I'll willfully let that happen again, but it's unpredictable when it will occur."

Aiming to find the man that no longer resides in him, Vic devises a plan to unite with his inner self. In his first summer and autumn in a house on Etherington Crescent, he gathers all the necessities he needs to withdraw from the outside world and reassemble the lonely, marginalized outsider he's become. With a new found purpose, he attracts two women with similar, but subconscious, conflicts of mind. Slowly he comes to realize what underlies their personas. Two trysts develop, one after the other, but no one said it would be easy. No one said things would go awry.

Part One of There Is a Light That Never Goes Out is a memory of how the trio of outsiders came to find one another. The second part is a satirical romance that, in Michael Whone's distinctly modular narrative and wry wit, transforms each beat of Vic's words into a portrait of mystical awakening. Untangling the frustration of losing the lover that waltzed before his eyes and saved his life one winter three years ago, Vic grows enlightened by the urban wilderness around him—a metaphysical beauty surfacing in the shape of his lost love.

A story of Vic, Paula and Sarah, their natural yet unnatural connection with love, and life's fragility pleading them to love just a little bit deeper and more sensibly. In an ideal world, true love would save the day, but as fickle and superficial as relationships are, the three of them lead themselves deeper into a hapless desperation for heartbreak.

Available at many indie bookstores, Amazon, Chapters/Indigo, Barnes & Noble, and e-books available from Kindle, Google Books, Apple iBooks, Nook Book, Kobo, and more.

Michael Whone - Winter Lyric

(Third Edition - 2018)

"an infectious little gem" —Whispering Stories

Winter Lyric is the emotional and poetic story of Elliot Stephenson and his relationship with Sarah Benton, two drinking buddies that suddenly become romantic partners.  With a new found lust for life so profound he’s not quite sure what to do with it, Elliot delivers a quirky love-manifesto for Sarah, documenting his recklessly entertaining fruition of sexual self-discovery. Elliot brilliantly weaves together a breathtakingly honest, and cleverly entwined story that fortuitously connects each hedonistic moment of his past and present to a bittersweet realization that life isn’t about pleasure seeking, but that life’s synchronicity and divine transcendence is the ultimate pleasure, that finds us.  

[A] meditation on all that is gained, and all that is lost, in every small moment, every seemingly meaningless interaction that passes us by, and it is told in a voice that is both profound and inimitable. [...] and contains more beauty and pain than should rightly exist in its brief pages. —From the Foreword by Neal O’Reilly