Matthew James Weigel’s It Was Treaty/It Was Me wins the 2021 bpNichol Chapbook Award

Congratulations to Matthew James Weigel’s It Was Treaty / It Was Me, published by Vallum Chapbooks, for winning the 2021 bpNichol Chapbook Award! Meet the Presses is thrilled with this selection and encourage everyone to jump online and order your own copy, if you don’t have one already!

Congrats and thanks as well to the shortlisted authors:

Terese Mason Pierre, Manifest, published by Gap Riot Press

MA|DE, A Trip to the Zzoo , published by Collusion Books

Manahil Bandukwala and Conyer Clayton, Sprawl, published by Collusion Books

.Further gratitude to this year’s judges Jennifer Lovegrove and Jordan Abel, Michael Dean and Karl Jirgen’s for contributing the publisher prize, to the anonymous donor who provides the funds for the bpNichol Chapbook Award.

We will be posting the recordings of the announcement and the other Meet the Presses events from the weekend, so keeping coming back for more details!

The 2021 bpNichol Chapbook Award Shortlist

We are thrilled to announce the four books that have been shortlisted for the 2021 bpNichol Chapbook Award!

Terese Mason Pierre, Manifest, published by Gap Riot Press

MA|DE, A Trip to the Zzoo , published by Collusion Books

Manahil Bandukwala and Conyer Clayton, Sprawl, published by Collusion Books

Matthew James Weigel, It Was Treaty / It Was Me, published by Vallum Chapbooks

We will be announcing the winner on November 25th at 7PM EST

The following day, November 26th 7PM EST, we’ll be hosting Press Clips, screening of a collection of short videos from small presses across Canada.

And on Saturday, we’ll be having a Small Press Silent Reading Group hosted by Vicki Steigler at 2PM EST.

Register for all three of our Virtual Meet the Presses Events at:

Meet the Presses (MTP) is seeking Statements of Interest

Meet the Presses (MTP) is seeking Statements of Interest from individuals who would like to join the MTP collective. Our annual Indie Literary Market is an invitational event for independent literary publishers—presses, micropresses, zines, and journals—as selected by two curators within the collective. In addition to conducting the annual market, Meet the Presses administers the annual bpNichol Chapbook Award, which recognizes excellence in Canadian poetry in English published in chapbook form within Canada. Other events, such as the 2020 Indie Literary Online Symposium, are planned on an ad hoc basis.

While past Indie Literary Markets have taken place in Toronto, Meet the Presses will be holding our events and meetings virtually for the next year; however, our hope is to return to a Toronto Indie Literary Market in 2022. In the past, members of the collective have typically been Toronto-based, as we usually meet in Toronto once every six to eight weeks, but meeting and participating virtually is a potential option.

Being nonprofit and unfunded, we have limited resources, thus at present all members, curators and Chapbook Award judges perform the MTP work on a completely volunteer basis.

Meet the Presses has made the commitment to do all we can to ensure that our activities are conducted in safe, inclusive, anti-racist spaces, especially for LGBTQQIP2SAA*, Indigenous, Black, and people of colour. We are committed to including in our membership historically marginalized writers, poets, publishers, and friends of the collective. We welcome all expressions of interest. Please send these to either Beth Follett ( or Aaron Tucker (

2021 bpNichol Chapbook Award CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS


N.B.: New mailing address (see below)

❡ Call for submissions to the 2021 bpNichol Chapbook Award

The bpNichol Chapbook Award recognizes excellence in Canadian poetry in English published in chapbook form within Canada. The prize is awarded to a poetry chapbook judged to be the best submitted. The author receives $4,000 and the publisher receives $500. Awarded continuously since 1986, the bpNichol Chapbook Award is currently administered by the Meet the Presses collective.

Chapbooks should be not less than 10 pages and not more than 48 pages. The chapbooks must have been published between January 1st and December 31st of the previous year (2020), and the poet must be Canadian or a permanent resident of Canada (minimum 3 years).

Interested authors or publishers should submit three copies of eligible chapbooks. Translations into English from other languages are eligible; reissues of chapbooks are ineligible.

Please include the Submission Form with your entry.

Submissions must be sent by Canada Post or courier (and not hand-delivered to a Meet The Presses collective member) and include a completed submission form or accurate facsimile, a brief C.V. of the author, including address, telephone number, and email address. Publisher contact information (contact person, mailing address, email address, and telephone contact) must also be included. Incomplete submissions will not be considered.

The opening date for receipt of submissions is February 17, 2021, and they will be accepted until May 31, 2021. If submission confirmation has not been received by email by June 30, 2021, please send a query to Gary Barwin at

Please send submissions to:
                        Meet the Presses / bpNichol Chapbook Award
                        c/o 180 Dufferin St. Hamilton ON L8S 3N7

The cash prize to the author has been generously donated by an anonymous donor. The prize to the publisher has been generously donated by writers Karl Jirgens and Michael Dean. All chapbooks submitted are archived at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto.

Chapbooks written by members of the Meet the Presses collective are ineligible for the award. Authors of chapbooks published by members of the collective remain eligible for the award, but member-publishers forgo the prize money.

Nisa Malli wins the 2020 bpNichol Chapbook Award!

The Meet the Presses Collective is thrilled to announce that Nisa Malli’s Remitting has won the 2020 bpNichol Chapbook Award. We are immensely grateful to the anonymous donor who provided the $4000 prize. Thanks to generous annual donations from Michael Dean and Karl Jirgens, the publisher of the winning work, Baseline Press, will receive a $500 prize as well. Nisa Malli is a writer and researcher, born in Winnipeg and currently living in Toronto. She holds a BFA in Writing from the University of Victoria and has completed residencies at the Banff Centre and Artscape Gibraltar Point.

Judges’ citation: Remitting delicately weaves contemporary lyric with the precise registers of medical and conversational speech. Nisa Malli…is an assured and singular voice with an “unwillingness/to be bent like a bird’s wing.”

In response, Nisa writes “I am beyond honoured to have been shortlisted alongside such exciting writers; thankful to the judges and the Meet the Presses collective for creating an excellent celebration of small presses, this year and all years; always moved by the care and precision Karen Schindler brings to Baseline’s chapbooks; and, so pleased to have Kristina Corre’s work gracing the cover.”

Baseline publisher Karen added “I couldn’t be more grateful that Baseline had the opportunity to publish Nisa Malli’s Remitting. When I received Nisa’s manuscript – a collection of intimate, haunting poems which focus on chronic illness and pain – I was completely drawn in by the way she placed the gorgeous beside the dark, and the work that these poems did. Many thanks to Nisa for entrusting Baseline to share them with the world. Ongoing thanks to the Meet The Presses collective, for giving the small press community a space to gather and connect, and to this year’s contest judges, Canisia Lubrin and Souvankham Thammavongsa.”

Judges Canisia Lubrin and Souvankham Thammavongsa chose the winner from submissions from across the country. This year’s other shortlisted poets are:
Oubah Osman, Hereditary Blue (Anstruther Press)
Emily Lu, Night Leaves Nothing New (Baseline Press)
Tolu Oloruntoba, Manubrium (Anstruther Press)

Don’t forget to attend the other events over the weekend gathering presses from across Canada! Register at . Please also visit our YouTube channel for introductions to some of the participating presses:

Michael Dennis Receives the Meet the Presses’ Special Recognition Award for Commitment and Devotion to Small Press

The Meet the Presses Collective is pleased to announce that Michael Dennis is the first recipient of the Special Recognition Award for Commitment and Devotion to Small Press. Born in London, Ontario, in 1956, Michael Dennis published his first poems in the early ’70s. His working life has included everything from stints in car plants and copper mines to installing artworks in galleries and doing time as a short-order cook and a dishwasher in a strip club; he ran a small botique hotel in the ’80s, was Santa at the Kmart in Charlottetown one year, and opened a non-profit ESL school in Jablonec nad Nisou, Czechoslovakia, immediately following the Velvet Revolution. Michael has driven a taxi and a truck and had a brief stint as a private chauffeur. He wrote the popular blog Today’s book of poetry bringing a larger audience to over 800 books of small press poetry from Canada, the US and beyond.

Indie Literary Online Symposium


Please join us for the 2020 Indie Lit Symposium from Nov 26th to the 29th. We will begin with the bpNichol Chapbook Award winner. This year’s nominees are:

Tolu Oloruntoba, Manubrium (Anstruther Press)

Oubah Osman, Hereditary Blue (Anstruther Press)

Emily Lu, Night Leaves Nothing New (Baseline Press)

Nisa Malli, Remitting (Baseline Press)

Each nominee will read from their works and then we will announce the winner of the $4000 prize and the accompanying $500 prize awarded to the winner’s publisher.

We are also pleased to host a series of panels exploring the many facets of small press work in conversations that include dozens of small presses from across Canada. Panels include:

The Roots of Small Press

The Future of Small Press

Outlaw Presses: Pushing the Boundaries of Small Press

Magazines and Journals

Small Press and the Craft of Bookmaking

All events are free, with the option to donate if you wish. Please note that you only need to register once and we will send out a Zoom link to each event one hour before it begins. If you don’t receive an email in your inbox, please check your spam and junk folders.


Meet the Presses is an all-volunteer literary collective devoted to organizing public events that showcase books, chapbooks, magazines, recordings, broadsheets, and ephemera produced by independent publishers of fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction. The collective continues in the spirit of the original Meet the Presses events begun 30 years ago in Toronto by Stuart Ross and Nicholas Power. The collective consists of Gary Barwin, Paul Dutton, Beth Follett, Stuart Ross, Aaron Tucker, Jacqueline Valencia, and Tali Voron. The Founding Members Emeritus are Maria Erskine, Ally Fleming, Maggie Helwig, Leigh Nash, and Nicholas Power. You can learn more about us here.