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 writers “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:

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.

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.

Tuesday, 27 October 2020 7:00 PM – 8:00: H of a Night & bpNichol Chapbook Shortlist Announcement

Please save Tuesday, 27 October 2020 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM EDT for H of a Night and the shortlist announcement of the bpNichol Chapbook Award!

Register at:

Hosted by Meet the Presses collective members Gary Barwin and Aaron Tucker, the night will also include readings from past bpNichol Chapbook Award winners Mark Laba, Nicole Markotić, Jessica Johns, and Sonnet L’Abbé, as well as a music performance from Ben Smith. The evening will then close with readings from the four shortlisted authors and further information about the November version of the Meet the Presses Online Symposium!

H of a Night is hosted by the Meet the Presses collective, a volunteer and not-for-profit group that organizes the bpNichol Chapbook Award and the annual Indie Literary Market. This event is pay what you can, with any donations going towards the operating costs of Meet the Presses.

Updates: The 2020 bpNichol Chapbook Award and Indie Literary Market

June 28 2020

The Meet the Presses Collective is pleased to announce that the annual 2020 bpNichol Chapbook award will be going forward as previously planned. We have received numerous terrific submissions and are very grateful to everyone who shared their work. Please stay tuned for more details about the short list and eventual award announcement in the weeks and months to come.

However, it is with a heavy heart that we must announce that the Fall 2020 Indie Literary Market has been cancelled. We are looking forward to hosting the event again when public health and safety regulations permit. For now, however, we are committed to curating and hosting a number of online events and spaces to continue our support of small and micropresses. We will be announcing more details about upcoming events as soon as they are available.

The From Pen to Published Conference (June 12th to 14th)

p2p banner 4A biennial event, the inaugural From Pen to Published conference took place in 2018. This year, The Soap Box Press has partnered with Coach House to bring you three days of panels, keynote speakers, and workshops, capped by the launch of Throat on Fire, a poetry chapbook by Nichole Acosta, all over Zoom. Take a look at our lineup and purchase your tickets to join us on June 12th to 14th!

2020 bpNichol Chapbook Award Submissions


Submissions to the 2020 bpNichol Chapbook Award are now closed

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 (2019), and the poet must be Canadian.

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

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 Feb. 1, 2020, and they will be accepted until May 31, 2020. If submission confirmation has not been received by email by June 30, 2020, please send a query to Beth Follett at: feralgrl[at]interlog[dot]com.

Send submissions to:
Meet the Presses / bpNichol Chapbook Award
113 Bond Street, St John’s NL A1C 1T6


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.

WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT: NASRA and Jessica Johns share the 2019 bpNichol Chapbook Award!

Joint win for the $4,000 bpNichol Chapbook Award: NASRA and Jessica Johns



Celebrating more than 30 years of recognizing excellence in Canadian poetry chapbooks

TORONTO – November 16, 2019 – The Meet the Presses Collective announced today that two chapbooksA God Dance in Human Cloth by NASRA (Glass Buffalo Press) and How Not to Spill by Jessica Johns (Rahila’s Ghost Press)—have jointly won the 2019 bpNichol Chapbook Award. At $4000 total, donated by an anonymous donor, this is the richest annual literary award for a poetry chapbook. Thanks to generous annual donations from Michael Dean and Karl Jirgens, the publishers of the winning works, Glass Buffalo Press and Rahila’s Ghost Press, both receive prizes as well.

The prize was awarded at the 2019 Indie Literary Market, held at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre in Toronto. The prize awards were announced by Gary Barwin and Terese Pierre with members of the Meet the Presses Collective as a part of the Indie Literary Market festivities. While neither Glass Buffalo nor Rahila’s Ghost representatives, nor the authors, were available to accept the award in Toronto today, the presses shared their excitement over the announcement electronically in communication with the Meet the Presses Collective.

On splitting this year’s prize between two chapbooks and two publishers, Glass Buffalo’s Matthew Stepanic remarked:

“I couldn’t imagine a better press & poet for NASRA & I to share this award with!”

Rahila’s Ghost representative, Curtis LeBlanc, also added:

“We are THRILLED that Jessica Johns’ work is being recognized in this way.”

Rahila’s Ghost has sold out of the physical chapbook of Jessica Johns’ How Not to Spill, but have informed Meet the Presses that an electronic copy will be available on their website following today’s prize announcement. Copies of NASRA’s A God Dance in Human Cloth are available for purchase at Glass Buffalo’s website.

Judges Billy-Ray Belcourt and Canisia Lubrin chose the prize finalists from over 60 submissions from across the country. This year’s other shortlisted poets are:

Unseen Garden – Roxanna Bennett (knife / fork / book)
Let This Be the End of Me – JC Bouchard (Bad Books)
How Not to Spill – Jessica Johns (Rahila’s Ghost)
A God Dance in Human Cloth – NASRA (Glass Buffalo)
Year of Saving Self – ramma safeer (Rahila’s Ghost)

About the Prize:

Awarded annually since its establishment in 1985, the bpNichol Chapbook Award goes to the author of the best poetry chapbook – a collection of no more than 48 pages – published in Canada in the previous year. The award is named in honour of the late poet, novelist, and micropress publisher bpNichol, who was the original co-judge of the award 30 years ago.

About Meet the Presses:

Meet the Presses is a volunteer literary collective devoted to organizing public events showcasing the work of independent publishers of fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction. The Indie Literary Market is a curated event that introduces the public to independent literary publishers and authors of books, chapbooks, magazines, broadsheets, and recordings that are largely not available in bookstores. The Collective is proud to administer the bpNichol Chapbook Award each year, supporting those who make the artistic choice to publish in chapbook form.

For more information and interview opportunities, contact:

Dani Spinosa,

More information can be found at and


2019 bpNichol Chapbook Award SHORT LIST!

We are pleased to announce this year’s bpNichol Chapbook Award Short List:


LET THIS BE THE END OF ME – JC Bouchard (Bad Books)

UNSEEN GARDEN – Roxanna Bennett (knife / fork / book)

HOW NOT TO SPILL – Jessica Johns (Rahila’s Ghost)


YEAR OF SAVING SELF – ramna safeer (Rahila’s Ghost)

The winner will be announced at:

Meet the Presses Indie Literary Market
Saturday November 16th, 2019
11 AM to 4:30 PM
Trinity – St. Paul’s Centre,
427 Bloor Street West,
Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1X7

Reach the members of the Meet the Presses collective at:

The 2019 Indie Literary Market will be BIGGER THAN EVER!


Meet some of the most exciting indie publishers & magazines around! Poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction! Books, chapbooks, broadsides, recordings, and plenty of other stuff you’ll NEVER find in stores! And learn who wins the bpNichol Chapbook Award!

This year’s press line-up includes:
above/ground, Anstruther, Anvil, Apt. 9, Augur, Baseline, Book*hug, Canthius, Coach House, Doublecross, Gap Riot, Gordon Hill, Imago/Red Iron, IMPULSEb, Invisible Publishing, knife|fork|book, learn/yeats, Noir:Z, Old Growth, Pedlar, Penrose, Porcupine’s Quill, Puddles of Sky, Rampike, Rampage, Underwhich, Wolsak & Wynn, ZED, and other small presses from across Ontario and beyond!

PLUS, celebrating their 40th anniversary, Proper Tales Press!

AND there are more presses added every day!

As always, the official announcement of the winner of the $4,000 bpNichol Chapbook Award happens at 2:00 pm.

Saturday, November 16th, 2019 • 11:00 am till 4:30 pm
Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre (427 Bloor St West, Toronto M5S 1X7)

Presented by the Meet the Presses Collective •

We Stand Behind Our Books! Literally.