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11th ave, the fifth-anniversary edition

April 11, 2014

Five years ago, I started this blog in part to give myself a regular deadline (which I, lately, have semi-regularly ignored, but never mind) and to shine a brief light on interesting things I find here and there, on the web or in the portfolios of my friends. When I have the time and inspiration, my fave entry is the Proust Questionnaire 5.0, which leans back to the old parlour game/personality profile and updates it with a few questions of my own. The original writing is a rarity, but all the more precious, not only to me but in that I can share it with you all. The first piece of my writing that I published on this blog was the following poem, which I must confess I love. I get to be proud and braggy, though just for today. Here is that poem and I hope you enjoy a rather good edition, if I do say so, of 11th ave for April 2014.


Throw my ashes
off the pier
at the end of 11th Avenue
over the highway and
down the road from
where my parents
in the creaking honeymoon bed
of the old family cabin
rubbed and rubbed
against their fates
until a spark
flew up and out
the window, igniting
the cigarette
my grandmother
had been trying to light,
standing under their bedroom window
growing cold
as she waited
for this sign, watching
the lake waters rise
up the road,
up the steps,
up her bare leg
until that first drag,
her first breath of me
of a chain of smoke rings
that held, while she
tapped ash, tapped me
into the flood tide
now rushing back
to the shore
to the pier
where the rest
of my ashes are now

April 2005
– Denise Duguay


New year, new excuse

January 11, 2014

Hello 2014, hello you, dear reader, and … hello flu. I do have a January 2014 edition of 11th Ave, but it will miss the 11th deadline. Please forgive. I’ll be back 15thish with a handful of rubies for you. Bon weekend to all.


December edition: Aaaaaand…. we’re back

December 11, 2013

Well thank God you’re still taking my calls. I know, it’s been a while. I’ve missed you immeasurably and while I’m beyond promising to post monthly as I’d like to, it could happen! But for now, the Christmas miracle is that there is a December issue of 11th ave, which, as always, is my love letter to you all. With special thanks to Robert Szkolnicki, who is a lovely gentle collaborator and nudgeur.

So enjoy the offerings this month:

some musical selections that you can count on every single week, in soundtracking with Robert Szkolnicki

a movie, or at least a movie trailer that I just tried my hand at, in the clip film category called Letter to a Young Man Starting Out. I’m quite chuffed, yes I am. Feedback welcome!

a classic original short story from James Thurber in the fine print category, for film buffs who might be thinking about taking in Ben Stiller’s Christmas Day debut, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

a sort of Proust Questionnaire 5.0 by way of the j-source site, revealing the past and present of Shaney Komoulainen, who captured the Oka standoff of 1990 with a single photo

Have a wonderful holiday season and a great new year. See you in 2014.


August edition: Winnipeg’s summer festivals, a vacation in the Chic Chocs, daydreaming with Mitch Hedberg, Larry Towell on the lam and Katharine Hepburn still killing me with every word

August 11, 2012

Happy summer. I hope you are so busy having fun you don’t have time to read this. Hey wait a minute… Nevermind. Thanks for coming and here’s what’s in store for the August 2012 edition of 11th ave.

  • In this month’s soundtracking, Robert Szkolnicki gives a photo tour of some of the music festivals he’s attended, and yes, that’s Billy Bragg right there.
  • For this month’s photo feature, snap, I have indulged myself and submitted a photo that boils the best of vacations, in the history of the world, down to one image. Yes, I’m that good.
  • For the fine print, Katharine Hepburn rises out of the grave and reaches back 26 years into the past and then another nearly 20 years further and despite all that, still breaks my heart.

And finally, I have created a new feature here at 11th ave and I call it make and it’s a look at the how and why of making stuff or, if I were in a more poncy mood, I might describe it as an observation on the act of creativity, either reflecting on something made or laying out a challenge and then tucking in. I hope to cover films, music, books, poems, photos, doodling on bar napkins, the cocktails that used to be on top of the bar napkins before you scoffed them down. Whatever. To kick off the series I have two entries:

Lemme know what you think of make. And lemme know about great projects you’ve seen/heard discussed or are under way.


July edition: Barb Davidson and Koci, Robert Szkolnicki and l’affaire Emily White, an origin story, some more photo pondering and thank god, a cocktail

July 12, 2012

I don’t mind a bit of slacking off, especially in the summer. As I write this, it is technically no longer the 11th, the usual 11th ave publication date, as my procrastination research has forced me to miss the deadline. I hope you’ll forgive me. There’s a cocktail if you make it to the end.

  • There’s no Proust Questionnaire 5.0 this month. It’s summer for god’s sake. But I have something, yes, even better. For the snap photography feature, we have two excellent photojournalists in conversation: Barbara Davidson of the L.A. Times interviewing Richard Koci Hernandez, who is hell on Instagram and also at UC Berkeley. Made my heart go squee. Really.
  • For the first original writing entry in a long while, I finished a poem that I began 12 years ago. Though it feels like yesterday that Grama Jean was twisting the truth and otherwise taunting me with mere snippets of family stories that I have taken into my own hands.
  • For the video feature clip, a tip of the hat to Montreal photographer Tim Snow, who recommended a short video biography of NYC photographer Jay Maisel. I would like to be adopted by him so I can live in  his New York home. Also, he is pretty talented.

May edition: Paula Tiberius, music for your headphones, colour snaps by Kevin Frayer and a redux tour through mum’s purse

May 11, 2012

Welcome to the May 2012 edition of 11th ave. Thanks for dropping by and hope you find something to make you smile. Then go plant a flower. But first:

Paula Tiberius does it all and tells all to the Proust Q 5.0. Don’t bug her when she’s meditating.

In the original writing dept., and for Mother’s Day, a reprint of The Unbearable Heaviness of My Mother’s Purse. I’ll pay for the tissues.

For soundtracking, Robert Szkolnicki takes a look at what you put in your ears, headphones-wise, and offers some music to stick in there too.

In the snap section, yet another gorgeous series of photos from Kevin Frayer, from India.

And finally, for the clip movie-type section, with thanks to Reuters guy Jason Reed for the heads up, a nice little film short that … well just go watch it. Did I mention it’s short?


april 2012 edition: Charles Bukowski, Tom Waits, textfromadog (bulldog, actually), Leonard Cohen tribute album (for free) and the hands of Viola Best

April 11, 2012

It’s another “lite” edition, which is to say, another edition of the monthly webzine 11th ave without an overlong Proust Questionnaire 5.0. Also, I’ve given the month off to soundtracking contributor Robert Szkolnicki, poor lad. But you’ll all survive. You usually do. Though god knows how I worry.

But somehow, once one starts making up stuff and pulling links out of one’s underwear drawer as one has been doing all night long (you’re welcome), suddenly one finds oneself with a modest amount of posts and something resembling a more or less full edition of 11th ave.

And so, for you reading/viewing/listening pleasure, please consider:

See you next 11th.

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