I really admire the work Plenitude does. It’s Canada’s only queer literary magazine. It provides an important space for queer writers to publish, and for queer readers to discover the, well, plenitude of queer literature being produced in this country.

Find a new poem by me at Plenitude — on a bawdy subject, can you guess what?


I spent a portion of the winter writing song lyrics for a project which is, well, at this point uncertain. Experimentation is important, though, even when the results are not what you originally had in mind. Indeed, if the results were always what you predicted, why experiment at all?

As many of you know, I’ve been writing poems for a long time that pilfer and magpie, borrowing text and voice in various forms, including found poem, glosa and pastiche. One of the happy orphans of my foray into lyric writing was this bit of found text, which I hear in my head as a lullabye. It’s in need of a songwriter, if anyone else hears the music in it.


Lyric for a Little Lullabye

We are currently experiencing a delay
Westbound at Bay.
Efforts to resume
Regular service
Are underway.

Do not rush when you hear
the subway door chimes.
You may experience
longer than normal travel times.

We are currently experiencing a delay
Westbound at Bay.
Efforts to resume
Regularly scheduled service
Are underway.

We apologise for the delay.

A response crew is on its way.



Shut Up Slow Down Let Go Breathe was created as part of Dusie Kollectiv #8, a poetic exchange between 43 poets which took place in February, 2015. An archive of the Kollectiv will be posted at some point to dusie.org.

“The density of McCann’s lines are incredibly packed, sassy, sensual and wry and move at lightspeed, nearly light-headedly so, delighting in an openness and sense of play. In The Hard Return, McCann writes poems that pilfer and magpie, reshaping them into his own fantastic entities, and include commentary and critique on human interactions as well as the failure and confusion of those interactions.”

Read rob mclennan’s mini-essay on Marcus McCann, plus two new poems by McCann, at Jacket2.

5 New Poems

August 23, 2014

a mix of thanks and unease follows me
like a hunter who doesn’t know his rifle’s empty.

Everything’s coming up Marcus. Find new work in Canadian magazines, including a poem about dick pics in THIS Magazine, a poem about a nude beach in Matrix, and a poem about farts in Riddlefence. No joke:

“Shores of One Island” in Matrix Magazine;
“The Jeweller’s Made Uncountable Examples” in THIS Magazine;
“Easy Living While Everything Else Moves”,
“To Whomever Checks The Office’s General Email Account”,
& “Funk from the Man-Man Cave” in Riddlefence.

Thanks to the editors (especially Dani Couture, Billeh Nickerson and James Langer) for their encouragement and support, especially given the potentially risque subject matter. Fortune favours the brave?

I’m writing this poem for you
so quickly it is like a hostage
photographed with today’s newspaper.

April is National Poetry Month. With so much wonderful activity going on, it’s a good time to be a poetry lover in these here parts. My little contribution to the month is a poem about the joy of receiving a particularly good poem by email. So, don’t forget: send your friends and lovers a poem this month!

Find a review of Marcus McCann’s reading in Hamilton, with fellow poets Christine McNair and Andrew Faulkner, and others, here.

“[McCann] pushed on with quirkier focuses, including receiving random penis photos from strangers, frustrations with the ‘chance of sun/rain/cloudiness’ pictogram – the sort of material comedians look for. The ultimate highlight for me was hearing McCann tackle some poems from Labradoodle, An Essay on David McGimpsey (above/ground press), one of my favourite chapbooks from last year.”

“McCann writes tightly structured poems that heave and push against the restraints, brimming with musicality, unexpected images and plenty of humour.  He also knows how to put a trope to work.”

One of the great pleasures of the John Newlove Award is that the winner produces a chapbook with Bywords Press the following year. Here, Rob Thomas discusses the results, including work by Jenna Jarvis, rob mclennan and Rob Friday.

“Labradoodle contains many instantly classic, write-on-the-wall, one-liners that are best preserved in the hilarious logic of McCann’s full verse and not necessarily in McGimpsey’s shadow. All killer, no filler.” Check out a review of Labradoodle (and Rob McLennan’s and Christine McNair’s fantastic The Laurentian Book of Movement) by Ryan Pratt over at the Ottawa Poetry Newsletter.

David Emery and the folks at The Steel Chisel recently published a little self-effacing poem of mine about not being able to sing. The poem itself is kind of rhythmless, which friends have come to expect from my singing voice: “Voice like a stomped-on harmonica. The little puff of noise / you can squeeze from a rabbit with all the melody of a poem // about Marcus McCann written by Marcus McCann.” Et cetera. Have a look at the poem, or check out the latest issues of The Steel Chisel.


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