And This, With Wings, a short story | upstreet

Just what every creative writing student fears: Her writing instructor steals her short story then murders her (with a chunk of granite) to cover up the evidence.

Here’s a taste:

He had never experienced inspiration at that level, had never felt so alive. And This, With Wings by Finbar Hanlon. He could see the cover of the book, the Publishers Weekly starred review. He couldn’t stop himself from fantasizing but felt sick at heart. In a spasm of guilt, he clicked the file and hit DELETE. Then spent a frenzied minute scouring the TRASH folder and restoring the file. He was terrified his computer might crash and the file disappear into the ether. He attached the file to an email and sent it to himself. Safe now, he thought, when he saw the email appear in his inbox. It was the child of his heart.

For more information and for orders, visit upstreet’s Facebook group or the magazine’s web page.

(December, 2022)


Out & Back — The latest newsletters, December 2022


Gilead Lodge and Uncle Walter’s Pelican
The family cottages at Turkey Point

And This, With Wings
A short story


Teeth, a short story | above/ground press

above/ground press in Ottawa has just published my short story “Teeth” as a chapbook. “Teeth”, as you might have guessed from the title, is a romantic comedy set in a dentist’s office. The hero falls in love with his hygienist and experiences satori during a root canal (with Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels playing in the background). He claims to have “seen the universe in a bicuspid.” Here’s a taste:

She attaches the bib. I can smell the minty aura of her breath, hear the faint passionate susurration of the air going in and out through her nasal passages, feel the hot, gentle anxiety of her soul through the tender ministrations of her fingers. She drops a curette with a clatter, bends to retrieve the errant instrument, and braces herself with her hand upon my knee. “Sorry,” she whispers. “I know your knees bother you.” Her eyes are fixed on mine, wide with surprise at the intimate territory that has opened up between us. When she bends toward me to fix the lead-filled x-ray cape over my shoulders, I try to kiss her, something I have always longed to do. “No,” she says. “We mustn’t.” She glances toward the open door. We can hear Hackenfeller brow-beating, actually verbally assaulting, a frightened patient down the hall. Someone moans, a languid, drawn-out moan of resignation and capitulation. “Open, please,” says Clara, determined to go through the motions.

Click here to buy the chapbook.

(November 30, 2022)


Out & Back — The latest newsletters, November 2022


A short story

Max & Yolanda Blender
Exceedingly short fiction/long commentary

The Devil’s Syntax
A note on eating babies in fiction

A Family Massacre
My great-great-grandfather and the Sovereign murders of 1832


Out & Back — The latest newsletters, October 2022


Leaving VCFA 3
Bye Bye, the last in the series

Leaving VCFA 2
Perhaps more to follow

Leaving VCFA 1
To be continued probably


Out & Back — The latest newsletters, September 2022


Keep all your blushes for me
Love letters on the frontier

My father, Tyrone Power, & me
How Hollywood conspired at my birth

Bruce Stone & the Art of Desire
Literary criticism & dg


Out & Back — The latest newsletters, August 2022


The Writing Life: Douglas Glover
A little film from long ago

They All Made Things
Furnitute tales


Out & Back — The latest newsletters, July 2022


Swain Corliss, Hero of Malcolm’s Mills
History into fiction, Gordon Lish, Margaret Atwood

If you think you’ve arrived, then you’re dead
The Lost Interview

My Life in the Commentariat
Global Brief, elaboration, and how to make something out of nothing

Long Point: A Geography of the Soul
A personal anthology of Long Point quotations


Out & Back — The latest newsletters, June 2022


Too White To Be of Use — Mary Mitchell & How She Won her Freedom
Out-take from work-in-progress

The Stumpwork Parrot
Furniture tales

Elaboration: Anatomy of an Essay
On Eula Biss’s “Goodbye to All That”


Out & Back — The latest newsletters, May 2022


My Life in Radio
The Book Show


Polish Translation of Elle Launched

The Polish translation of Elle just hit the bookstores in, well, Poland. I am tickled. I like the face on the cover, though I don’t remember Elle wearing mascara in the novel. On one of the bookstore sites, a reader has already posted a review. I ran it through a translation app and it came out like this:

“Elle is the story of a 16th century adventuress who survived hell. A bold, raw novel that forces the reader to think. What is it? Who was Elle? What was she trying to achieve? Why was she called an adventuress, a rebel? This piece of fiction is for anyone who expects challenges in books. Oh, Elle, where are you? A young liberated woman, still full of dreams and hopes for a better tomorrow, is abandoned. You think to yourself, probably a man hurt her, broke her heart, and she in the port city will live on, maybe not in an idyll, but life does not end with a relationship, right? Nothing could be further from the truth, let go of expectations, open your eyes. Hear the sound of the waves. Why? A woman is thrown outright from a ship in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. She sees herself as a traveler, a rebel against rules and orders. A man is with her, and the island seems deserted, full of loneliness and danger. How do you live when all you have with you are clothes? Winter is coming to Canada, and they have neither clothes nor the means to survive. Survival begins, and the normality they have come to know in their short lives blends with the wildness, the harshness. Alone as a finger This story shattered me, broke me down internally. Surprising in its simplicity, yet raw in its expression. On the one hand you say: Enough! This is too much! How much suffering can one person endure? And after a while you return to the book again, following with concentration the struggle for survival. In Elle there is no hope for a better tomorrow, we are surrounded by a terrifying loneliness, wildness, and at the same time fear for the protagonist. The poetic language sometimes makes us lose track of time, of reality. We ask ourselves: is this reality or a dream? The courageous story unfolds slowly, just as the hours and days pass slowly on the lonely island. Elle, can you do it? There was only one question smoldering in my mind: where did the main character get this strength? Would any of us, when faced with a threat to our lives, know what to do? Outlining the atmosphere of a sixteenth-century rebel deserves to be appreciated. You can see that we are moving in times completely alien to us. Sometimes I asked myself: Oh, Elle, why are you doing this?, not realizing how hard it is for me to identify with the heroine. Other times, other attitudes toward women, all this was simmering somewhere inside me. And I suddenly became a rebel just like Elle. This is definitely literature worth your time, your attention. A difficult story, but how maturing it is in the reader. If you like reflection, unhurried action and poetic language, don’t hesitate, set out for the Gulf of St. Lawrence. There, a story will be waiting for you, which, together with the last page, will leave a scar in your heart, not to be forgotten for a long time.”

(April 11, 2022)


Out & Back — The latest newsletters, April 2022


The Story of a Slave Owned by her Daughter
Outtake from a work-in-progress

My other career

Thoughts on Writing Novels

My Mother and the Moderns
Jean, Djuna, Dada, the Baroness von Freytag-Loringhoven, Marcel Duchamp, André Gide & the rest



Out & Back — The latest newsletters, March 2022


A Boy Named Glasgow & Dr. D’s Small Pox Experiments
from my work-in-progress (sort of)

Turned into a Horse by Witches, Port Rowan, U.C., 1798
History into fiction

Elaboration 4 (another way of thinking about writing)
The Then/Now Construction

Mappa Mundi
The Structure of Western Thought



Out & Back — The latest newsletters, February 2022


Elaboration 3 (another way of thinking about writing)
A little lecture on writing about emotions

The Possum
A poet in spite of himself

Consoling Ghosts
A note on Merle Collins’s novel The Colour of Forgetting

The Fire Wife
My Métis cousins, or how I am related to the last man in Canada hanged for treason



Out & Back — The latest newsletters, January 2022


Elaboration 2 (another way of thinking about writing)
Extended aphorisms, essays & novels

Pete & Jigs, 1918
The Other Pandemic

An Old Flame
dg on the loose in the USSR, October, 1988

Hetty Among the Indians, or the Making of a Native American Poet
How my half-Hopi cousin came to be and nearly won a Pulitzer Prize



Out & Back — Substack Newsletter Launched

I missed the personal interaction with readers that I had while I was publishing Numéro Cinq, especially the blog, which gave me a chance to dash off short literary notes, bits of memoir, photos and such. I liked the comments and the interactions on Facebook and Twitter connected with those posts.  So I decided to try something slightly different but in the same spirit. Substack works best if readers subscribe to the feed. Then each post comes to you as an emailed newsletter. There is a website, but It doesn’t have good SEO. It doesn’t appear dependably on Google Search. On the other hand, Substack allows readers to interact directly with authors; hitting the reply button on a newsletter will get you into the Substack email system. Out & Back (the name comes from my personal blog on NC) is free at the moment. I might start a paid subscription tier at some point, depending on how the site develops and if I can maintain interest. Here are links to the December, 2021, newsletters. Click the titles to read. Click the link on the menu bar above for the latest newsletters.

Out & Back
Pancho and dg on the Farm, November 2021

Fallow Fields
Farm history, tobacco, Hal Wake, Peter Gzowski, my CBC Morningside catastrophe

Another way of thinking about writing

Maroons, Runaway Slaves & Dr. V’s Revolution
Current obsessions, Edouard Glissant, Patrick Chamoiseau & Dr. V’s Revolution

Felix, the Un-Radical, & the Son of a Slave
On George Eliot’s novel Felix Holt, The Radical


(December 31, 2021)


Photographs below were taken by Douglas Glover except for the ones in which he appears, which were taken by Jacob Glover (Nova Scotia beach pictures), Katharine Abbott (father & son photo), and Melissa Fisher (British Columbia beach picture).

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 “And I thought how Proust teaches us that all love resides
in anticipation and not the beloved,
that love achieved is only on loan,
that we are martyrs to our desires, which are endless.”

Douglas Glover, Savage Love