the poetry that matters

ditch, where you find poetry that's off the main road.

Celebrating the innovative, the non-conforming, the radical, the alternative, 
the avant-garde, the non-linear, the abstract, the experimental. 



Here is a sampling of some of the exciting writers who helped make ditch, a great magazine.

For more innovative poets, visit the ditch, archive. For more information about the magazine, go to the About page.

Thanks for visiting! 

Natalie Simpson

Natalie Simpson's first collection of poetry, accrete or crumble, was published by LINEbooks in 2006. above/ground press recently reissued her chapbook Dirty Work as part of its Alberta Series. More of her poetry can be found in Shift & Switch: New Canadian Poetry (The Mercury Press) and Post-Prairie: An Anthology of New Poetry (Talonbooks). Natalie is a former managing editor of filling Station magazine, and intermittently publishes limited edition chapbooks through her press, edits all over. She lives in Calgary.

Judith Copithorne

Judith Copithorne has been living and writing in Vancouver for decades. She has made many notable contributions to concrete poetry and other experimental writing through the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and into this 21century. Judith is constantly changing the media in which she works as they become available, but the core there is always her distinctive touch. Copithorne is as relevant now as she was back in the days of the "Downtown Poets" of Vancouver. She was published in the 1st issues of blew ointment and Ganglia and worked at Motion Studio and Intermedia. More recently, a bibliography of her work was published by J.W. Curry in the March, 2009 issue of 1 cent.


Erín Moure

Erín Moure is one of Canada's most eminent and respected poets, and a translator from French, Spanish, Galician, and Portuguese. Winner of the Governor General's Award for Furious, the Pat Lowther Memorial Award for Domestic Fuel, and the AM Klein Poetry Prize for Little Theatres (which has also been published in Spain in Galician translation as Teatriños), Moure has published twelve books of poetry, including A Frame of the Book, co-published in the U.S. by Sun and Moon Press, and five books of poetry in translation, including Sheep's Vigil by a Fervent Person by Fernando Pessoa, shortlisted for the 2002 Griffin Poetry Prize and the 2002 City of Toronto Book Prize. Moure lives in Montreal.

Daniel f. Bradley

Daniel f. Bradley is the author of several books of poems including T=I=D=Y Language (Outland 2008), The Amazing Phobic Subway Phantasmagoria (tapt 2008), A Boy's First Book of Chlamydia - which includes the poem from which BookThug Press takes its name (BookThug 2005), and Before The Golden Dawn By David UU  (curvd h&z 2005).
He also has produced numerous volumes of visual poetry including Return To The Valley Of The Chrome Plated Megaphone (Produce Press 2008) and Maybe You Could Please Return My City Now (Live Matter 2007).
He has written and published in the Toronto small press scene for the last 20 plus years and remains an uncompromising spanner in the works of local litterati agendas. Recently, his magazine, fhole concluded a run of 15 issues in 4 years.

Nathalie Stephens (Nathanaël)

Nathalie Stephens (Nathanaël) writes l’entre-genre in English and French. She is the author of a dozen books including, The Sorrow And The Fast Of It (Nightboat (US), 2007), its French counterpart, …s’arrête? Je (L’Hexagone, 2007), Touch to Affliction (Coach House, 2006), Je Nathanaël (l’Hexagone, 2003) and L'Injure (l'Hexagone, 2004), a finalist for the 2005 Prix Alain-Grandbois and Prix Trillium. Je Nathanaël exists in English self-translation with BookThug (2006). Other work exists in Basque and Slovene with book-length translations in Bulgarian (Paradox, 2007). With Nota bene (Montréal, 2007), there is an essay of correspondence entitled L’absence au lieu (Claude Cahun et le livre inouvert), the self-translation of which is forthcoming with Nightboat (US), as Absence Where As (Claude Cahun and the Unopened Book). Stephens has guest lectured and performed her work internationally, notably in Sofia, Barcelona, Ljubljana, New York and Norwich. The recipient of a Chalmers Arts Fellowship and a British Centre for Literary Translation Residential Bursary, she was the keynote speaker at the 2006 edition of the University of Alberta's Annual Translation Conference. Literaturen vestnik (Literary Gazette, Bulgaria) has written of Stephens’s work that “If we are to speak of modern prose today, it is, in all probability, of this kind: situated nowhere as a genre, but intentionally omnipresent.”


a.rawlings is a Canadian poet and multidisciplinary artist. The recipient of the bpNichol Award for Distinction in Writing (2001), angela has worked with many arts organizations, including The Mercury Press, Lexiconjury Reading Series, Theatre Gargantua, and the TV series Heart of a Poet. She also instructs text and sound workshops for the Toronto Public Library, Learning through the Arts, and Ryerson University.
Working with derek beaulieu and Jason Christie, angela co-edited Shift & Switch: New Canadian Poetry (Mercury, 2005). Her first book, Wide slumber for lepidopterists (Coach House Books, 2006), was featured in The Globe and Mail’s top 100 books of 2006; it went on to receive an Alcuin Award for Design and was nominated for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. Wide slumber was recently translated from page to stage for Harbourfront Centre’s Hatch: Emerging Performance Projects in Toronto.
angela is currently researching sound, text, and movement, with special emphases on vocal/contact improvisation and acoustic ecology. She lives in Toronto.

Chris Turnbull

Chris Turnbull lives in Kemptville, Ontario. This is a selection from continua, a book length series that interweaves voice and image as a combined visual text and multi-voice performance piece. Some of this current selection has been previously published in spud, and How2

Susan Wolff

Susan Wolff is a Canadian who, since the age of 12, has lived and/or worked in India, Nigeria, Peru, the USA, West Bank and Gaza and Germany. She now lives in Toronto.
She has published in Repository Press, Prince George, B.C.; The Antigonish Review, Antigonish, N.B.; New Poems by Asoke Chakravarty 2006, Calcutta, India, 2006; Y Sin Embargo an international arts-culture magazine, Barcelona; Anthology of International Festival of Poetry of Resistance, Calcutta, India; New Poems Asoke Chakravarty 2011, Calcutta, India.
She studied Creative Writing at, UBC with Wayne Stedingh, taught poetry appreciation at the Volkshochschule, Aachen and is editor for 4 poets (Irish-Canadian, English-Canadian, Indian-Canadian and English).

Marcia Arrieta

Marcia Arrieta lives in Pasadena, CA where she is a mother, educator, poet/artist. Her work has appeared in Otoliths, Blueprint Review, Dusie, Poetry Salzburg Review, MiPoesias, Argotistonline, and others. She edits and publishes Indefinite Space, a poetry journal.


Robert Swereda

Robert Swereda was raised in rural Alberta, currently studying creative writing at Capilano University where he has been an editor of The Liar. He has authored two chapbooks. Other work has been published by magazines Flask & Pen, The Liar, The Monongahela Review, Northshore News Blogspot, and forthcoming pieces are to appear in The Capilano Review.

James Mc Laughlin

James Mc Laughlin is from Dumbarton, Scotland. His work has appeared in Stride, Otolith, Blazevox, Greatworks, NthPosition, Blackbox Manifold, gistsandpiths, Poetry Scotland, Poetry Now, TLS, the beat.

Mary Kasimor

Mary Kasimor has been published in many online and print journals, including Fact-Simile, Otoliths, Big Bridge, GutCult, moria, Reconfigurations, MayDay magazine, MIPOesias, Cannot Exist, among others. She has two books of poetry: & cruel red (Otoliths) and silk string arias. She was awarded the Merida Fellowship Award (US Poets in Mexico).


Raymond Farr

Raymond Farr lives in Ocala, FL. He has published widely in recent years. His work appears in Otoliths, Cricket On Line Review, BlazeVox2kX, Letterbox, Ditch, The Argotist On Line, Cannot Exist, EOAGH, Moria, Out of Nothing, Clutching at Straws, Kill Author, Text Base, Xstream, & Apocryphal Text. He had several poems included in the first Sidebrow Anthology and guest edited issue 6 of Pinstripe Fedora. His chap book, Two Hats Appear When Applauded, is available free at Dusie. All four of his poetry books may be previewed and purchased at the Blue & Yellow Dog Book Shop. Visit his blog mjonesrview for email info, updates on Blue & Yellow Dog, and more samples of his work. He is editor of Blue & Yellow Dog.

Heller Levinson

Heller Levinson lives in NYC where he studies animal behavior. He has published in over a hundred journals and magazines including Sulfur, Hunger, Talisman, First Intensity, Laurel Review, Omega, The Wandering Hermit, Jacket, The Jivin' Ladybug, etc. His most recent publication, Smelling Mary, is newly out from Howling Dog Press and has been nominated for both the Pulitzer Prize and the Griffin Prize. He is the creator, originator, and founding father of Hinge, and Hinge Theory. Please visit www.hellerlevinson for more information.

Matina L. Stamatakis

Matina L. Stamatakis resides in a frightfully quiet village in upstate New York, where there is virtually no creative or artistic movement. To compensate for the lack of local creative outlets, Matina turns to the internet, where she manipulates and displays digital artwork, poetry, and the occasional noise track from her one-woman wrecking machine, Viscera[e]. Her most recent poetic/art works can be found in Intercapillary Space, La Petite Zine, Crash Test, The Starfish Journal, PFS Post and others. She is the author of ek-ae: a journey into ekphrastic aesthetics (Dusie, 2007), Harmonious Hogwash (VUGG, 2007) with Jukka-Pekka Kervinen, Phos (Vugg, 2007), Sensoria (2008), a forthcoming chapbook, Metempsychose (Ypolita, 2008), and forthcoming noise album Tissue Arabesques (Artless Intent, 2008). She believes sleep is overrated.


Andrea Applebee

Andrea Applebee is from the Carolinas. She received her MFA from the University of Pittsburgh in 2009. She now lives in Philadelphia and teaches composition at the University of Pennsylvania.

Wendy Lotterman

Wendy Lotterman is from Dobbs Ferry, NY. Her poetry, translations, and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in Chronogram, Bard Papers, Sui Generis, Documents Paradoxaux, and Necessary Fiction. She has worked as an editorial assistant for Conjunctions and the PEN American Center.

Daniel Lehan

Daniel Lehan is a London based visual artist, currently living in Quebec. Born in Nigeria, he was brought up in Margate, a sea side town in South England. Videos of Cardboard Pastoral - a collaboration with Jude Cowan - are featured on verysmalkitchen.com


A collection of his texts and visual poems is forthcoming by Dark Windows Press.

Bernd Sauermann

Bernd Sauermann was born in Hof, Germany, in 1961 and emigrated to the U.S. In 1969. He attended Northern Arizona University where he received a B.S. in anthropology in 1983, and McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana, where he earned an M.A. in English and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing in 1993. Since then, he has taught at Belleville Area College in Belleville, Illinois; The Community College of Vermont in St. Alban's, Vermont; at The University of Phoenix; and he is currently a professor in the Division of Fine Arts and Humanities at Hopkinsville Community College in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. He is also the poetry editor at Whole Beast Rag, an online and print journal of poetry, art, and literature.

He’s had photographs, poems, and stories published in The McSweeney’s Book of Poets Picking Poets, McSweeney’s, Southern Indiana Review, New Orleans Review, Nimrod, The Kansas Quarterly Review of Literature, and other publications, and he has a chapbook, Diesel Generator, coming out this June with Horse Less Press.

Federico Federici

Federico Federici was born in Liguria in 1974. He is a researcher and teacher of physics, a translator (from German, Russian and English) and a writer. He has published a number of books of prose and poetry under the name Antonio Diavoli as well as texts and critical papers in reviews, anthologies and internet journals. He translated and saw through the first book in Italian by the Hindi poet Rati Saxena, and the posthumous work of Russian poet Nika Turbina. He is editor of л: the Italian edition of Conversation magazine, within the Conversation International Poetry Project. He has taken part in festivals and readings in Italy, Germany and Poland, picture exhibitions in Italy and Germany, and video poetry and short-film festivals in Italy, Germany and Venezuela. In 2009 he was awarded the Lorenzo Montano Prize for his poetry collection L’opera racchiusa - the first book of poems to be published in his own name. In 2010 he published the Requiem auf einer Stele (Conversation Paperpress, 2010) a short poem in English, German and Russian language. His latest book is Dunkelwort (Uhu Bücher, 2013) in German and Italian.

On the internet: http://federicofederici.net/

Victor David Sandiego

Victor David Sandiego lives in the high desert of central México where he writes, studies, and plays drums with jazz combos and in musical / poetry collaborations. His work appears  in various journals (Cerise Press, Crab Creek Review, Floating Bridge Review, Off The Coast, Generations Literary Review, Poetry Salzburg Review, others) and has been featured on public radio. He is the founder and current editor of Subprimal Poetry Art. His website is victordavid.com.

Special Feature: David UU

David UU, or David W. Harris (1948-1994), is considered an accomplished concrete and experimental poet and an important small press publisher. Along with bill bissett and bpNichol, he was a pioneer of the concrete poetry movement in Canada, and perhaps the first Canadian poet to explore visual collage embodying literary, philosophical and language references. He also composed sound works (both musical & textual), made 8mm short films, was a master collagist/montagist and performed in numerous performance art exhibitions.

He was a prolific publisher and encouraged the talents of many Canadian writers early in their careers. He founded and operated Fleye Press (1966-70), Divine Order of the Lodge (1971-1975), Derwyddon Press (1976-81), Silver Birch Press (1987-94) as well as several magazines and numerous imprints for pamphlets, broadsides, postcards and other ephemera. He co-founded grOnk, a seminal Canadian experimental poetry magazine, in 1967 with bpNichol and others.

David W. Harris was born on June 13, 1948, in Barrie, Ontario. The family moved to Collingwood in 1958, where he lived until setting out for Toronto in 1966. He left Toronto for Vancouver in 1968 and over the next decade relocated between Ontario and the west coast several times. He adopted the pseudonym David UU around 1970. In 1980 he settled in NorthVancouver where he lived until finally moving to a farmhouse near Delhi, Ont. in 1992 where he died in May, 1994.