Related Projects in Writing & Publishing


Writing Projects
-- Jean Smith
-- David Lester
-- A Book Proposal by David Lester

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Jean Smith

Writing highlights:

  • Named one of the "Top 50 Writers in Vancouver" (Vancouver Magazine) 1998
  • Named one of the "Top 10 People Who Matter" (San Francisco Weekly) 1991
  • Conducted a weekly Women’s Writing Workshop funded by the West Yorkshire Arts Council (Huddersfield, England) 1988
  • Member of The National Poetry Secretariat (England)
  • Smarten Up! 1985-90 free fanzine -- thirteen issues written, designed, and distributed

Publication history:


  • Family Swan and other songs (Smarten Up! & Get To The Point Press) 2001
  • The Ghost of Understanding (Arsenal Pulp Press) 1998
  • I Can Hear Me Fine (Get To The Point, distributed by Arsenal Pulp) 1993
  • Hot Pink (chap-book, Smarten Up!) 1987
  • The Squishing (chap-book, Smarten Up!) 1986

Articles and poems published in anthologies:

  • Sub-TERRAIN anthology (Anvil) 2000
  • Exhibitions erotica anthology (Arsenal Pulp Press) 2000
  • Canadian Fiction "The Rearing of Likeable Bees" (Quarry) 1999
  • Alt-Rock-A-Rama "Cake Icing" (Rolling Stone Press) 1996
  • Word Up 3 poems (Key Porter) 1995
  • Sounding Off "The Black Wedge" (Autonomedia) 1995 American Book Award Winner
  • The North "The Dogs" (England) 1989

Articles published in magazines and newspapers:

  • Your Flesh (spring 2001) "godspeed you black emperor!"
  • Broken Pencil (spring 2001) "Chris Lowther"
  • WordWorks (spring 2001) "What Do You With A Broken Pencil?"
  • Georgia Straight (June 17, 1999) Art Bergman and (August 5, 1999) Lourdes Perez
  • Broken Pencil (summer 1999) "Rock Writing on the Pop Treadmill"
  • Globe and Mail (October 5, 1998) "Where’s Rock’s Rebel Yell?"
  • Re-sister (NYC magazine, spring 1997) Interview with Slim Moon
  • Raygun (national US magazine, February 1994) Interview with Calvin Johnson and "Tape Hiss Is A Sign Of Life" (March 1995) on Dunedin, New Zealand
  • Sub-Terrain (fall 1994) excerpt from "I Can Hear Me Fine"
  • Village Voice (winter 1992) Rock and Roll Quarterly


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Jean Smith Literary Reviews:

The Ghost Of Understanding (Arsenal Pulp Press ’98):

"Mecca Normal band member Smith has proven to be as good a writer as she is a musician-- one of several non-conflicting juxtapositions in her life and work.  Feminist awareness mixes with, for example, the highly erotic filming of a porn video to make her second novel both honest and evasive, revealing and conciliatory."
-- Vancouver Magazine

"The elegance and power of Smith’s writing is shockingly gorgeous. She is no art girl pretender, but a fine and unusual novelist who could easily quit her day job for this sideline."
-- The Loop (Canada)

"She’s like a stripper who hands out Polaroids of herself, a terrorist who demands you read all her diaries."
-- Quill & Quire (Canada)

"A poetic document swirling with ideas and images. By jettisoning the linearity of realism, Smith gives herself opportunity to explore dream-like existence outside the usual order. The meaning of the dream may be ambiguous, Smith knows, but that makes it worth thinking about further."
-- Globe and Mail (Canada)

"...if you’re a Mecca Normal fan, this book offers insight into the mind behind the voice... you’ll appreciate this original experiment at the boundaries of anarchist drive, political debate, and pseudo-scientific poetry."
-- Georgia Straight (Canada)

"Smith is nothing if not an acute observer of gender roles and interactions, and her dialogue, both extreme and internal, consistently rings true... allows the open-minded reader to be drawn into a fascinating, provocative dimension."
--  Fred Mills, Magnet

"...two narratives are interspersed throughout the book, as if to suggest that Claudine, a mystically introspective wanderer...and Smith, the forceful, press-savvy avatar of radical social politics and riot grrrl, are really two sides of the same persona. Smith makes the case rather well in compelling and sometimes beautiful depictions of Claudine’s friendships, loves and profoundly sensual relationships with matter and nature."
-- Andrea Moed, CMJ

"Explores the landscape of order and chaos in a shifting world."
-- B. C. BookWorld

"There is a beauty in this book that has little to do with beauty and everything to do with truth. Jean Smith is a woman who deals in innovation-- she hurled convention out the window decades ago."
--  Jill Dixon, See Magazine (Canada)

Short Story: The Rearing of Likeable Bees

"...brilliant and profound"
-- Rob Payne, Canadian Fiction Magazine


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Reviews of Jean Smith’s first novel:

I Can Hear Me Fine (Get To The Point Publishing ’93)

"Turning the information age into poetry."
-- Village Voice/New York

"Gritty, blunt and sensitive at once, the book rails against the banal at every turn, developing a strident and important voice."
-- B.C. Library Reporter

"The reader willing to work through its fragmentary but illuminating tableaux will find a promising first novel."
-- Paragraph/Ontario

"A literary jigsaw puzzle, one that might have been designed by David Lynch and Sylvia Plath."
-- B.C. BookWorld

"An episodic series of impressionistic power chords set between melodies, image and words."
-- Now Magazine/Toronto

"The indie star-turned-author has produced a distinctively female book. Strong but far from flowery, a wonderful read."
-- College Music Journal/New York

"The narrator mixes sense experiences, so that colour, for example, often has some kind of emotional resonance."
-- Books In Canada/Toronto

David Lester

Chap-Books from Get To The Point Publishing

  • Afternoon Descends to Night (illustrations)
  • The Gruesome Acts of Capitalism
  • I’ve Fallen in Love With You (written with Wendy Atkinson)


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"Wrench & Water" by David Lester



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"The Relationship" by David Lester


Reviews of David Lester’s graphic work:

Afternoon Descends To Night

"Looks like it was smudged over the page with a kind of accidental precision that turns the mundane into the sublime."
--Hal Niedzviecki, Exclaim (Toronto)

"A collection of funny, surreal illustrations. Lester’s insights make him a kind of alterna-editorialist."
--Magnet Magazine (Philadelphia, PA)

"Uses a vital combination of drawings and prose bits to break-down literary pretensions."
--Broken Pencil (Toronto)

"It’s a slim but witty collection of Lester’s illustrations in a variety of graphic styles that make pointed commentary on favorite topics such as conformity vs. identity, forming relationships in a society that communicates via the Internet."
--The Province (Vancouver daily newspaper)

"He creates a whimsical collection of one-panel images, many of which would be much more refreshing to find in a daily paper than Gary Larson’s old tricks."
--Discorder (Vancouver)


Change Is How You Act shown at 25 Years of BC Animation Festival (Pacific Cinematique) 1999

Contributing Illustrator:

Canadian Forum
Canadian Fiction
(cover art)
Broken Pencil
(cover art)
Writer’s Block
Vancouver Review
Geist Magazine
The Leveller
Yipster Times
FPS (Michigan)
Time Out
Fifth Estate
Cultural Correspondence
Bread and Roses
Latin America Newsletters
Open Road
Georgia Straight
Libertarian Education

Comic Books:

  • Laughing Matters (Junction Books) London
  • Anarchy Comics #3 (Last Gasp) San Francisco
  • Pork Roasts Vancouver

Graphic Designer:

  • Book covers, posters, brochures, catalogues, album covers (notably punk band DOA), business cards, buttons, t-shirts, logos... for theatre groups; dance companies; rock bands & films.
  • Fucked Up and Photocopied (Gingko Press, 2000) work included in a book of punk-era graphics
  • Nominated by West Coast Music Awards for album cover design.


  • Anarchist Poster Exhibition (Vancouver)
  • Get To The Point Poster Show (Vancouver)
  • Window for Non-Commercial Culture (Vancouver)
  • Radical Humor Art Show (traveled the US, sponsored by Cultural Correspondence Magazine)
  • Pork Roasts: 250 Feminist Cartoons (Vancouver)

Other Work:

  • BC BookWorld (Editor/Designer)
  • BC Book Prizes (Executive Director)
  • Vancouver Sun (Art Department)
  • Vancouver Magazine (Art Assistant)
  • Georgia Straight (Art Director)
  • West Ender (Art Department)

Re: Emotional Shrapnel, a book proposal

February 2002

Dear Potential Publisher,

Emotional Shrapnel combines watercolour drawings with text. It free-wheels across the same cultural/aesthetic terrain as Neil Postman, Milan Kundera, Ralph Steadman, Saul Steinberg and Edward Gorey. Jean Smith calls Emotional Shrapnel "the storyboard of a warped silent movie directed by Albert Eisenstein-berg"! These illustrated thoughts are ingenious -- a humorous reminder that culture isn’t just entertainment.

As a graphic designer I can prepare the entire book for the printers. I can offer impressive media quotes on my previous artwork. Fifteen years experience contacting international media on behalf of my band Mecca Normal will be utilized. I will embark on an extensive promotional tour around North America involving band performances, radio, print and TV contacts.

I’m looking for a publisher interested in presenting this culturally responsive history.

Yours, David Lester

A BOOK PROPOSAL: Emotional Shrapnel illustrated thoughts by David Lester


Last night, while you slept, a brash communiqué from the front lines of culture was pasted to lamp standards in your neighbourhood. You will not see it. Culture is bought and paid for. You have been homogenized.

Allegiance has shifted towards Starbucks and the Gap, they have come to dominate culture in a few short years. Popular media is more conservative than any time in the last 40 years. Accepting universal routine affords us a sliver of experience; individual potential has been shelved in favour of another shopping spree.

These illustrations juxtapose political concerns and artist endeavours; they expose hypocrisy and faltering ideals. Political rights have been replaced with consumer rights. Less is now officially... less.

Watercolour on paper is unpredictable and spontaneous; an alchemy of individual creation versus digital conformity. These panels are artfully amusing, thought provoking, and shamelessly idealistic.


FORMAT: 5 1/2" x 8 1/2"
full colour cover with black and white watercolour drawings


1. Your despair entertained me (new consumer identities)
2. View from a table at Vesuvio’s restaurant
3. Emotional shrapnel (conversations of lovers)
4. Abstract living (don’t throw the toaster into the bath-water)
5. On a quiet street (heroes and radicals ingested by the new media)
6. Indifference (the storyboard of a warped silent movie directed by Eisensteinberg)
7. I have lost my shadow (fledgling outcasts and on-line addicts)
8. Blame the pencil (Freud at the pencil-sharpener)

social criticism


- Book tour in Canada and USA in conjunction with the performance and promotion of Mecca Normal including an exhibit of drawings from the book

- Utilize extensive media contacts in Canada and the US

- Advance praise from acclaimed authors, musicians, social commentators


David Lester’s drawings have been reproduced in publications in Canada, the US, and England. He is a graphic designer and musician whose band, the guitar and voice duo Mecca Normal, has received international acclaim (including a four star CD review in Rolling Stone). The band has a political edge is mutually created to address social concerns including poverty, housing, women’s rights while inspiring people to consider their own community, power and creativity.


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