31 October 2006

The Complete Works of Tennyson (have nothing to do with this post)

The Fictitious Reading last night pretty much filled the small gallery above This Ain't the Rosedale Library. The readings — by Susan Kernohan and George Ilsley — were both excellent and well-received. I'm always amazed at this series when just about everyone hangs in there for the whole evening, including for the "onstage chat" at the end. I conducted this chat and was pretty bumbling. I just couldn't form my observations into questions. But George and Susan had interesting stuff to say and were very good-humoured about my incompetence. Next month Kate will be doing the interview again. All will be well. The writers then will be John Degen and Jen LoveGrove, two poets who also write fiction.

Interesting audience thing: we have a few regulars, but mainly the specific writers draw their readers in. So it means we have a task each month getting the word out. And worrying about attendance is the one thing that is a drag for me: causes anxiety for the whole week leading up to the reading. Hopefully there will eventually be a core crowd we can depend on. Just like at most of the poetry readings in the city.


Strange things happen with blogs sometimes. The other day I put up a poem I wrote about my childhood friend Murray, who I haven't seen for a few decades. I got a note from Dana's friend Risa — seems that Murray is her brother-in-law. That is so weird. And neat, too.


Tomorrow morning I've gotta wade through rush hour to Whitby for a reading and workshop at Henry Street High School. Don't they know that 9:30 a.m. is like 6:30 a.m. poets' time? Should be fun, though — I met the teacher the other week at the WCDR Chapbook Fair and he seemed game for me to inflict all sorts of weird poetry on his students.


Last week I went to the Coach House fall fiction launch: Tanya Chapman, who wrote the novel King, did a great reading — apparently only her second ever. RM Vaughan read from a novel by Nathalie Stephens, who couldn't make it in from Chicago for the launch. And Andrée Michaud read Stephens' translation of her novel The River of Dead Trees. Sorta wish Andrée had read a bit from the original French, just so we could get a sense of the flow of the original; her English reading was a little faltering, but still effective. It's a haunting book.

The evening was nice: not as packed as the usual Coach House launch, but still a good turnout and a good feeling in the room. I shared a table with Sandra Alland, Lynn McClory, Rachel Zolf, and rotating others. Had really nice chats with Mark Truscott, who has a car in his living room, and Carl Wilson and Howard Akler. And some other people. It's so long ago now, and I'm so old and forgetful.

Over and out.


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