18 May 2007

Vancouver launch, Vancouver paunch

It's been a great three days in Vancouver. I officially love this city. It's been a process since the first time I visited Tom Walmsley here in the early 1980s and used the Pulp Press facilities to typeset Father, The Cowboys Are Ready To Come Down From The Attic.

Wednesday night's launch at Pulp Fiction was a blast. We packed the place, and there were lots of old and new friends there. It was fantastic to see Michael Boyce, who has recently moved here from Calgary, and Rox
drove all the way in from Washington. April has also just moved here from Castlegar, and Louis Cabri was visited from Windsor. Michael Barnholden, Judy Copithorne.... A pleasure to meet Elizabeth Bashinsky at last. And Mark Laba showed up, so I guess our 40-something year friendship has not come to an end! Dave and Alison were there, too. It was just great all-round.

The readings went well. It's also fascinating to see how accessible Clint

makes his difficult work when he reads aloud. I felt like mine was, well, light in comparison. But we both got great responses. We each started our readings by reading a poem by the other, a little nicety that RM Vaughan taught me when we launched together in 1999.

Pulp Fiction sold about 20 of Clint's book and a dozen of mine. Now, a little whining is in order: when all was done, they took two of Clint's books to put on the shelf for sale, and zero of mine. They told Brian Kaufman of Anvil that they wouldn't be able to sell mine. Though they'd just sold twelve of them.

Where the hell was the goodwill? Pulp Fiction stayed open an extra two hours on Wednesday, pushed the front-room shelves out of the way, and put up posters. In return, they probably netted about $400 or $500, including non-launch books that people were buying. They also had their store introduced to a lot of people who'd never been there before. You'd think they could have taken 10 of Clint's books — I mean, he's a celebrity in the neighbourhood! — and a few of mine. Show some support for the press that gave them an opportunity to sell all those books. I mean, Anvil could easily have held the launch at a coffeehouse or bar or gallery and kept all the sales revenue.

In fact, Pulp Fiction should have a little section of Anvil books: it's a publisher in the neighbourhood. And they should have sub-Terrain by the cash register. They'd be cornering the Mount Pleasant market on that.

Too bad. It's a great store.

Otherwise: ecstatically good night. Post-launch drinks and grub at Habit nearby. We closed the place down.

I gotta run, see Dave and Al, and catch my plane.

Over and out.


At May 19, 2007 1:03 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

[Middle English paunche, from Old French panche, from Latin pantex,
Modern Camera English pentax, Modern Poet English pen tax]

protruding abdomen
adipose tissue
fatty tissue
a kind of body tissue containing stored fat that serves as a source of energy
cushions and insulates vital organs
fatty tissue protected them from severe cold
bay window

morning mirror excuse: i must do something about that today
mid morning mirror realization: i’ve got important work to do
evening mirror thought: i’ll start tomorrow

wow stu
what a great paunchy reading
at pulp fiction!
you slayed ‘em good
and were even better at habit when
you put flashbulbs in my redeye
and killed that malbec
real good

can’t wait to do it all over again
congrats on the book!
it reads
as unpaunchy
and super fabulously
as it looks


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