Thursday, March 25, 2010

Strong Words Reading

I'm reading again somehow. Details below.

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Strong Words No. 59

Featuring Catriona Wright, Andrew MacDonald and
Simon Patrick Rogers

Thursday, 8 April 2010 at 8:00 PM
The Free Times Cafe
320 College Street, Toronto
PWYC - 19+

Our fifty-ninth reading, and our fourth at our new home, will also be the second reading brought to you by our new curators Gillian Savigny and Malcolm Sutton. Join us for appearances by Catriona Wright, Andrew MacDonald and Simon Patrick Rogers. The reading will be "pay what you can" as always, and donations of new and used books in resale condition will be collected on behalf of the Book Ends program at the Toronto Public Library. Don't miss it!

April Reader Bios

Catriona Wright is completing an MA in the field of Creative Writing at the University of Toronto. Her writing has appeared in various publications, such as the Puritan, Contemporary Verse 2, echolocation, and For Crying Out Loud (chapbook, Ferno House Press). Currently, she is working on a collection of short stories under the mentorship of Barbara Gowdy.

Andrew MacDonald is from Edmonton and lives in Toronto, where he's a graduate student in the University of Toronto's Creative Writing program. His fiction and nonfiction have been published in places like Event, The Fiddlehead, Broken Pencil, Existere, Qwerty, Feathertale, and some others. He's also nominated for the Journey Prize. He likes his tuxedo cats and is working on a novel.

Simon Patrick Rogers is a Toronto-based wordworker with his hand in a little bit of everything from leprechauns to institutional archival records. His word creations have appeared in a variety of tangible printed publications and elsewhere in more ephemeral electric spaces. He is currently writing a series of linked reverse fables that begin with a moral and end in a story. He remains cautiously optimistic of their fruition.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Hart House Review

I co-won this year's Hart House Review literary contest, so if you're free and able and willing, come to the launch, because this year's issue of the journal is also free and able and willing and available gratis that night. My story "Vanishing Point," about a skinny guy who gets laid, is in it, and so is a brilliant(ine) novel excerpt from the exceptional Alex Grigorescu, whose magnum opus might very well be gracing the shelves of a megastore book peddler near you. Go get her autograph, before someone makes you pay for it.

I won't be reading, because I'm a hoser, but Jim Johnstone and Sheila Heti will be. Cha!


2010 Hart House Review Launch

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010
Doors open at 7:30
Address & Readings 8pm

2010 Features:
Sheila Heti
Jim Johnstone
Lee Henderson
Jesse Harris

Sheila Heti
Jim Johnstone
Featured Contributors

Art Exhibition:
Jesse Harris

HART HOUSE, Library, Music and Board Room
7 Hart House Circle, 2nd floor
University of Toronto

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Taste of Penny

I think you should read this book. It's really good. And PW liked it (see review below).

The Taste of Penny: Stories Jeff Parker. Dzanc (Consortium, dist.), $16.95 paper (144p) ISBN 978-0-9825204-4-4

Ten dark, suspenseful, and tightly wound stories teeter on the edge of catastrophe and the surreal piecing-back-together of life afterwards. Parker (Ovenman) tosses his characters into some form of peril, whether physical—like the narrator of “Our Cause,” who loses the tip of his tongue—or emotional, like the jingoistic American in “The Boy and the Colgante,” who erects a giant illuminated American flag in front of his house in the heart of “French redneck” Quebec. Parker's characters are disfigured or pitiable—one weathers guilt and emotional torture while paralyzed in a wheelchair, one gnaws at his fingers and attempts to excrete a swallowed penny, one stands in line outside the house where his ex-girlfriend is interviewing potential new boyfriends. Parker's prose is concise and quirky, packed with unexpected turns (“It's like yak butter or meat jelly,” says one character. “You don't know exactly what it is but you know it's there”), and aside from the few moments when Parker gets too clever for his own good (as with the unnecessarily obscure “The Briefcase of the Pregnant Spylady”), these stories are haunting and constantly surprising. (Apr.)

Friday, March 5, 2010

High Five.

I've only started doing readings. They make me feel awkward. The reading last night didn't make me feel awkward. I think that's because there were so many great, nice, snazzy people there. If you were one of those said great, nice, snazzy people, accept my thanks and gratitude. Some of that also goes out to the friends and family of Adam Penn Gilders, who made the night possible and were kind enough to bestow upon me an award in Adam's honour.

So, here again: thanks everyone who came. I hope my reading on April 8th, at Free Times Cafe, is populated by a similarly amazing crowd of peoples.