On Friday, April 4th, Librairie Drawn + Quarterly was proud to host the Gala Signal Editions Launch, with poets Jim Johnstone, Ed Carson, Catherine Chandler, Richard Greene, and Jason Guriel in tow for a fabulous evening of poetry. Signal Editions is Véhicule Press's poetry imprint, and its penchant for publishing first-time authors (one quarter of their book list is composed of previously unpublished authors) makes for a vibe that is loving and grateful from every side of the room.
Poet, essayist, critic, and editor of Signal Editions Carmine Starnino gave the night's introduction, expressing how proud he was to be a part of such a wonderful publishing imprint. He also gave a nod to the head Signal designer for his work on the 2014 books, which are totally beautiful, as you can see in the first picture!
First up was Richard Greene, who took a moment to thank Carmine for his wonderful editing, saying he "helps him find what matters" in his work, before reading from his book Dante's House.
Catherine Chandler's book, Glad and Sorry Seasons, is dedicated to her father, a mathematics and science teacher for 35 years. Chandler described one of their final visits before he passed away, when he looked at her and asked who she was. This inspired her new book of poetry.
Edward Carson read from his new book, Birds Flock, Fish School. He discussed how much of his poetry circled around the type of relationships we tend to chronically come back to. He was watching the ways birds and fish flock together; he realized, after he’d researched more, that was how words work, and how poems flowed. The social syntax of love and relationships was part of that love and movement that goes back and forth.
Jim Johnstone is the author of three previous books of poetry. He's also the recipient of many awards, including the LitPop award. He said his book, Dog Ear, was a dream come true for him (he had just seen it for the first time the day of the launch!). Highlight of the reading: “I’m not much for small talk so I apologize, I’ll just say I wrote this next poem at a strip club.”