Jason Grimmer, our intrepid events director, started the night off with a warm intro for all of our readers.
Our first poet of the night was Gerald Lampert award-winner Katia Grubisic, who read a quintina for spring and a poem about the infamous stilt flautist who can sometimes be spotted in Jean-Talon metro.
Following Katia was Toronto's Emma Healey, a two-time Irving Layton award winner and contributor to many publications, including Matrix, Joyland, Maisonneuve, Broken Pencil, the National Post, the Toronto Star, Said the Gramophone, the Void, CV2 and Lemon Hound. Emma praised Sina as a "kind and good influence" before reading two very funny and surreal poems about the National Student Loans Service Centre.
Finally, Sina took the stage and said a few very nice words about D&Q being her "home store." She also mentioned that her very pink new book has "no dildos in it," despite looking like "a little 15-year-old's masturbation fantasy."
Then, she read poems. The book's title, MxT, is an equation for "Memory (multiplied by) Time," and loss and pain suffused the works that she read -- though the emotions are filtered through a variety of distancing devices: quotations from a safety manual, partly-erased passages from Homer...
During the question period, someone asked if, given the title of the book, the equation could be considered solved? No, Sina answered: grief expands ad infinitum. Formulas contain it. However, she admitted, she never wants to write a poem about grief again. Other querents asked how long this work has been under construction. Some of it, Sina said, dates from her thesis. Asked about the demands of motherhood, she replied, "There's a reason why women write fragments." Asked about her promotion of conceptual poetry through Lemon Hound, she claimed "lyric conceptualism" as her own field. She is interested in what is "messy, unkempt, unprocessed, raw": "emotional labour, witnessing, and confronting the now."
Energized, we moved into the wine portion of the evening, and then the party moved elsewhere. Thanks again to everyone who came out!