New York Lit Night in Montreal has come and gone, taking with it some great talent from south of the border. The event, which took place August 8th at Librairie Drawn & Quarterly, was presented by This Is Happening Whether You Like It Or Not! and was more of an informal gathering of friends than a reading (and had the comfy sweaters and ecigarettes to prove it).
The writers were introduced by Guillaume Morissette (New Tab) and Metatron Press founder Ashley Opheim, who seemed to think of finding new and increasingly grand ways to compliment the writers as a personal challenge (albeit not a particularly difficult one).
First up was Sarah Jean Alexander, who immediately ingratiated herself to the audience by complimenting Montreal (pro tip: this will always work). A captivating poet, Sarah began the first of her three poems with "so many forgotten blowjobs in my life." And it only got better from there.
Oscar Bruno D'Artois, who has both a great name and a very entertaining Tumblr, was next. Is there a rule we didn't know about wherein all hip new writers must reference emojis in their work? Serious question, even if I am as much a fan of that little cat with heart eyes as the next person.
Lucy K. Shaw also took a pro-Montreal line, asking (rightfully) "why wouldn't everyone live here?" She is the editor of Shabby Dollhouse, an online literary journal, and began by reading about Sylvia Plath's house, ending with a love story called The Curse.
“You know that feeling you get in your stomach when you have a crush on someone? I’m kind of feeling that right now, because Gabby Bess is one of my favourite contemporary writer.” This is how Gabby Bess is introduced, and the fluttery gut feelings are warranted. Gabby read from her current book, Alone with Other People, and mentioned an upcoming project entitled Post-pussy. So, you know, exciting stuff.
Last came Spencer Madsen, rounding out a very enjoyable evening. Spencer is the founder of Sorry House, the author of You Can Make Anything Sad, and, despite the fact that he usually does readings in a shirt emblazoned with his own name, seems very down to earth.
Afterward, the crowd mingled and chatted before heading out to an after party in the neighbourhood. As is only fitting.