On Friday the 17th the Librairie Drawn & Quarterly had the pleasure of hosting the Book Thug Fall Launch. The night included readings by Alisha Piercy, Bertrand Laverdure and Oana Avasilichioaei, Gregoire Pam Dick, R. Kolewe and Wanda Praamsma.
The evening's host, Carmen Joy King, was sweet and wonderful, keeping the night breezy and fun. 5 readers of the 8 books published for fall were present, and Carmen encouraged audience members to buy the books, since poetry books are rare. "And fiction... poetically organized fiction."
Wanda Praamsma was the first reader of the night, whose verse-novel a thin line between crafts a story that transcends geographic boundaries and time periods, by weaving together lives from her own family's past, including her poet-grandfather and sculptor-uncle. Wanda explained how, while a thin line between was a long-form poem, it was meant to be read cover to cover. Wanda started her journalistic career in Montreal, but now lives in Kingston, Ontario, and working on an MFA.
Metaphysical Licks, a hybrid prose-poem/novella riffing on the lives and works of Austrian poet Georg Trakl and his sister, Grete, is the restless new work by writer and translator Gregoire Pam Dick [a.k.a. Mina Pam Dick, Jake Pam Dick et al., author of Delinquent (Futurepoem, 2009)]. Gregoire's work has appeared in BOMB, frieze, The Brooklyn Rail, Aufgabe, EOAGH, Fence, Matrix, etc. She lives in NYC.
Our third reader of the night was Ralph Kolewe, who read from his new book, Afterletters. Afterletters follows poets Paul Celan and Ingeborg Bachmann in their intense but intermittent relationship. Kolewe takes fragments of letters and other works by the poets to show the loss and love in their lives. Ralph is also a photographer, and works with influency salon.
From celebrated Quebecois author Bertrand Laverdure comes Universal Bureau of Copyrights, a bold, strange and addictive story that envisions a world where free will doesn't exist, and an enigmatic global corporation buys and sells the copyrights for all things on Earth, including real and fictional characters. Bertrand read in french, with translator Oana Avasilichioaei reading her own english translation. Their contrasting reading styles were incredible, and wonderfully lively.
Last but certainly not least was a reading from award-winning author Alisha Piercy, whose newest work, Bunny and Shark, is a middle-aged coming-of-age story-cum-shark-adventure that reveals and celebrates women's power in the trenches. Alisha's bold and spirited reading was an incredible way to end the night! Afterwards, Carmen encouraged everyone to drink some wine, buy some books, and have a good night!