Thursday, November 23, 2006

'Tis the season

I never thought I’d be one to complain about there being too many readings. And really, I’m not complaining about that – more bemoaning the fact that I can’t get to all of them. Still, here are a few highlights (ones I made it to, and even a couple I missed) from all that’s been going on out here on the very wet coast.

Living as I do in South Surrey, the trip into Vancouver often seems a bit daunting, especially in my poor old Hondie, she of the sometimes-slippery tires. Even though it’s about the same distance, the trip out to the valley always seems easier. Luckily, that’s where bill bissett was reading on the 1st – at UCFV in Abbotsford. During his presentation (with lots of give-and-take conversation with the audience) the position of Poet Laureate came up. The announcement of Canada’s next one should be coming any day now, seeing as Pauline Michel’s posting to that role expired on November 16th.

But if bill isn't appointed as the next Parliamentary Laureate, there’s another similar position coming up, the newly created position of Poet Laureate for Vancouver. Considering bill’s long-time association with Vancouver (as well as the fact that his books are published by Vancouver’s Talonbooks), he seems a natural candidate. I may have to address this further in another entry.

UCFV’s English Department needs congrats for their job of hosting. They even had a ‘hospitality suite’ with refreshments after the reading. Of course, his billness was in attendance there, signing books and CDs, answering questions with his classic bissettian patience.

Monday, November 6th meant that another lower-case speller, rob mclennan, was in town, reading at the Robson Square Bookstore. Sadly, this was an event I couldn't get into town for. You can read about Rob's western tour on his almost-constantly-updated blog.

On Sunday, the 12th, despite the near monsoon rains, a group of happy listeners gathered at the aptly named Monsoon East West Brasserie, where Grant Buday read from his latest novel, Rootbound.
Hyped as a book about growing pot, it's about much more than a misunderstood substance. As with much of Buday's writing, its main focus is a cast of misunderstood characters -- that and of course, his always delicious writing. The book is a romp of a read.

And then there was the much-anticipated event at Pacific Cinémathèque, Heather Haley hosting the annual presentation of videopoetics, See the Voice: Visible Verse. Despite the impressive line-up of 33 videos from Canada, the US, Great Britain, France and Australia, this was another night when the city was just too far away. Really, I have to do better.

Since tonight's the official launch of Ronsdale's anthology of Mennonite writings, Half in the Sun, I reckon this might just be a good night to redeem myself. Hodson Manor at 7pm. Be there and be square.

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