Saturday, January 26, 2008

full house

There were people standing in the aisles for the Lansdowne reading on Thursday. Some of those people just preferred to stand but others, who came later, genuinely had nowhere to sit.

And this was after we'd excavated everything resembling a chair from the back room and even marshaled the stools scattered charmingly throughout the store.

(l-r) prof/poet Karen Clavelle, prof/poet/mystery writer Catherine Hunter, editor Andris Taskans.

Reverse alphabetical it was, not that it made any difference to me, because smack dab in the middle is smack dab in the middle, no matter where you start off.

Deborah Schnitzer brought a cushion and a dose of antihistamines, knowing she would be among cat people but also perched on a hard hard seat. No slight on Kelly's hospitality, but one of the things I'm looking forward to in the new venue is never having to set out his collection of assorted chairs.

Not that the 100 or so chairs we'll need for Aqua's performance space will likely all be the same, but there'll probably be more than two or three of the same design.

Editor/poet/LCP President Maurice Mierau.

Maurice Mierau brought his disdain for In Flanders Fields in the form of a poem modeled on the Remembrance Day stalwart as well as the first poem from Barbara Nickel's Domain, which, switching hats for a second (Maurice is the poetry reviewer for the Winnipeg Free Press), he highly recommended.

Chandra chastised Kelly for leaking personal information from the podium, which gave Kelly ample material to work with for the rest of the evening. I think it was a bit they worked out in advance, employer to employee, but who am I to say...

Fittingly, Lori Cayer and Sharon Caseberg, who co-chaired the committee, read last. They deserve many kudos for organizing the various events that raised half of the funds needed to award a poetry prize at the Manitoba Writing and Publishing Awards.

I look forward to seeing both on the podium in the future, not giving away the prize, but accepting it. Which could come sooner rather than later, as Lori is finishing her second collection and Sharon working on her first, baby and busy freelancing career permitting.

Prof/poet Karen Clavelle.

With my five minutes of podium time, I read a new/old poem from my manuscript, Storm, spare room. The core of the poem was written a year or more ago but it just wasn't...finished...until I re-worked it this past fall.

I didn't rehearse the poem as much as I would have liked, but given the week I was having, I'm lucky to have made it to the reading at all...

[Kelly was kind enough to let me know that my neck didn't go red (a reading constant with me...if I'm wearing an open-necked shirt, interesting Rorschach-like patterns appear on my upper chest) until near the end.]

It wasn't apparently a good night for book sales, but my feeling is that too many people is as bad as too few, when it comes to such. With too few, the equation is obvious - fewer people buy fewer books. But with too many, the problem lies in the fact that people feel too squished to browse properly. Which is the only way to second-hand book shop, really.

PF President/WIWF General Manager Perry Grosshans and PF Editor Andris Taskans.

In other news, we're off to Utah on Monday for two weeks of in-law mediated hiking. I plan on walking my legs off.

I've got a review of Anne Simpson's Falling and an article on Thuong Vuong-Riddick's The Evergreen Country: A Memoir of Vietnam due before I return, which will give me an excuse to hole up in cafes with M's laptop when not hiking.


Brenda Schmidt said...

Have a nice trip!

Anita Daher said...

Ditto on the nice trip wishes, and it was good to see you today, as brief as the seeing was :-)

Ariel Gordon said...

Thanks, B & A!

sicky said...

Hey Ariel-- hello from cloudy Vancouver. Thought it might make you smile to know that I picked up a little something for you while at the market yesterday 8-)

see you in a couple of weeks, sheila.

Ariel Gordon said...

Hey S,

Glad to hear you're thinking acquisitive thoughts on my behalf...and that you're feeling well enough to venture out and acquire!

(Inspired username by the way...)