All photos by Mike Deal, except for the B&W one, which is by Anthony Mark Schellenberg.
So I read last night at McNally's with Vancouver poet Kevin Spenst and Angeline Janel Schellenberg.
Kevin had a boatload of chapbooks he's published (and other people have published) over the past year or so, to share. Angeline had clutches of poems, published over the past year or so in literary magazines, to share.
I had six or seven pages of poetry, printed from the final proof of Stowaways.
This was my first reading from the collection. And it fell in the few weeks between approving the final proof and the book appearing in the world.
I've performed some of the poems quite often - when they appeared in chapbooks, for instance, which I then grandly and gratuitously toured. But many of the poems are so new that they've never been aired at a reading...
So I was sort of baffled as to what I should read. The ones I've got mostly memorized? The new ones that feel strange and metallic in my mouth? What?
So I made M., who I recently bullied into reading the manuscript again in the amorphous few weeks between final proof and book, tell me his favourites.
And so I read his favourites to him. As he said in the second row, his camera in his lap, waiting for me to look up.
And I made some terrible jokes, because that's what I do. And listened to Kevin and Angeline carefully once I was done...
(I'm going to rehearse those unaired poems over the next few weeks. I'm going to rehearse them hard.)