September was certainly a busy month here at the Porcupine’s Quill! With readings and events in Toronto, Ottawa, and Winnipeg, we were certainly keeping busy. In addition to our events in Kingston for the Kingston WritersFest, we had an author in Winnipeg at Thin Air. It is the season of literary festivals indeed! While at first we weren’t sure that JonArno’s newest book, Down in the Bottom of the Bottom of the Box would be printed in time for the festival, hard work and persevere paid off up at the shop. Copies of Down in the Bottom, with beautiful papercut illustrations by Alec Dempster, rolled off the press mid-September. Those of you following us on Facebook can chart the progress of that book in the photos I post of the production process. For all the JonArno lovers out there, come out and join us for the Down in the Bottom launch later this month. Details to follow below….
But September is over and now we are entering October. We can officially say that summer has ended and fall has begun. What a delight as we have so many wonderful fall occasions to look forward to! Thanksgiving is nearly upon us and Halloween not too far after…. I hope you will all be keeping warm as the days and nights get cooler. I recommend lots of warm sweaters, hot tea, good food, and fine company. That always seems do to the trick for me.
What’s happening this month?
Join us for the launch of Down in the Bottom of the Bottom of the Box! We’ll be launching this quirky book of children’s poetry by JonArno Lawson with illustrations by Alec Dempster at the Maizal Quesadilla Cafe in Liberty Village. There will be ample food—chips and delicious guacamole—with lots of juice (for the kiddies), wine (for the grown-ups) and lots of music (for everyone). To top it off, Mexican-born Canadian musician and artist Alec Dempster will be playing music for the occasion.
JonArno Lawson, Alec Dempster • Down in the Bottom of the Bottom of the Box • Maizal Quesadilla Cafe, 133 Jefferson Avenue • Saturday, October 13, 2:30pm–4:30pm
On the following evening, we will be launching R Murray Schafer’s autobiography My Life on Earth and Elsewhere at Koerner Hall. World-renowned musician, composer, writer, and teacher, Schafer’s book launch has been coordinated with the world premier of Schafer’s musical composition Wolf Returns, performed by Esprit Orchestra. The concert starts at 8pm, but the fun starts at 7pm, with a book signing and an interview with Schafer on stage. We have teamed up with bookseller Marc Glassman and his organization This is Not a Reading Series for this one, so there will be lots of bookish folks present. In fact … we’re offering all our friends a discount on tickets. Check out our events page here for details.
R Murray Schafer • My Life on Earth and Elsewhere • Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor Street West • Sunday, October 14, 7pm
The inexhaustible Mark Lavorato reads in Toronto as well at the Pivot Reading Series on October 17. We published Lavorato’s first collection of poetry, Wayworn Wooden Floors this summer, and Mark has been going non-stop ever since. Mark’s most recent reading was at Collected Works in Ottawa. Come out and support Mark again at Pivot Reading series!
Mark Lavorato • Wayworn Wooden Floors • The Press Club, 850 Dundas Street West • Wednesday, October 17, 8pm
In Halifax. We are pleased to be publishing Nicole Dixon’s debut collection of short stories, High-Water Mark, this month, and it would seem that we are not the only ones looking forward to the arrival of this collection. You can catch Dixon reading at The Company House in Halifax on October 18. Dixon won the Bronwen Wallace Award for the collection’s title story, ‘High-Water Mark’. Since then, she filled out the rest of her collection with sexy, smart stories about real, twenty-first century women. Dixon will be reading with her partner, Darryl Whetter, whose collection of poetry, Origins, was just published by Palimpsest Press.
Nicole Dixon • High-Water Mark • The Company House, 2202 Gottingen Street • Thursday, October 18, 5:30pm–6:30pm
In Cape Breton. Following her reading at The Company House, Nicole will also be reading as a part of the Lunchtime Series at Cape Breton University. Nicole will be found at the Art Gallery in the Campus Centre on Wednesday, October 24, reading with Darryl Whetter in an event titled ‘Bygone Daze’.
Nicole Dixon • High-Water Mark • Art Gallery, Campus Centre, Cape Breton University • Wednesday, October 24, 12pm–1pm
From the intern’s corner.
While we are busy launching the fall season, I’ve been busy getting ready for the Spring season. This month has seen me finishing up the tipsheets for our spring line, a line, you will soon find out, filled with delightful non fiction and poetry. For more about tipsheets, see what my predecessors have written about them here and here.
Writing tipsheets means a lot of talking to authors and editors and compiling their suggestions together to make the best presentation of the forthcoming book possible–in under about 5 pages. It also means a lot of checking and double-checking and re-checking the sheets as edits are made. A lot of scanning 10pt type!
For those of you who are following us closely will notice that this is the first month all year that I have neglected to post an addition to our running feminist review series. You will have to forgive me for that. Buried under tipsheets, I’ve been unable to see that initiative through this month. But you can look for the next installment next month!
I would also like to extend my congratulations to Ross McKie, the recent winner of our Essential giveaway!