Sometimes, an event approaches that is so momentous, so stupendous, so jaw-droppingly awesome that one has little choice but to appeal to the revered wordsmiths of yesteryear to borrow a useful construction or two. To whit:
When April’s sweet showers pierce the drought of March to the root, and bathe every vine with liquid such that flowers begin to sprout; when the gentle breezes breathe life into the new blossoming shoots, and when the birds sing with their infernal, unrelenting pre-dawn cheer … then, as Geoffrey Chaucer was quick to point out with similar (though much antiquated) verbiage, folks long to go on pilgrimages. Or in this case, to conferences.
As many of you know, I’m in sunny Los Angeles, California for the AWP Bookfair, and I hope you are enjoying some springtime weather wherever you may be.
What’s happening this month…
On the press this month is Jarrett Heckbert’s debut wordless novel, Metamorphadox. This sci-fi tale about technology and its effects on society is told entirely in pictures, and depicts an imaginative and slightly chilling story toward posthumanity. Heckbert’s New Toronto is full of seemingly miraculous technology, but it’s easy to see that a civilization obsessed with virtual reality may not be civilized after all.
Wood engravings from The Grand River Suite (which form the basis of The Grand River by Gerard Brender à Brandis and Marianne Brandis), will be on display in Brantford at the Glenhyrst Gallery. The exhibition will run March 26 to May 22, with an opening reception Thursday, March 31, from 7:00 to 9:00, where you’ll be able to purchase copies of the book and get them signed.
In Los Angeles.
Attend the largest literary conference in North America? Yes please! The Porcupine’s Quill’s own porcupette will be attending the giant Association of Writers and Writing Programs Bookfair in sunny California this year. You’ll see hundreds of indie presses and journals, creative writing programs and literary arts organizations. We’re at table 104. Come say hello!
In Brampton, the Peel Art Gallery, Museum and Archives will be presenting Fabulous Fictions, the zany livre d’artiste produced by Tony Calzetta and Leon Rooke. You’ll be treated to a viewing of the original artists’ book and paper sculpture as well as a number of set pieces from the 2015 cabaret performance inspired by the work. The exhibition runs April 1 to June 19.
PQL alum Steven McCabe will be reading in London as part of London Open Mic Poetry Night on April 6. He’ll be the featured poet kicking off the night of open mic poetry. Stop into Mykonos Restaurant to say hello.
Porcupette Steph will be manning a table at this year’s Buffalo Small Press Book Fair April 9 – 10. The two-day event will take place at the beautiful Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum and will showcase booksellers, authors, bookmakers, zinesters, small presses, artists, poets, and other cultural workers. It’s free to attend, and not terribly far from the GTA… (Just sayin’.)
On Shaving Off His Face author Shane Neilson will be travelling to Montreal for a reading at the Argo Bookshop. He’ll be joined by Dan Renton and Peter van Toorn on April 15.
George A. Walker will present a fascinating talk on Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland on April 16, entitled “Illustrating Alice: Celebrating 150 Years of Artists Who Have Brought Carroll’s Story to Life”. The event is hosted by the Lewis Carroll Society of North America as part of their Spring Meeting. The Meeting is free and open to the public, so stop in and expand your mind!
Shane Neilson will also be taking part in “For the Love of Words” on April 22, a fundraising event showcasing poets, spoken word artists and musicians from in and around Guelph. All funds raised go to Action Read’s literacy programs.
It’s that time of year—the Grimsby Wayzgoose is back! The 38th annual Grimsby Wayzgoose will be held on April 30. We’ll be there with a plethora of printers, bookbinders, papermakers and other book arts enthusiasts at the Grimsby Public Art Gallery. Be sure to stop by the PQL table to pick up the latest issue of the Devil’s Artisan, DA 78.
In the World.
April 1 is International Fun at Work Day. Considering I’ll be in sunny L.A., I think it’s safe to say I’ve got this one cornered this year.
April 26 is Hug an Australian Day. Can mine be a Hemsworth? Please?
And finally, April 27 is Tell a Story Day. Whether you go with a tall tale or a true story, spin some yarns for your friends and family. But may we remind you that fact is stranger than fiction…
From the porcupette’s corner
I am … strangely at a loss. After a month of frantic activity preparing for our Fall 2016 list, putting together our application to the Canada Book Fund and getting ready for AWP in Los Angeles, I find myself in a weird state of calm panic. On the one hand, I’m in the middle of a week away from my desk, and I get to spend every day talking to readers, writers and booksellers—basically, my definition of the best week ever. On the other hand, I can’t help but feel a sense of looming deadlines for all of the big stuff coming on the horizon. I mean, come on. April is Poetry Month. Of course we have plans for that!
What are those plans, you ask? Well, let me whet your appetites with a couple of spoilers. We’ve got some visuals on deck and ready for sharing on Twitter and Facebook; we’ve got some very pretty things to give away via our newsletter; we have a super-special post in the works for the PQL blog, written by none other than publisher extraordinaire, Tim Inkster; AND we have a new and very useful webpage in the works for educators looking to share their enthusiasm for poetry with their students. With all of that going on, it’s going to be a fantastic Poetry Month, indeed.
Now, enough of my blathering. Stay tuned for our exiting Poetry Month activities, and feel free to chime in with some of your favourite poems and poets. We always love to hear from you.