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Friday, April 22, 2005

The Writing Life #3

What a better thing to do with a Friday evening than to be in the company of some of the most interesting writers today. I have to tell you, it was such a pleasure to meet Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer (the newest bookninja editor) for the first time. After her reading from her new novel The Nettle Spinner , I just had to introduce myself as the guy who last won the comic contest last year (consider this a silly plea for more comics George! Busy-shmisy... there's always time for doodling.) Oh yes, and now I know how to pronounce her last name, I think, by way of, the elegant, Elizabeth Hay's introduction. I just recently read Kuitenbrouwer's latest essay, Hardcover Logo: Confessions of a TPO, with interest on Check it out. In my opinion, a book is a book is a book. Say that ten times fast.

Dione Brand's reading was gut wrenching at times as she read from What We All Long For. I am such a sucker for books written (partially) in the first person. Dionne Brand delivered the story so well. Fitting that she was the last speaker, too. A poignant ending of sorts. John Metcalf, fresh from the Order of Canada cermony recently, was in fine form as usual as the senior member of the quartet of readers. He started off the readings of the four from his novella, Forde Abroad. Also reading was Nalini Warriar who won the 2002 Quebec Writers' Federation McAuslan First Book Prize for Blues From the Malabar Coast.

I don't know if Metcalf chose to speak from Forde Abroad on purpose because of the European flavour of the festival. That said, it was interesting to have visiting author Taja Kramberger, who is from Ljubljana, Slovenia sitting right beside me during the reading. Wish I could read minds. From the Porcupine's Quill website: "Forde Abroad takes Forde from Ottawa to Ljubljana, to attend a meeting of the Literary and Cultural Association of Slovenia - or, as Sheila puts it, to consort with Slovenians."

The beer was ice cold as usual but that was not nearly enough to keep me again for another late night, and I reluctantly missed the late night's event with Sheila Heti, Tess Fragoulis, Nalini Warriar, and Alan Cumyn. Perhaps someone will fill me in on how this went tomorrow. Or not.


Blogger Amanda Earl said...

Sorry we missed this one, John. Thanks for blogging it. We were dead tired.

Saturday, April 23, 2005 3:58:00 AM  
Blogger GM said...

Request filed.


Thursday, April 28, 2005 10:25:00 AM  

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