Friday, October 26, 2012

Two readings in Winnipeg

TWB Winnipeg!
When: Tuesday, October 30, 7:00 pm
Where: McNally Robinson Grant Park (1120 Grant Avenue)

For 39 years, Toronto Women’s Bookstore has served the community, readers and writers, both in Toronto and further afield. In mid-October TWB owner Victoria Moreno, announced that the store will close its doors at the end of November. Former Winnipegger Tanis MacDonald is planning a celebratory event in Toronto on October 30. And so we’re planning a satellite/sympathy event in Winnipeg for the same day at McNally Robinson, to mark TWB’s passing, to talk about the need for spaces dedicated to women, the need for independent booksellers. What better space than McNally Robinson? And what better community of readers and writers than in Winnipeg?

So far, confirmed readers include Katherine Bitney, Shawna Dempsey, Dora Dueck, Shayla Elizabeth, Joanne Epp, Michelle Forrest, Ariel Gordon, Carolyn Gray, Patti Grayson, Sally Ito, Esme Claire Keith, Sarah Klassen, Sheila McClarty, Christina Penner, Adele Perry, Daria Salamon, Angeline Schellenberg, Deborah Schnitzer, Brenda Sciberras, Melissa Steele, Jennifer Still, Melanie Dennis Unrau, Katherena Vermette, Jessica Woolford. With more to come! Please join us!

Reading and In Conversation 

Nora Gould, Charlene Diehl and Ariel Gordon
When: Thursday, November 1, 7:00 pm

Where: Atrium, McNally Robinson Grant Park (1120 Grant Avenue)

Readings by Nora Gould and Charlene Diehl. Followed by a conversation moderated by fellow Palimpsest poet Ariel Gordon.


An Important Message to the Many Valued Customers, Supporters, and Friends of The Toronto Women’s Bookstore:

It is with a mix of sadness and resignation that I inform you all that The Toronto Women’s Bookstore (TWB) will be closing on Friday, November 30th., 2012. Over the course of its illustrious 39 year history, the TWB has meant many things to many people. It was already steeped in those memories for me, when, two and a half years ago, I decided to try my hand at reviving and re-branding the TWB as the vibrant and viable centre for social justice and women’s issues that has defined its core values for almost four decades. For me and for many like me, it was always a safe, open and welcoming space where ideas were paramount, and where a community was given a voice. I’d like to think that in my relatively brief tenure as owner, I stayed true to the principles that defined this internationally renowned institution over the course of its history.

The fact is book markets have changed radically in the past few years. Ebooks, fierce online competition and a stagnant economy have all contributed to our business model becoming no longer sustainable. I’m closing the bookstore with the bittersweet knowledge that I did my best. I gave everything I had; physically, emotionally, and financially. I’ve learned a great deal about every aspect of the business and I have no regrets.

I’d like to take this opportunity to invite all friends, past and present, to a two day celebration of the Toronto Women's Bookstore, wherein we will honour the legacy of this Toronto landmark. Details of this celebration will be made available as plans coalesce.

Thanks in advance to you all for your support and please spread the word to your friends and colleagues. It’s been a true pleasure working with the community these past few years and I hope to continue to enjoy the fruits of our acquaintance in all of my future endeavors.

Victoria Moreno

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Review of A Peepshow

--> Read the whole review in The Winnipeg Review at: 

A Peepshow with Views of the Interior: Paratexts, Aislinn Hunter (Palimpsest Press, 2009)

"I’m reading in my backyard, nearing the end of Aislinn Hunter’s A Peepshow with Views of the Interior. I’ve read this book of essays (or paratexts, as Hunter names them) three times since last November, each time delighted, watching my mind go spinning off in its own several directions as I read. Now, to pull myself together, I’ve put the book down. A power saw whines fretfully somewhere down the block, and somewhere in the yard a young robin practices a squeaky note over and over using varying intonations. The garden is dappled summer green, light shifting and falling through the tree boughs overhead.

Reading Peepshow today I’m getting hold of something beyond the pure pleasure of being carried by Hunter’s thinking and language, her willingness to follow thought and imagination as they roam among books and among things. Now I can almost say what this lovely mix of lyric essay and elegant prose is about … resonance, the shifty quality of experience, engagement with the material world of human-made objects, reading, writing, seeing and illusion, longing, how to use objects in fiction, the thinning sense (and knowledge) of language among her students, lyric thinking, nineteenth-century fiction by women… The list could go on, but taken as a whole Peepshow is a phenomenology of the imagination.

Dedicated “To the Unmoored Imagination,” the book continues overleaf with “and to being cast about by books.” Consider paratexts: Hunter acknowledges Gerard Genette’s thinking about those things—title page, contents list, acknowledgements, dedication, preface, appendices, and so on—that accompany the main text of a book. She is engaged by his notion of the paratext as a threshold, that space between. Peepshow is full of thresholds, things about to happen, spaces about to open, ideas about to flower—and the imagination heads straight for them. What a treat for a reader, these invitations to enter what is unfolding. But Hunter herself puts it this way, and ups the ante: “Paratexts are the edges of the road rutted from summer rain. They are the small stone cairns incised with numbers that sit between villages. They tell travellers how far they’ve come, how far they might be going. … The paratext is what lies outside (para-) the thing we are trying to say.” With the imagination we often get somewhere else than where we thought we were heading—or write/speak something other than what we thought to say.

The robin has given up its voice practice and sits quietly on the fence. The saw has paused its whining and I’ve finished the book. Once again I’ve been thoroughly cast about by a book. I couldn’t ask for any better reading experience."

—Maureen Scott

Monday, October 22, 2012

Not With a Bang Book Launch

Book Launch for Gail Sidonie Sobat's Not With A Bang
Wednesday, October 24th
The Artery. 9535 Jasper Avenue.
Edmonton (7 pm to midnight)

There will be food, drink, music and merriment for ages 14 and older!

Jan is a 17 year-old kid in trouble with the law. Al is a feisty old coot. Paired together because Jan must serve community service hours at a seniors’ residence after pleading guilty to a marijuana possession offense, the two initially resent each other. Gradually, the curmudgeonly Al becomes mentor and father-figure to the young delinquent. Through the old man’s guidance and the boy's re-framing of a series of bad dreams, Jan begins to imagine other possibilities. He learns to value compassion and decency as part of successful human relationships. Making a choice to leave behind his unsavory past, Jan falls in love with young Jodi, with books, with ideas and writing because of Al's influence. When the old man is diagnosed with terminal cancer, Jan resolves to be bodyguard to Al. With this choice, one life ends and another begins.

Gail Sidonie Sobat is an award-winning author for children, teens and young adults. Her novel, Gravity Journal, was a 2009 White Pine Honour Book, a Moonbeam Gold Award winner, and was nominated for the 2011 Stellar Award. Gail is also the creator and coordinator of YouthWrite, camps for kids who love to write, and of SWYC (Spoken Word Youth Choir). Not With a Bang is her ninth book.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Halifax Reading

Nicole Dixon and Darryl Whetter will be reading Thursday October 18th at 5:30 at The Company House in Halifax. Details and poster are attached.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Jordan Troutt's quotable


Ian ate worms and toads
      and rocks and snails
                            à la mode.
His belly was sore
       and began to ache,
       I guess he’ll pass
       on the mud-pie cake.

From Jordan Troutt’s The Naming Book of Rascally Rhymes
Illustrated by Sarah Preston
Palimpsest Press / Magpie Imprint 2010
Over-sized paperback
ISBN 978-1-926794-03-7