Friday, May 4, 2007

Reading Report

Went to a reading downtown last night. Bit of an odd event. First reader was Nikki Reimer, who read a few short pieces. My impression was that her work was kind of open-mic fare, the sort of elliptical/political thing you expect from someone who has recently discovered Language Poetry or something. The second reader, Jenn Farrell, read a couple of short stories. One of them was really short and didn't really seem to go anywhere. The second was better, some solid scenes and funny bits, but the prose felt a draft or two shy of done.

Jay Millar was the headliner of the evening. I enjoyed his reading from several chapbooks and a recent collaboration with Stephen Cain. I liked some things better than others. Some of the work was a kind of syntaxless string of words. I understand that was the point (it's supposed to mimic the "sporatic growth" of fungi, as I understand it), but that didn't make it any more compelling to me. Some of the other work I thought had some interesting and sometimes wryly funny things going on it, however, and I picked up a copy of his chapbook Lack Lyrics.

Afterwards, I headed over to Elizabeth Bachinsky's pad with her, her husband Blake, Jay, and Treena, the manager of the UBC bookstore hosting the event. A very interesting night of conversation, much of which cannot be repeated in public for various reasons. Some salacious stories, gossip on the politics of the lit world, talk about various aspects of craft, as well as less literary fare. Stayed up yakking till 2:30. It was a heartwarming moment for Canadian literature.

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