Which is not the same as the Blow-Out! It was more extravagant. On December 8th we were in Montréal in the morning and Calgary in the evening. Cara Hedley arrived with a carload of poetry-and-literature fans from Edmonton and we made our way down to the Lunchbox Theatre, which is a classy little space somewhat buried in the mall-like maze that is indoor downtown Calgary.
The book table was very extravagant. The event was an evening of 5 minute (ha) readings from 12 Calgary-connected authors from our 11 books released this fall (Brea and I are two-for-the-price-of-one, skewing the book-to-author ratio– hey, we like to mess things up!) Our hosts were Paul Kennett and Mark Hopkins in matching velvet jackets, who were charming and suave to go along with those jackets.
My favourite readings were Cara’s Twenty Miles and Claire Huot’s The Prison Tangram— two first novels from two quite different writers. I read Cara’s book in about a day and a half (I’m a fan!) and her reading has prompted me to read it again, but only after I finish Claire’s.
We ended the night at the Bear and Kilt, and only left when I realized that if I stayed out much longer I would have been up for nearly 24 hours. Well, that and the last call. It was a wonderful celebration of the secret vibrancy of Calgary culture, and a big thanks is owed to Natalie Walschots, who is an amazing event co-ordinator in addition to being an excellent poet!