Back from a few days in Toronto. Some book/zine related highlights:
- First bookstore sighting at Book City on Bloor! Maybe I propped them up in front of John Updike for a better photo. Maybe.
- Zines! I came home with fantastic new (to me) zines from Chris, Sarah, Maranda and more. Amy (Twelve oh Two distro), and Francois (Great Worm Express Distribution) organized a mid-afternoon social, and I listened to Sarah and Chris read hilarious, passionate excerpts from early issues of their zines in the charming Naco Cafe while outside it rained and rained. Later on I met/caught up with various Broken Pencil staff, like Lindsay (who I’d met years ago when we were still just kids making zines), Hal (who was the first person to ever send me a letter saying “Hey, I’m going to publish something you wrote”) and Nathaniel (who organized the Radical Reading Series).
- Canzine was just as I remembered: overwhelming, exhausting, fun. I felt like a grown-up and refrained from eating candy the whole day. I tabled with Nic for Invisible, and occasionally made people feel slightly awkward when I’d exclaim, “Hey, I wrote that!” when they’d pick up my book and flip through it. (Note: sometimes awkwardness/guilt helps sell books.) It was lovely meeting people who stopped by the table. Every so often a familiar face would pop up, like Jaime, who used to make the most beautiful zines and now runs an equally beautiful photography business with her husband Joseph, or Laura Jane (who is working on a book with Liz that I can’t wait to one day hold in my hands), or Jen (who brought me homemade cookies and a card with my ISBN # typed on the front).
- The reading was fun too. I took advantage of Canzine to read my zine essay, “We Should Make Things” from the Shameless Anthology. My parents were in the audience, which was nice of them considering that they’re not used to sitting through poetry readings. (Thank you to Emily for saving them seats!) It was especially nice reading with some writers I’ve seen in Montreal before, like Natalie Zed and Damian Rogers.
So, yes, it was a great weekend. I might not be happy with Toronto’s newly elected mayor, but I always find it hard to leave the city either way. (But I will be back in 2 weeks for the book launch!) (P.S. More pictures on Flickr.)