The Art Bar event last night was wonderful - a packed, generous crowd (including more friends than I expected!) and some very strong readings, highlighted by Julie Berry reading from her latest collection, the walnut-cracking machine. You can read the title poem here - it's well worth the time.
I'm reading again tomorrow night at the Misunderstandings Magazine final issue launch (details here). Apparently, there will be cake. I hope that's not the kind of thing people in Toronto joke about. No one should ever joke about cake.
In the midst of all the excitement (including Dionne Brand's Griffin win [congrats Dionne!], Vancouver's win [congrats Vancouver!], and my being in a town where I can walk between five different independent bookstores in ten minutes [congrats Toronto!]), I'd forgotten to promote this week's One Ghana, One Voice feature, Daniel Karasik - until now!
I got to know Daniel's writing through Undercurrents: New Voices in Canadian Poetry, which I'm currently reading through and thoroughly enjoyable (which shouldn't come as a surprise, as it's selected and edited by my editor, Robyn Sarah). Daniel's contribution to the anthology is particularly strong - if you're in a book store, flip to his poems "Old Men Running", "Sanctity" and "Others Will Be Remembered" to see what I mean - so I was excited to read in his bio that he had spent some time in Ghana. I shot him an email in hopes that he had been writing poems back then, and sure enough he had. The first of the poems that he sent me, "A Wrapping Ceremony" is up on the site now, and another will follow down the road. You can read "A Wrapping Ceremony" here, and Daniel's bio and Q+A here.
And now, because at some point I need to post a picture from the trip that isn't of either A) someone standing at a microphone or B) a bookstore, here's a shot of me warming up the Canucks' spot for the engravers:
If you're in Toronto, I hope to see you on Thursday night. If you're in Vancouver, keep the place together until we're back in town for games six and seven, ok?