news | Friday October 25, 2013

Launched! Daniel Canty's Wigrum in Brooklyn, NY

On Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013, Daniel Canty launched his new inventory novel Wigrum at Mellow Pages Library in New York City.

Canty and Wigrum‘s translator Oana Avasilichioaei read in French and English to an enthused audience in Mellow Pages, the new reading room and independent press library in Bushwick, a neighbourhood of Brooklyn (more information about the library is available in a review from the New York Times).

NYC poets Brandon Downing and Michael Ruby also read alongside Canty and Avasilichioaei, having accepted our invitation back in July to represent local presses at the launch. Downing read from his latest book Mellow Actions (Fence Books, 2012) followed by Ruby, who read from the recently-released American Songbook (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2013).

Philip Turner, a Manhattan-based publisher, writer, consultant, and editor, represented Talon at the launch. Turner generously offered to say a few words about Talon before the reading, as well as handled book sales for all three authors at the end of the evening.

Turner’s excellent literary blog, Honourary Canadian, later published a thorough review of the event and of Wigrum itself. Below are a few brief excerpts:

Jacob, co-proprietor of Mellow Pages, kicked things off by describing how the library and reading room works – people can pay to be a member; as well, if you donate 10 books to the library’s inventory, you’re a member. Their tumblr includes this statement: “Mellow Pages is an independently-run library & reading room located in Brooklyn, NY focusing on providing limited-print fiction and poetry to the neighborhoods of Bushwick, East Williamsburg and Bed-Stuy. With a collection of over 1,200 titles and zines, come check out the space and have a coffee, crack into a new one.”


Daniel and Oana moved to the front of the room and, trading off, they read alternating sections from Wigrum. I’ve been dipping in to the book all week in advance of the reading and have found it to be an ingenious creative enterprise. The novel is ostensibly the census of an idiosyncratic collection of objects, owned at one time by the elusive figure, Sebastian Wigrum. The printed book itself is beautifully presented with crisp typography and clean design on bright white paper. Precise drawings, each one well printed, depict each of the 149 objects in Wigrum’s mysterious collection.


Their reading was very well received, with everyone enjoying Wigrum‘s humor and philosophical play. Book sales and informal conversation followed. I took a few photographs during the readings and was pleased to see, blinking through the window behind the readers, the lights of the Chrysler Building. Barely a half-hour subway ride from Midtown Manhattan, this view typifies how easy it is to visit Mellow Pages. I’m sure I’ll be coming back for a return visit soon.

The full article (complete with photos) is available on Honourary Canadian.

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