Posted: Friday May 14, 2010
On April 27th at the packed Auburn Saloon, the Talonbooks Spring Launch came to Calgary for a thoughtfully provocative evening amid deep bathos and belly laughter.
The start of the night was rife with technosophist hypertext as Frank Davey read from his book of carefully strategized searches Bardy Google, suitably followed by derek beaulieu’s bombastic delivery of pieces from How To Write. Both books scrutinize the fine line dividing the intellectual properties of literature and copyism in our contemporary cut-and-paste society.
Next was Ken Norris, with his elegant epigrammatic interpretation of the travel writing genre, reading from the third book in his Dantean trilogy, Asian Skies. Norris was keen to point out that the eight books on the spring list were cohesive works of poetry and not merely collections of individual poems, what Jack Spicer would have called “one night stands”.
The crowd was very merry when George Bowering took it to another level of contagious hilarity. Laughter abounded as he read from his series of poems in My Darling Nellie Grey.
After the break, Stephen Collis read from his structuralist poems about social excess in On the Material, even going so far as to imitate the voice of an oil can.
Then, Weyman Chan, another beloved resident of “Cowtown”, received a warm reception from his friends and family as he launched into philosophical wanderings from Hypoderm, elaborating upon the subtext in these “notes to himself”.
Garry Thomas Morse concluded the event, reading lyrical roasts, admonitions and “epistolary pathetiques” from After Jack, his homage to Jack Spicer.
(photographs courtesy of Kristen Ingram)