Sunday, November 11, 2007

DC Books at Sasquatch

Sasquatch was a reading featuring DC Books authors.

DC Books, out of Quebec, was founded by Louis Dudek, and for the past several years has been led by Steve Luxton, formerly of Matrix. The press has its 20th anniversary launch at Blue Metropolis this spring.

Since I arrived partway, I missed some. I presume Peter Dubé had read from the "queer in all the best senses of the word" novel he released this fall, At the Bottom of the Sky.

Luxton read from new work, poems with a political, satirical sort of slant, which caused some appreciative chuckles around the room. He also read pieces in consideration of it being Remembrance Day such as one on Eva Braun, as well as ones from his Luna Moth and Other Poems work.

I was there in time for Newfoundlander Angela Hibbs to read from her first book of poetry, Passport. (It's got a review at TDR.)

She also did poems with a nod to Remembrance Day, being from a military family. So far as the angle she approaches from, she mentioned that in taking a workshop from Richard Harrison almost a decade ago, he advised her to not reach so deep for profoundness. She feels it is sound advice still. She says she tries to eschew phrasings in poems that wouldn't come off the tongue normally in speech but that isn't to say she is unread or making her domain the plain-speech or raw-discord or chatty poem.

Much of the book, as sampled by choices of reading, is a walking thru childhood, and teen years. For example, p. 10, Hydrology
I thought I should be allowed inside everyone's homes,
to look at their photos & clippings.
I still do. In dreams
strangers walls are upright streams.

What a fantastic image. I like her use of pause and the thought and line lengths suggesting the very unsteady river that is memory and the uneven nature of us retaining for a while, a dam breaking and much washed away and then a catching sticks in a place again.

In the series of linked poems Hydrology she contemplates a family with the trait of fear of water, how one averts the eyes from the tough veteran uncle whose soldier's hands shake at needing to bathe, using a sponge over sink for fear of water, how this thread pops up thru various people in the family, something which struck home since it runs thru a branch in my family too.

She also did some less linear literal explorations with space on the page and with dream memories such as p. 70, Vision III
music pours into the living room
alters the blank white tiles

First rule of reading: keep cash on hand to pick up books that you'd like to look thru at greater length. First rule of not putting myself in the poorhouse: don't carry cash when books are around.

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