Friday, March 03, 2006


Went last night out in the cold and snow to Pages Bookstore on Kensington road for the Magalomania reading, put on by AMPA, otherwise known as The Alberta Magazine Publisher's Association. First to read was Sandra Vida, who read a piece she wrote for Artichoke magazine. It was a series of journal entries interspersed with a narrative describing her visit to Glasgow and some of what she learned about the "Glasgow Girls," "The Glasgow Boys," and the "Glasgow Gorillas" (Geurillas?) and her performance at the People's Palace wearing a gorilla mask, playing hopscotch. A very well-written and engaging piece of journalism, and a great example of the kind of writing that literary and arts magazines can host. I can't imagine a newspaper indulging Vida or anyone in that particular kind of literary journalism-- but an arts magazine has the ideological space to allow writers creative license, and even allow them to write about themselves as subject in the first person!

Speaking of creative license, Christian Bok read second. He read "Chapter I" from Eunoia, some pieces from his current work in progress The Cyborg Opera including a beatbox piece, and ended with his Ubu poem. Well-read, very well-performed. The room was small enough that his impressive projection abilities made the furniture resonate and the room was full enough that our bodies absorbed enough sound to dampen the echoic tendency of such a ringing delivery. Fun! Jordan Nail held up a sign for Christian that said "L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E enough for ya?" with "Bring out Robert Frost" on the flip side, which made for a fair amount of hilarity and broke a bit of the inevitable tension that builds when you've got a crowd of literary types who run the gamut of style, school, etc. (the event was, in addition to being a great couple of very different readings, also a promotion for nine Alberta magazines including filling Station and dANDelion but also Alberta Views, Prairie Journal, and the Alexandra Writers' Centre publication Freefall, among others. Subscriptions to all the magazines are currently available through AMPA for 25% off! Email with the subject line "maglo06" if you would like to take advantage of the offer.)