Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Pictures At A Book Launch

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Yesterday marked the final book launch of the year hosted by my esteemed publisher, Guernica Editions. Just six days shy of Chanukah; nineteen days shy of Christmas; and twenty days shy of Kwanzaa, a celebratory crowd jam-packed the upstairs lounge of College Street's landmark Bar Italia. The festive, rock-n-roll buzz was generated for the launching of books by three fine poets (all of whom have lately made appearances on Open Book Toronto): Slender Human Weight by Sue Chenette; Orioles in the Oranges by Melanie Janisse; and Exploding Into Night by Sandy Pool. Besides the three poets, also on hand for the launch were the three artists whose works delightfully graced the book covers, respectively: Barbara Andersen, Adi Wolff, and Beryl Goering. For the few absent local fans, or those of you who live too far outside the realm of our fair metropolis to have made it out (and for those participants who always enjoy a lively post-game show), I offer this pictures-at-an-exhibition blog.

Most of the pics were, by the way, snapped by Guernica poet and editor Elana Wolff (Yes! Artist Adi Wolff is her daughter). Wolff was, in fact, the dedicated editor of all three works launched this Sunday, and had been scheduled to introduce Chenette, Janisse, and Pool. The normally loquacious editor, however, was stymied by an untimely case of laryngitis (I don't feel bad, really" she whispered hoarsely, "but, without my voice I don't feel exactly myself.") Poet, editor, and administrator extraordinaire, Julie Roorda graciously stepped up to the plate, er, in this case, the mic. And, meanwhile, Wolff worked the crowd and the camera. Here's how the event unfolded:

A standing-room only crowd packs the house upstairs at the Bar Italia.

Elisa D'Alfonso and Elisabeth Pouyfaucon work the book table.

A TV crew from across the pond, Italy's station, RAI II, crashes the gate for an on-the-spot interview with Guernica Publisher, Antonio D'Alfonso, on Italian poetry.

Julie Roorda and Elana Wolff greet each other on stage before Julie takes the mic to welcome the crowd.

Sue Chenette reads her shimmering lyric poems from Slender Human Weight.

Antonio D'Alfonso mans the video camera, while, behind him, James Deahl listens attentively.

Melanie Janisse and Guernica First Poet Catharine Black vividly fuse past and present, reading from Orioles in the Oranges.

Sandy Pool and actor Lindsey Clark take a walk on the dark side, reading from Exploding Into Night.

Sue Chenette and fans.

Publisher Antonio D'Alfonso coaches his daughter Elisa, while Julie Roorda and Mick Burrs chat.

Melanie Janisse signs her book.

Jim Johnstone congratulates Sandy Pool.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

Karen Shenfeld

Toronto poet Karen Shenfeld is the author of The Law of Return (Guernica Editions, 1999) and The Fertile Crescent (Guernica Editions, 2005). Her work has also appeared in well-known journals published in Canada, the United States, South Africa and Bangladesh. Her personal documentary, Il Giardino, The Gardens of Little Italy, was screened at the 2007 Planet in Focus Environmental Film & Video Festival.

Go to Karen Shenfeld ’s Author Page