A long-awaited book of poetry, Blissful Times, gets launched tonight at Clinton’s by writer, multimedia artist and activist Sandra Alland. We’d like to call Sandra Alland the sweetheart of the Toronto small press scene, but she might kick our asses, so forget that we had that thought. We can safely say that Clinton’s will be full of good cheer tonight for BookThug’s spring launch.
Sandra has written three collections of poetry, performed all over the western hemisphere, and is also a bookseller and micropress publisher who advocates for the protection and nourishment of independent publishers and bookstores.
Torontoist has been privileged to preview an electronic version of Blissful Times, and can’t wait to get its hands around its very own copy of the book tonight. Beginning with a fragment from Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days, Sandra ‘translates’ the poem 63 times, morphing it into different poetic forms and emotional states, and sometimes into different media. Using formal constraints, specialty dictionaries, internet search and translation engines, voice-activated software, the weather, global news and personal experiences, Sandra generates pieces ranging from lyric poetry to sound poetry, from theatre to rant, from photography to Boggle.
Tonight BookThug also launches Tom Walmsley’s What Happened, of which they write, “What Happened is a collection of up-front, edgy and human poems that consider life an unresolved issue that should never be resolved.” Other new BookThug titles will be available from poets Lisa Robertson, Steve McCaffery, Lisa Jarnot, and more. Check it out at Clinton’s Tavern 693 Bloor Street West (near Christie Station) at 8 p.m.
Photo of Sandra Allan by Megan Somerville.