Photo by blimpa.
A welcome literary sign of spring is National Poetry Month, a country-wide event that kicked off locally this morning with a shindig at Ben McNally Books featuring Poet Laureate for Canada, John Steffler. Until the end of April Toronto will see a wide variety of events and readings, each devoted to celebrating the cultural value of poetry.
The first poetry event of note is this Wednesday’s NicholBack, an ingeniously titled tribute to beloved poet bpNichol. The reason for the Nichol-fest? In late 2007, Coach House Books published The Alphabet Game, a selected reader of Nichol’s work designed for newbies. This spring, Canadian literary criticism journal Open Letter will also publish the first of two new bpNichol-focused issues. There’s also the unveiling of the long-awaited bpNichol site, bpnichol.ca, and if that weren’t already enough, this spring also sees the release of Brian Nash’s bp: pushing the boundaries on DVD. Wednesday night’s celebrations feature tributes from the likes of Paul Dutton, W. Mark Sutherland, Nobuo Kubota, Frank Davey, Lola Lemire Tostevin, damian lopes, Gary Barwin, and a.rawlings. Things kick off at 8 p.m. at the Supermarket (268 Augusta Avenue) and the event is free.
After twenty-two years on Church Street, indie bookstore darling This Ain’t the Rosedale Library is moving its location to Kensington Market. Co-owners Charles Huisken and Dan Bazuin cite many reasons for the move, but rising rent and a current proximity to Indigo Books certainly top the list. This Ain’t the Rosedale Library will reopen at 86 Nassau Street sometime during early May.
Torontoist is sad to hear that Markham Street’s Ballenford Books will be closing its doors forever. It’s no surprise that owner Susan Delean is blaming big-box retailers for the demise of one of Toronto’s only bookstores specializing in architecture and design.
Full listings after the fold.
Toronto Literary Listings: April 1–9
Tuesday, April 1
This Is Not a Reading Series presents Ibi Kaslik launching The Angel Riots, featuring Apostle of Hustle. Gladstone Hotel Ballroom (1214 Queen Street West). 7:30 p.m. Free.
Stan Dragland reads from his new novel, The Drowned Lands. Supermarket (268 Augusta Avenue). 7:30 p.m. Free.
Wednesday, April 2
Rowers Pub Reading Series with Maureen Scott Harris, Lawrence Hill and Adam Sol. Harbord House (150 Harbord Street). 7:30 p.m. Free.
Coach House Books presents NicholBack: A Tribute to bpNichol. Supermarket (268 Augusta Avenue). 8:00 p.m. Free.
Thursday, April 3
The League of Canadian Poets presents a reading featuring Penn Kemp and Bill Bissett. Clarke Auditorium (250 College Street). 12:00 p.m.
Toronto Dollar presents A Feast of Authors. St. Lawrence Market North (92 Front StreetEast). 6:00 p.m. Free.
Cormorant Books launches Beverley Stone’s debut novel No Beautiful Shore . Ben McNally Books (366 Bay Street). 6:00 p.m. Free.
Saturday, April 5
Buffalo Stew & Poetry Too with Robert Priest, Duke Redbird and Sheetalina. New Earth Gallery (700 Queen Street East). 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 6
Camille Martin presents the workshop The Poetry of Borrowed Words. This Ain’t the Rosedale Library (483 Church Street). 12:00 p.m. $60 includes materials and light refreshments. Enrollment is limited to 12 participants. Call 416 929 9912 (This Ain’t the Rosedale Library) to sign up.
Monday, April 7
Strong Words Reading Series presents Alessandro Porco. Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen Street West). 6:30 p.m. PWYC.
Tuesday, April 8
This Is Not a Reading Series presents Rachel Sontag in conversation with Damian Rogers. Gladstone Hotel Ballroom (1214 Queen Street West). 7:30 p.m. Free.
The Art Bar Poetry Series presents Johanna Skibsrud, Jerome Paul and Dave Margoshes. Clinton’s (693 Bloor Street West). 8:00 p.m. Free (donations appreciated).
McClelland & Stewart Poetry Launch. Mitzi’s Sister (1554 Queen Street West). 8:00 p.m. RSVP to [email protected].
Wednesday, April 9
The Coach House Spring Launch. Stones Place (1255 Queen Street West). 7:30 p.m. Free.