Marguerite Pigeon

Writer

Last Stop: Montreal

Mixed emotions today as I finished my tour last night at Drawn & Quarterly bookstore on the Plateau in Montreal, where I co-read with the lovely Natalee Caple (Calamity’s Wake) as part of Wanda O’Connor’s new Residual Reading Series. The crowd was great, as were the staff at D&Q, and Natalee and I even took the time afterwards to ask one another questions about these novels — for which, I dare say, we both had good answers! I only regret that I had to rush out immediately afterwards due to Lewis, who’s been sick. (I offered and then withdrew my offer of a ride to Natalee, realizing that I couldn’t actually give her one. Pretty tacky. I hope she’ll forgive me as she rides back to Peterborough on Via today.) Here are just a few photos of our evening, then goodbye shots of Dolly Pigeon– mother, co-pilot, provider of tour vehicle. Without her help, I’d still be at the Sudbury airport with a stroller and a heavy box of books. Thank you, Mom.

 

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Natalee (L) and Wanda meet at Drawn & Quarterly.

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The bookstore has a good setup where the reader stands a bit higher so everyone can see and hear!

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Natalee, a passionate and compelling reader.

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Just minutes ago, Dolly pulled out, finally free of me, Lewis, Merle’s incessant requests for help with his dot-to-dots, and tour logistics. Farewell, Mom!

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Mother and daughter travel duo. We survived.

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Adam joins us for a final shot. He has also been co-pilot on this tour — even wore sick little Lewis in his carrier for 2 hours last night until they were both sweaty. Thanks, Adam.

3 Poets and a Novel in Ottawa

Last night, after an impatience-inducing drive from Peterborough — much summer construction; many dusty students with stop signs — we gathered at Raw Sugar, a cool cafe just a block from where I whiled away my happy university years. I read with three poets: Chris McPherson (My Life in Pictures), Chris Jennings (Occupations) and Shane Rhodes (err, X). As I sat listening to them, I had a very strong feeling that being around poets is the best. It was a very happy event. Here are some pictures.

 

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Interest in my book peaks in the nation’s capital.

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Shane Rhodes (L) and Chris Jennings (R), transplanted Albertans, fantastic poets and editors.

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Chris McPherson (L) whose picture I neglected to take while he was reading from his highly successful and personal collection, My Life in Pictures, with Marc Venturi, cousin and future CEO.

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Liz Mandryk, baby whisperer, Adam and Lewis, preparing to be dazzled by poetry.

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Four readers.

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Chris reads from his excellent collection, Occupations, and from some new work, including a poem about his forthcoming shoulder surgery.

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Shane grips the audience with poems from his soon-to-be-released book, X, which includes devastating found poems from a variety of Canada’s treaty documents.

Music and Words in Peterborough

We pulled into Peterborough on a rainy afternoon and were able to relax at my brother Jean-Claude’s (and partner Alex’s) for a few hours before making our way to the venue, The Spill, for our reading/music show. Jean-Claude and his fellow musician Matt Snell, who perform as The Real Coyotes, started things off with a few of Jean-Claude’s own songs. I read first, then more music, then Matt, a multi-talented guy, read a hilarious new short story — he’s a student of the same UBC MFA program I attended. It was all fun until my mother started dancing between¬† tables (!!!) No. That’s a joke. Seriously, it was great. Thanks to my brother and Matt for keeping the place hopping.

 

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Jean-Claude Pigeon (L) and Matt Snell (R) entertain.

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Some of the folks at The Spill.

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Dolly and Lewis enjoy the show.

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Matt Snell reads from his story of a job counsellor seeing a client who might not be fit for any position.

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Here were are.

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Jean-Claude and Dolly Pigeon.

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Adam, Lewis and Merle.

 

 

 

 

Thanks, Toronto

Toronto is still home in many ways. My two readings there were pretty special. The first was in my old neighbourhood, Cabbagetown. A small but committed crowd came out and the reading led to a¬† discussion about whether fiction is the right vehicle for political notions. Then, last night, in Kensington, many family and friends and two very interesting co-readers — Dani Couture and Grace O’Connell, both of whom made everyone want to read their books. It wasn’t easy to keep the camera present — I was too busy talking. So just a couple of shots to commemorate the visit.

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with my co-readers Dani Couture (L) and Grace O’Connell (R), and star MC and Taddle Creek publisher Conan Tobias (centre).

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with dear friend and Nelvana superstar producer Jane Sobol.

Sudbury Library Reading

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Here I am, reading from my own book.

Wednesday night I assembled the Sudbury arm of my family to fill many seats at the Sudbury Public Library, where I co-read with Paula Mallea and Mary-Lynn Murphy, both published by Laurence Steven’s Sudbury-based Scrivener Press. Our panel became the inaugural event of the Sudbury Public Library’s Words Ideas Inspiration series — thanks to librarian Michelle Fex. Sudbury’s a more cosmopolitan place than people give it credit for, and we had a full house, lots of questions, good discussion. Here are a few photos.

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Paula Mallea tells stories from A Women’s History of Western Manitoulin

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Lisa Laframboise holds down the book sales table.

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Scrivener Press publisher Laurence Steven and CBC radio host (acting as MC) Markus Schwabe before the readings.

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Markus Schwabe warms up the crowd.

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Mary-Lynn Murphy reads from her novel, Finding Grace.

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The writers take questions.

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Me and my sister, Jeanne-Claire Sloan. My family was there in force.

My Hometown Reading

I was able to begin the Ontario leg of my tour in Blind River. The local library hosted thanks to Rhea Marcellus, who also invited two local students of writing to co-read. Thank you to everyone from town who took the time to come to the marina tonight. My mom, Dolly, spent a lot of time organizing the space and making all the fancy homemade snacks. In this way, she ensured success. Here are some shots.

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A rainy night on Lake Huron, people begin to arrive.

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I was hoping this would show what a beautiful spot the marina occupies, but it doesn’t.

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Rhea Marcellus, from the BRPL, makes introductions.

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Hannah Watts, classics and creative writing student, reads her prose poems.

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Bethany LaChapelle explains her background as a writer of fan fiction, then reads a selection of her new fiction work.

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Me and my fellow Blind River writers.

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Goodbye Blind River Marina Park Lounge.

Montreal Co-reading Coming up Soon

Here are the details of my Montreal reading with Natalee Caple, author of Calamity’s Wake.

 

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Photos from the NeWest Spring Spectacular

Edmonton was warm and sunny, weather-wise and otherwise. The people from NeWest made their spring event a relaxed, fun affair. Thank you to them, to the people who came out, and to the lovely ladies I co-read with. Here’s a few photos.

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Tyler Butler warms up the crowd.

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In the foreground, three co-readers — Rebecca Campbell, Corinna Chong, and Jenna Butler; also, the crowd at Roast. Corinna, whose photo at the mike was blurry (sorry) later read from her novel, Belinda’s Rings
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More book lovers

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The evening’s MC, Chris Craddock

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Jenna Butler reads from Seldom Seen Road

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Rebecca Campbell reads from The Paradise Engine

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myself, with local authors and friends Yasmina Odor, Thea Bowering and Lynn Coady

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With Paul Matwychuk, of NeWest, celebrating after the readings.

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