Marguerite Pigeon

Writer

Fall Readings

A summer of smoke in Vancouver. Seems like this city’s first close contact with climate change. It’s left me feeling congested, wanting to leave, knowing there’s nowhere to hide from human pollution. This, in turn, has left me with a surge of inter-species empathy — thinking about the animals out there breathing in this crappy air. So unfair! I’ve been considering how much more room the wild needs to thrive. I heard an environmentalist recently who asserts that Nature Needs Half. This seems very sensible. I am also feeling much love toward the radical folks who just won’t put up with this nonsense anymore, including my late friend, Berta Caceres. They are part of the way forward.

None of this has much to do with my fall readings. But I am motivated to turn up the volume on the environmental piece in my fashion project (The Endless Garment — will I ever finish? That’s a question). I’ll be reading 4 times this fall from recent chapbooks excerpted from the longer poem — and all these events include other local writers who are trying to express, to feel, to be wild, to touch an array of truths. I look forward to all of these events.

Advertisements

Springtime Chapbooks

The long, quiet times between publications can really stretch. However, I have slowly moved ahead, and now, alongside the pink flowers covering the lanes, come three new offerings of poetry.

The first is My Model Poem, a smart-looking chapbook from Nomados Literary Publishers. Thanks to Meredith and Peter Quartermain for their work and feedback on the poem, and to Sharon Thesen and Rahat Kurd for fab blurbs. You can order a copy from the Quartermains by writing to: meredith@nomados.org

Next comes a unique ‘folio’ that includes my poetry alongside image compositions by artist Birthe Piontek. These ‘cuttings’ will accompany Birthe’s new show, Miss Solitude, which opens April 21st, at Access Gallery. You should go! We are holding a separate event at Access to chat about the cuttings and sell copies. That happens Thurs., April 27th, at 7pm, also at Access.

Finally, in June, another chapbook, What I’m Wearing Now, comes out with the Alfred Gustav Press, as part of a series that also includes chapbooks by Robert Adams and Marilyn Gear Pilling. Consider ordering this cool triptych by the deadline of April 25th from here. Thanks to David Zieroth for running this great little press!

 

 

Nominations

It’s been about a year since Some Extremely Boring Drives came out. Sometimes the book falls from view for me. Like my novel, it’s either making its way into people’s hands, or it isn’t. I don’t control it. So I’ve been happily jolted by two nominations in the past few months. First, for the Alberta Book Publishing Award for fiction, and now for the ReLit Award for short fiction. Big happy slaps in the face. Reminders that the collection still exists. I took my stories from the shelf this weekend and read one, just to see. I was surprised. I read it like someone else had written it, but with an undertone of pleasure, knowing the work behind the words. Anyway, it was a good feeling. I thank the jurors for the nominations, and NeWest for submitting.

Reviews

I realize that I don’t have much in the way of new posts here — which is bad, because I personally dislike visiting out-of-date blogs, which give me a creepy feeling. So, just a short note today to say that I am happy to be receiving a review here and there for Some Extremely Boring Drives. I post links to these reviews on my Reviews page, if you’re interested.

Toronto, Peterborough, home

I left Ottawa tired but happy. Thanks to Dolly and her snappy red car, I landed in Toronto just in time for my afternoon reading at the Toronto Public Library, Parliament Street Branch. My visit was part of the branch’s regular Tea & Books series, where a librarian selects books to recommend to patrons. I sat in on that part of the hour, and decided they’re onto something — giving people a taste of what the library has to offer seems like such a good idea.

That night, I gathered Toronto friends and family, along with Michelle Winters and Becky Blake, for a joint reading at Type Books, on Queen West. The staff there were welcoming and super-helpful. I thank them. There were beers afterwards, and I stayed up too late. Our early morning departure for Peterborough was not easy.

Thursday night, I returned to Peterborough’s The Spill, where I read last year, for a co-reading with Devon Code, author of In A Mist. I loved the story he read, and was so proud to be there with my brother, Jean-Claude Pigeon, who played before and after our readings. His musicianship just keeps improving, and it felt so good to hear him do his thing.

Here are some photos of these last few events.

With dear friend and recent Emmy-award nominee (!!) Jane Sobol.

With dear friend and recent Emmy-award nominee (!!) Jane Sobol.

Discussing the merits of various new acquisitions by the Toronto Public Library (or something like that).

Discussing the merits of various new acquisitions by the Toronto Public Library (or something like that) with lovely librarian Suzanne Fernando.

Me, Jane, Dolly, Ximena, Lara.

Me, Jane, Dolly, Ximena, Lara.

Becky Blake (L), me, and Michelle Winter (R), after our reading.

Becky Blake (L), me, and Michelle Winter (R), after our reading.

Devon Code reading from a wonderful story, which I think is called the Beneficiary.

Devon Code reading from a wonderful story, which I think is called the Beneficiary.

Mine and Devon Code's books, for sale at The Spill.

Mine and Devon Code’s books, for sale at The Spill.

What a relief for my ears to be filled with live music, especially by this one: Jean-Claude Pigeon.

What a relief for my ears to be filled with live music, especially by this one: Jean-Claude Pigeon.

Bonus of this trip: time with my niece, Luna, here impersonating her mother.

Bonus of this trip: time with my niece, Luna, here impersonating her mother.

on the shuttle back to Pearson. Sad, longing look at the Ontario countryside.

on the shuttle back to Pearson. Sad, longing look at the Ontario countryside.

Ottawa fiction (as opposed to fictional) soiree

Back in my university town, and happy to check out this new venue, Pressed Urban Bar, on Gladstone, where I was joined by the hilarious and talented Christian McPherson and the prolific rob mclennan. Here are a few shots from a fun evening that felt like it could have turned into many beers if I wasn’t headed out at the crack of dawn.

Chris Johnson came on as MC late in our planning, but he really made the night with his warm wit. Thanks for the word clouds, Chris.

Chris Johnson came on as MC late in our planning, but he really made the night with his warm wit. Thanks for the word clouds, Chris.

Christian and friend, just before he hit the stage to read from Cube Squared, which I plan to laugh with all the way back to Vancouver on the plane.

Christian and friend, just before he hit the stage to read from Cube Squared, which I plan to laugh with all the way back to Vancouver on the plane.

My cousin Marc Venturi came in despite my cousin-in-law Liz's tough week at home. Thanks, Marc.

My cousin Marc Venturi came in despite my cousin-in-law Liz’s tough week at home. Thanks, Marc.

I read! I tried out a new story: Makeover. I think it went well.

I read! Tried out a new story: Makeover. I think it went well.

Long shot of me reading, courtesy of Colette Gignac.

Long shot of me reading, courtesy of Colette Gignac.

The Blind River contingent, including old friend Niel Laporte.

The Blind River contingent, including old friend Niel Laporte.

rob mclennan read from new work.

rob mclennan read from new work.

Montreal, I am so glad to see you

I came in late and saw the city from above. Today, I got to walk it, visit, and read at such a good venue–the Argo is the kind of bookshop everyone needs.

Preparing my text at pikolo coffee.

Preparing my text at pikolo coffee.

Laurence Miall reads from his funny, smart novel Blind Spot.

Laurence Miall reads from his funny, smart novel Blind Spot.

I read Torera. I got a few laughs!

I read Torera. I got a few laughs!

Dinner with family!!

Dinner with family!!

Argo co-owner JP does intros.

Argo co-owner JP Karwacki does intros.

The crowd comes.

The crowd comes.

Vancouver soiree for S.E.B.D.s

I got new pants. I brought apples. The people came out. The co-readers were lovely. People kindly purchased books. In short, the Vancouver launch for Some Extremely Boring Drives, was really great. I’ll repeat the photos I put up on the Facebook, because they’re my only ones.

Meredith Quartermain reads from her forthcoming, I Bartleby.

Meredith Quartermain reads from her forthcoming, I Bartleby.

Alex Leslie reads from her brand-new book, The Things I Heard About You (which she holds in hand, and which includes cool line drawings).

Alex Leslie reads from her brand-new book, The Things I Heard About You (which she holds in hand, and which includes cool line drawings).

I went last. I read "Locks," the second story in my collection, which has to do with surviving illness and getting one's groove back. Sort of.

I went last. I read “Locks,” the second story in my collection; it has to do with surviving illness and getting one’s groove back. Sort of.