Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The GritLit Report (a Rebecca post)

This past weekend, I was a (small) part of the wonderful Hamilton literary festival, GritLit. Held at the Art Gallery of Hamilton and the Sky Dragon Centre, GritLit is four days of amazing writers reading and amazing audiences appreciating (and asking good questions.

I am completely ill-equipped to give you a report on the proceedings, because I was ill with laryngitis for the weekend, and only barely made it to my own reading, let alone anyone else's. I missed Andrew Pyper, Maggie Helwig, Ray Robertson, and tonnes more amazing folks (that is the saddest name-drop ever, isn't it--people I didn't see or talk to). But I still managed to get the sense of the fest from my Short Story Afternoon reading with Lien Chao and Pamela Stewart, which covered immigration, cunnilingus, and cognitive behaviour therapy in three brief readings and a really stellar Q&A. I was really thrilled by the engagement and enthusiasm of our listeners, and thrilled to be able to answer in an audible voice (Sunday was my first day of real speaking this weekend and I was pretty excited about it).

Here, for no real reason, is a picture of my pre-reading freak-out with my dear friend Kim. I was very very worried, but the inability to hold up my head is not related.

In a post-reading mood of celebration that was probably ill-advised but much enjoyed, I wandered the streets of Hamilton in sunshine and good company and eventually turned up at the Bread and Roses Cafe for the author dinner. Which was delicious, and included both soup and tea, so I was able to stay more or less audible throughout. Although I had to leave before the evening's poetry reading, because I was about to keel over. At least I got to *meet* the poets whose reading I was missing, including Biblioasis brother-in-arms Mike Barnes, pictured below at Bread and Roses with his wife, Heather.

I hear from my spies in the trees that the evening went well, and I have no doubt that this was so. I went home and immersed myself in cough suppressant.

Don't worry, Dan will be back next week with more cogent entries than this!


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