On Wednesday night, I was dragged kicking and screaming (thanks, Maktaaq) away from my weekly ritual of America’s Next Top Model to attend a launch party for three of UBC’s literary magazines and anthologies. It turned out to be worth the trip.
The magazines were Chameleon (Children’s and Young Adult fiction), Fugue (a literary non-fiction anthology) and Wreck (fiction, poetry and drama), all of which feature work by MFA students in UBC’s creative writing department. Lovely credentialed individuals all, but I’m afraid I tuned out the poets reading in monotone. The girl across the way shot dirty looks when I giggled at the way the reader put on that expected poets’ voice that turns downward at each line so we can all sense the weight of the thought.
I just made a fishing metaphor. (silence)
As I have become very interested in creative non-fiction essays and journalism, the readers of those pieces really caught my interest. Tony Liman read from “Mountain View”, a seamy-underbelly-to-the glamour-account of working at the famous Chateau Lake Louise in the Canadian Rockies. He didn’t name it, of course, although the pseudonym “Mountain View Hotel” does remind me of The Overlook. Intentional? No idea.
The last reader of the night (I’m afraid her name escapes me) got the whole room choked up with “Push Me Pull You”. The essay told of what life with her young daughter is like, a girl who was abandoned at one week and spent the first year of her life in a Chinese orphanage. It was about loving something that is destructive and angry, yet loving and energetic and impulsive. It was beautiful.
When the readings had finished, I bought a copy of Fugue and I bolted outta there to catch the cruiser with the rest of the losers. Caught the Seabus with 43 seconds to go on the clock, got home and enjoyed Tyrant Banks’s addictive show sans commercials. God – it looks hard to wear clothes and walk while someone takes your picture.

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