Category Archives: bookstore

Photos & report: Quill Puddle Release Party (at Detroit’s historic Scarab Club)

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* Unfortunately, not all of my photographs came out – my apologies to readers not represented in the slide show above.

          Detroit’s vibrant, grass-roots poetry community continues to bring the best of poetry from Detroit and beyond through series like the Woodward Line, held at the historic Scarab Club and organized by Kim Hunter, James Hart III, and Frances Barber. The lower floor houses an art gallery, so that poets and audience are surrounded by a compelling visual feast, which heightens the effect of the poetry.
QUILL PUDDLE 5 AND 6          Detroit is also home to Quill Puddle, a hand-made poetry magazine edited by James Hart III and Frances Barber. The evening of April 18 marked the launch of two double-issues of Quill Puddle (3-4 and 5-6), featuring poets Will Alexander, Kim Hunter, Rob Lipton, Ken Mikolowski, Christine Monhollen, Julie Patton, Chris Tysh, Dennis Teichman, Matvei Yankelevich, Barbara Henning, and myself.

          Following a mesmerizing set by The Doll Hairs (James Hart III, guitar and vocals, and Frances Barber, vocals), Julie Patton gave an extended and stunning performance, accompanied by Will Alexander (keyboard), James Hart II (percussion), and Paul Van Curen (guitar). It was magical. I hope the recording came out well, because it would be a shame not to be able to revisit that dynamic performance.
          The next day, I had the pleasure of visiting the Eastern Market, a large market area composed of many buildings, one of which is Salt & Cedar, a letterpress studio. New York poet and co-publisher of Ugly Duckling Presse Matvei Yankelevich arranged to convert the letterpress printing space into a bookstore and poetry reading venue for three months. It was a delight to meet and get to know Matvei, who is devoting his time in Detroit to enriching the already rich poetry scene there.
          Thanks to Matvei, Salt & Cedar is (for the time being, at least) bookstore heaven, stocked by titles from Ugly Duckling Presse, Small Press Distribution, and others, including several Canadian titles – I noticed books by Sina Queyras and Nicole Brossard, among others. I purchased books by Clark Coolidge (88 Sonnets), Tomaz Salamun (On the Tracks of Wild Game – part of Matvei’s Eastern European Series within UDP), Swedish poet Fredrik Nyberg (A Different Practice), Matvei Yankelevich (Alpha Donuts), and Russian Absurdist Alexander Vvedensky (An Invitation for Me to Think). The last title was suggested to me by Matvei when I told him of my affinity for the work of Daniil Kharms, another Russian absurdist who, along with Vvedensky, tragically died in their thirties as a result of Stalin’s harsh persecution of writers.
          People, Detroit is a happening mecca for poets and an open community for poetry in all its manifestations, written and performed!


Camille Martin

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Jim Johnstone | Adam Seelig | Camille Martin at the Art Bar (Toronto), Tuesday, April 9

8 pm, Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Q Space / 382 College Street (between Spadina & Bathurst)

After readings in Cobourg, Vancouver, Montreal, Detroit, Columbus, and Lafayette to celebrate the publication of LOOMS, I’m bringin’ it home to Toronto at the ART BAR on Thursday, April 9. My superb co-readers are playwright and poet Adam Seelig (EVERY DAY IN THE MORNING (SLOW)) and poet Jim Johnstone (PATTERNICITY)!

Click here for details at the Facebook invitation:
ART BAR READING


Camille Martin

Photos: Oana Avasilichioaei and Camille Martin at Argo Bookshop, Montreal (Bonus: Zen Snowcat)

          Despite a freak mid-spring snowstorm, diehard Montreal poetry lovers trudged over to Argo Bookshop to hear Oana Avasilichioaei and me read from our recently-released collections: Oana from We, Beasts and me from Looms.
          Below are some photos from the reading, which was watched over by muses Kerouac and Whitman.
          There’s also a photo of Zen Snowcat, which I sculpted in my hotel room and promised to send any who braved the snowdrifts to attend. Zen Snowcat says: “Each snowflake falls in the right place.” No complaints.
          Many thanks to Jean-Pierre Karwacki of Argo Bookshop for hosting the reading and to Erin Moure for the photographs of me in the slideshow below.
          And for any Montrealers unable to attend the reading, We, Beasts and Looms are both available for purchase at Argo Bookshop.

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Camille Martin

My Vancouver: Book Heaven

          Borges envisioned paradise as a library, and during my recent brief visit to Vancouver, I spent many happy hours in two very different nirvanas for bibliophiles: the Central branch of the Vancouver Public Library and MacLeod’s Books.
          For me, one of the great strengths of the Central Library is the wonderful collection of Canadian and American poetry. The other is the magnificent architecture, whose curved outer shell features study tables offering views on two sides: the library’s interior and the shiny, wet streets of Vancouver with their endless parades of colourful umbrellas . . .

VPL 1

. . . or, if you prefer, the enclosed concourse of shops at the library’s entrance:

VPL 2

By contrast to the Central library’s showy architecture and bright interior that opens itself to the world is a more introverted kind of book heaven: MacLeod’s Books.

MACLEODS 1

The interior is a glorious jumble of overflowing boxes, precarious piles of books, and shelves that are more often than not double-stacked. The poetry is in the basement, womb-like with its narrow and claustrophobic, over-stuffed aisles:

MACLEODS 2

          Fortunately, I’m not claustrophobic, and part of the pleasure of MacLeod’s is the treasure hunt, the possibility that at the bottom of a pile or behind that first layer of shelved books is the prize that will take a place of honour among the equally messy heaps of poetry next to my bed.
          The photograph below was taken by a young woman with whom I’d struck up a conversation. She was looking for a book of poems by Anna Akhmatova. By chance, I turned to the shelf behind me and there it was: a beautiful, hard-cover copy of the complete poems of Akhmatova. She looked so happy when I handed it to her, and in return, she took a photograph of me in paradise.

MACLEODS 3


Camille Martin