This roughly marks the halfway point in my Mean Game tour. I’ve already read in the States (Baltimore, New York, and Philadelphia), and in Canada in Halifax, Lunenburg, London, Hamilton, Toronto, and Ottawa. After Montreal is Edmonton, Calgary, Canmore, Vancouver, Victoria, and Gabriola Island. And I’m not tired at all!
On June 5 I read at the LOMP series in London, Ontario, at Brown & Dickson bookshop. Tom Prime also read poems, and we did a musical collaboration, and wrote a poem together, which was great fun. Thanks enormously to the talented poet and actor Kevin Heslop for inviting me. And thanks to Erica McKeen for hosting.
On June 2 I read from The Mean Game at the Lit Live Reading Series in Hamilton, Ontario, at the Staircase Cafe and Theatre, with Richard Sanger, Gabriella Goliger, Mark Frutkin, and Rod Carley. Thank you to Chris Pannell for hosting the event, and for inviting me!
On May 24 I read at Lexicon books, hosted by the SuddenlyLISTEN series, the musician Norm Adams, and the wonderful poet (and co-owner of Lexicon) Alice Burdick. I read from The Mean Game. Andrew and I had concocted collaborations on three poems. He created these eerie soundscapes for the poems, so that I found myself reading a few lines and then just listening, amazed, at where he took the poems. Such a pleasure to work with talented people! Thanks especially to Alice for being such a gracious host.
On May 23, I launched my book, The Mean Game, at Cempoal Cafe on Agricola Street in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It was very fun because I’ve launched all four of my books in that neighborhood, in the north end, just around the corner from where I lived for ten years (on Moran Street). Halifax readings always seem quite warm and informal, and this night it was a particularly quiet and electric crowd. Cory Lavender also read, and Nanci Lee, Tonja Gunvaldsen Klaassen, and Brian Bartlett. (The pictures are a bit blurry, but I think they somehow convey the feeling of the evening!)
On May 9 I read at Atomic Books in Baltimore, with Matt LaFreniere. It’s a very cool bookstore with lots of old comics, graphic novels, posters and paraphernalia all over the place. This was a special thrill for me because it’s a beloved local bookstore of John Waters. It’s where he receives his fan mail! Big thanks to Elizabeth Hazen for inviting us, and for hosting.
On May 5th I read from my new book The Mean Game at the Bowery Poetry Club in Manhattan’s East Village, with Patrick Donnelly, Kate Brody, J.C. Todd, David Ebenbach, Douglas Silver. It was hosted by Michael Collins, and sponsored by the Why There Are Words series (WTAW – NYC).
I was happy to have my Uncle Al, his partner Eileen, my Aunt Bonnie, and a friend in attendance. I was born in New York City, and my mom is from Inwood, Manhattan, so it was fun to read there publicly for the first time.
On Wednesday, May 1, John Wall Barger read with Angela O’Donnell, April Lindner, Kim Bridgford, James Matthew Wilson, and Peter Krok at St. John Neumann Shrine (1019 N. 5th Street, Philadelphia) for the grand opening week of their museum. Thanks to Patrick Hayes for organizing it!