I’ve done a lot of public speaking, but this was the first time I’ve launched a book of my own. It turned out pretty much as I expected, which is naturally short of what I’d hoped, and so was entirely pleased.
When I first arrived in Edmonton in 1981, having come off a stint of not very profitable writing in Ottawa, I thought it would be great to read a work of mine at Audreys, Edmonton’s fine independent bookstore. Thirty-two years later, having returned to Edmonton for the third time, that happened, in January, 2013. Then I thought it would be great to launch a book of mine at Audreys, and that happened, yesterday.
There are no greater supporters of writers than Sharon and Steve Budnarchuk, the owners of Audreys. Canada needs them; so buy books from them. You can never have too many, and civilization will thank you for it.
It was a good evening. Naomi McIlwraith, author of Kiyâm and president of the Stroll of Poets Society, introduced. Guillaume Tardif, concert violinist, founder of the Enterprise String Quartet, and professor of music at the University of Alberta, listened in. Kadrush Radogoshi, expatriate Kosovar novelist and poet, and former president of the writers’ union of Kosovo, attended, and we later traded notes about approaches to the architecture of books written in verse,
and the myth of Orpheus. Author Candas Jane Dorsey, fresh off the recent municipal election trail, dropped by, which was a pleasant and appreciated surprise; as did Mary Elizabeth Archer, executive administrator of the Professional Arts Coalition of Edmonton; and, felicitously in from Calgary, Virginia Durksen, whom I had not seen for years, since our mutual involvement with the Editors’ Association of Canada when I lived in Vancouver.