A Reading that Made “the Audience Feel Pure Joy”

Greetings Faithful BookThugs — we are pleased to introduce to you Puneet Dutt and Kristen Smith who are interning with us from Ryerson University’s Literatures of Modernity program. As part of their work with BookThug they will be contributing to our blog on a regular basis with various goings on of the press. Enjoy!                                   — Jay MillAr, Head Thug.

On May 7, I met with writer Jacob Wren, the writer behind such books as Unrehearsed Beauty (Coach House Books, 1994), Families Are Formed Through Copulation (Pedlar Press, 2007), Revenge Fantasies of the Politically Dispossessed (Pedlar Press, 2010), and his latest work published with BookThug, Polyamorous Love Song (PLS), which was a finalist for the 2013 Fence Modern Prize in Prose. In addition to his books, he is also the co-artistic director of Montreal-based interdisciplinary group PME-ART and writes for his blog, A Radical Cut In The Texture Of Reality. He visited The Press Club recently for the Pivot Reading Series to read from Polyamorous Love Song. In the soft glow of the dimmed lights, which someone from the audience joked was “mood lighting,” Wren read an excerpt from Chapter Two entitled “A Film that Will Make the Audience Feel Pure Joy,” starting from the beginning of page 17. The reading ended with this paragraph:

“But the sullen girl wasn’t finished: ‘The problem is…’ she said, and by this point the entire group was hanging on her every word, ‘the problem is there is nothing more sad, more pathetic, than utter sincerity in the service of a lost cause” (22).

His mother Paula was also there to hear him read, and joked that she had not yet read PLS. The following pictures are of Wren reading at The Press Club, along with his mother, Paula, and our fearless leader Hazel, who was also in attendance. We have discussed doing an interview via email, which is forthcoming. So keep your thuggish eyes peeled for that, and also the next event that BookThug will be a part of in Toronto is on Tuesday May 13, 2014 at The Art Bar Reading Series, presenting Sandra Ridley, author of The Counting House. So please, come check it out, or find yourself asking, “I wish there was something I could do to make life more interesting” (163). The answer is, be there.

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The views expressed in this BookThug blog entry is held by the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of BookThug.

Puneet Dutt is a MA candidate in the Literatures of Modernity program at Ryerson University and currently works as an intern for BookThug. She has completed a marathon, and when she is not working, running, or doing coursework, she is tasting the words of great poets on her tongue. The League of Canadian Poets published her poem, “The Lonesome Lunch,” as a New Poet Selection for the 2013 National Poetry Month and her poem “Salon” was published by Canadian Literature (Summer 2013). She resides in Toronto with her husband. (Follow her on Twitter: @Puneet_Dutt.)

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