Literary Tour on Main Street

What a great evening. I decided at the last minute to attend the 2006 Literary Tour on Main Street on the recommendation of James Sherrett. The Association of Book Publishers of BC and the BC Association of Magazine Publishers put together a varied program that invoked at least a quorum of Greek muses…

First, there was Thalia, muse of comedy, represented by Marcus Youssef and Caymar Chai doing a reading from their biting play about two Middle Eastern men and their stage performance.

Then Terpsichore and Euterpe, hovering over a scheduled impromptu (oxymoron?) dance put on by Dance International. I took photos, but forgot the names of the dancer and musician.


Next up, Melpomene oversaw the dramatic reading of a tragedy about a bowler and his unhappy wife, which was performed as part of the Brave New Play Rites presented by Anvil Press. This was bookended by two other plays from UBC’s Creative Writing department, — a comedy about modern dating (pictured below) and a somewhat incomprehensible final work read by a woman and man that was a little like Waiting for Godot if one of the people waiting had been a bitch with a knife.


Finally, one of the many muses of poetry (Calliope? Erato? Polyhymnia? OK, I’m just showing off now) worked doubletime to lend the group gathered at Lugz a collective hand with writing haiku(s). I’m a big haiku fan, and Geist magazine helped the attendees understand the limits of haiku as well as the liberating creativity you can have with that form of poetry. Many of the audience got up and read their haiku aloud, but I didn’t really have the confidence, though I did hand it in at the end for possible publication in the magazine. We’ll see if “Vancouver Metroblogging” fits in the 5-7-5 structure they wanted.

But the best part of the evening was yet to come. At The Western Front, after seeing multimedia art project by Paul Chan that everyone but me seemed to think was the bee’s knees, I won the door prize drawing! Oh yeah! Four books — “The Passionate Cook” by Karen Barnaby, “Underwood Log” by W.H. New, “Intimate Falls” by Lance Rucker and “A Small Dog Barking” by Robert Strandquist. Plus a mug, some Rogers chocolates, some ribbons, and a polka-dot bag. It’s like Christmas and my birthday rolled into one, and I don’t even need to send a thank-you card!


But the fates gave me one last boost: No waiting for the bus at the end of the evening. Best … literary … tour … ever.

3 Comments so far

  1. James (unregistered) on April 30th, 2006 @ 2:38 pm

    Great review, Travis. I’m impressed with your recollection of the muses. I may be the only one, but c’mon, in the great cosmos, something continues to be better than nothing. The best I could do was Sharon Stone in that Albert Brooks comedy of a couple years past.

  2. Ryan Cousineau (unregistered) on May 4th, 2006 @ 12:26 pm

    James, don’t be silly: he Googled them. Thanks to Google, our literary references no longer need be caught between the Scylla of obscurity and the Charybdis of getting it wrong. Instead, like Argus, Google is a vigilant, all-seeing companion who knows the details of those mythic tags you only half-remember.

    Google is a veritable Ariadne to Travis, abandoned at the threshold of attribution by an uncaring blogger.

    See? I can do it too.

  3. Travis (unregistered) on May 4th, 2006 @ 12:33 pm

    Ryan, if you keep giving away my secrets, I’ll get all Samuel L. Jackson on your ass. And I didn’t have to Google that, MF! :)


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