I’m back in Toronto for the next month or so to bunker down and do some work. After some time away from a regular desk, I’m relieved to be back at Artscape Gibraltar Point to do more work on my second book, as well as a few other projects.
Fortunately for me, my stay in Toronto coincides with Toronto’s Pride Week. I have two readings scheduled. First up, I’m going to appear at the open mic at this gorgeously-titled event:
Pussy Basket: An Evening of Bent Word
Wed 26 June, 7:30pm
187 August Ave, Toronto
We’ve paid tribute to Gertrude Stein (with Fleurus I and II) now it’s time to pay tribute to those who stood by her and her creative process along the way– Stein’s wife Alice B. Toklas, aka Pussy, and their dog, Basket.
Join Queer Writes and Emcee Jade Elektra for an evening of bent word with bill bissett, David Bateman, Cathy Petch, Brock Hessel and The Neurotic Slores.
There will be 5 minute slots for open-mic’ers throughout the night. Come and sign up early. Spaces are limited. Pay what you can! ($5 suggested)
More details at the Facebook event link
And, a few days later, I’m doing a longer reading:
Bent Over… With Laughter
Saturday 29 June, 5pm
Glad Day Bookshop
598 Yonge St, Toronto
As a part of PROUD VOICES, the official partnership program between Pride Toronto and Glad Day Bookshop, we present Bent Over… with Laughter.
These writers are more than a little funny that way.
- S. Bear Bergman (storyteller, theater artist, instigator, gender-jammer. Author of Butch Is a Noun and The Nearest Exit May be Behind You, among others. Also editor with Kate Bornstein of Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation. http://sbearbergman.com/)
- Paul Bellini (comedy writer and actor, known especially for his work on sketch comedy show The Kids in the Hall. http://paulbellini.com/)
- Catherine Hernandez (theatre creator, Artistic Director of Sulong Theatre Company, storyteller. http://catherinehernandezwrites.blogspot.ca/ and http://www.sulongtheatre.com/)
- Tom Cho
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Something that I’ve been conscious of for years now is that Look Who’s Morphing doesn’t have distribution in North America. It’s something I’ve become acutely aware of while I’ve been travelling and doing readings because I’ve had to organise for my publisher to send books to me (and the postage costs have been nasty), and I’ve then been weighed down with books throughout my travels. Over the years, I’ve been asked by people in North America how they can buy Look Who’s Morphing. Having it available as an ebook has been helpful, but the problem of access to printed copies remains.
Fortunately, I’ve had great support from queer bookstores in Australia and this is now continuing in Canada. Queer and feminist bookstores are so damn important and I’ve been fortunate as an author to be able to draw on the support of the stores that have come my way.
I recently posted to Twitter and Facebook this (blurry) photo of 6 signed copies of Look Who’s Morphing at Little Sister’s Bookshop in Vancouver:
And, in addition to giving me reading opportunities, Glad Day Bookshop in Toronto has also been stocking signed copies of the book (where it is currently keeping T Cooper’s Real Man Adventures company). At the time of writing, there are just two copies left:
Since I came to North America late last year to do a residency at Vermont Studio Center, I feel like Look Who’s Morphing has entered a new phase of its life. In Australia, the book has already had a longer shelf-life than I could ever have predicted. In fact, learning that the book was selected in the Reading Australia project made me realise that Look Who’s Morphing is going to have a longer shelf-life still in Australia, and will hopefully become a thought-provoking and very fun reading experience for students in Australia for some time.
Doing a reading from the book in Vermont in December – the first reading I’d done from Look Who’s Morphing for probably years – was an energising experience and I was encouraged by the really positive response. Quite a few people came up to me immediately afterwards and in the days following the reading, wanting to buy the book. Stupidly, I’d not brought many extra copies of the book with me and only had one copy available for sale. At any rate, what’s since come out of that reading was certainly an unexpected benefit of that residency in Vermont.
My initial plans to go travelling didn’t originally involve doing quite as many readings as what I have done, but after that reading in Vermont, and more and more along the way, I realise that I’ve revived an old ambition to expose this book to audiences overseas. I originally wrote this book for a world audience and I’m travelling, so why not put the two together?
And I still think that there is no other book like this in the world.