St. John's author/actor/playwright Joel Thomas Hynes (gravedigger Nick Crocker on the sorely missed Hatching, Matching & Dispatching) is in town on May 24 at the Seahorse (1659 Argyle) to read from his new novel, the funny but nasty Right Away Monday. This book reads like a weeklong bender and hangover wrapped up in a dirty paper bag. In other words, it's great. And if you missed the launch for Stephanie Domet's debut novel Homing last week, stop with the self-flagellation: she's reading before Hynes, starting at 7pm. Admission is free.
May's been quite the month for Vagrant Press managing editor
Sandra McIntyre. First, she takes home the Mayor's Award for Cultural Achievement in Literature, an award that's very meaningful to her.
"A lot of what I do—what publishers and editors do—is quiet, behind-the-scenes-type work. Making books is extremely
satisfying—it's a passion—and while I rarely think of it as work, it is very time consuming. Being given the award means the people who jury the award and the mayor's office value and recognize this work," she says. "Also, the fact that my colleagues at Nimbus Publishing and Vagrant Press nominated me is huge. I was blown away by being given the award, but I think I was even more blown away that Nimbus editor Penelope Jackson put the application together on my behalf."
This week is also the launch of The Vagrant Revue of New Fiction, a collection of short stories by Atlantic Canadian writers, including Elizabeth Peirce, Sarah Mian, Nina Lassam, Erna Buffie, Russell Barton and Joey Comeau (of A Softer World fame, above left). Co-edited by fellow Mayor's Award recipient Mary Jo Anderson, McIntyre hopes that, besides being a great read, this anthology will "help potential writers understand better what kind of writing appeals to me, and to help potential readers understand what a "Vagrant Press' book would ideally look like and read like. I think it really puts on display the kind of writing I'm looking to publish. It's a little weird and extremely skilled; has a strong voice; is deep and meaningful but doesn't take itself too seriously. It's writing for readers. It's quality storytelling."
Mayor Kelly was spreading the cultural love last week when he appeared at Visual Arts Nova Scotia's 30th anniversary bash to announce, in partnership with VANS, the spanking new Mayor's Emerging Artist Award, which will be presented to a young artist next year. At the party, VANS honoured its founding members and board of directors with gorgeous sterling-silver pins designed by
Colleen Wolstenholme. Best known for her pharmaceutically inspired sculpture and jewellery, Wolstenholme's pins are cheekily designed to look like Flexoril—a muscle relaxant.
If you were listening to CKDU on Monday, you probably heard an odd collection of sounds like foghorns, feet crunching on seashells and Acadian folk music. Created by project coordinator Francis Willick and volunteers, Snapshots is a series of over 60 short audio clips surveying a diverse cross-section of Haligonian culture. Listen to Bub from Clam Harbour, who reminisces about walking two hours to the local dance, and then a tap dance dedicated to Buddy Daye, among many others. Snapshots will air throughout the year, or you can listen to them all at snapshots.ckdu.ca.
Six feet limber
Contemporary dance presenter Live Art Productions closes out its season on May 31 to June 2 with 6 x 6, six solos by six choreographers at BusStop Theatre (2203 Gottingen). Jacinte Armstrong, Susan Cook, Sarah Cox, Sheilagh Hunt, Veronique MacKenzie and Lisa Phinney prove 36 times over why Halifax is so well respected in the international dance scene. Next year is Live Art's 25th anniversary season, and there's plenty to chose from: a commissioned work of local artists by Belgian choreographer Barbara Mavro-Thalassitis, or appearances by Louise Bedard, Kidd Pivot and the indefinable Tedd Robinson. But for now, go see 6 x 6. Tickets are $15 (students $10); show at 8pm.
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