An especially nice delivery today included the gorgeous piece of always-art that is The New Quarterly, issue 121—reason enough to stop everything, boil some leaves and find a comfy chair—but this issue also features a [new] novel excerpt from the smart and funny Michelle Berry.
[Note to self: brew extra big pot of tea.]
Also got three lovely chapbooks, ordered through Alberta Books after hearing about their literary salons. Events are intimate gatherings of twenty or so in private living rooms throughout Calgary—not designed to sell wagon-loads of books, but rather to appreciate words in the best way: with others who appreciate words. Each chapbook, simple but beautifully presented, is signed by all contributing authors, who vary from established to emerging and include, among others, Aritha van Herk, Jeramy Dodds and Betty Jane Hegerat.
What I love best is the nod these salons give to perhaps a more elegant past when life was possibly a bit slower and the world definitely a bit smaller and the pleasure of one’s company was what it was all about.
And the word ‘salon’.
I just love that word.
“Mohammed told me that Palestinians are born knowing how to sling a stone. He joked that West Bank boys emerge from their mother’s womb swinging their umbilical cords over their heads. I stood behind the shabaab, afraid of being hit by an errant rock, and watched as they co-opted King David’s weapon against his own heirs. Some wrapped keffiyehs around their head to hide their faces, but most didn’t bother. The rain slickened cheeks too young for beards, and soaked through their blue jeans. Slings dangled from pockets like something cool.” ~from In the Shadow of the Wall: Travels Along the Barricades, by Marcello Di Cintio (to be released by Goose Lane Editions in Fall, 2012)