Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Okay, so, why the series? Upon reading this article in October 2004, I realized that it was true, there were relatively few opportunities in Toronto to hear people read where the work was the focus. There were plenty of readings where socializing seemed to be the primary goal, and of course, because we're writers, and because we tend to spend a lot of solitary time (or so the argument goes), socializing is important, and in fact I would argue that what I've learned through my social experience in the Toronto literary community has been essential to my own work. But I began noticing that the easiest way to respond to the poetry read at such events was to key in to its ability to entertain in the immediate sense and that it was difficult (for me at least) to get a sense of its more subtle features. Again, entertainment in poetry is entirely valid in itself. I decided though that I also wanted a chance to hear the work in a different way, in a different context, and I guessed there were others (perhaps not a huge number) who wanted this as well.


Blogger Kate S. said...

I think that you're definitely on to something. The gallery space above This Ain't the Rosedale Library has proved to be the perfect site for The Fictitious Reading Series because it places the focus squarely on the work that the writers present. The intensity of the audience's focus on the writers is palpable without the distraction of clinking glasses and hushed (or not so hushed) conversation in the background. Despite my fondness for a raucus night out, that attentive ambience has proved to be one of my favourite things about the series.

I look forward to attending the first Test reading.

2:02 PM  
Blogger Daniel Sendecki said...

Cool. Great looking site. Great lineup thus far. And walking distance from work! Sweet.

1:59 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Thanks, Kate. Looking forward to seeing you there.

I enjoyed the first Fictitious reading (missed the second installment for reasons beyond my control) for the ambience you mention, but also because of the community feel of it. I suspect a strong core group will form audience-wise, and that these people will feel like participants rather than passive consumers.

Yeah, I hope Test will give people the opportunity to listen carefully. But don’t get me wrong, word has it there will be $3 beer. (All chairs will be facing front though, at least to start.) And I do hope people will find the series comfortable socially, and I don’t want it to seem uptight. I will be interested to see if a different relationship between the social and the work emerges though.

Thanks, Daniel. We aim to be convenient.

Yeah, I think considering solely the readers, it should be excellent. I just have to make sure I don't fuck it up.

9:19 PM  
Blogger functional nomad said...

Is the idea to create a space somewhere in between a regular reading and a SpeakEasy? Will there be discussions, q&a, and other manifestations of 'active' reading?

I am looking forward to the first as the start of a new and interesting series.


10:06 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Thanks, Gregory. Yeah, I'm planning on trying the Q & A thing, which I know can be uncomfortable, but I want to make it work. We'll see how it goes.

Funny, in a conversation about Test, Angela mentioned Speakeasy as well. I love[d] the series, so I suppose it's been in the back of my mind. I just want there to be some form of meaningful context in which the work can work.

I've also thought of starting a forum where people can discuss the readings on this site. I don't know. We'll see.

3:52 PM  

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