Jake’s Scream 2010 Date Card
Because I am a man of unequalled generosity, I’ve volunteered to help out at the upcoming Scream Literary Festival 2010: Agents Provacateurs. Despite the harsh requirements of a new job and a book to finish, I have swept down from the heavens, like a noble hawk, to rescue the suckling pig of literature from the tyrannical nubs of its mother. The full schedule can be read here, but if you want my personal recommendations, read on.
I’m skipping this Choose-Your-Own-Adventure pubcrawl thing for work concerns. Too bad, as it seems like the most fun one who enjoys walking and local literature could have. And some tough choices too. To wit, who would I try to see in the 8pm timeslot? Or especially the 7pm? Various places on Ossington. 7pm Wednesday.
Toronto Poetry Vendors denmother Elisabeth de Mariaffi is running this strange little night they’re calling “The Hand that Feeds”, which features a form-slam (the most creative or wiseacre filling-out of a arts funding form). E d M has roped me into this in some way. I’m not sure what I’m doing exactly, but I imagine I’ll be excellent at it. What’s ironic is that I’ll have to change en route from my (slackerish, youth-skewing, tech-inflected) workplace into the “proper business attire” I’ve been told to wear. The Stealth Lounge @ The Pilot, Thursday at 7.
This year’s book-length reading is Margaret Christakos’s Excessive Love Prosthesis. Last year was Dennis Lee. A tough act to follow, surely, but Margaret’s What Stirs was one of my surprise favourite books of the last couple years, and while I’m not hip to E.L.P. yet I’m looking forward to it. I think I’ve volunteered to serve food or something. Which I’ve never done before. So, really, if you’re going, just don’t sit at my table. I happen to know that today is the last day to buy tickets at the reduced price of $35 for the reading and classy sit-down dinner. So go buy one, or two. Friday, 7pm, Women’s Art Association on Prince Arthur.
The big party this year is a “Moustache Gala”, which sounds a little too-hipster-to-look-directly-at for my taste. Luckily I generally come with facial hair, so I don’t need to change anything to get in. Tickets are like $10 or something. Hugh’s Room. Saturday @ 7.
Youthtube: User Regenerated Content. I don’t think I’ll make it to this one (futbol). But the idea is interesting. It’s a sort of digital cover-poem slam, with young poets reading (and having themselves filmed reading) their favourite avant-garde poems. I have no idea why it has to be avant-garde poems, exactly, and in fact I worry that limiting the content like that adds an unfortunate cliqueist capper to an otherwise inspired idea.
What’s the definition of “avant garde” anyway? Is it any poetry that’s challenging, surprising, and linguistically dextrous? Or is it something more tribalist and petty than all that? Who knows. Maybe it was one thing, and is now something else. To that end, I’d like to make a deal. If any potential young participants are reading this, I have a proposition for you. I consider Ted Hughes’s Crow to be a wonderful book, and one that hits all the requirements of the avant garde, as I see it (challenging, surprising, dextrous). If anyone reads their favourite poem from Crow at this event, and gets it recorded onto film, I will personally give them $100. Limited to one reader. Cross my heart and hope to die, I can not tell a single lie. The Supermarket. Sunday at 4. Go win a hundred bucks and the title of “Vox Pop Provacateur of the Yeur”.
Mainstage 2010. Ah, the mainstage. The thing that matters most. The big, long, outdoor, marquee piece of the Scream. I don’t feel I need to sell this to anybody. It’s usually the best literary event of the summer. You’ll hate yourself if you don’t make it. July 12th. The Dream in High Park Outdoor Stage.