I went to Word on the Street Toronto yesterday and what a beautiful clusterfuck it was. Picture dozens of tents and publishers and authors and speakers and tote bags and poutine trucks all snuggled up together at the city’s Harbourfront. Then picture thousands of people buying books, talking books, excited about books. It was loud and crammed and WONDERFUL.
Two highlights included discovering a startlingly good book of poetry by Eva H.D. and catching a glimpse of the Jehovah's Witness tent, which made Armageddon look positively charming! Other A+ moments included hanging out with my pals Amanda and Erin, chatting with Denis from Mansfield Press and the writer Julie Booker, and spending time in the sunshine with my best friend/husband, Anthony.
Another jewel in the crown was the "Sculpting New Reads" event. Billed as “an exciting new visual arts program that brings together Canadian artists and authors to explore how books can inspire new ways of thinking, creating, and innovating,” I expected a little weirdness -- and it did not disappoint. Here's the show and tell.
Exhibit A: The giant pipe
Artist Steve Newberry unveiled his sculpture, a giant pipe inspired by the brilliant Patrick deWitt’s new novel Undermajordomo Minor.
Exhibit B: The reaction to the giant pipe
The artist did a nice job, so I'm ashamed to admit that I was dying inside of uncomfortable laughter, which was extra awkward given the small crowd. Patrick deWitt, on the other hand, was unfazed and -- I'm pretty sure -- genuinely delighted. Probably because he's not an immature asshole like me. Or because he lives in Portland and is used to this sort of thing.
Exhibit C: The inside of the giant pipe
Spoiler alert! The pipe had disembodied fingers in it!
Just another day on Toronto’s literary scene, people.