Last week, I was lucky enough to attend the Ottawa launch of Mansfield Press’s fall lineup at the Raw Sugar Cafe. Just a few thoughts on the launch, and a humble recommendation.
The launch itself was an absolute blast. It was great to see my friend and mentor Stuart again and catch up since the last time we saw each other in person – not sure if I mentioned this to him, but it’s been over a year and a half! All four readers were great to listen to, though my favorite of the night has to be Jim Smith and his new poetry collection, Happy Birthday, Nicanor Parra. Smith’s dry humor and wit – especially concerning our ‘beloved’ Prime Minister – were exceptional, and his poems capture that aspect of his personality and combine it with shrewd, thought-provoking ideas. This collection is definitely worth picking up.
And if you ever get the opportunity to talk to Smith in person, do it. In fact, here’s a tip for my fellow young writers: get to know the other members of your craft. Share ideas, discover common interests, and engage with people who have the same weird psychological makeup that writers seem to share. Overall, the chance to sit down with Stuart, Jim Smith, and several other writers after the launch was even more fun than the readings.
For a link to Mansfield Press’s website, go to my “Friends and Colleagues” page above.