The highlights of the festival included:
- Seeing Leon Rooke read from his newly released novella Pope and Her Lady, which is written in this bizarre strand of Glaswegian street slang. Rooke apologized in advance for his attempts at the Scottish patois, but as far as I could tell he nailed it.
- Popping by the Biblioasis table and talking to publisher Dan Wells about the various titles he's released this fall, including Light Lifting by Alexander MacLeod (which has, it was announced this morning, made the long list for this year's Giller) and A.J. Somerset's Combat Camera, this year's winner of the Metcalf-Rooke Award.
- Chatting up Kim Jernigan, editor at The New Quarterly, about the hidden messages embedded in the old vehicle featured on the cover of the new issue. (You'll have to visit your nearest news stand to see what I mean.)
- Seeing the ever-talented Kerry Clare read from her short story “You Can’t Run a Show on Stage Management Alone” as part of the Fringe show.
- Having a grasshopper land on my hand as RR and I lay in the long grass listening to Dionne Brand read from her poetry collection, Ossuaries, at The Mill. It was a rather fitting incident, actually: we marveled at the intricacies of the little critter's body as the intricacies of Brand's words filled the air around us. Also fitting: As soon as the poetry ended, the grasshopper jumped off my hand with surprising vigour and returned to the greenery from whence it came.
Okay, enough happy reminisces for now. Time to find my bottle of Pepto Bismol and go back to the couch.