An Evening of Tea and Readings, November 23rd

by Shivanee Ramlochan, Paper Based Blogger

Official event flyer, designed by Kevin Hackshaw.

Official event flyer, designed by Kevin Hackshaw.

Dear Friends of Paper Based,

Amidst the pre-December Christmas listmaking and the first signs of tinsel-strewn excitement that this festive season prompts, it gave us glad tidings indeed to host our final Tea and Readings of the calendar year. Last Saturday’s event was marked more than the full stop on this reading series for 2013: as Joan Dayal (Paper Based’s owner, for any newcomers to the blog!) remarked, the final reading also serves as a forum in which we look forward to the series’ reprisal in the new year.

We welcomed a group of talented, diverse writers to the Paper Based podium: song-poet Paula Obé; poet Gilberte O’Sullivan; poet Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné; spoken word artist Mickel Alexander, and poet and fiction writer, Lisa Allen-Agostini.

Paula Obé reads a fiction excerpt from a full-length work, as it appears in the She Sex anthology.

Paula Obé reads a fiction excerpt from a full-length work, as it appears in the She Sex anthology.

Gilberte O'Sullivan shares a selection of her new and published poems with the audience.

Gilberte O’Sullivan shares a selection of her new and published poems with the audience.

This evening marked two firsts for our reading series, about which we’re delighted in equal measure. For the first time, we showcased four readers sharing space in a print collection: the brand new anthology, She Sex, published by Bamboo Talk Press and freshly-launched at NALIS this month. Edited by Obé, She Sex contains work from Boodoo-Fortuné, O’Sullivan, Allen-Agostini, as well as the editor herself. Copies of She Sex are available at the shop — we look forward to hearing reader responses on the power and emotional impact of this anthology, which reveals the core truths encircling much of female sensuality.

Mickel Alexander holds the audience rapt (including yours truly!) with one of his spoken word renditions.

Mickel Alexander holds the audience rapt (including yours truly!) with one of his spoken word renditions.

Boodoo-Fortuné shares poems from her soon-to-be-published manuscript.

Boodoo-Fortuné shares poems from her soon-to-be-published manuscript.

Gracing our reading series for the first time was not just any member of the ambitious, trailblazing initiative The Two Cents Movement, but an executive member, Mickel Alexander. Taking time out from 2 Cents’ event-packed schedule, which includes a comprehensive secondary school tour, Alexander brought the invigorating vibe of spoken word to Paper Based. We look forward to hosting more members of 2 Cents in the future, as we aim to diversify and broaden the scope of the readings that issue from our microphones!

Lisa Allen-Agostini shares from one of her unpublished short fiction pieces, bringing the evening's readings to a close.

Lisa Allen-Agostini shares from one of her unpublished short fiction pieces, bringing the evening’s readings to a close.

We’re not entirely through with our podium for 2013 — the shop will be hosting two book launches in December:

  • Ingrid Persaud’s If I Never Went Home on December 7th
  • Robert Antoni’s As Flies to Whatless Boys on December 14th

Keep your eye on our social media hubs (Facebook and Twitter) for more information on those events: we’ll be sharing more specifics closer to each launch date.

As we close the chapter on our 2013 Tea and Reading series, we look forward with new inspiration to what this initiative holds for us — and for you, our dear friends — in the coming year. It’s been an honour and a privilege to host so many talented poets, fiction and non-fiction writers. We’re grateful to each of them, for sharing so generously of their time and talents.

As we aim to make 2014’s readings even more successful, we eagerly welcome your feedback: feel free to share your thoughts, suggestions and recommendations here or on our Facebook and Twitter pages!

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