Category Archives: DC Events

Sasquatch at Montreal Rampage

MONTREAL NOW: The Art of Conversation

Posted on April 4, 2019. Written by Zsolt Alapi

Mark Jenkins Remix. Arsenal Gallery. Photo Marlene Wilson.

 http://montrealrampage.com/montreal-now-the-art-of-conversation/

So, I’m sitting in a café with my friend, Keith Henderson, conversing about matters of the spirit. Yes, that’s right. Keith is a writer of exceptional talent, a former professor of English at Vanier College, a political pundit, and managing editor of DC Books Canada, one of the oldest and most revered of Montreal’s small literary publishing houses.

We are speaking about Keith latest book, Sasquatch and the Green Sash, his contemporary retelling of the medieval romantic epic, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Keith has reset the story in Canada’s Far North and has incorporated elements of the original poem, cleverly blended with myths of the Dene Nation. The story is an allegory of virtue, nobility, and a coming of age tale of sexuality and romance, and I ask Keith the obvious question:  How can such a story play to an audience so far removed from symbols and the use of the imagination, an audience so hooked on social media and the communication resources so readily at their fingertips? Keith pauses before answering. This is one of the things I love about good conversation, for he is an artist of discourse as well—the ability to reflect, to ruminate, to respond to complex ideas and to lead his listener on a journey into his literary imagination. Ours is a dialogue of give and take: he listens to my insights, and I relish his. If he weren’t so conscious of equally sharing thoughts, I would be completely content to sit back and listen to him for hours.

As if in quiet mockery of our discussion, a young lady at the table next to ours looks at her laptop, annoyed. Perhaps it is her irritation at listening to two older men discussing ideas, so animated by this very act — two men who are perhaps disrupting her attention so clearly focused on her open Facebook page or Instagram offerings. But no matter. We are democratic, perhaps more open minded than she is, caught up in our own space, time, and moment, leaving her to hers.

And what a moment it is! Keith speaks of the allegory of the original medieval poem and how it is a fitting symbol of our own troubled age, which he sees as devoid of spirituality, morality, and honor (not just in the chivalric sense, but in the greater context of personal virtue). He tells me how his former students, themselves striving to come to terms with their own sexual desire, found an affirmation in this old poem with a surprisingly contemporary message, an affirmation that seemed to give a direction to their lives.  He tells me of the “message” of the poem, based on the precepts of our Judeo-Christian tradition, and how the truth of that vision still resonates to this date. Keith has written his own allegory that is founded upon a natural archetype, something that he and I believe are in danger of being lost in our not only secular but also anti-intellectual world.

Keith is a man of intellect, a man of great moral honesty and persuasion, and I can only be thankful for my encounter with him, for being in this place and time, for sharing things of the heart and the mind. Ours is a discourse that is all too quickly disappearing in our world where we speak in sound-bytes and abridged phrases that can fit on a cell phone screen or a Twitter feed.

So on Monday, April 15th at 6:30, Keith Henderson will be launching his book, preceded by a conversation at the Thomas More Institute.

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The TMI, as it is known, is a secret jewel in the intellectual life of Montreal. It was founded many decades ago for the purpose of sharing ideas and dialogue with like minded individuals. They offer courses in music appreciation, art history, sociology, and literature (among others), and their modus operandi is based on the premise of Socratic discourse where the animator is less of a lecturer and more of someone who poses questions that provoke a thoughtful response.  As the Director of TMI told me recently, they seek to ask questions that will demonstrate how the process of complex thinking works and to track that exceptional moment of intellectual discovery.

Anne Fitzpatrick, former English professor, long-time Dean at Marianopolis College, and one of the original founders of the Institute will be animating the discussion with Keith Henderson. She has taught a multitude of courses over the years at TMI, and she is currently animating a discussion of Milton’s Paradise Lost, one of her many interests. Anne, a good friend and former colleague, is also a great conversationalist. I recently had the pleasure of her company where we spoke at length about education, literature, writing, and (again) matters of the spirit.  She has also graced my life over the years.

If you wish to experience the magic of profound discourse, the excitement of ideas, and the connection we can still make to a grander heritage, to a time when ideas and beliefs mattered, treat yourself to an evening that is so rare and precious in this day and age. 

Buy a copy of Keith Henderson’s book; afterwards, share a drink with people who have the commonality of loving ideas and good writing, and be welcomed into the company of like-minded souls.

Check out the launch on April 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the Thomas More Institute (3405 Atwater Ave).

John Emil Vincent at Argo Book Shop

Konchan & Vincent Reading
Thursday January 24 | 7:00PM – 9:00PM

Please join us for an evening of poetry by Virginia Konchan and John Emil Vincent! We will have their books available for sale and signing.

Virginia Konchan is the author of a poetry collection, The End of Spectacle (Carnegie Mellon, 2018); a collection of short stories, Anatomical Gift (Noctuary Press, 2017); and three chapbooks, including Empire of Dirt (above/ground press, 2019). Her poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, The New Republic, Boston Review, and elsewhere.

John Emil Vincent is the author of Excitement Tax (DC Books, 2018), which was shortlisted for the QWF First Book Prize. His second book, Ganymede’s Dog, will come out from McGill-Queen’s University Press in Fall 2019. He presently teaches at Concordia and Marianopolis College.

Argo Bookshop
1915 rue Sainte-Catherine ouest
Montreal QC  H3H 1M3
Canada
Phone: 514.931.3442
Email: info@argobookshop.ca

Excitement Tax at the 2018 QWF Awards Ceremony

Poets John Emil Vincent (left) and Greg Santos at the AELAQ Pop-up Book Fair

About Excitement Tax jurors at the 2018 QWF award ceremony wrote:

John Emil Vincent’s special talent is that these really are poems, not just prose in the shape of a poem. He really plays with language. The result is poems which at first glance seem like nonsense, but a closer reading brings us closer to: well, we’re not sure what — but it is a kind of nonsense that makes sense. . . profound nonsense that comments on everything, including language itself.

After putting down John Emil Vincent’s book, you are still ‘in’ his book.

EXCITEMENT TAX is funny. Sardonic; deeply witty in fact. What a relief. And of course it’s quite sad at the same time. An awful lot like life — especially the confusing part.

DC Books at the 2018 AELAQ Pop-Up Book Fair

The Association of English Language Editors of Quebec will hold a Book Fair Saturday Nov. 24 and Sunday Nov. 25, in the Atrium of the McConnell Building at Concordia University, 1400 de Maisonneuve West, metro Guy-Concordia.

Hours are: Saturday: 12-6 PM and Sunday: 12-6 PM.

A number of DC Books authors will be in attendance, ready to greet, chat, and sign great books! A selection of Railfare DC Books train books will also be on sale at substantial Christmas discounts.

Poet John Emil Vincent will be participating in Perforating the Screen of Language: Poets Out Loud, Sunday, Nov. 25, 3-4 p.m.

Novelist Kenneth Radu will be participating in Stories Speak: Writers on Fiction, Sunday, Nov. 25, 1-2 p.m.

Check out novelist Keith Henderson interview re. Sasquatch and the Green Sash, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 7:30 a.m., on CKUT Montreal

Lineup:

Saturday 12 – 3: poet Jason Camlot, author of Animal Library and Attention All Typewriters.

Saturday 12 – 3: poet John Emil Vincent whose Excitement Tax has been nominated for the Concordia First Book Award by the QWF.

John Emil Vincent, poet

Sunday 12 – 1: novelist Ken Radu, author of Earthbound, Butterfly In Amber, and the recently published collection of short stories, Net Worth

Novelist Kenneth Radu reading at the Montreal West Public Library from his recent DC publication “Net Worth”

Sunday 1 – 2: novelist Tom Abray, author of the short story collection, Pollen and the recently published novel, Where I Wanted To Be

Novelist Tom Abray reading at the Montreal West Public Library from his novel “Where I Wanted To Be”

Sunday 2 – 4: poet Greg Santos, author of Rabbit Punch! and The Emperor’s Sofa. Check out Poetry Pause – The League of Canadian Poets: http://poets.ca/2018/11/22/in-the-new-republic-of-poetry-by-greg-santos/

Poet Greg Santos together with Keith Henderson at last year’s Pop-Up Fair

Throughout the Fair: novelist Keith Henderson, author of Sasquatch and the Green Sash and Acqua Sacra

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DC Books Blue Met Spring Launch

Blue Met Spring Launch

Friday, April 27, 2018: 6:30 pm

Paragraphe Book Store, 2220 McGill College, Montreal

Featuring John Emil Vincent, Kenneth Radu, Fiorella Paris (Milan), Steve Luxton

Excitement Tax (poetry)

Net Worth (fiction)

Acqua Sacra (novel in Italian translation)

The Dying Meteorologist (upcoming poetry title)

together with Jason Camlot, Keith Henderson

Music by Susan Palmer & Laurence Beaudoin

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DC Books at the AELAQ Pop-Up Book Fair

The Association of English Language Editors of Quebec will hold a Book Fair Saturday Nov 25 and Sunday Nov 26, at Le Café, on the ground floor of the Monument-National, 1182 St-Laurent. Hours are: Saturday: 12-6 PM and Sunday: 11-5 P.M.

A number of DC Books authors will be in attendance.

Saturday 12 – 2: poet John Emil Vincent whose Excitement Tax is about to be released.

Saturday 2 – 4: poet Greg Santos, author of Rabbit Punch! and The Emperor’s Sofa.

Saturday 4 – 5: poet Steve Luxton, author of Luna Moth and In The Vision of Birds

Sunday 11 – 12:30: novelist Ken Radu, author of Earthbound and Butterfly In Amber

Novelist Kenneth Radu reading at the Montreal West Public Library from his upcoming DC publication “Net Worth”

Sunday 12:30 – 1:30: novelist Tom Abray, author of Pollen and Where I Wanted to Be

Novelist Tom Abray reading at the Montreal West Public Library from his novel “Where I Wanted To Be”

Sunday 1:30 – 3:30: poet Larissa Andrusyshyn, author of Mammoth and Proof

Poet Larissa Andrusyshyn reading at the Montreal West Public Library from her collection “Mammoth”

Throughout the Fair: novelist Keith Henderson, author of The Roof Walkers and Acqua Sacra

Novelist Keith Henderson reading at the Montreal West Public Library from his novel “Acqua Sacra”

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