Balderdash Reading: Pamela Mulloy, David Alexander, Sarah YiMei Tsiang, Carrianne Leung

Sanchari Sur, Sarah YiMei Tsiang, Pamela Mulloy, David Alexander, Carrianne Leung

Four delightful writers treated a small, but engaged audience to a marvellous evening of poetry and fiction at the Robert Langen Art Gallery on November 14, 2018.  The event was part of the Balderdash Reading Series organized by PhD candidate, Sanchari Sur.

Pamela Mulloy, the editor of The New Quarterly,read from her new novel, The Deserters. The novel is about the intriguing encounter between Eugenie, a woman trying to run a farm in New Brunswick while her partner is away, and a stranger, whom she has hired to help on the farm. The man, an American soldier, has crossed the border from the U.S. to escape going back to Iraq and has nightmares about his wartime experiences. 

David Alexander, who graduated from Laurier’s English program in the mid 2000s, read from After the Hatching Ovenand Modern Warfare, a chapbook. David has a slight obsession with chickens, and some of the poems he shared included a Blazon describing the body of a rooster, and a found poem made of lines from movies that include the word “chicken.” The word chicken occurs surprisingly often in films.  

Sarah YiMei Tsiang, a poet and children’s picture book writer, is the author of A Flock of Shoes, Sweet Devilry, and has edited Desperately Seeking Susans. She read from her published and unpublished poetry, expressing her love and her concerns about her daughter. In the poem “Two” where her daughter is two years old, Tsiang recalls that they “dance like lovers.” But by the time the daughter is twelve, in a poem called “Twelve,” Tsiang is teaching her how to defend herself.

Carrianne Leung, fiction writer and educator, read from her new collection of linked short stories,That Time I Loved You, which was a finalist of the City of Toronto Book Award in 2018. Leung read a story told from the perspective of twelve-year old June who believes she was in love with a boy in her suburb in Scarborough. Secrets, desires, and wishes, which are understated, reveal themselves in seething and unexpected forms for this observant adolescent. 

An entertaining evening… some questions answered, many insights shared, and much to reflect on.   

By: Eleanor Ty

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